Jabber, a pneumatic pick. (Lancs.).

Jabez, inferior hard coal near the top of the Swallow Wood Seam. (Yorks.).

Jack, a lantern shaped case made of tin in which the early safety lamps were carried in strong ventilation currents. (N East); or one who worked underground at odd jobs. (Scot.); or during sinking, if two pits, or a pit and a staple pit were being sunk simultaneously by means of two gins, to prevent mistakes, one of the gins would be called the jack; or a narrow dyke, usually of igneous rock. Also called a ‘whin gaw’. (Scot.).

Jacks, Jay, Jays Johnnies or Jay coal, -see Geyes.

Jackanapes, a succession of frames with pulleys or ‘sheaves’ suspended from them to carry an overhead rope. The small guide pulleys of a ‘whim’.

Jack-bate, time to eat. i.e.. Jack-bit time. (Lancs.).

Jack-bit, food. - see also Snap and Snap-time.

Jack-catch, safety catch in the track to stop the running back of tubs on inclines, i.e. a tub arrester.

Jack Davy lamp or Jack lamp, a Davy lamp with the addition of a glass cylinder outside the gauze.

Jack engine, the engine for raising men, waste and materials in a sinking pit. (N.East).

Jack holes, a short connecting roadway or a ‘slit’.(N.Staffs).

Jack-legs or Jack legging, temporary props. (Leics.), (Scot.).

Jack pit, a shallow pit shaft in a mine connecting with an overcast or at a fault. Also called a ‘Jackey Pit’. (N.East) –see also Jacky Pit.

Jack-prop, a wood or steel prop used as a temporary support when setting permanent supports.-see also Derrick and Warwick.

Jack roll, a windlass that was worked by hand and used in sinking to moderate depths both underground and on the surface. Known in West Durham as ‘Row and Stoches’. -see also Roll.

Jacks, large fissures or cracks in the roof. (N.East); or wood wedges; or inferior cannel coal.

Jacky Pit, another name for a Staple Pit, or a small shallow mine at the surface. (S.Staffs.) – see also Blind Pit.

Jacobs, very lean ironstone in the Red Mine Ironstone (blackband). (N.Staffs).

Jag, the last trip on the main haulage. e.g. ‘That’s the last jag for today’. (Lancs).

Jailer, a small tub or box in which water was transported in the mine. The water was taken into the working places to damp down the ‘binching’ to soften it over night making it easier to work the following day. (Som.). - see also Goose.

Jam out, to cut out, or knock away, the ‘spurns’ in holing. (S.Staffs.).

Jawck, hard stone occurring within a coal seam. It can run the entire length of the face. (Scot.).

Jay, roof coal. (Derbys.).-see also Jacks.

Jazz, a collier’s name for shaker pans.

Jazz rails, a safety device consisting of rails with a very sharp bend in them. Slow moving tubs can negotiate the bend, but runaway tubs would be thrown off the rails. (Scot.).

Jeelateen or Jelly box, a powder box or powder can. Used for carrying explosives into the mine. (Scot.).

Jenkin, -see Fast jenkin.

Jenking or Jenkin, a narrow roadway driven through a pillar of coal; or an opening cut into, or a work place formed by taking a slice off a pillar, from 6 to 8 feet in width, alongside the bord, in the ‘bord and pillar’ system of working, also known as a ‘judd’, or ‘lift’,

Jet, a compact coaly substance found in isolated masses in shales, capable of taking a high polish. It is thought to have been formed from individual logs of driftwood.

Jewel coal, a high grade coal with a clear shining surface. (Scot.).

Jib-In, to perform the operation of starting to cut by swinging in the jib of the coal cutter, (while the chain is cutting) from the front of the face to the full cutting position. –see Sump in.

Jig or Gig, a type of shaker conveyor; or a self-acting incline haulage system worked by a drum or wheels, with hemp or wire ropes. -see also Brake; or a steeply inclined underground roadway.

Jig chain, a chain fastened to the back of a ‘skip’ and passed around a prop to hold back its progress on a steep roadway. (S.Staffs.).

Jigger, a type of coupling hook that was used when working on an incline. (Scot.); or another name for the ‘onsetter’. (Leics.); or a steel conveyor consisting of a number of steel trays, troughs or pans, each about 4ft long, bolted together. The motion of the troughs was of ‘jigging’ or ‘shovelling’, i.e. an upwards and forwards motion, making the material on the conveyor slide along, also called a ‘Shaker Conveyor’.

Jigger stick, a long piece of timber used in a ‘twin-way’ to lift loaded carriages back onto the rails. (Som.).

Jigging, clipping tubs onto the haulage chain or rope on a self-acting incline. (Lancs.); or washing coal in a jig.

Jig pin, a pin used to lock the pulley at the top of a self-acting incline. (Derbys.).

Jig runner, the man who worked the brake on the pulley at the top of the jig road. (York.). Also known in some areas as a ‘jinney tenter’.

Jim crow or Jimmy, an appliance used for putting the bend in tub rails. Known as a 'Jimmy' in Scotland. A rail bender.

Jinny, a large wheel placed beneath the wheelhouse used to lower men into the pit. Also known as a ‘horse drum’. Also another name for a Jig or self-acting incline.

Jitty, a short slit between two roadways, along which empties, horses or men travelled. (Leics.). -see also Cut-through and Snicket.

Jobber, steel tool for drawing props out of the waste.

Jock, an iron rod, usually pronged, attached to the rear tub on a run being drawn up an incline. (Scot.). -see also Devil, Drag and Cow.

Jockey or Jockeying, riding out-bye on the tubs. (Lancs.); or a self-acting apparatus carried on the front tub of a set, for releasing the tub from the haulage rope at a certain point. (Mids.). Also called a ‘monkey’.

Joey, a man employed to set the timbers in a stall during the ‘turn’. He was a butty, and was not paid for doing the work. He took his turn with the other butties working in the stall. (Mids.).

Jointy-bass, shale possessing the same cleat as the underlying coal. (N.Staffs).

Joist man, an old term for a man whose job was controlling the movement of tubs. (Mids.).

Jostler, a hand-held device for slowing down tubs. (Mids.).

Joug or Jugg, an iron collar, fixed by a short chain to a wall, which was fastened around the neck of a disobedient miner as a form of punishment. 17th century. (Scot.).

Journey, a train or set of tubs, dans or mine cars, all coupled together running on the haulage road.

Jowin in the shank, the action of a cage that either descends or stops too quickly causing the rope to stretch and spring back. The cage lurches and bounces in the shaft until the motion of the rope settles. (Scot.).

Jowl or Jowell, the noise made when beating on the face of the coal to test the thickness of the coal between two headings that are about to meet; or checking the roof to see if its safe by tapping it. (N.East). Also called ‘chap’.

Jowling, a sort of tattoo beaten with a hammer on the faces of two places or drifts that are near to holing or intending to hole into each other. (N.East)

. Jud or Judd, a portion of the seam kirved, nicked, and ready for blasting, also called a ‘vatish’, ‘vantage’, ‘advantage’ or a ‘lift’. Also a portion of a pillar in the course of being worked; or a work place. –see Jenkin.

Judge, a long ‘L’ shaped staff used for measuring the depth of a holing under the coal. The longest arm of the staff was pushed under the coal and the shorter arm was held vertically against the coalface.

Jummer, -see Tub. (N.Staffs.).

Jump, Jump-up or Jump-down, the sudden up-throw or down-throw of a fault, or to raise boring-rods in a borehole and allow then to fall under their own weight thereby cutting their way through the strata; or to bore by hand, using a ‘jumper’.

Jumper, Jumper drill or Jumping bar, a long iron bar (approx. 5ft long and ¾ inch diameter) with a chiselled shaped end used for boring holes for blasting. The bar could be used on its own without a hammer, the borer using the weight of the jumper to give it momentum, or one end could be struck with a sledge hammer when drilling in harder ground

. Jumper dirt or Jumping muck, the dirt between the Black Bands and Lime Coal in the Stanley Main Seam, (Yorks.).

Jumping switch, a self-acting switch in the rails that lifted the hutches up and over a small hitch in the roadway. (Scot.).

Junking, a passage through a pillar of coal. (N.East).

Back to list of Pit Terminology