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 Post subject: Draycott Colliery (UK)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:54 pm
Posts: 25
Location: England (UK)
In the 19th century there were two major colliery concerns in the Cheadle Coalfield, the Parkhall & Foxfield Collieries and New Haden Colliery. It is only the latter however, which concerns the parish of Draycott. In Robert Plant's "History of Cheadle" (1881), we come across the following quote regarding mining operations at Draycott:-
"About 27 years ago some pits were carried down on Mr. Vavasour's property at Draycott Cross, and beneath 180 feet of Bunters, the 'Dilhorne Two-yard' coal was met with at 285 feet from the surface. The position of these sinkings is about half-a-mile south of the line of introduction of the Bunters, and near a fault running north-east and south-east which brings in the overlying Keuper sandstone and marls. In 1856 a boring was made near Cresswell Mill nearly two miles south of the southern edge of the exposed coal measures, and carried down 600 feet in red marls, Keuper sandstone, and conglomerate, but abandoned before the latter beds were penetrated."
The pits Mr. Plant refers to at Draycott were in fact part of the New Haden complex which was actually called the Draycott collieries at one time. In all there were twelve shafts, two of those being in the Draycott parish and known at the time as 'Draycott Colliery'. These shafts were situated alongside the Cheadle Railway, just south-west of the southern portal of the tunnel.
Whilst certain shafts of the New Haden Colliery were destined to become a success, this was not to be with the shafts at Draycott. Early trial sinkings which date back to 1853, (the shafts described by Plant), claimed to have reached 'Two-yard' or 'Dilhorne' coal at 285 feet. The two shafts were eventually sunk but local rumours have it that no coal was ever actually drawn from them, the sinkers being plagued by sandstone, and that Messers Offer and Dickinson, (the main promoters), lost £30,000 between them on the shafts at Draycott. Whatever was the case, in 1944 the Staffordshire Potteries Water Board utilised the old shafts as bore holes for water storage. One of them is still used for that purpose today, whilst the other is capped with concrete.



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