David Law was fined on two occasions, in 1878 and 1879, for not providing adequate
ventilation, a candle not being able to burn in a upright position, being the tell tale sign. Mr Law
was fined £5 and costs on both occasions. He sold the mine and equipment in 1885. The
workings from the mine broke through into the quarry on the opposite side of Rooley Moor
road., where the coal was once visible in the quarry face. Almost being hidden from view by
falls of stone.Across the valley from Stacksteads pit there were five small mines, all working
the Sandrock mine which is about fifteen to eighteen inches thick. These mines were the Helm
Clough colliery, two Brandwood collieries , Bunkers Hill colliery, and Intake pit. Helm Clough
was worked by James Maden, for many years, then one Mr Greenhalgh worked it for a time.
The pit was connected to a staithe by a long haulage road worked by ropes. The staithe was
near to Frost Holes quarry. The two Brandwood collieries were owned by two separate
companies. The oldest one was owned in 1867 by one Edward Ashworth, and appears to have
been a fairly extensive concern. The workings had a joint boundary with Intake pit on one side
and the newer Brandwood on the other side. The newer Brandwood colliery was owned in 1879 by John Brierley and sons, and was a fairly
large concern, getting both coal , and the fireclay which lies below it. The firm had it's own brick kiln by the pit head. The main entrance to the
pit was by a stone arched tunnel and haulage appears to have been by drawers ( young lads ) pushing the full tubs of coal to daylight, and
taking empties back in to the colliers. The tunnel was wide enough to accommodate a double track of rails. The tubs were lowered to the staithe
from the pit head by a rope worked incline.
Old Meadows was the last of the old type drift mines operated by the National Coal Board the
pit closed on 14th March 1969. In 1920 there were 13 Colliers working at Old Meadows and 4
at Old Clough. 13 Drawers at Meadows and 3 at Old Clough. 13 Day hands at Meadows and
0 at Old Clough. With 6 surface hands at Meadows and 1 at Old Clough. 2 Firemen at
Meadows and 1 at Old Clough. The output from Meadows per days was about 30 tons whilst
at Old Clough it was about 10 tons. March 27th 1920 - Edgar Shepherd received a compound
fracture of the right leg while withdrawing with a Sylvester prop with drawer. August 29th 1920
A young woman by the name of E Ashworth aged 28 committed suicide in the pit lodge.
Old Meadows was opend in 1848 by Hargreaves Ashworth and Company. the bounderies of
Old Meadows, were Scarr End, High Wham, Stopes Hey and Todmorden Road. The mine
had its own Burial Society organised by the miners but this was disbanded in 1881. The mine
was taken over in 1947 by the National Coal Board.
The first miners were farmers who got the coal from the various outcrops situated on the valley hills.
Over the years mines were opend and closed due to lack of money. Some of the longest established
mines were Gambleside, Stacksteads, Old Meadows which was also known as Scarr End, and
Grimebridge. By the early 1900’s a lot of the small mines were worked out. When the mines first
started they didnt go very far into the hillside, these mines were called drift mines, only a fewof the
valley mones had shafts amongst these were Greave Colliery, Tooter Hill, and Grimebridge. To
get the coal to the top of th emine the miners used wicker baskets called wiskets, which were
filled and dragged out of the mines, as the distances increased to the surface from the mine face
wooden sledges were used. The tools used by the early miners were quite primitive, made of
hickory wood tipped with iron. The sledges were more often than not pulled by drawers, normally
women and children wearing a leather belt around thier waist which had a metal ring in it a short
chain attached from the belt to the sledge, the chain passing between the woman or childs legs. Later
rails were laid for the sledges to run on then cast iron rails were introduced, these rails were still in use
Old Meadows pit when it closed in 1969. Eventually the drifts increased further into the mines and a better
to get the coal to the surface was needed, and so the mines were enlarged and ponies began to be used to get
the tubs to
the surface. As with other industries the horse power was replaced by steam power which drove endless chain haulage. Before the collier
filled his tub he would put on a peg his tally this was a metal tag with his number on it, and he was paid for each tally taken off at the pit top.
Black Damp was one of the main problems in the mines a gas made up of excessive carbon dioxide and nitrogen and was colourless and
odourless with no oxygen lights wouldnt burn and it was impossible to breath. Another gas was firedamp a highly inflamable gas this was
virtually non existent in Rossendale Mines, only Deerplay colliery and a small pocket at Old Meadows in 1927
which caught the mine fireman unawares burning off his eyebrows and eye lashes. Because of the lack of firedamp in the valley mines
candles could and were used, the miner having four candles per shift, candles were replaced by carbide lamps. The temperature under
ground was quite constant being about 54 degrees all year round.
At the bottom of Booth Road was the coal staithe for Stacksteads Coal pit, or better known as
th' Hile, Isle, or Hile coal pit which opened about 1834. The pit worked the lower mountain
mine which was about three feet thick. The tramway from the pit mouth high on the hill near
East Hile Farm, was built about 1873, by George Hargreaves & Co. The farmer at the time
who was a Mr Fletcher was paid damages of £5 3s 3d owing to the tramway cutting his land
into two pieces. The mine was worked for well over 150 years, the coal being brought to
customers before the tramway was built by horse and cart. The underground workings
being very extensive joining up with Grimebridge Colliery. After the building of the tramway
haulage of the pit was by endless chains driven by a steam engine situated at the main pit
buildings near East Hile Farm. This building in it's day was a familiar landmark to walkers on
the hills and a time piece for people living in the area, for the pit whistle was sounded at
7.30 am, and again at 3pm the start and end of shifts. In 1934 the owners of the pit were
Messrs. Hargreaves Collieries, Ltd. Employing 42 men. The pit supplied coal to all the local
mills, but during the summer of 1934 the pit closed for a few months due to the slackness of
trade and the colliers were dispersed to Old Meadows and Grimebridge. In 1913 the wages at the pit for miners was 9s 1.5d ( 46p) a dozen
tubs, each weighing three and half cwt in coal, and on pillars were the coal was easier to get at 5s 11d (30p) a dozen tubs. The colliers
having to set and remove their own props as he worked. One old collier in the late 1930's was said to have filled 238 tubs of coal in one week
equal to nearly 40 tons, all got with pick for which he was paid the princely sum of seven guineas. (£7.35p)
In January for many years the workers at the pit , were given a treat by their employers, at the Commercial Hotel, Stacksteads, to an annual
dinner and afterwards having a social evening of singing and games. One family who had connections with Stacksteads pit for many years.
Samuel Feber and his son Joe had between them 113 years service. Stacksteads pit closed in 1946 after working more or less continually for
150 years. In 1947 the pit head buildings were demolished. These were the engine house, boiler house, cabins and smith and the local
were Farholme mill, Stacksteads mill, Atherton Holme mill, Acre Mill Woollen mill, and Baxter's Brewery.
Intake Pit by the side of Rooley Road appears to have been the largest and longest lived of the mines on this side of the valley. It was being
worked in 1820 , and at that time had at least four entrances. Little is known of it's early workings but later in 1867 the mine was owned by
John Woodhead, who ran it until 1873. In 1878 it was bought by David Law who ran it until the mine closed in 1885.On the 1st August 1867, the
Overlooker Samuel Woodhead, was killed 550 yards in from the mouth of the drift, when a stone weighing 6cwt fell from the roof onto his back
crushing him to death.
landmark the pit chimney. Higher up the hill from East Hile Farm was another small pit known as Top Pit and was connected to Stacksteads pit
by an incline, part on the surface part underground. This pit worked the upper mountain mine which was only eighteen inches thick. Not many
men worked at this mine, sending the coal down into Stacksteads pit to run it down tot he coal staithe at Booth Road. In 1933 a collier by the
name of Edmund Law Hacking of Blackwood was killed when he broke through into some unknown mine workings, the roof collapsed and he
was smothered in the shaley ground. Two of the banksmen on the set were Sammy Morgan and Fred Mitchell. Mills supplied by the mine
Old Broadclough Colliery Was situated on the west side of Burnley
Road Bacup 100 yards from the Irwell Inn. Connected to Old
Meadows on the opposite side of Burnley Road by a self acting
chain jig that crossed the road by a wrought iron trellis.
The Deerplay Mine,
opened in 1895.
John and Joshua
Maden, owners of
New Line Colliery.
The mine was
linked to a sett near
Greenhead by a
single line tramway
which crossed the
River Irwell. When
Joshua Maden went
into business at
another colliery the
partnetship was dissolved. In 1896 it was trading as the Deerplay
employing ten miners underground and three above.
The colliery was owned by the Brooks family at the beggining of the
20th century, with Joshua Maden as manager until the 1920’s. The
colliery was tken over by the National Coal Board in 1947-1948 and
reconstructed, with baths and other buildings being erected in 1956.
The mine was closed in 1968.
One pit that had its workings extending into
Bacup and Stacksteads was Dean Pit,
infamous as the pit where two young boys went
missingduring the 1940’s. You can read the full
story reported at the time by clicking the picture
of the two Dean Boys.
Other Mines In The Area Were:
Lark Hill Colliery - Rochdale Road
Sharney Ford Colliery - Sharneyford
Hill Top Colliery - Sharneyford
New Barn Colliery and Brickwork
Blue Ball Colliery
Tooter Hill Colliery
Bunkers Hill Colliery