Methley Junction Pit, early 1900’s
The mine was sited at the top of Junction Hill. It’s tall chimney could be seen for miles around and was quite a landmark.
The mine was sunk to Haigh Moor level in 1845 and further developed in 1850. It was deepened to the Beeston level in 1900. Burnleys were the first owners and then it was bought by Henry Briggs. Under articles of co-partnership with his son, Henry Currer Briggs, his brother William Briggs and James Fletcher Tonge, he undertook (on Jan 1st, 1860) to work an area of the Haigh Moor seam, bought from Burnleys, at Methley Junction.
The mine encountered flooding in the mine shafts due to the fact that the shafts passed through the Methley Fault, which crossed the river Calder and conveyed a feeder from the river to the pit. Much pumping work was involved and in 1897 extensive work was carried out to the shafts. A new upcast shaft was made and the old upcast shaft sealed.
The downcast shaft was used for ventilation and power purposes and for winding men. Silkstone and Beeston seams were worked from Whitwood by rise drifts through the Methley Fault. The winding of coal ceased, the coal output being hauled underground to Savile or Whitwood mines.
Due to recurrent flood problems in the mine shafts after Easter 1904 the Junction Pit was used only for man-riding and ventilation but no coal winding.
In 1946 about 800 men worked or rode down the shafts – all the men working on the north side of Methley Junction fault. In 1958 about 500 men were riding.
The surface workings were heavy in manpower costs, the old steam-winding engine did not comply with safety regulations because of its braking system, and a small electric winder was installed to give access to Haigh Moor, Silkstone, and Beeston for pumping purposes. The mine was becoming run down, the steam raising plant and steam winder were obsolete and the mine was becoming even more expensive to maintain.
The mine was closed in 1958. This view shows the pityard, surface workshops, mine railway for moving coal within the mine area and the tall steam chimney.
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