~ Gallery - Industrial ~
Mining
Pithead at one of Earl of Dudley's Collieries, Himley,
John Price postcard c1910
Himley Colliery.
The Earl of Dudleys extensive Himley Colliery pits were spread out over many acres, the main activity centred in South Himley Woods near to the Glynne Arms, and along the south side of the Himley Road, as far up as Coopers Bank, with one small pit located in Hopyard Lane, Gornal Wood.

1865 newspaper report.

SHOCKING COLLIERY EXPLOSION AT LOWER GORNAL --On Tuesday morning an explosion, from at present an unaccountable cause, took place at No.1 of Earl Dudley's pits at Lower Gornal. Shortly after the workmen had descended six o'clock, a loud explosion was heard, and a bucket was blown up the shaft a considerable distance above the surface. it was found that a boy named Joseph Marsh, aged eleven, of Lower Gornal, was killed; Francis Evans, the "doggy," very badly burnt; and Enoch Hodgetts also sadly injured. Several other of the workmen were more or less injured. Several of the men who descended the shaft in the first skip, and who had gone into other parts of the workings, escaped without any hurt. It is feared that Evans and Hodgetts will not recover. Some horses were also killed.

The Kentish Gazette, Saturday June 6, 1865

[No.1 pit appears to have been located on the south side of the Himley Road, between Askew Bridge and The Glynne Arms.]

1878 newspaper report.

A colliery accident, resulting in loss of life occured on Saturday, in the workings of No.58 pit at Himley Colliery, Lower Gornal, belonging to Lord Dudley, an unexpected fall of coal burying and instantly killing Mathew Hale, age 19. Three other miners who were in the pit narrowly escaped.

The Northampton Mercury, Saturday August 31, 1878

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Hopyard Lane, Gornal Wood (Pit No.23).
This was part of the Earl of Dudley's Himley workings, Pit No.23 was located just to the south of Straits Road.
The mine was served by a railway which ran south from the workings, crossed the lower end of Brick Kiln Lane and the Himley Road by the top side of where the petrol station is, and then on past Himley Pit No.20 just south of the Himley Road, and then joined with the Earl's mineral railway (shown on 1918/1938 O/S maps).
The idea of expanding the railway to supply the Musk Lane Gas Works with coal was never fulfilled.
In 1908, Hopyard Lane employing 32 men, 27 men in 1918, 19 below ground.
Eaton Crescent and Manor Drive with modern residential properties are built over the old workings.
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