Marking opening of new mine

Left is Thomas Blower at the opening of the new Bevercotes Colliery shaft, pictured with Mayor of Retford W H Wilson, center.
Left is Thomas Blower at the opening of the new Bevercotes Colliery shaft, pictured with Mayor of Retford W H Wilson, center.
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THIS photo was brought in to us by Lynn Hempson, and shows her father Thomas Blower (left) at the newly-sunk Bevercotes Colliery.

There is no date on it but a newspaper report says that Bevercotes was begun in 1952, the first new pit to be sunk in North Notts and North Derbys for 30 years.

The Mayor of Retford Mr W H Wilson, wearing glasses, is seen clambering through the hole Mr Blower had just knocked through to create a roadway between two 900ft shafts.

Mrs Hempson, of Windsor Road, Carlton, said: “My father worked at Manton, Bevercotes and Steetley pits and was in the mines rescue team at Thoresby.”

“He was brought up on Sandy Lane, Worksop, and then moved to Abbey Street. He and my mother Iris were one of the first people to get one of the new houses on Cavendish Road.”

Mr Blower went into the Army straight from school and was rescued at Dunkirk during the Second World War. He died two years ago aged 89.

The decision to sink the £10m Bevercotes colliery followed an extensive programme of boring which indicated workable reserves in three major seams, amounting to a total of 107,000,000 tons.

It was designed to produce about 1,250,000 saleable tons annually, when in full production, with a labour force of about 1,900.