A HISTORY OF SNEYD COLLIERY

By Jim Worgan


Coal mining in the Sneyd area dates back until at least the 1700's and by 1851 minerals were being worked under lease by C. and J. May. Towards the end of the 19th century it was being worked by J. Heath and Brothers, not to be confused with Robert Heath of Biddulph (see Victoria Colliery). 3 shafts were originally sunk to exploit both coal and ironstone. A large brickworks was later established to the West of the Colliery. The Company was registered as Sneyd Collieries Ltd. by 1900 and had acquired the leasehold mining rights under 55 acres and a new shaft No. 4 was sunk. By 1924 Nos 2 and 4 shafts were drawing coal with No.1 being the upcast and man riding shaft. No, 3 shaft by this time gave access only to some almost abandoned workings and was subsequently taken out of use and filled.

The internal Railway system used the only Beyer Garrett Steam locomotives in North Staffordshire, one of which has been preserved at Bressingham in Norfolk.

In the late 1950's a decision was taken to carry out a major reconstruction at Wolstanton Colliery and an underground connection was subsequently made. Coal Winding ceased at Sneyd in July 1962 and was concentrated at Wolstanton Colliery. Although initially the shafts at Sneyd were used for man riding, all the men were subsequently transferred to Wolstanton Colliery. The No. 4 shaft, however, remained the 2nd means of egress for the Northern area of the Wolstanton take (also connected underground to Norton Colliery) until the final closure of Wolstanton Colliery in 1985. The site is now the Sneyd Industrial Estate and Stoke on Trent College.

A major explosion occurred on the 1st January 1942 which resulted in the death of 57 men and boys. For many years after hardly any men turned up for work on the 1st January.

See also Old Pits By Geoff Mould

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