VIDEO: Anger over demolition of ‘iconic’ Maltby pit building

Mining memories came crashing down as another of the main structures at Maltby Colliery was demolished.

On Friday 21st March at around 2pm explosives were activated underneath the huge former prep plant where the coal used to be cleaned.

Demolition of Maltby Colliery coal prep plant. Photos by David Lynam

Demolition of Maltby Colliery coal prep plant. Photos by David Lynam

Residents said they thought the demolition was scheduled for 5.30pm and were upset it was moved forward, denying them the chance to see the building fall.

The town’s coal mine closed last year after Hargreaves said it was no longer viable on health and safety, geological and financial grounds.

At the time, the National Union of Mineworkers said about 250 people lost their jobs, while 150 had been redeployed to jobs at Hargreaves’ other mines - Kellingley and Hatfield in Yorkshire and Thoresby in Notts.

Last November the vast 10,000 tonne bunker and the Bradford breaker were torndown. And next month the iconic winding tower number three will be razed to the ground - a sight sure to bring a lump to many residents’ throats.

“To me, number three shaft tower is an icon. It is a symbol of the mine in which a village grew up around,” said former Maltby miner David Tomlinson, 53, of Columbus Way.

“Having worked for Hargreaves I do not think they understand this at all.”

“I am worried the demolition of number three tower will be rescheduled at the last minute to keep people from the village away.”

“If that happens, I will view it as if the people of Maltby have been uninvited to the funeral of an old friend.”

A spokesman for Hargreaves denied last Friday’s demolition work had been rescheduled. He said he understood people’s desire to observe, but that it was not safe or practical to have the public nearby in large numbers.

He said: “That is why, last April, we had the formal march away from the colliery followed by a ceremony. It was a recognition not only of the then workforce, but of the miners that had gone before.”

Hargreaves said winding tower three would come down ‘some time in late April’ and that it was likely part of Tickhill Road would be closed during the operation.