Linby Colliery (1873 – 1988) – 30th Anniversary of closure.

Linby Colliery, just north of Hucknall in the former NCB South Nottinghamshire Area, finished production 30 years ago on 25th March 1988.  In the 1960’s the colliery was one of the most productive in Europe but towards the late 1970’s when the productive High Main seam became exhausted, the colliery’s fortunes started to decline.  The replacement High Hazels seam proved difficult to work and had limited reserves.  During 1987 geological problems deteriorated and in November of that year, at an Extended Colliery Review meeting, it was decided that the colliery would close by the end of March 1988.

The Linby Colliery Company began development of the colliery in 1868 with the sinking of twin shafts to a depth of 458 yards to access the productive Top Hard seam. Production from this seam began in 1873 and it was worked extensively until exhaustion in 1934.  From then main production was from the High Main seam until exhaustion in 1980.  In the late 1960’s Linby experienced problems with tipping space for the colliery waste and for a short period of time coal was diverted through to the Lancaster Drift at Bestwood Colliery for processing.  Bestwood Colliery had closed in 1967.  After this short period, a surface dirt conveyor was installed up the former Great Northern Railway Leen Valley trackbed (closed May 1968) for Linby to tip at the back of Newstead Colliery on a site which formerly was the Marshalling Yards and Locomotive Sheds for the Great Central Railway at Annesley (closed 1965-66).

Peak production was achieved in 1963 when 1.3 million tons pf coal was produced by a manpower of 1,113 giving an Output per Manshift (OMS) of 102.7 cwts, making it the most productive colliery in Europe. Production of around 1 million tons per year was maintained until 1970. Linby was one of the last collieries in Britain to use steam winding.  One of the steam winding engines, a 1922 Robey engine, was decommissioned in 1983 and moved to the Papplewick Pumping Station Trust where it is on permanent display and is steamed on open days (below). The other steam winding engine worked until closure.

Final production was from A26’s coalface in the High Hazels seam (below).  The colliery site was redeveloped for housing and light industry in the 1990’s.  Phase 1 of the Robin Hood Line, Nottingham to Newstead, reopened in May 1993 and runs by the site of Linby Colliery.  A half Headstock wheel was placed on site as a mining memorial to commemorate Linby Colliery (below).

All images @MuBu Miner.