Acceptable reasoning for closing the last Huthwaite pit was due encountering water difficulties. Colliers knew the troubled depths on a previously unworkable Yard seam could only offer slimmest last hopes. Challenging even modern technology this truthful basis was clearly understandable by proud miners.
Other important factors became later realised for influencing this pits closure that ended with the year 1981, before escalating into shutting the majority of our highly dependent coal industries.
Encouragement was given for gradually reducing employee numbers through this pits final years. Most National Coal Board workers were given transfer options for relocation among Nottinghamshires newer larger pits. Handsome redundancy payments could otherwise provide options for many accepting early retirement, welcomed especially by those with longer service.
Thanks for the adjacent picture must be given Pete Atkins. Kneeling front and holding a large last lump of New Hucknall Coal while naming those among his team. His framed photo commemorates the pits final years output when they set a magnificent record reaching just short of half a million tons.
A small number of employees were retained through 1982 as a site salvage crew. Most are shown in the following photos donated by Mr John Boot, who proudly stands centrally.
The above group photo identifies those final shift workers who emerged from No.3 pit shaft headings for its last time in 1982 following underground salvage. Larger grouping below represents the total known workforce still being retained for continuing major task of full ground site clearance.
Thanks also to Pete Collier who recognised below his close workmate and Fitter Dave Colebourne. Pete was a welder at New Hucknall through its last three years, further explaining how they both started work at Huthwaite around the same time, similarly being offered transfer to Babbington and Calverton respectfully.
This drinking group may well represent the very last reclamations gang following their final work at New Hucknall Colliery. The photo is kindly donated among a magnificent Huthwaite pit album from Mick Bostock.
Identified so far from left to right are:-
Written 27 Aug 03 Revised 14 May 09 © by Gary Elliott