Rabatage, a method of working steep inclined thick seams. (N.Staffs.).
Race, a journey or set of tubs travelling on a haulage road (Scot.); or calcareous concretions.
Racing, a term used when tubs were in short supply. The tub would be loaded above the level of the rim by stacking large coals around the side and filling in the centre with small coals. (S.Wales).
Raddle or Ruddle, ironstone or rock that is iron-stained. (Lancs.).
Raddle balls, ironstone nodules usually found beneath the seatearth or in the fireclay on which the coal seam rests. (Mids) & (Lancs.).
Radge, a pick with one of the blades forged into an axe. The radge was used by the striker to chop broken props when drawing the timber out of the gob on a longwall face.
Raff yard, a walled-in yard on the surface in which the smiths, wrights, carpenters etc. worked, or an enclosed area for storing coal. (N.East).
Rag, thin-bedded or flaggy sandstone.
Rag pump or Rag wheel pump, a pump used in early coal mining for lifting water by manual labour from shallow depths. It consisted of a pipe with an endless chain with discs of iron and leather attached to it at short distances apart, which when moving upwards lifted the water.
Ragging, a handgot method of hewing coal employed generally in the thicker seams. The faces are set out on ‘long awn’ and the miner uses a tool, roughly five feet in length, similar to a large crowbar, known as a ‘ringer’, which he inserts in the cleavage planes (cleat) and levers off the coal.
Ragging off, trimming loose pieces of coal off the face before starting work. –see also Hewer.
Ragging up, putting on top clothes ready for the journey out of the pit at the end of the shift.
Raggling, a channel cut in the side of a roadway and covered with boarding to act as a ventilation tube. (Scot.).
Raise, to wind coal to the surface.
Raising, excavating a steep tunnel, or shaft, upwards, from below ground to the surface, or between two seams underground. -see also Staple shaft.
Rakes, another term for a set or journey of tubs. (Scot.).
Ram packer, a packing device used at the ripping of a face that employs an hydraulically driven ram to move and compact ripping dirt into a gate-side pack.
Ramble, also called ‘following stone’. A thin layer of shale or sandstone found lying immediately above the coal. It would be brought down with the coal when it was fired; or loose stone lying above the coal. (N.East); or any loose rock at or near the surface. (Yorks.), also called Ratchel.
Rammer, -see Shotstick.
Ramming, the material used for closing a shot hole behind the charge. Various substances have been used. -see Stemming.
Ramp plate, an inclined plate fixed to the face side of an armoured flexible conveyor; or an inclined plate used to assist loading.
Rams, Various types of rams are used in mining. Rams are used extensively on the machine-operated coalface for moving forward the conveyor system and drawing forward the hydraulic roof supports. Rams are also used for loading and offloading mine cars from the cage. Ram are usually hydraulically operated but pneumatic (compressed air) and steam operated rams have also been used.
Ram’s head, a hand-held, electric or compressed air drill used for boring shot holes. It took its name from its distinctive shape. Also known in some areas as a ‘bull's head’ or a ‘pig’s head’.
Rance, a long narrow pillar or stoop left unworked to support the roof; or a small prop set to support the coal as it is being undercut. (Scot.). -see also Nogs.
Range, a row, as of pillars. (Scot.).
Ranging drum shearer, a shearer with a drum (or drums) fitted on an arm (ranging arm) that can be moved up and down to cut a thick seam.
Raning, searching for coal by means of shallow pits along the line of the outcrop. (Scot.).
Rank, the degree of coalification or maturity of the coal; or a standard distance of 60 to 80 yards (54m to 73m) called the first ‘renk’, upon which a standard price was paid for 'putting' or 'drawing a 'score' of coals.
Rap, a sudden breaking, or settling down, of the roof under weight. (S.Wales); or a bell signal to a machinery operator, (winding engineman, haulage driver etc.).
Rapper wire, a mechanical bell signalling system incorporating a lever at one end and a hammer at the other connected by wire.
Rapping, tapping the roof to see if it is safe.
Rashing, coal that is breaking away from the coalface. (Mids.); or loose dirt or shaley beds of rock. (S.Wales).
Ratch, , a section of the coalface that a man would work in a shift. (S.Derbys.), (Leics.) –see Stint; or a device used by a miner to lock up his tools. (War.).
Ratchel, cross-bedded, weathered sandstone.- see also Ramble.
Ratcher, a coal getter or collier. (Leics.), (S.Derbys.).
Ratches, lifts (slices) taken off a coal pillar in pillar and stall working (Lancs.).
Rate, the sides of a gate road falling off and blocking the road. (S.Staffs.).
Rattle Chains, flat chains used for winding, about 3 to 4 inches wide with consecutive long and short links – no doubt making a rattling noise as they were used. (S.Staffs.).
Rattle-jack or rattler, carbonaceous shale, also hoo cannel. (Mids.). –see also Geyes.
Rattler, inferior gas coal, or sandy shale. (Scot.).
Rattlers, cannel coal. (Yorks.).
Ravens, an inferior, sometimes pyritous, coal at the top of the Top Beeston Seam, (Yorks.).
Rearer coal or Rearers, steeply inclined strata, where the coal is said to ‘rear up’.
Receivers, -see Spears.
Reck, rubbish and debris used for packing behind roof supports. (Lancs.).
Red ash, the result of colliery spoil catching fire through spontaneous combustion.
Redd, rubble and debris usually from a roof fall. Also called ‘redding’, or waste and stone left over after the coal has been cleaned; or to rip or take down the roof of a roadway; or to mine pillars of coal. (Scot.).
Redding, clearing up, shifting and tidying up. (N.East).
Reddsmen, the men employed to keep the roadway open and clear of redd. (Scot.).
Red horse, decomposed ferruginous coal measures sandstone, or masses of red clay in the Magnesium Limestone,(Yorks.).
Reed, joints or the cleavage plane in the strata and coal. (Scot.).
Reek, smoke, as in the smoke produced from a blast using powder.
Reel, a windlass or turnbeam fixed at the top of a gug to draw up the coal, or a roller, drum or pulley at the top of an incline around which the haulage rope or chain passes. (Som.).
Refuge holes, -see Manholes.
Re-girder, to re-open a roadway that has closed due to roof weight and reset new supports or girders. –see also Resetting.
Regulator, an opening in a ventilation door or a wall fitted with a sliding shutter, which can be adjusted to control the flow of air. Regulators are also opened to reduce air pressure on a ventilation door thereby making the doors easier to open when men or materials have to be moved from the intake-airway to the return-airway or visa versa.
Renk, -see Rank.
Rent, cleavage in the coal that has a smooth parting, usually with sooty coal in it. (Scot.).
Resetting, the re-setting or renewing of roof supports which may have moved due to the action of roof weight.
Rests, an old name for the keps. (N.East).
Respirable dust, very fine coal and stone particles, which breathed in can damage the lungs.
Retreat, to work the coal away from the furthest inbye point, back in the direction of the shafts. Also called to ‘work home’; or a system of mining in which the roads are driven to pre-determined boundaries and panels or pillars are extracted in the contrary direction.
Retreat face, - see Face.
Return, -see Return airway. Return air, the ventilation air that has passed through the workings on its way to the upcast shaft.
Return airway or Return, a road in a mine along which used air is conducted away from the workings to the upcast shaft.
Reverse fault, an overlap fault that hades, or is inclined, away from the downthrown side.
Return gate, -see Tail gate.
Rhones, rectangular wooden ducts for conveying ventilation air into the workings not usually ventilated by the main current; or wooden channels for conveying water. (Scot.).
Rhuma, another term for Parrot; or locally coaly blaes in districts of Fife. (Scot.).
Rhunes, bituminous shale. (Scot.).
Rib, a wall of solid coal; or a thin stratum, as of stone in a coal seam. (Scot.); or a barrier pillar. (S.Staffs.).
Rib and pillar, a pillar and stall system worked in the Staffordshire Thick Coal. (S.Staffs.).
Ribbing, enlarging a heading or drift. (Lancs.).
Rib side, the sides of a heading or roadway driven in the solid coal; or the edge of solid coal at each end of a longwall face.
Ribside gate, a roadway or gate in longwall working which has solid coal on one side and the waste pack on the other.
Ribside pack, a pack formed by working the coal along the rib side of a roadway and utilising the space for packing the waste.
Rice, small pieces of timber interlaced above and behind the main timbers supporting a roadway. They were used when the ground is soft or shaley and has a tendency to run. (Som.), (Bris.). -see also Lacing, Lagging and Lofting.
Ricket or Ricketing, a narrow brattice, or a channel cut along the floor to drain off water. (Mids.).
Rickety, a hand-driven ratchet-drilling machine used for boring shot holes. Also known as a ‘worm and stand’.
Rickle, part coal and part shale. (Oldham, Great Mine Seam, Lancs.).
Rid, -see Drive.
Ridding, the clearing and removing of loose material after a heavy roof-fall. (N.East).
Ridding or pucking, digging up the floor of a roadway after it as been lifted by the action of creep. (S.Wales).
Ride or Riding, ascend or descend the shaft in the cage; or travel on a manriding belt conveyor; or travel to and from the work place on manriding cars.
Rider, a fault, sometimes called a ‘hitch’, where the edge of a fracture in the coal slipped against another. They were often separated by mineral matter such as soft clayey shale called the rider, also called the ‘gowk’ of the trouble; or a man in charge of an underground train. (Mids.); or anyone in transit in the cage. (Mids.); or a guide-frame or rope guides to steady the bowk or hoppit in a sinking-shaft; or a lad who rode out on the tubs on the haulage road. (S.Wales); or a thin coal seam over-lying a thicker one.
Riff, the roof immediately above the coal seam. (Scot.).
Riflemen, small cogs, generally 18 inches to 2ft 6in square but sometimes larger, made of pieces of stone (ironstone) or oilshale, topped with pieces of timber to ease the pressure. (N.Staffs.).
Rifler, a mixture of hard and soft coal of good quality overlying the ‘main hards’ in the Top Hard Seam. (Notts.). Also used as an alternate name for the Top Hard.
Rifling, working the upper section of a coal seam over the waste or gob of the lower section, which has already been worked out. (N.Staffs.).
Rigid conductors, wood or iron rails fitted in the shaft to buntons or cross pieces fixed across the shaft to act as guides to the cage. Also called ‘Guides’.
Ring or Ring crib, a crib laid in a pit shaft to collect water. -see also Garland; or a circular piece of wrought-iron, about 8ins. deep, which was placed on top of a skip of coal to increase the load. (S.Staffs.); or a wooden crib built around the wall of a shaft to which the cage guides were fixed.
Ringer, a long iron or steel crowbar used for breaking down loose stone; or a tool, roughly five feet in length, similar to a large crowbar, used to lever off coal from the coalface using the cleat or the ripping canch after shot firing. (Mids.); or a hammer for driving wedges. (Derbys.).
Ringer and Chain, a large iron bar with a chain attached used for withdrawing props. Also known as a ‘dog and chain’. (Mids.).
Ringes, a large iron barrel attached to the winding rope for lifting water out of the sump. (N.East). -see also Cowl.
Rings, sectionalised arched steel roof supports for roadways.-see Arches.
Rip, to blast or bring down the roof of a roadway to gain headroom and improve the ventilation; or the strata forming the upper part of the face of a roadway from where the coal has been removed below.
Ripe or Rype, to search, usually for contraband. A process carried out at all safety lamp mines at the beginning of each shift as the men queue up to descend the shaft.
Rippers, , a men employed to rip. They remove the rock left from above the coal seam and set arches (rings) as the face advances.
Ripping, , a section of roof or roadway that has to be removed by blasting or machine; or to blast or bring down the roof of a roadway.
Ripping lip, -see Canch and Kench.
Rise. Workings going ‘to the rise’ are going up the inclination or slope, or dip, of the seam.
Riser, a hitch or upthrow fault that throws up the coal in the same direction as the drift or roadway that approached it.
Rise split, the ventilation air that is directed to the ‘rise side’ of a mine when split ventilation is used.
Rise workings, workings on the rise side of the mine, above the level of the seam at the base of the shaft.
Rising branch, a stone-drift being driven towards the rise side. (South West).
Rising main, the main column of pipes in a shaft.
Rise road, a road driven to the rise, uphill, up dip. (Scot.).
Rits, vertical cuttings in the shaft for receiving boxes to convey the water from the rings. (N.East).
Roache or Roche, a hard or coarse sandstone, usually many feet thick. (N.Staffs.).
Road, an underground passage, a roadway, tunnel or gate in a mine e.g. ‘ravelling road’, ‘dummy road’ etc. driven and maintained to provide access to the coal and for haulage, ventilation and travelling; or a working place. (Scot.); or the iron rails, e.g. the tub road.
Road cod, Man responsible for main roadways and the track, and to get materials in and out efficiently. (N.Staffs.). Also called a ‘roadman’.
Roadhead, in longwall working the end of the roadway at the coalface. -see also Gate-end.
Road headers, machines that drive underground roadways or headings, usually comprising a fixed or telescopic boom carrying a rotating cutting head that excavates the full cross-section of the roadway.
Roadman, -see Road cod.
Roadside pack, pack built of stone flanking a roadway.
Rob, to strip coal from a pillar, ‘robbing’. –see also Broken working.
Robbed out, worked out, of old abandoned working.
Robble, a fault, or where the coal seam varies considerably in thickness or quality in a short distance.
Robbley, faulted ground, full of slips. (N.Staffs.).
Roburite, an early flameless explosive used without water cartridges for shot firing in dry and dusty conditions comprising 86% ammonium nitrate and 14% chlorinated dinitrobenzol. A ‘third class’ explosive which could only be exploded by a special detonator obviating the risks from explosion by heat or sparks or by any ordinary shock. Invented by Carl Roth of Berlin and was found to be about three times as powerful as gunpowder. It was a potentially poisonous substance which required careful handling and effective stemming to ensure full burning.
Rock, a term often used for sandstone, see also ‘cwar’ and ‘burr’.
Rock bind, strong sandy shale.
Rock and rig, sandstone full of little shreds and patches of coal. (S.Staffs.).
Rock burst, an often violent, unexpected outburst of rock into the workings.
Rock drivage, a roadway or heading driven in non-coal strata.
Rock fault, -see Washout.
Rock head/heading, a tunnel driven entirely in rock.
Rockhead, the top of the first solid rock stratum reached when boring or sinking. Also called ‘stone head’.
Rodding, fitting or repairing wooden cage guides in the shaft.
Rod-harkening, an early system of signalling on a haulage incline involving a boy who would listen (harken) for the signals struck on steel rods below ground. (Lancs.).
Rodney, a platform constructed from old rails to hold a large fire. The Rodney was used to light the pit bank around the top of the shaft on a winters night. (Staffs.).
Rods, cage guide rods in the shaft; or lengths of timber bolted together which formed a link from the pumping engine to the barrel of the pump; or long iron hand-held boring bars for making blasting holes in coal or rock. - see also Jumper.
Rogging or Rogging out, clearing out the gummings from under the cut made by a coal-cutting machine. (Mids.).
Roll, an undulation in the roof or floor of a coal seam; or the drum of the winding engine. (S.Wales); or a sudden break or movement of the roof due to the action of weight.
R.O.L.F., Remotely operated longwall face. Rollers, originally made from hardwood, metal rollers fitted between the rails to lift the haulage rope and avoid friction between the rope and the sleepers or the road surface. Also to guide the rope preventing it becoming trapped beneath the sleepers; and rollers on a conveyor acting as a guide and support for the belt, also called ‘idlers’
Rolley, a large horse drawn carriage, which was loaded with 2 to 3 'corves'. The rolley had large wheels that ran on round topped rails. Used for transporting the tubs or corves from the crane to the shaft, (N.East).
Rolleyway, a main haulage road. (Lancs.); or principal horse road (N.East). Often the upper of two. Also called a ‘way gate’.
R. O. M. , –see Run-of-mine.
Ronk-thing, a slip in the coal whose direction is opposite to that prevailing in the locality. (N.Staffs.).
Roof or Top, the strata immediately above the coal seam; or the top (ceiling) of a roadway. Also called the ‘roof stone’.
Roof bolt, -see Roof bolting.
Roof bolting, a system of roof support incorporating steel bolts (roof bolts) that are fixed into holes (usually with resin) bored up into the roof.
Roof brushing, (Scot.). -see Ripping.
Roof coal, coal left in situ to form a solid roof. This is done when the strata above the coal is shaley or unstable. Called ‘roofers’ in Lancashire.
Roofers, -see Roof coal. (Lancs.).
Roof-framy, a framy roof is a roof which when allowed to fall, breaks down in large blocks or ‘frames’ of stones.
Roofing, when the top of a loaded skip became wedged against the roof of a roadway. (S.Staffs.).
Roof supports, , anything used to support the roof, e.g. bolts, arches, rings, powered supports, chocks, timber or hydraulic props.
Room, a working place. A heading or short stall in room and pillar or room and rance working. (Scot.). -see also Pillar and stall.
Room and pillar, -see Pillar and stall.
Room and rance, a method of room and pillar working similar to double stall, practiced in Scotland. The pillar or rance left to support the roof was very narrow as opposed to the normal wide pillars. This system could only be used where there was a very strong roof.
Roondy coal, large lumps of coal (4-8 inches). (N.East).
Rope, , steel cable attached to the cage, or steel cable or chain used in haulage, originally hemp ropes were used.
Rope capel, the fixing mechanism of a winding rope to the top of a cage. -see Cap.
Rope guides, vertical ropes suspended in the shaft to act as guides to the cage. When the guides are girders, they are called ‘rigid guides’.
Rope haulage, haulage by ropes. -see also Direct rope, Endless rope, Main and tail, Self-acting and Surface driven endless rope
Rope roll, the drum of the winding engine. (N.East).
Rope sheave, -see Sheave.
Rotche or Roche, a soft, friable sandstone. (S.Staffs.).
Rounder, an tool resembling a beche externally,used for breaking or cutting off any projection which may have occurred in a borehole or shothole.
Round coals, best large coal, from which the smalls have been screened. (N.East).
Round ree, an area close to the pit bottom where the bearers stocked the coal they had carried from the workings until they had accumulated enough to fill a creel. (Scot.).
Row, the last trip on a man-haulage system. (Lancs.); or a ridge in the roof or in the pavement. (Scot.); or a fault. (Scot.); or a seam or bed, e.g. the Row-hurst, the Two Row seams of North Staffordshire.
Rubbers, wooden blocks for pump rods to slide on. (Scot.); or lengths of timber used to guide hutches around curves. (Lancs.), (Scots.).
Rubbing guides, guide ropes suspended in the centre of the shaft to safeguard against the cages coming into contact with one another when passing
. Rubbing surface, the overall surface of an underground roadway, the roof, floor and sides, which is measured to work out the amount of restriction it will create for the ventilation current.
Rubbish, another name for firedamp. (N.Staffs.); or debris left in old workings. (Lancs.).
Rubbish jigs, jigs driven specifically to act as roadways for the transfer of debris for stowage.
Rubble, screened coal. (Som.); or slack or small coal. (S.West).
Rucks or Rooks, colliery spoil heaps.
Rudding, pit rubbish or debris. (N.East).
Run, a number of moving tubs. -see also Gang, Journey and Set; or the distance a coal-cutting machine has to travel when being used on a longwall face; or a runaway on an inclined plane; or the length of a longwall face brought down with a shot. If the shot brought down a considerable amount of coal it was said to ‘run well’. Also to lower tubs down a jig road using a brake to control the speed. (N.Staffs.); or to work a winding or haulage engine; or when sinking through soft ground, the mud or sand was said ‘to run’ as it oozed into the shaft.
Run a mine, to cut or drive a mine. (Scot.).
Run-of-mine, coal straight from the mine before it has been run through the washery.
Runner, a wagon used at the top of a winding shaft where a hudge is being used; or a runaway tub on a haulage incline; or a man or boy who accompanied the run on its way to the shaft; or when the cage speeded up going down the shaft, due to a malfunction in the winding engine. (S.Staffs.); or a movable platform over a sinking shaft on which the kibble rested as it was emptied; or a smaller fault splaying off a larger fault; or a flat piece of timber placed above the bars to support the roof; or the man who operates a coal cutter machine, also called a ‘machine runner’.
Runner-on, the man who loaded tubs at the bottom of the shaft.
Running amain, the breaking and running of the winding rope down the shaft. (Scot.).
Running a mine, driving a drift entirely in the coal in a steep inclined seam. (Scot.).
Running balk, a balk set in the direction of a drift, at the side, as opposed to a cross it, to form a support for the cross balks. A common method of timbering through an old board or place were the roof had fallen heavily.
Running bridge, -see Banking wagon.
Running gug, s self-acting incline.
Running measures or Running ground, sand and gravel, which contain large amounts of water. e.g. running sand or other incohesive material through which an excavation can only be maintained by means of complete peripheral support.
Running the brae, hauling tubs up an incline using a winch. (Scot.).
Running the drum, lowering a drum or cylinder through soft ground to support the top section of a sinking shaft.
Run rider, a lad who accompanied the train of tubs along the haulage road.
Run the tow, sliding down the shaft on the winding rope. A common practice in shallow mines, usually at the weekend or at night, if there was no engine man in attendance, or to run empty cages in the shaft after coal winding prior to winding the men. This was done to test the winding ropes, as a safety measure. (Scots.).
Rush, the sudden weighting of a strong roof when the pillars were being worked out. (Scot.).
Rusk, small slack. The next grade above dust or dead small. (N.East).
Rust, black shale stained by ochre.
Rusty coal, coal with a high proportion of pyrites, which has changed colour due to the effect water or oxidation. (N.East). -see also Brassy coal.
Ruttles, heavily faulted and shattered ground running roughly parallel to the plane of the fault. (Yorks.).
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