What Is 'ACL'?
Maypole Colliery Disaster 1908
Maypole Colliery Today
Pit Or Pole?
Abram Morris Dancers
Morris and Maypole
Morris Dancers Ground
Maypole Colliery Disaster Memorial
Books About Abram
Abram Pace Eggers
Abram Morris Dancers Photo Gallery 2001
Abram in 1869
Coal Mining in & around Abram
Abram Morris Dancers Photo Gallery 1999
Abram Charities c1830
Late Victorian Abram
Party In The Park 2002
Abram Morris Dancers 2003
Contact Information for Abram Community Link
Links for Abram Community Link
Coal Mining in & around Abram
The principal source is “The Chronology of British Coalmining”, compiled by Jack Nadin. Additional material by Michael L. Jackson.
Bickershaw near Wigan, explosion injuring one through ill use of safety lamp. There are many references to accidents at Bickershaw colliery: “1847 September Bickershaw Colliery Leigh, one killed and one injured. A collier and his drawer were descending the Bolton House pit when they were engulfed in flames”. The most serious was in 1932 in October, that year an overwind at the colliery caused the deaths of 19 men, as the descending cage plunged into the sump, and drowned the men in the cage though miraculously one of the occupants managed to escape, though he died from his injuries some months later. Another accident happened in 1959 on October 10th, when 5 miners killed in another cage accident at the colliery. The pit was abandoned January 1992. The shafts here numbered 1, 2, 3, and 5 in 1951. The manager at that time was J.H. Weaver, when the colliery worked the Ince Seven Feet, Wigan Six Feet, Bickershaw Seven Feet and the Bottom Four Feet.
The first pits to be sunk at Bickershaw was in the late 1830s, when there was a colliery there worked by Turner Ackers Co. later Ackers and Co. and later still, Ackers, Whitley and Co. This colliery had a tramway that connected with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal by Plank Lane, this tramway was about a mile and a half in length.
The canal was used for many years for the transportation of the colliery output, right up to August 1972, when road transport took over. In 1872 work started on two new shafts at Plank Lane besides the canal banking, these were numbered I and 2. In 1877 two more shafts were sunk, and a 5th pit was in use before the first world war. In March 1907 The Moss Hall Collieries comprising of the pits at Bickershaw, Platt Bridge and Abram, were purchased by Messrs Pearson and Knowles and Company. Following the Nationalisation of the coal industry large scale developments took place at the collieries in the locality. New screening pants were built along with overhead conveyers to bring the output from the pithead to the sidings. The No.5 pit at Plank Lane was abandoned in the 1950s and in 1978 the No.2 pit there was filled in. In late 1975 an underground tunnel connected Bickershaw with Parsonage colliery, and the following year all the output from both collieries, along with that from Golborne pit were brought to day at the Bickershaw plant. The Bickershaw colliery was given notice of abandonment in January 1992. [JN]1847 September.
Bickershaw Colliery Leigh, one killed and one injured. A collier and his drawer were descending the Bolton House pit when they were engulfed in flames. [JN]
Entry in Slater's Lancashire Directory, listed under Wigan coal proprietors:
Ackers, Whitley & Co. BICKERSHAW COLLIERIES, Abram - Julius C.J. Bailey, manager
Lister in the Wigan Directory:
Ackers, Whitley & Co., coal proprietors, Bickershaw collieries
Hindley Field Coal Co., coal proprietors, Bickershaw
Tarbuck John, colliery manager, Bickershaw
1881 December 19th. Abram Wigan Lancashire 48 lives lost, in an explosion in the Yard Mine. Abram Collieries closed in 1933, the pit was first opened about 1840 by Ackers and Whitley. Following the closure of Abram Colliery, the shafts, the Arley Mine and even the colliery band were taken over by Bickershaw Colliery. Some years after the colliery closed, a lighted cigarette was dropped down one of the old capped shafts. This resulted in a massive explosion that completely blew off the concrete capping on the shaft. (See photo in Mines and Miners of South Lancashire). [JN]
1893 March 30th. Colliery Guardian. An enormous cob of Cannel coal weighing over twelve tons from the Abram Collieries Wigan has been shipped to Boston for exhibition at Chicago. In getting this cob of coal to the surface, many men have been employed, and it took nine months to hew it out of the seam. When raised the cob was cased in planks. The weight of the cob and case being 13 tons 11 cwt. Abram Colliery nr. Wigan, On December 19th, just a few days before Christmas 1881, 48 lives were lost in an explosion in the Yard Mine. Abram Collieries closed in 1933, the pit was first opened about 1840 by Ackers and Whitley. Following the closure of Abram Colliery, the shafts, the Arley Mine and even the colliery band were taken over by Bickershaw Colliery. Some years after the colliery closed, a 1ighted cigarette was dropped down one of the old capped shafts. This resulted in a massive explosion which completely blew off the concrete capping on the shaft. (see photo in Mines and Miners of South Lancashire). There were five shafts at Abram Colliery, numbered 1 to 5, Nos. 1 and 2 worked the shallower of the Wigan coal seams. No. 3 acted as the fan or ventilation shaft. Number 4 shaft headgear was constructed from wood, a common site in the Wigan coalfield and number 5 shaft was of lattice steel framework, both these shafts were sunk in the years 1875/78. The colliery was first opened circa 1840. when it was worked by Ackers and Whitley, by 1879 the pit was worked by the Abram Coal Co. worked by Heyes and Johnson. In March 1892, this partnership formed the Abram Coal Company Ltd.
The number 4 pit was 638 yards to the Arley Mine, and was fitted with a large Guibal fan erected by Walker Bros. of Wigan. This fan had blades of 16 feet wide and a diameter of 46 feet. The No. 5 shaft was also sunk down to the Arley Seam at a depth of 650 yards, both these shafts were sunk in 1879. By the beginning of the first world war the Abram colliery was in decline, and by the mid 1920s production was down to just over 270,000 tons per annum. The collieries were finally abandoned in 1933, though the No. 3 fan pit was closed as early as 1916. [JN]
1895 April 26th. Colliery Guardian: On Wednesday last, the first sod was cut by Miss Keen of the two new pits which are about to be sunk by the Moss Hall Coal Company at Maypole House Abram in the County of Lancashire. This is one of the largest new winnings that has taken place in Lancashire for many years, as it covers a field of over 1,000 acres, and the area contains the whole of the field of the Wigan Coalfield. For the present the Company are sinking two pits down to the Wigan Mines, at a depth of about 640 yards. They expect to find the celebrated seam of Abram Cannel so well known in the area. The Maypole Colliery Nos 1 and 2. Abram Nr. Wigan was abandoned March 1959. The pit at one time employed almost one and a half thousand men, and worked various seams. These included, The Haigh Yard, Wigan Six Feet, Pemberton Five Feet, Bickershaw Six Feet, Bickershaw Seven and the Arley Mine. [JN]
1907 March. The Moss Hall Collieries comprising of the pits at Bickershaw, Platt Bridge and Abram, Lancashire, were purchased by Messrs. Pearson and Knowles and Company. [JN]
1908 August 18th.
TO THE HONOURED
AND LOVING MEMORY
OF THE SEVENTY FIVE
MEN AND BOYS
WHO LOST THEIR LIVES
IN THE EXPLOSION
WHICH OCCURRED AT THE
MAYPOLE COLLIERY ABRAM
OF THE PEARSON & KNOWLES
COAL & IRON COMPANY LTD
ON THE 18TH AUGUST
1912 February 19th. Two firemen, Robert Pyatt aged 52 and Jacob Roberts, 51 were suffocated in an underground fire at the Abram Colliery Company's colliery Bickershaw, Lancashire. [JN]
1962 May. Wigan Junction Colliery at Bickershaw near Wigan in Lancashire abandoned. Wigan Junction Colliery Co. Ltd., Abram, Wigan, worked this colliery in 1896 with 289 men underground. [JN]
Abram Colliery Disaster 1881
|See above chronology for details.|
Abram area mines in 1950
|A map showing mines in the area in 1950.|
Members of my family (grandfather & uncles) worked in local mines, including Wigan Junction, Bickershaw and Parsonage.