Some weeks ago now, I featured a British Railways Board plan I’d purchased from a map dealer, which showed the coal workings in the Yard Seam below Brownhills Common. At the same time, I bought the one featured here, too. It’s of workings from the Wilkin Colliery, operated by J&B Cox. The spoil heaps the pit created are still present in the fields behind he old Highfields Farm south of Chasewater.
These sit well with previous drawings featured of the conduit colliery and Gerald Reece’s wonderful land plans of the Norton Branch.
One of the problems with old drawings is getting them scanned. These were particularly challenging, as they were drawn on cotton vellum paper – a fabric like, thin material that’s incredibly soft and difficult to machine feed. Imagine a drawing printed on a cheesecloth shirt. Thankfully, I found a wonderful, very competent scanning company who did an excellent job.
The plan shows how the railway path interacts with the workings below, and where the Ministry of Transport insisted supportive girders should go in the underground operations, in order not to compromise the structural integrity of the railway. This was a serious business, and was enabled under an act of parliament.
North isn’t upward on this map – it can take a while to mentally orient it. If you use the Google Earth overlay I’ve provided, that comes out oriented correctly.
The Google Earth Overlay I’ve created for you to download will also work in current Garmin graphical GPS units. The original seems slightly distorted, so don’t place too much faith in the geolocation, which I guess would be to about five to six metres. Please don’t use this as a basis for anything technical. Paper stretch, optical distortions and other errors may well make this rather inaccurate in places.
If you want to have a play with this overlay, it can be downloaded at the link below. Instructions on how to use it with Google Earth are in this post – you must have installed the Google Earth application. If you haven’t, go here to get a copy. As usual, the overlay is hosted at box.
My thanks to the boy [Howmuch?] who did no small amount of running around for me on this one. I really must buy him more beer…