Mansfield Colliery (1904/05 – 1988) – 30th anniversary of closure.
Mansfield Colliery was known locally as Crown Farm or Crownie. The colliery was developed by the Bolsover Colliery Company, the first of several important colliery developments by the influential company in the North Nottinghamshire coalfield. Twin shafts were sunk to a depth of 545 yards in the Top Hard seam between 1904 and 1905. Nearby the colliery village of Forest Town was developed (see Forest Town: The village that grew out of coal by Pauline Marples (2005). In its early days it was one of the most productive colliery’s in Britain with daily output reaching almost 5,000 tons by 1909. The Bolsover Colliery Company took a keen interest in their workforce and supplied entertainment and welfare facilities to keep them happy.
The colliery suffered significant financial losses from the early 1980’s, large areas of potential reserves of coal were sterilised because of high subsidence costs. This was the main reason that the colliery finished production on 25th March 1988, with the official closure date being 31st March 1988. Output for the last financial year of 1987-88 was 775,000 tonnes with a workforce of 1,000 men. During the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike one of the Crown Farm miners, Randolph (Randy) Florence, met the NCB Chairman Ian McGregor for talks. McGregor mentions the meeting in his book, The Enemies Within (1986).
Following closure both shafts were filled and capped by August 1989. A tip wash of the Mansfield Colliery pit tip took place and the conical tip was flattened out in 2003. On a clear day Lincoln Cathedral could be seen from the top of the pit tip. The pit site is now a small to medium sized business park with pit wheels as a memorial showing what the original site was used for. The Mansfield NUM Branch Banner survives amongst a collection of 14 Nottinghamshire Miners Banners.