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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Monday, 22nd March, 2021)

The Dairy Pit

The Dairy Pit
The Dairy Pit, Haigh as it is now and how it was when still producing coal.

Photo: Dennis Seddon  (Sony DSC-WX500)
Views: 2,396

Comment by: Julie on 22nd March 2021 at 07:47

I like knowing about bygone times Dennis, were is it in Haigh please?

Comment by: walt (nth Yorkshire) on 22nd March 2021 at 07:56

Grand photo is that Dennis and a fond reminder of childhood days when we would walk down the line past an active pit. My wife's father worked at this pit 1950/60s. I can recall being able to pick large chunks of coal, taking them home for the fire on winter's days. Thanks Dennis, sad to see the only thing left is its headstone.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 22nd March 2021 at 08:55

I have visited this site, and similar ones, (one memorable day!), with a friend who has an interest in the old pits in Haigh and it is amazing how many there were. It is strange to think of all the noise there must have been where there is just birdsong now.

Comment by: Gary on 22nd March 2021 at 09:15

My father worked there early 1950s. Not deep but a "wet" pit. My memory is slipping, but I recall him telling me of having to run from the face and up a metal ladder - the canal was coming in.
Evocative photo Dennis. The number of men who worked there over the years - and now, mention a modern coal mine for coking coal up in Cumbria and everyone is having hissy fits.

Comment by: Veronica on 22nd March 2021 at 09:37

It looks well hidden back then in the wooded area .. unlike other pits.
Pity the graffiti artists have made their mark....no respect. I wonder how many men and boys died at that pit - if any.

Comment by: Dennis Seddon on 22nd March 2021 at 09:52

This Pit was connected with the Bridge Pit which was further up the canal next to Shedfield Bridge.
I believe that the men went up and down the Pit at the Bridge Pit and the coal came up at the Dairy Pit where it was loaded onto large NCB lorries. These lorries turned off Wigan Road, New Springs near the boundary and ran up the road to Shedfield Bridge. Over the bridge they turned sharp left and ran down a tarmac road to the Dairy Pit.
I seem to remember reading in Joe Gormley’s book that when talks were going on about the closure of the Pit, the men were in favour of keeping it going, but Joe Gormley was in favour of closure because of the terrible conditions the men were working in (they were, sometimes, working up to there knees in water). As Walt says the lorries would very often lose large lumps of coal on the rough road back to the main road and coal was precious then.

Comment by: David Barker on 22nd March 2021 at 10:24

My Dad used to work at the Dairy Pit and the Alexander Pit at Whelley
Good one Dennis , I uploaded a photo of a fishing match on the canal, the Dairy Pit is in the background in the trees......here..>

Comment by: Kath H on 22nd March 2021 at 10:34

My father worked there in the 50’s. I used to walk down the line with him on Friday lunch times from school, when he went on afternoon shift, to take his wages home to my Mother.
Thanks for the memories Dennis.

Comment by: lock lass on 22nd March 2021 at 10:46

Lovely photo Dennis, I love these 'then' and 'now' pics. Thanks.

Comment by: PeterP on 22nd March 2021 at 12:25

One of the 3000 mine shafts in and around Wigan. When coal was king

Comment by: Edna on 22nd March 2021 at 13:18

Good photo Dennis, of before and after, seen this lots of times on our walks through the woods.Thanks for the memory.

Comment by: e on 22nd March 2021 at 18:10

Back to Nature I retreat
From back break graft in shafts so deep ,
Where chambers lit by lanterns held ,
and colleagues met then brothers gelled ,
That held the walls from timbers felled ,
as buckets rolled till tolling bells , fell still to chime no more .
So spill your silence on these walls ,
As withered leaf may drift and fall ,
But from a boy a man would call ,
to turn the wheels of cotton shawl ,
as engines burned and steam would boil ,
From faces black once dug this soil..

Comment by: TitusC on 22nd March 2021 at 21:40

Lovely photo Dennis. Great to see old pics of pits.

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