Shropshire

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Highley Colliery

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Highley Colliery, Highley (SO74838300)

Coal

 

In the mid-1870s, the Viggars family opened a brick works at Highley and sank a shaft in 1874 to extract the Brooch and Four Foot seams.  The company was reformed in 1877 when the Viggars were joined by the Scrivener family.  In 1878, two 9ft diameter shafts were sunk and these hit the 4ft thick Brooch Seam at a depth of 888ft.  By 1900, about 240 men and boys were employed and this had increased to 670 by 1937.  To serve the new Highley Colliery, railway sidings were created south of Highley station and a standard gauge incline was constructed up the hillside to the colliery so main line railway trucks could be filled directly with coal from the colliery.  Coal was soon being sent down the incline to the Severn Valley Railway and thence to feed the steam engines of the carpet factories in Kidderminster.  Clay and shale from the waste tips were also turned into bricks for local builders.  The colliery continued to run at a profit for many years and was mechanised with electricity underground and coal cutters.  The only problem was that workings were heading under the River Severn towards Alveley and further away from the shafts.  In 1935, a new shaft was started at Alveley for coal and man winding, with a concrete headgear and electric winder.  It was connected to the Highley workings in 1937, at which time Kinlet Colliery was closed and the men transferred to Highley Colliery.  Men and coal winding were then progressively transferred to Alveley and by 1940 Highley Colliery was closed, although the shafts were retained for ventilation. Full output was reached in 1944 at 275,000 tons per annum. Figures from the Mineral Statistics are :-

 

Year

Manager

Underground Workers

Surface Workers

1888

C Lawton

 

 

1889

W Galley

 

 

1890

J Wainwright

 

 

1891

T Bramley

 

 

1894

137

44

1895

146

41

1896

151

35

1898

204

40

1899

188

40

1900

161

42

1902

200

41

1905

258

49

1907

277

51

1910

301

50

1911

H  Eardley

340

61

1914

330

61

1915

265

63

1917

C C Nicholas

323

73

1918

362

70

1919

378

93

1920

403

102

1927

404

101

1930

359

127

1932

447

121

1934

470

124

1937

534

136

 

SO747830

Office (C19)

SO747830

Incline (C19)

SO724842

Shaft (capped)

SO73058350

Shaft (capped)

SO74838300

Shaft (capped)

SO74308513

Shaft (capped)