Way back at the beginning of August, I shared a partial scan of a document I’d acquired – a mining plan of how workings in the Robbins coal seam under Walsall Wood, Clayhanger and Brownhills affected the railway line above.
Well, I’ve finally got this 6 feet long plan scanned for all to ponder over.
A full resolution scan – all 45 megabytes of it – can be downloaded by clicking this link.
Around fourteen inches wide, and six feet long. It’s a plan, on velum, of the progress of coal extraction in the Robins seam from under Walsall Wood and Clayhanger up until the early 1960s. The map is hand drafted. The red areas show where coal was extracted.
There’s lots to see here, included exploratory digs that entered from sees above. It’s a fascinating thing, to be sure.
I’ve created a Google Earth overlay for readers to orient the plan. Because it’s on fabric, it’s only geometrically well aligned at the Walsall Wood end, however it’s good enough at the Brownhills end to give a reasonable idea.
You can download this overlay to use in Google Earth by clicking the link below – it can also be used as a basemap in Garmin GPS devices. Instructions on the use of this in Google Earth can be found in this post.
Please note that this is an indication only; this plan could be wrong, or metres out. Please don’t use it for anything serious. It’s for information only.
Note the shafts are marked, and one is under the building that was constructed as the sluice house for tipping the chemical waste into the mine after it’s closure in 1964.
Think about the fact that these are the workings in just one seam – there were several others – so it goes to illustrate the huge number of voids and their span that existed below our area where the black gold was dug out. Most of this was backfilled with spoil after the mine ceased production; after that, the remainder was filled with industrial waste.
Consider also that this huge area would have been dug either by hand, or fairly minimal mechanisation; by the time Walsall Wood Colliery closed in 1964, it was not modernised and it didn’t employ the modern cutting machinery that other mines did.
This is local history gold – and bear in mind this is only one seam: there would e separate drawings for each one.
Please do comment or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.