GLOSSARY OF MINING TERMS(F)

Face, the actual coal wall where the coal is being extracted; also a term used for the wall of operations in front of any drivage. A coal face can be an ‘advancing face’, i.e. one going forwards into the coal, or a ‘retreating face’, one where the roadways are pre-driven around the block of coal to be worked, then the coal is worked back, or retreated, towards the main roadways or levels. –see also Longwall.

Face airing, the practice of maintaining a good flow of ventilation air along the coalface and only allowing a small proportion of the total ventilation, or a leakage, to pass through the waste.

Face cleat, the main ‘cleavage’, ‘bord’ or ‘cleat’.-see Cleat.

Face entry, the place where men access the coal face.

Face line, the position of a longwall face in relation to other underground features such as roadways, cleat, dip etc; or a term meaning the coalface itself.

Face on, the direction that is at right angles to the ‘cleat’ or ‘grain’ of the coal seam.

Face thing, -see ‘Buttock thing’. (N.Staffs.).

Face room, the total length or productive capacity of all faces available in a mine from which coal can be won.

Facings, another word for joints or cleats.

Faceway drift, a face of coal advancing at right angles to a ‘Buttock-thing’.

Fakes, a well-laminated sandy siltstone or sandstone. (Scot.).

Fakey blaes, a banded and cross-bedded stone bind, similar to fakes, but muddier; shale interbedded with more sandy material. (Scot.).

Fakey rock, flaggy sandstone.

Fall, a collapse of a mass of roof, rock or coal in any part of the mine.

Fallers, a term used in Lancs. for the keps. Also called ‘cage props’.

Falling, that part of the roof that falls, or comes down, on the extraction of the seam. Also called ‘Following’. (Scot.).

Famp, thin beds of shale. (N.East).

Fan, large mechanical fans for drawing the air through the mine.

Fan blast, a term used for the forcing of a current of air into the mine by means of wooden or iron pipes, (N.Wales).

Fan drift, the enclosed airtight passage, roadway or gallery leading from the upcast shaft to the ventilation fan.

Fans, -see Keps.

Fang, a channel cut in the side of an adit or shaft to act as an air course. (Derbys.).

Fangs, the levers at the top of a shaft on which the cage rests when being loaded and off-loaded. (S.Wales). – see also ‘keps’.

Fanny work, a method of timbering sometimes pronounced ‘Panny work’. (Lancs.).

Fare, standing coal that has not been holed or undercut. (S.Wales).

Far-set, to timber-up and spragg the face of a stall ready for undercutting. (Mids.).

Fast, having a solid side more or less at right angles to the working face. - see also Narrow work; or a heading or stall driven in the solid coal. (Scots.); or the first bed of rock met with when sinking through soft ground on which the wedging curb can be laid. (Lancs.).

Fast end, the dead end of a roadway; or the part of a rib side adjacent to a coalface, the corner between the face line and the rib side.

Fast jenkin or Jenkin, a roadway driven through a pillar to split it into two smaller pillars.

Fast shot, when a shot of explosive fails to have the desired effect, either it is too weak or the stemming is blown out. - see also Standing bobby.

Fast side, the end of the face where there is a solid face more or less at right angles. Also called the ‘butt end’ or ‘fast end’; or the side of a face gate roadway in solid coal, also called a ‘rib side’ or ‘cutting side’.

Fault, a fracture in the strata along which an observable displacement has occurred parallel to the plane of the break. Fault planes are therefore shearing planes. Also known as ‘slip dyke’ or ‘dyke’ (N.East).

Fault casing. Alongside a fault there is often observed a layer of hardened clay or powder formed by the grinding of the edges of rocks in contact. This layer often exhibits grooving and striae due to rock movement along the line of dislocation.

Fee, to load the coal into tubs. So, Feer, the man who ‘fees’ or loads the coal into the tubs. (Mids.)

Feeder, running water or gas that issues from the strata in a mine; or a machine that feeds coal onto a conveyor belt evenly, e.g. a short chain conveyor.

Feigh, refuse, rubble or rubbish. (Derbys.), (N.East).

Fence gates, vertically acting security ‘curtain’ at both ends of the cage for the safety of the men during man-riding.

Fender, a very narrow pillar of coal left between adjacent workings.

Fetch, the face of an unworked area of coal also called a breast. (Scot.).

Fettle, to put in order, clean or prepare. (Yorks.).

Fieg, a type of slip fault running across the roof above the coal. Although not a major fault, which did not disturb the coal seam, it was often the source of a feeder, bringing surface water into the mine. (S.Wales.).

Fiery mine, a colliery in which a seam or several seams give off large amounts of methane and were prone to explosions, also, ‘Fiery seam’, an individual seam within a mine, which gives off large amounts of methane

. Fiery seam, -see Fiery Mine.

Fill or Filling, hand loading with a shovel.

Filler, a person who loads coal by hand at the coal face i.e. a ‘collier’ or ‘loader’. Fill-pit, a very early term for the onsetter. (Som.).

Filling shift, the shift on which coal is loaded on the face (into either pans, tubs or onto a conveyor).

Filty, Filtry or Filthy, all terms used in Somerset for firedamp or an accumulation of gas.

Fines or Coal fines, very fine coal material below 500 µm.

Fire bank, a waste tip that is on fire due to spontaneous combustion. (Mids.).

Fire basket, -see Fire lamp.

Fire beater, the man who attended the boilers on the pit top. Before the introduction of mechanical feeders when the boilers were stoked by hand the fire beater paid a high price in toil and sweat to keep up a head of steam torun the winding engine. He was only allowed the dirty, low-grade coal from the mine and spent a great deal of time keeping the fire clear of ash and clinker.

Fireclay or underclay, clay, often occurring beneath a coal and often containing rootlets. Some are suitable for brick making or for refractories.

Firedamp, methane (CH4); or a mixture of methane gas and air.

Fire lamp, a round iron cage supported on three legs, or hung by chains, in which a coal fire is maintained for the convenience of the banksmen or others. Also sometimes placed at the bottom of a shaft to produce ventilation in opening out a colliery and this was also known as a ‘fire basket’. Fireman, - see Deputy.

Firepan, -see Furnace

. Fire rib, a solid rib or wall of coal left unworked between the sides of work as a protection against gob fires. (S.Staffs.).

Fire stink, the burning smell of spontaneous combustion, also called ‘fire stythe’. - see also ‘Gob stink’.

Fire stone, another word for ‘fireclay’. (Som.).

Firing line, an early method of clearing firedamp. A prop with a metal ring nailed near the top would be set where the gas has accumulated. A cord or wire was past through the ring and brought back to a safe distance. An oil lamp would be fastened to the cord and slowly drawn along towards the prop until it came into contact with the firedamp and exploded it

First weighting, the first weight which takes place after a longwall face begins working.

First working, the driving of headings to extract coal and form pillars; or the first extraction in a seam that is worked in more than one layer.

Fisher clip, a clip used to attach a tub to a haulage rope incorporating a wedging action in which a collar is knocked down on two tapered arms which carry the rope grip.Fissle or Fistle, the faint crackling noise heard in the early stages of creep. (N.East).

Fitter, a coal broker who conducts the sales of coals between the owner of a colliery and the shipper. (N.East)

Flameproof. Electrical apparatus is said to be flameproof when, in its normal working, it is incapable of igniting firedamp in the surrounding air.

Flamper, clay ironstone found in beds or seams. (Derbys.).

Flannels, ironstained shales containing many flattened ‘mussel’ shells.

Flat, a district of the mine, a work area. (N.East).

Flat-lad or Flat-man, the man or older lad who worked on the flat or landing, making up sets of tubs to be sent out of the mine. (N.East).

Flatman, similar to a craneman, the difference being that when tubs were used for the conveyance of coal no cranes were necessary, they did not have to be hoisted on to the rolleys as in the case of corves, they were merely linked together at the flat or level by the flatman. (N.East).

Flat plate, a flat piece of steel plate on which tubs were turned

. Flat sheets, square or oblong sheets of cast-iron about ¾ inch thick which were nailed on planking at the top or bottom of a pit and form a metal floor for the free movement of the coal tubs. They were often also used in the workings where roads cross or converge, as at the top and bottom of small inclines, &c.

Flats, beds or sheets of trap rock or whin; or coal seams that lie at a moderately inclined angle in areas containing rearer seams. (N.Staffs.); or cut slabs of wood used in roof supports.

Flatting, drawing or leading tubs of coal underground with horses and lads. (Derbys.).

Fleaing, a system of robbing as much coal as possible from the sides of a gate road which was about to be abandoned. (S.Staffs.).

Flights or Flight bars, the bars that scrape material along in a chain conveyor

. Flint mill, -see Steel or Steel mill.

Flit, to move a coal-cutting machine from one place to another under its own power.

Flitching, removing a thin slice of coal from the sides of a coal pillar in pillar and stall working. (N.Staffs.).

Floor, the name for the strata immediately beneath the coal seam, it usually consisted of ‘fireclay’ or ‘seatearth’; or the bottom surface of a roadway or excavation. - see also Thill and Pavement and Warrant.

Floor coal, -see Bottom coal.

Floor-weight or Floor-lift, the upheaval of the floor of a mine due to strata pressures. - see also Creep and Heave.

Flue, a general term for shales. (Lancs.).

Flushing, the filling of the waste by waterborne material from a pipeline. Also called ‘Pneumatic stowing’; or the crumbling of the roof or sides around the supports in an excavation.

Flying cradle, a frame about 4ft x 1½ft on which one or more men sit astride to do any temporary work in the shaft

. Foal, a young putter, also called ‘Halfmarrows’. (N.East).

Folding boards. Before keps came into use the boards were used to rest the cage on while it was being unloaded. Also known as shuts. (Scot.)

. Foot blocks, square blocks of thick wood used to spread the load at the base of an arch support girder

. Foot checking, wooden guides set alongside the rails on curves to stop the tubs from derailing. (N.Staffs.).

Footrail, Footrill or Futteril, the entrance to, or a drift mine.

Fore-pole, a kind of horsehead or forward support used in drivages or tunnels. - see Spile and Spill.

Fore winning, winning out in front of other workings.

Fork or Hambone, a clip used to attach tubs to the endless rope. (N.East).

Fother, a measure of coal, being 1/3 of a chaldron, or 17 2/3 cwt.; a good single horse cart load

. Foulness, inflammable air. (N.East).

Foul, a term used when describing air contaminated with firedamp to an extent that it is potentially explosive.

Foul-coal, impure coal, admixed with shale etc. (N.East).

Free coal, easily broken; or free burning coal. (Scot.).

Free level, another term for an adit.

Frenzied coal, coal crushed by weight, usually in pillars, and rendered beyond economic use.

Fresh air base, an underground station in the intake airway which is used by the rescue teams during underground fires and rescue operations. The base has to be as close to the fire as safety will permit, adequately ventilated, and in constant touch with the surface by telephone.

Frush, brittle, soft and easily broken up. As in the floor of a roadway when pavement brushing. (Scot.).

Frying pan, -see Pit pan.

FSV, short for Free Steered Vehicle, a rubber-tyred, self-propelled, diesel powered general purpose underground vehicle.

Full ben, the target achieved, ‘a full days work’. (Scot.).

Furnace or Firepan, a coal fire at the bottom of the upcast shaft that causes air to rise in the shaft and create a ventilation circuit.

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