Intact Abandoned Minecart Track at Massive Historical Colliery (Day Two) – URBEX England


In our last episode, you watched us breach
one of the most complete mining collieries in Europe, entering the grandest building
on site and climbing one of the impressive headstocks. However, there was too many structures to
see in one day, so we aimed to come back as soon as we could to experience more of the
historical site. One week later we are back at the immense
compound, ready to continue searching for lost remnants of British industry that make
the mine so special. Although there were some changes to our entry
from the previous visit, we found our way onsite much more efficiently this time. It might be hard to see through the claustrophobic
foliage, but there are buildings surrounding us, and soon enough we find an access point
to one of them. This one roomed building is very important
as it would have pushed the oxygen into the deep level shafts, so the miners could breathe
fairly comfortably. Above the tree line you can make out the curved
tunnel that would transport the air downwards with this blue fan generating it’s movement. With no time to spare, we headed to one of
the largest structures in the grounds, the locomotive shed, which happened to require
a comedy entrance. The property consisted of two massive rooms with
increasing levels of decay, mainly for storage and maintenance. Though very interesting, our focus quickly
adhered to a large shape that suddenly flew over our heads. With the owl endangering itself due to the
smashed glass in the windows of the warehouse, we were seriously debating calling the RSPCA. Just then, it managed to escape through the
roof and we didn’t see it again, so hopefully it is still living now. As we stated in part 1 of this lengthy exploration,
the colliery shut in the late 1970s, and became a museum not long after. The reason why many surface buildings still
boast their machinery is because it was restored to it’s original condition. The museum wanted to show a realistic portrayal
of a functional coal mine and it’s workers, so the public could see most of the unique
properties on site. At the beginning, it operated well with a
peak of 70,000 visitors a year. Following some safety hazards in the early
90s, involving the deep level regions of the shafts that were open for viewing, the museum
was placed in liquidation and was closed in the same year. It is sad that a scheme that wanted to save
the heritage of the property failed and even the restored machines and structures have
degraded back to a deteriorated state. This was a small workshop to treat broken
or rundown mine carts. It appears that the locomotive shed has received
some of the most natural decay off all of the buildings, with fully grown trees developed
inside. Next up on our hit list was one of the reasons
we had been so enticed by the site, a totally intact mine cart track that sits away from
the majority of the complex. Carts would have been lifted upwards from
the shafts by the largest headstock on site to move around this circuit, depositing their
coal into collection. One of the most intriguing parts of the mine
is the unexpected amount of buildings on site for what you might consider a simple process. So much horsepower or electricity was necessary
for everything to function. ‘Coal – the most important fuel in use today. Great Britain has the richest coal seams in
the world and this basic wealth played a major part in industrial expansion. More and more seams were opened up below the
countryside and around the mines, Britain’s industries and towns converged. After 200 years of enterprise, Britain had
world markets for the coal. At home in the industrial areas, there were
3000 coal mines spread across the countryside. These mines employed 1,250,000 men. In Britain, there were coal mines, giant industries
and busy towns, but all had been created with little thought for the country as a whole,
for it’s social amenities. But that’s an old story, and now here’s a
new one.’ It was a gigantic part of industrial England
to produce coal for the world, and this area was where the process would come to an end. Here, the blue contraptions would flip each
cart upside down, emptying it’s contents into a wagon below, more than likely the larger
ones we saw earlier in the locomotive shed. At the beginning of the first half of coverage
we gave the site, you can see us walking underneath this area, and you might also notice that
there are larger tracks on the ground floor, presumably where the large wagons would transport
the coal to a safe storage location. It was now time to ascend the tallest headstock
in the colliery with the exposure providing fierce winds to deal with the higher we got. One of the final sections we wished to see
was the facility part of the mine. No machinery resides in here, as this was
where the workers of the colliery could come to eat, shower and collect their personal
belongings after a long day below ground. Immediately inside, we notice the excessive
decay contrasted with old architecture in the likes of Modernist era staircases combined
with layers of peeled back paint. We believe this structure was one of the newest
built amidst the site, which doesn’t say much as it was constructed sometime in the
1930s. Upstairs were the corridors upon corridors
of lockers, one of the only furnishings remaining in the building. The skylights above had allowed strong deterioration
to take place in the hall, meaning that beautiful colours had formed from years of neglect. To contrast in the shower block next door,
to prevent trespass the skylight had been boarded shut, so the tiles remained in reasonable
condition. A final surprise laid downstairs: the canteen
for the colliery. Museum era signs were up making it seem that
the space had been repurposed during that period of time, yet the murals of coal-related
iconography was great to see. Following another full day inside the iconic
site, it was time to take our leave. The menu found in the canteen didn’t help
as we had no food supplies so that was the only thing on our minds as we headed out of
the property. Looking back on the exploration from Summer,
it is a perfect example of the lack of care through the general public for our history. Even though the coal mine was restored, it
failed to stay protected and at this stage, I doubt any restoration could bring it back
to the appearance it boasted during it’s prime. There is a pattern between the number of vacant
industrial premises like this, and their listed title. With the funds our government has, structures
like this should have been preserved rather than being left to rot, which sadly is the
the case time and time again. Here are some of our photographs from the
second visit to the massive, abandoned mining colliery. If you like the look of them, feel free to
check out our Instagram and other social media with the links below, where we post images
of the places we visit months before they are showcased on YouTube. There is a small but architecturally stunning
gem trapped in time in one of England’s city centres. With a failed restoration project, the building
has been forced to decay and have it’s detail break down and fall to the ballroom floor. Thanks for watching our latest video! Keep on the lookout for a giveaway as a thank
you for 10,000 subscribers. We will be speaking about it on our social
media. See you next time!

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