Coordinates: Tinsley Park Collieries were a group of coal mines situated in the Tinsley / Darnall area to the east of the City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.
Earl Fitzwilliam's Estates were responsible for the sinking of a colliery at Tinsley in 1819, the same year in which the Greenland Arm of the Sheffield Canal was opened; the Earl being a major contributor. Benjamin Huntsman & Co. acquired the lease to work coal.
The pits, at that time, were basically bell pits and situated throughout the area where a network of small wagonways was built to take the coal to the canal. In 1833 Booth & Company of Park Iron Works in nearby Attercliffe were shown in White’s Directory as the colliery proprietors; the coal being used to produce coke for their iron works. This iron works was bought out by Huntsman, son of Benjamin Huntsman the clockmaker and inventor of crucible steel.
The first shaft was sunk in 1852, and at this time the colliery was managed by William Higgitt,great grandfather of William Leonard Higgitt, and then later by William Higgitt's son-in-law, Henry Chambers. Further shafts were sunk in June 1902 and 1909. Over its lifetime the colliery worked the Wath Wood, High Hazels, Parkgate, Haigh Moor and Barnsley seams. In the 1890s, the chairman of the colliery company was William McConnel, the owner of the Talyllyn Railway and a number of other English coal mines.
In 1938 a loan was authorised to the Renishaw Iron Company, with in return, operational control of that company and the right to supply coke to them, were secured by the Colliery Company. The following year Tinsley Park Collier Company made an offer to acquire J. and G. Wells' Eckington Collieries, with pits at Holbrook, Norwood and Westthorpe.
Profits fell during the war years, a loss being recorded in 1943. Production costs had risen but outputs were down with many the men being in the Forces. The colliery was closed in early 1943. The area was subsequently overbuilt by the English Steel Corporation's Tinsley Park Works (opened 1963, closed 1985)
From its opening the collieries in Tinsley Park were connected to the Sheffield Canal by a series of wagonways. Two parallel lines headed south-east from the canal to serve these pits, the longest of these, some 1¼ miles, reaching to the Peacock pit. The canal connection was still visible up to the 1990s.
A new railway, part of the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, was opened by the Duke of Portland in 1900. This was known as the Sheffield District Railway, a small but important line which ran between the North Midland Railway at Treeton and the Midland Railway at Brightside Junction, reaching a goods station via a spur from Grimesthorpe Junction. This line had short branches to many of the big works along its route, the longest of these at over a mile, served Tinsley Park Colliery Company.
The colliery, from the end of the 19th century, had a battery of Simon-Carves recovery ovens at work and in 1913 a new battery of 40 regenerative ovens with recovery plant for tar and ammonia were built by the Koppers Coke Oven and By-Product Company of Sheffield. Steam for the Tinsley site was provided by two Lancashire boilers which were fitted with burners for gas firing, the gas coming from their own supplies.
By 1918 coke oven gas from the Tinsley ovens was being supplied to the Sheffield Gas Company. The ovens at Orgreave Colliery also began to supply them from 1922.
The Sheffield and Rotherham Railway was a railway line in England, between the named places. The North Midland Railway was being promoted but its route was planned to go through Rotherham and by-pass Sheffield, so the S&RR was built as a connecting line. It opened in 1838. In Sheffield it opened a terminal station at Wicker, and in Rotherham at Westgate. When the NMR opened in 1840 a connecting curve was made between the two routes.
The Little Eaton Gangway, officially the Derby Canal Railway, was a narrow gauge industrial wagonway serving the Derby Canal, in England, at Little Eaton in Derbyshire.
The Sheffield & Tinsley Canal is a canal in the City of Sheffield, England. It runs 3.9 miles (6.3 km) from Tinsley, where it leaves the River Don, to the Sheffield Canal Basin in the city centre, passing through 11 locks. The maximum craft length that can navigate this lock system is 61 feet 6 inches (18.75 m) with a beam of 15 feet 6 inches (4.72 m).
Earl Fitzwilliam's private railway near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was constructed in order to link the Earl's coal interests to the southeast of his Wentworth estate with the Greasbrough Canal, also owned by his estate, which gave an outlet to the River Dun (Don) Navigation.
Orgreave Colliery was a coal mine situated adjacent to the main line of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway about 5 miles (8 km) east of Sheffield and 3.5 miles (6 km) south west of Rotherham. The colliery is within the parish of Orgreave, from which it takes its name.
New Stubbin Colliery was a coal mine situated in the township of Rawmarsh near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. The colliery was situated in a deep valley. Along one side at the top of the valley runs Haugh Road, Rawmarsh and on the other a lane known locally as “Greasbrough Tops”.
Orgreave Colliery platform was a workman's halt built to serve the miners working at Orgreave Colliery in South Yorkshire, England. These workmen's trains or "Paddy Mails" were operated between Sheffield Victoria and Treeton Colliery at shift change times being hauled along the main line to Orgreaves Colliery Sidings where the main line locomotive was exchanged for one belonging to the colliery company, usually "Rothervale No.6" which was fitted with vacuum brakes.
The Sheffield Coal Company was a colliery owning and coal selling company with its head office situated in South Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.
The United Steel Companies was a steelmaking, engineering, coal mining and coal by-product group based in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, England.
Kilnhurst Colliery, formerly known as either Thrybergh or Thrybergh Hall Colliery, was situated on the southern side of the village of Kilnhurst, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England.
Kiveton Park Colliery was a coal mine in the village of Kiveton Park, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England.
Waleswood Colliery was a coal mine situated between Swallownest and Wales Bar, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. The colliery was adjacent to the Rotherham to Clowne road and the main line of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway about 2 miles east of Woodhouse.
High Hazels Colliery was a coal mine situated between the parish of Catcliffe, near Rotherham, and the parish of Handsworth, near Sheffield. It was adjacent to the main line of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway between the stations of Darnall and Woodhouse.
Stewarts & Lloyds was a steel tube manufacturer with its headquarters in Glasgow at 41 Oswald Street. The company was created in 1903 by the amalgamation of two of the largest iron and steel makers in Britain: A. & J. Stewart & Menzies, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland; and Lloyd & Lloyd, Birmingham, England.
Brookhouse Colliery was a coal mine within the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It was operational between 1929 and 1985.
The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway (LD&ECR) was built to connect coalfields in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with Warrington and a new port on the Lincolnshire coast. It was a huge undertaking, and the company was unable to raise the money to build its line. With the financial help of the Great Eastern Railway it managed to open between Chesterfield and Lincoln with a branch towards Sheffield from 1896. Despite efforts to promote tourist travel, the passenger business was never buoyant, but collieries were connected to the line, at first and in succeeding years. The Great Eastern Railway, and other main line companies, transported coal to the southern counties, and the company's engines took coal to Immingham in great quantities. The company had a fleet of tank engines.
The Minnie Pit disaster was a coal mining accident that took place on 12 January 1918 in Halmer End, Staffordshire, in which 155 men and boys died. The disaster, which was caused by an explosion due to firedamp, is the worst ever recorded in the North Staffordshire Coalfield. An official investigation never established what caused the ignition of flammable gases in the pit.
Derwenthaugh Coke Works was a coking plant on the River Derwent near Swalwell in Gateshead. The works were built in 1928 on the site of the Crowley's Iron Works, which had at one time been the largest iron works in Europe. The coke works was closed and demolished in the late 1980s, and replaced by Derwenthaugh Park.
The Mansfield Railway was an eleven-mile railway line in Nottinghamshire, England. It was built to serve collieries opening in the coalfield around Mansfield, and ran between junctions at Clipstone and Kirkby-in-Ashfield on the Great Central Railway. It opened in 1916 and was worked by the GCR. Passenger stations were opened on the line, although, at the date of opening, road bus competition was already dominant.
The Clay Cross Company was founded as George Stephenson and Co. in 1837 by the railway pioneer, George Stephenson. The company established coal mines, ironworks, brickworks and pipe factories at Clay Cross near Chesterfield. The company was closed in 1998.
(This article also contains unpublished research material gathered in writing "Seaway to Sheffield". Some of this was provided in discussions on GCRS guided walks and trips along the Sheffield Canal)