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Baggeridge Colliery, Gospel End, Sedgley.
Ralph Tuck Postcard c1930
This postcard was specially commisioned by W.Davies, 11A Abbey Road, Gornal Wood.
(William Davies was a Stationer & Book Seller in Abbey Road.)
The postcard title sites Baggeridge with incorrect location of Gornal Wood!
Owned by the Earls of Dudley until Nationalised in 1947.
Although not actually in Gornal, almost every Gornal family had some association with the pits at Baggeridge.
In October 1889, the Evening standard reports-
"As a result of boring operations in Baggeridge Wood, near Sedgley, Staffs, it is believed that a thick coal exists over an area of about one thousand acres, and Lord Dudley has decided to expend £25,000 in sinking a shaft and making gale roads."
The first shaft was sunk in 1902 to reach the thick coal seam 1800 feet beneath.
A further two pit shafts were sunk in 1910 and full production began in 1912.
In its heyday Baggeridge Colliery employed 3000 men producing 12,000 tons of coal a week, and many workers were from Gornal where coal mining was a way of life for many.
In 1918, over 750 were employed below ground, in 1923, 1200 people were employed at the colliery, of these 1000 were employed underground, by 1933, 550,000 tons were produced annually.
At the point of Nationalisation in 1947, around 1500 people were employed at Baggeridge Colliery.
Baggeridge Colliery c1967.
William, Earl of Dudley 1867-1932
1896-1967 commemoration bronze medal; 40mm dia.
image - CDM Collection
The Colliery officially closed on 2 March 1968.
The end of an era: A cast bronze medal made by Fattorini & Sons of Birmingham was commissioned by the Black Country Society to commemorate the Baggeridge pit closure in 1967.
Baggeridge Brickworks was situated nearby to utilise the by-products of the mining activities.
In 1970, the mining area was designated a Country Park, funding was provided by the County Council and various grants,
Preliminary work started on the Park in 1970.
What followed was several years of reclamation, removing coal slurry, landscaping and replanting of trees and grass.
HRH Princess Anne officially opened Baggeridge Country Park on 17th June, 1983, now an attracive public open space of 350 acres with various activities and facilities available.
A large new housing development is being been built around the site of the land mark chimney which has been retained.
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