Lacings, split posts secured horizontally between vertical posts to strengthen and tie them together. (N.Staffs.); or strips or light bars of wrought iron bent over at the ends and wedged tight between the bars and the roof. In place of wooden bars or headpieces, wrought-iron railway rails were used.
Ladder pit, a shallow mine to which access is gained by ladder/s fastened to the side of the shaft.
Lagging, Lagging boards and Lags, long pieces of timber, closely fitted together and fastened to the oak curbs to form part of a drum, used when sinking through soft ground; or to secure the roof and sides behind the main timber or steel supports with short lengths of timber (also called ‘Slabs’ if placed behind posts or ‘Runners’ if behind roof bars. (N.Staffs.); or the secondary support by (corrugated) steel sheets, or concrete slabs between the main roadway supports.
Laid-in. When a colliery had ceased working and was being dismantled it was said to be ‘laid-in’. (N.East).
Laid-out, tubs of coal forfeited by the hewer as having excess stone or shale content. (N.East).
Laigh, a low roof in a seam. (Scot.).
Laigh doors, the lowest of two or more landings in a shaft. (Scot.).
Laight scaffold, an area at the surface level where men and materials are loaded. (Scot.).
Lam or Lamb, a kind of fireclay. (Wales).
Lambskin, a type of inferior anthracite sold under the name ‘Lambskin’ in the Swansea area of South Wales.
Lameskirting, widening, by cutting off coal from the side of the roadways in order to gain more room. Also a method of gaining a tub or two of easily worked coal. An action classed as fraud by the owners. (N.East). -see also Pillar robbing.
Lamings, the collier’s name for accidents of any description to men or lads working in or about the mine. (N.East).
Lamp cabin, - see also Lamp station and Lamproom.
Lampman, The man employed at the mine to clean and maintain the colliers’ lamps. He is usually responsible for booking the time the men enter and leave the mine. Also called the ‘Lamp-keeper’. (N.East).
Lamproom, The surface building at a mine where the electric and flame safety lamps are stored, charged and maintained. Also known as the ‘Lamp Cabin’.
Lamp station, a designated place underground in a safety lamp mine, usually in the intake airway. The lamp stations are the only places underground where a flame safety lamp can be opened and relit.
Lancashire Method, a method of working coal that was used to work moderately inclined seams. A panel was split into pillars by driving roadways to the boundary then the pillars would be extracted on the retreat by a longwall face.
Lander, the man who worked at the top of a sinking shaft to unload the kibble. Another name for ‘banksman’.
Landing, a stopping point for the cage in a shaft where various seams are being worked, to load and offload, or at the surface; or a stopping point for a train of tubs at the top or bottom of an incline; or the process of landing a loaded skip at the surface by the banksman.
Landings, the amount of coal drawn from the pit. (S.West).
Landing shaft, the pit shaft that was used for winding coal. (S.Wales).
Landsale, coals sold to carters at the colliery for direct delivery. Sometimes sold in bags or sacks to be carried away on horses; or a colliery without a railway, tramway or canal access was known as a ‘landsale’ or ‘landsale pit’.
Landside, the highest working point or heading in steep inclined seam. (Som.).
Land weight, the pressure of the surface ground caused by subsidence. (Lancs.).
Large coal, coal that was handpicked and loaded underground. One of the three main sizes used to grade coal. Included in this grading were large screened coals, trebbles and cobbles. Large coals had no upper size limit, but in some instances had a lower size limit of 1½-2in. In some areas it was a term used for coal over 8 inches in dimensions.
Lashing chains, chains used on a moving endless rope haulage.
Last tow, the last run of the cages for men before they are used for winding coal. (Scot.).
Latch, to make an underground survey with a dial and chain, or to mark out on the surface the position of the workings underground.
Latcher, -see ‘Dialer’.
Lathe or Laith, a call meaning ‘lower the cage down’ or ‘lower more rope’. (Mids.).
Lazy back, the place at the surface where the coals were stacked and loaded for sale. (S.Staffs.).
Lazy balk, a balk of timber across the top of a screen or hopper against which the top of the tub was thrown to prevent it from going over when being emptied.
Lea stone, laminated sandstone with ironstone balls (nodules). (Lancs.).
Leader, a carter of coals. (Scot.); or the slip of a fault. (Som.); or the man in charge of sinking boreholes. (Scot.); or a cast or wrought-iron ring or shoe bolted to the outside at the bottom of a brick or wrought iron cylinder or wooden drum which was used when sinking a shaft through soft ground. It would be allowed to sink under its own weight, or a fissure in a coal seam. Also known as a ‘back’. (N.East); or a constant bed or band of coal or ironstone to be found in a coal seam that was used as a datum line by the surveyor; or a thin band of coal or coaly shale which serves as a guide to finding a seam which has been displaced by a fault.
Leading heading -see Advanced heading.
Leaf, a stratum or layer of coal.
Leakage intake system, a method of ventilating a face using two intake roadways. This method can only be used where there is a strong air current.
Lean, thin coal, or poor coal, or ironstone of inferior quality.
Leap, the direction of throw of a fault, e.g. leap-ups or leap-downs. It could also be quoted as ‘up-leaps’ or ‘down-leaps’.
Lear, empty. (Som.).
Leatherbed, the clayey material along a fault face, sometimes a term also applied to a soft parting in a coal seam.
Led, a word meaning ‘spare’.
Leery, a lamp. (Scot.).
Length, -see Stint.
Leg, a single prop to support the roof on the coalface; or the lower part of steel arch road support - a pair of legs and a crown forming a ‘ring’ - see also Prop and Support.
Level, a road driven in the direction of the strike of the coal seam, at right angles to the line of the dip or rise; or a roadway which is almost level, or one with a slight dip that could be used for draining water from the mine.
Level free, drained by means of an adit or free level.
Leys, a term for shales. (Lancs.).
Licht barrier, a light stone-dust barrier situated close to the coalface. (Scot.).
Lid, a flat piece of timber inserted between the top of a prop and the roof to prevent splitting in the case of timber props and to increase friction in the case of steel props. -see also Biscuit, Bonnet, Crown piece, Cap and Pad; or a piece of timber about 1foot long placed on top of a prop to support the roof.
Lie or Lye, a ‘pass-by’, or shunt. A storage or by-pass arrangement in haulage track; or the reference to the dip in the strata.
Lie on, to work an extra shift. To work overtime. (Scot.).
Lift, the slices or portions of a pillar of coal which were taken off when the pillar was being removed were termed ‘lifts’; or in a mine working very steep inclined seams, where all the coal was sent to the lowest point in the mine to be wound at one shaft, then the mine was said to be worked in several ‘lifts’; or the first seam of coal to be encountered when sinking a shaft; or in thick seam working, where the coal is worked in a number of horizontal slices or benches, these are known as lifts; or the vertical height travelled by the cage in the shaft; or a rise in the price of coal or in a miner’s wages. (F.of D.); or a shortened term used for ‘floor lift’.
Lignite, a fossil fuel at a stage of development between peat and bituminous coal. Also known as ‘brown coal’, ‘pitchy coal’, ‘slaty coal’, ‘paper coal’, ‘dysodil’, ‘blast coal’, ‘needle coal’ or ‘earthy coal’.
Lill-head, the winding gear at the top of the shaft. (S.Mids.). This might derive from the company name, The Lilleshaw Co. Ltd., who manufactured headgears.
Lilleycock, (Lillicock or Lillycock), the signal for the end of the shift. (S.Derbys.). –see also Loosit.
Limbers, -see Limmer.
Lime coal, small coals riddled and graded to be sold for lime burning. -see also Pan coal.
Limit of draw, the point on the surface beyond which there are no effects of subsidence caused by underground working.
Limmer, the shafts by which the horse or pit pony draws the tubs. Also known as ‘limbers’; or the shaft-like projections of the rolley on which the driver sits. (N.East).
Lin, Linsay, Linsey,Linstey, Lin and Wood, all terms for more or less finely interbedded shale and sandstone or striped shales. (derived from mixed linen and woollen fabrics ‘Linsey-woolsey’). (Lancs.).
Line, to survey.
Liners, a bar set between two other bars to support the roof. Usually erected to reinforce a set that is beginning to collapse under roof weight. (Leics.); or a foot piece put under a prop to stop in sinking into a soft floor.
Lines, lengths of string 2 to 3ft long, weighted and hung from small hooks screwed into the roof of a heading. Not less than two sometimes as many as four lines are used to take a sight using an oil-lamp. The original line is set by the surveyor. A white line is painted on the roof between the lines and on the face of the heading. In this way the heading is kept on a true course.
Linesman, a member of the colliery survey team. –see Lines.
Lining, brick, concrete, cast-iron or steel casing supports for roadways or shafts; or surveying underground, (N.East); or clay ironstone in beds or bands. (Derbys.).
Lining mark, a drill hole in the roof with a wooden plug driven into it to show where the next lining is to commence. The plug is for the purpose of inserting a small fork from which a plumb-line was hung, behind which was held a candle or lamp forming a back-sight. The fore-sight was also fixed by a temporary plumb-line suspended from a piece of clay stuck to the roof.
Lip, the top part of a roadway close to the coalface that is taken down by ripping. -see also Canch, Caunch, Kench and Rip, or the edge of a fault slip.
Lip of shaft, the bottom edge of a shaft circle where open to the seam workings.
Lipped, -see Notched. (N.Staffs.).
Lipper, another term for a ‘ripper’.
Liquefaction, the process of converting coal into liquid fuel.
List, thin bed or dirt band, also a weak laminated shale; or fusainous coal; or a bed of hard coal at the base of the Deep Hard Seam.(Notts.).
Listing, fine shale or clay with glossy surfaces (slickensides), often associated with faulting. (Lancs.).
Lith, the width of barren ground between those two portions of a coal seam that are separated by a fault of low hade. (N.Staffs.).
Little Demon, a magneto-type exploder for firing single shots.
Live coal, coal that can be easily won from the face because of a favourable distribution of rock stresses within the enclosing strata, or by virtue of the gas emission from the seam.
Loader gate, -see maingate.
Lobbing on, shoveling or loading out coal onto a belt. (N.Staffs.).
Locker, Lolly or Sprag, a piece of timber or iron placed between the spokes of a tub’s wheels to stop it from moving. Also called ‘Dregs’. (N.East) and ‘Scotches’. -see also Snibble.
Locker dobber, the man who stood by the side of the road pushing lockers between the spokes of the tubs to slow down their progress. (Mids). Also called ‘Bob a locker’. -see also Snibbler.
Lock-outs, electrical isolation boxes located at intervals by the side of conveyors enabling the conveyor motor to be switched off to allow work to be carried out safely on or around the conveyor. Also called a ‘latch’.
Loco level, the main level going inbye from the shaft along which the locomotives haul the coal, men and materials.
Lodge, a reservoir situated near to the winding engine house to collect water pumped out of the pit. The water would be used to fill the boilers to raise steam for the winding engine, or a sump or ‘lodge room’ situated at the lowest point in a mine to collect water ready to be pumped out of the mine. Also called a ‘lodgement’.
Lofting or Lofting timbers, wood, usually old refuse, used as packing above and behind roof supports. (Scot.).
Lommy, wetted mudstone or fireclay. Also known as ‘sloom’; or a layer of soft material in the roof of the coal seam. (Notts.).
Longwall, a method of working coal using long straight coal faces. The more modern method involves the progressive extraction of rectangular blocks or panels of a coal seam by means of a straight face.
Longwork, a system of modified longwall working in which a pair of slants are driven to the full dip with level headings at right angles. Also called ‘Long-wall’ or ‘Long-way’. (N.East).
Loose, to stop or finish. –see also Loose-it.
Loose-end, the corner of a pillar or the place where two faces at right angles meet.
Loose-it, the end of the shift. (N.Staffs.). –see Lowse.
Loose place, a place where coal is easily won. (N.East).
Loose side, the side of the face not supported by the coal, i.e. the waste side.
Loup, a slip or a fault. (Scot.).
Low or Lowe, a pit candle, or more generally, a flame or light.
Lowse or Loose, to cease work.-see Loose-it.
Lum, a chimney built on top of an upcast shaft for purpose of lengthening it to create a stronger draught of air.
Lump coal, a term used to describe coal in the range 1 to 5 inches.
Luncart or lunker, an ironstone nodule or ball that is more ovoid than round. (Scot.).
Lype, a break in the strata having a slickensided or polished face.
Back to list of Pit Terminology