Tack, a small prop of coal sometimes left when kirving a jud to support it until the kirving was completed. -see also Punch prop and Spurns. (N.East); or an early form of sinking scaffold, situated above where the sinkers where working to protect them from anything falling down the shaft.
Tacklers or Tucklers, four lengths of chain with hooks on the end joined together at the other end by a ring, used to tackle up a skip for winding up the shaft. (S.Staffs.); or small chains fastened round a loaded corve to give it strength when winding.
Tackler skip, a type of box used to wind men and material. (S.Staffs.) -see also Paddy pan and Man hudge.
Tacks, When driving a heading in a fiery mine a series shot holes would be drilled then the area between the shot holes, the ‘tacks’ would be forced down by using wedges. (N.East).
Tadge. -see Radge.
Tadger, an electric drill used for drilling shotholes for explosives and holes for roof bolts etc.
Tagg, Day-wage work. Usually on the underground haulage. Also called ‘datalling’ or ‘odd-working’. (Mids.).
Tague, a metal plate fitted with guides to direct the wheels of a tram off the plate and onto the rails.
Taigle the cleek, to interfere with the working of the pit. (Scot.) -see also Steg the cleek.
Tail end, the tension end of a conveyor; or another word for a ‘day hole’. (Yorks.).
Tail gate, the roadway at the opposite end of a longwall face to the Main gate. Usually the return airway and secondary access to the face. Also known as the ‘Supply gate’ when it is used to take materials to the face. Also called the ‘Return’ or ‘Return gate’.
Tail in, to begin working ‘open-off stalls’ from the side of a heading. (Mids.); or to terminate a length of stall face against a buttock after measuring off the holing stints. (Mids.).
Tailing out, the gradual nip-out of a coal seam.
Tail rope, the return rope of a main & tail haulage system.
Tail runner, a haulage hand who accompanied the set of tubs on their journey to and from the shaft, or the guard on the man-riding bogies. (Scot.).
Tail sheave, also known as the ‘return sheave’. The pulley around which the tail rope of the main and tail haulage or a scraper loader passes.
Take, the extent or area of a lease often covering several thousand acres; or the reserves area of the colliery in which the colliery is permitted to work; or to show or reveal the presence of gas. (Lancs.). Also called the ‘taking’ (S.Wales).
Take the air, to test the ventilation by using an anemometer.
Taking of props, drawing the timber out of the waste. (Lancs.).
Tale, a days work; or the amount of coal raised in a day. (Som.).
Tallies, means of identification that were sent out of the pit with each tub of coals, or later, the name for the brass and aluminium small, round or square, uniquely numbered tokens, two of which were given to the collier before going underground. One was handed to the banksman on entering the cage and the other on returning again to the surface. Various names were used for them throughout the coalfields. -see Cuts, Checks and Pins.
Tally lamp, a small coffee-pot-shaped container made of tin, fixed to the miner’s cap and lit by tallow and a wick. In the 1920s it was replaced by the carbide lamp.
Tandem pits, A pair of shafts, with one cage in each, both shafts being worked by one winding engine. The word ‘tandem’ can also refer to a place where one belt conveyor loads onto another.
Tangers, timbers set to support the sides of headings in shifting or very soft ground. (S.Wales); or roof bars used as forward support between the last row of props and the coal face.
Teem or Tem, to tip rubbish on the spoil bank.
Teem bye, to empty the coals over the resting coal stock or heap when there are no wagons available. (N.East).
Teeming trough, a cistern into which the water was pumped out of the mine. (Lancs.).
Teeth work, working the coal end on or against the cleat. (Scot.).
Ten, a measure of coal, usually consisting of 440 bolls of 8 pecks each, but varied within the range of from 418 to 440 bolls; it could, however, be as high as 550 bolls. As the weight of a boll of coals was 2.35284 cwts., the weight of the ten of 440 bolls is 51.76428 tons. Sometimes it was fixed at 50 tons.
Tender bind, soft shale or mudstone, (Yorks.).
Tentale, the tonnage rent upon coals drawn, the rent paid to the lessor for a ten of coals. (N.East).
Tenter, the man who ran the engine or jig; or the engineer (Yorks.); or the person who looked after the horses in the pit.
Testing flame, the lowered flame of the flame safety lamp when the lamp is being used to test for firedamp.
The Stag, term used for Nystagmus, an eye disease caused by working in low light conditions.
Thill, the floor directly beneath a coal seam. –see also Warrant and Pavement.
Thimbles, loops on the sides of the cages through which the guide ropes pass.
Thin out, a seam which becomes nipped or narrows to a point were it is unprofitable to work.
Thing, a straight facing or cleat from the floor to the roof that was often many yards in length. (N.Staffs.), or a fault slip. (Mids.).
Thirl or Thurl, a drift connecting two rooms or working places; an end; or to cut through, to make a connection; a ‘cross-heading’.
Thirling, Thurling or sometime Thol, to cut away the last web of coal that separates two roadways driven from separate points to meet each other; or the connecting of underground roadways or shafts.
Thread, the cleat in a seam; or the straight line of stall faces without any loose ends, fast ends or steps. (Mids.).
Through coal, coal as it left the mine without any attempt at grading it into different sizes, run-of-the-mine coal. In South Wales it is sometimes called ‘thro and thro’ coal.
Througher or Thrower, a room driven between two levels or main roads to win the coal and improve the ventilation. (Scot.).
Through ventilation, the normal ventilation throughout a mine as opposed to ventilation produced by auxiliary fans for local ventilation such as in a blind heading.
Throw, the vertical displacement on a fault, either a down-throw or an up-throw.
Throwing, breaking out the spurns from the cuttings and knocking out the nogs from the under-cut ready to bring down the main body of coal.
Thrusters, children who pushed the corves with their hands and heads from the headings to the shaft. (Yorks.).
Thrutcher, a person who pushed tubs, a drawer or putter; or a bag filled with a soft material e.g. cork dust, worn inside a flat cap to protect the head when pushing tubs. (Lancs.).
Thwarting, short branches or roads, where the seam was almost vertical, driven through the rock from one seam to the other. (Som.).
Tich, a hand-held drilling machine for boring shot-holes. (Mids.).
Timbering, the action of setting timber, props, bars, sprags, lagging etc. in the workings or in a shaft.
Timps, small wedges of wood filling in irregularities between the roof bars and the roof.
Tim yin, empty tubs. (Scot.).
Tin-can Davy, a Davy lamp enclosed in a protective container for testing for gas in mines with increased velocities of air currents.
Tins, corrugated iron sheets used for lining/covering the roadway behind the arches.
Tip, colliery waste heap, pit tip. –see Bing and Spoil heap etc.
Tipper or Tippler, an apparatus for emptying tubs of coal onto the screens or down a chute into a wagon or boat. –see also Tumblers.
Tirfor, a hand operated device used for dragging equipment into position.
Toadback marl, unlaminated marl with a lumpy fracture, in contrast with ‘Beachleaf Marl’. (Lancs.).
Toe, the base of the coal, or the base of the overburden in opencast workings, or a small pillar of coal left in place to support the coal during undercutting. - see also Spurn.
Token, a small piece of leather with a collier’s number or mark stamped into it, which he sent out of the pit with each tub of coal. (N.East). -see also Checks, Tallies and Pins.
Token hanger, the person who attaches the tokens to the corves to indicate the hewer.
Tomahawk, large sort of wedge with a handle for raising or lifting heavy blocks of stone that are sent up the shaft in slings during shaft sinking.
Tommy or Truck, a method of payment-in-kind by way of tokens for mining work done. The tokens could only be exchanged for overpriced and sometimes poor quality goods in the ‘Tommy Shop’ owned and run by the Butty.
Tommy-bag, Tommy-box and Tommy-tin, a bag or tin used to carry food into the pit. –see Snap tin and Bait.
Tommy-can, a cylindrical shaped can in which the butty man received his pay and from which he in turn would pay the men working under him.
Tommyhawk, 18th & 19th Century tool, part axe, part hammer, used for timbering.
Toom or Tume, a word meaning empty. (N.East).
Top, -see Roof.
Top caunch, -see Rip.
Top cut, a machine cut made along the top of a coal seam. -see Over cut.
Top gate, a roadway at the upper end of an inclined longwall face.
Top heads, narrow passages or headings driven into the upper section of the Thick Coal to drain off the gas while the lower sections of the seam was being worked. (S.Staffs.).
Top-holes. Pronounced ‘topple’. An early system of step-working a steeply inclined seam. The top-holes would be driven to the full rise and the face-line would be stepped. The loose coal was allowed to gravitate down the face to be loaded into tubs.
Top leaf, the uppermost division of a thick seam. Also called 'top ply' and 'tops'.
Topping, The amount of coal loaded up and above the normal capacity of a tub.
Topple height, roadways driven on small dimensions e.g. about 4 ft high. (Som.).
Tops, sticking coal which remains stuck to the roof after the coal has been brought down; or coal left up to support a weak roof. -see Sticking coal and Top leaf.
Torbanite, a tough, dark brown or black carbonaceous substance, rich in oil algae. –see Boghead Coal.
Tough Tom, The soft tenacious clay floor of seams, or roads, which sticks to the shoes in walking and renders travelling more laborious.
Tow, the winding rope. Before the introduction of steel winding ropes or winding chains, the winding rope made of hemp or tow, or the journey in the cage up and down the shaft e.g.. ‘to catch the last tow’, was to catch the last ‘wind’ before coal winding began. Also called ‘the last rope’; or a dark, tough, earthy clay or shale. (Leics.).
Towt, a piece of old rope used, when lit, to provide light when working in a shaft. (N.East).
Trailer, a jock which was fastened to the last hutch being hauled up an incline. (Scot.); or a putter, a lad who pushed the tubs. (N.East).
Trailing cable, a flexible cable designed to be moveable whilst in use, such as a heavily insulated electrical cable used to bring power to an machine such as a Dosco roadheader. The cable trails along the ground from a power point.
Trail jud. When driving a wideboard, a narrow jud was driven 3 to 4 yards in advance and then a trail jud was cut off to the side to take the board to its correct width. (N.East).
Tram, a stout board attached to two axles and capable of being propelled along by a pitman using his leg while squatting on the board. The tram could also be attached to the haulage rope or chain. It wasn't unusual for men to travel several miles by tram to reach their working place; or a long, flat-bottomed wagon used for transporting materials. -see also Danny and Horned danny; or another name for a coal tub; or a carriage for carrying or transporting corves. (N.East). -see also Rolley.
Tramming, controlling the tubs along the face to the gate end.
Tramp iron, metal objects such as coal-cutter picks, nuts and bolts etc. that have become mixed with the run-of--mine coal. To avoid damage to machinery in the coal preparation plant various types of magnet are suspended above the conveyor system to remove the tramp iron.
Transfer point, the places in a mine where coal or mineral is transferred from one conveyor to another or from conveyor to mine car.
Trap, that part of a screen, the upper end of which was closed off by a door, which was operated by a handle to enable the screen man to regulate the flow of coal over the screen, -see Screens; or a short length of timber placed on top of a prop to hold the roof. (S.West); or a steep heading used as a travelling road. (Scot.); or another word for an igneous dyke.
Trap door, another word for ‘air door’.
Trap-down, a downthrow fault. (Bris.). Also trap-up, an upthrow fault.
Trapper boys, young boys employed to operate the ventilation doors.
Traps, lids for wooden props. (Som.); or the ventilation doors in the gates. (Yorks.).
Trap stage, the stage of the pit’s mouth to rest the corves on. (Yorks.).
Trasher, a box-like structure placed under the tub wheels to assist breaking on steep inclines. (Burnley, Lancs.).
Travelling belts, –see manriding.
Travelling road, a road used by the men to walk to and from the shaft to the workings.
Traverser, a flat platform running on special rails laid at right angles to and below the tub or minecar track, powered by hydraulics and used to move tubs or mine cars sideways from one track to another. Turntables were used to perform this operation.
Trebles, a size or grade of coal, usually between 2 and 4 inches in dimensions.
Tree, a wooden prop. (Scot.). (Staffs.). –see Props.
Trepanner, an early type of shearer with a large barrel shaped cutting head to produce large coal.
Trig, a piece of timber laid across the tracks under the wheels of a wagon to stop it moving. (Scot.).
Trigger, -see Bar-hook.
Trimmer, a tool used to clean the wick of an oil lamp. -see also Pricker; or men who filled the holds of coal vessels and trimmed or levelled the load; or a man who filled tubs at the end of a conveyor belt; or a person who spreads the coal in the wagons or carriages.
Trip chocks, chocks erected at the entrance to the waste or gob to prevent the roof in the waste breaking down too far towards the face.
Triping, originally run-of-mine coal, uncleaned or unsorted. Triping then became coal which had all of the large lumps taken out. The run-of-mine coal was then known as ‘cleek coal’. (Scot.).
Triplet. a tipper for emptying tubs. (N.East).
Trolley, a low, flat truck used for man-riding; or a basin in the strata from which the seam rises in opposite directions. (S.West); or a small tram. (S.Wales).
Trommel, to avoid breaking coal during the process of grading and sorting.
Tront, a long sprag set diagonally to support the coalface. (Mids.).
Trot, an endless rope. Also a system of double haulage way (running side by side) called the rolleyway that takes the full tubs of coal to the shaft and the empty tubs inbye. (N.East).
Trouble, -see Fault or Hitch.
Trough fault, two faults between which the strata has been lowered forming a trough.
Trounters, a sprag set against the coal face. (Mids.). -see also Tront.
Trow or Trows, a rectangular wooden pipe for conveying water down the sides of a shaft to the garland. They were also used for directing ventilation air into headings etc. (Leics.), or a wooden trough used for channelling water.
Trowhole or Trowroad, a cundie, a steep road, down which coal is shot instead of being loaded into hutches. (Scot.).
Truck, - see Tommy.
Truck machine, another name for a weighbridge. (N.Staffs.).
Trumpeting, a channel cut behind, or built into, the walling of a shaft to divert the water down to the sump so that it could be pumped out of the pit. -see also Garland; or a system of bratticing a roadway to split the ventilation.
Trumpet lamp, the miners’ term for the ‘Mueseler’ or Belgian Safety Lamp. (N.East).
Truncheon, a wooden sleeper to which the tub rails were nailed. (Som.)
Trunk, a wooden box or sled for hauling the debris out of the heading in low seams; or winding in a staple shaft. (Mids.); or a wooden pipe for conveying air into the workings. (S.West); or a kibble. (Yorks.).
Trying the candle, testing for firedamp using a candle before the advent of the safety lamp.
Tub, originally an open topped box constructed from wood or iron attached to a tram, used for transporting coal. A tub constructed to hold twenty-four ‘pecks’ of coal had an inside measurement of 36ins.x30ins.x26ins. Tubs were manufactured in all sizes and shapes and also had various names in the different coalfields. -see also Boxes, Dram, Hutch, Tram and Put; or a complete section of timber or metal tubbing including the wedging crib upwards to the mouth of the shaft.
Tubbing, a casing built into a pit shaft to keep back water or free running deposits such as mud or sand. Formerly constructed from planking with dressed joints, brick, stone, or later from cast-iron or concrete. When made with brick or stone it is often called ‘coffering’. –see also Stone Tubbing
Tubbing curbs, cast iron curbs used as a foundation for tubbing. Also called ‘wedging curbs’.
Tubbing plates, the cast iron segments making up the tubbing.
Tube bundle, a bundle of small diameter tubing from the surface to underground, where the individual tubes split off the main bundle and were directed to different parts of the mine. Used in an automatic air sampling system.
Tub thumper, man employed on repair of pit wagons (Tubs or jummers). (N.Staffs.).
Tucklers, short chains used for lowering and raising men in the shaft. Three men usually rode in them at one time. (Leics.).
Tued, meaning fatigued or tired. (N.East).
Tumblers, catches fitted to the deck of a cage to hold the tubs in place during winding. (N.East); or a tipper for emptying tubs, also known as a ‘Tumbling Tom’ (Scot.); or a quadrant for altering the direction of pumping rods. (Som.); or an apparatus fitted at the top of the shaft and at the entrance to levels within the shaft. By pulling a lever two lengths of timber would fall forward to support the cage as it was being loaded and unloaded. A forerunner of the modern day keps. Also called a tippler or kick-up.
Tume, -see Toom.
Tumps, rubbish disposed of in the waste in rough packs with intervening spaces. (Som.).
Tup, In early times there used to be a fortnight's holiday at the end of the year, when stock used to be taken and no coals drawn. It was the custom to cover with lighted candles the last corf of coals sent to bank, which was called "sending away the tup." (N.East)
. Tunphy, coaly fireclay. (Scot.).
Turn, another term for a curve in a rail track.
Turn again, a change in the direction of the dip of the strata. (N.Staffs.).
Turnover, moving the conveyors on the face from one track to another as the seam is worked out forwards, taking off the belts and pans then moving the engine to the new track. (S.Staffs.). –see also Web.
Turn pulley, the return wheel or pulley for an endless haulage or tail-rope on a haulage road. (Mids.).
Tut, a drinking vessel. (S.Staffs.).
Twinway, two branch roads running on either side, out of a main road to the stalls on a stall face through which the ‘twin boys’ pushed the trams. (S.West).
Tymp, a cap or lid for the top of a prop, usually 12 to 15 inches in length.
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