In this blog we take a look at another industrial concern, not far from the former Broad Oaks or Derby Road Ironworks. Here we take a look at Storforth Lane colliery, which occupied most of the present trading estate of that name, although the pit top was a little further eastwards.
This colliery was the third sunk on the Heathcote estate – on the north side of Storforth Lane to the east of the Midland Railway. When the Heathcote estate was sold in 1874 it was said that this coal had been leased to George Senior for a term of 21 years ending in 1889 and that Senior had assigned the lease to the Industrial Coal & Iron Co. Ltd. The company continued to be listed as owner until 1878, when it was succeeded by a Dr Black.
The Industrial Coal & Iron Co. Ltd, promoted with a nominal capital of £150,000, paid £40,000 for Storforth Lane colliery and another £22,000 to develop it and connect the workings underground with those of the Hasland and Whitebank pits. This enabled coal from all three to be wound at Storforth Lane. This work was complete by June 1875, when the company advertised redundant winding engines from the other two collieries and a long list of other plant for sale. They also took out a new lease of a larger area of coal at Storforth Lane. At the same time, the company owned Woodhouse colliery at Woodhouse Junction on the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway east of Sheffield (in Handsworth Woodhouse, Yorks.), where it also had a brickworks.
The company’s performance, compared with promises in its prospectus, was criticised by a shareholder at a half-yearly general meeting in August 1875. In March the following year the directors stated that, since Woodhouse colliery needed more capital to develop, the company had either to issue further shares or sell Storforth Lane colliery. In November 1876 a Sheffield builder petitioned for the company to be compulsorily wound up, which the directors indicated they would oppose.
In May 1877 the Chancery division ordered the sale by private tender of all plant, machinery and moveable items at both the Woodhouse and Storforth Lane collieries. The latter failed to sell and was put up for auction two months later.
The colliery was taken over in September 1877 by a newly formed Storforth Lane Colliery Co. Ltd, whose secretary in May 1878 absconded with the company’s books and papers. In August that year Dr Black, described as the lessor of the colliery, successfully applied to be appointed receiver. This was after the company had been summoned for not paying wages due to its men. It was stated then that the colliery had closed a month earlier.
In January 1879 the company, in a notice signed by a director named William Thomas Barrett, convened a meeting at which members resolved to wind up voluntarily, but a month later the court ordered the company to be compulsorily wound up.
Black, who may have been the main figure behind the company, seems to have tried to keep the colliery open for a few years. Soon after Black died in 1886 the plant at Storforth Lane was put up for sale. The colliery may have been restarted yet again, since in 1896 a business named the Storforth Lane Colliery & Derby Road Brickworks was advertising the sale of bricks, a steam engine, boiler and other equipment. It was certainly out of use by 1914, when part of the site was occupied by the Storforth Lane brickworks of C.J. Saunders Ltd.
Other collieries nearby
The Wingerworth Iron Co. operated a colliery at Boythorpe in 1854 and another named White Bank in 1855–7, of which the latter may be identical with what were described as Whitebank collieries Nos. 1 and 2, worked by the Industrial Coal & Iron Co. Ltd, in 1874 but not thereafter. There was a fire at the company’s 12 Whitebank pit in 1873. The colliery lay on the west 13 side of the Midland Railway north of the siding leading to Wingerworth ironworks. It was also called Derby Lane colliery and is recorded under that name in 1883, operated by the Industrial Coal & Iron Co. Ltd.
Our final blog in this series will look at the site’s subsequent use a brickworks, before its adaption into the present industrial estate.
Our Hasland book contains full source references for this blog.
You can learn more about other properties in Hasland in our book – ‘A history of Hasland including Birdholme, Boythrope, Corbriggs, Grassmoor, Hady, Spital and Winsick’. It’s on sale at the Chesterfield Visitor Centre and Waterstones in Chesterfield, priced at £20 for 206 pages with illustrations.
This post was slightly edited on 31 October 2022 to make it clear that the pit-top, including the single shaft to the colliery, were eastwards from the Storforth Lane Trading Estate.