A visit to the Asfordby ‘Super Pit’ coal mine under construction in 1986.

With the rapid closure of the coal mines in west Leicestershire the sinking of the Asfordby ‘Super Pit’ coal mine in the east of the county was expected to provide the affected miners with jobs well into the 21st. century.  After an extended period of planning, and a public enquiry, sinking of the shafts at Asfordby started in August 1985.  The site chosen was near to Asfordby Hill village, to the west of Melton Mowbray, and was next to Holwell Works iron foundry.  The proposal was to extract coal from the vast seams under the vale of Belvoir from this mine right on the edge of the coal field, but geological problems and the poor economics of production led to the mine closing in 1997.  The full story is explained in detail at http://www.healeyhero.co.uk/rescue/individual/Bob_Bradley/Bk-7/B7-1997-P7.html.

The photographs here were mainly taken on 23/11/86 during a visit by a party from Sileby Photographic Society to photograph the mine under construction.  The main activity at the time was the sinking of two shafts using temporary headgear and electric winding engines.

Photographs of a coal train here when the mine was operating are shown on this site in the ‘Asfordby “Super Pit” Coal Mine, 1990s’ section.

Asfordby “Super Pit” coal mine under construction


1-of-16) Asfordby ‘Super Pit’ coal mine under construction, 29/12/86.

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Temporary headgear over the shafts of Asfordby mine under construction


2-of-16) Temporary headgear for sinking the shafts for the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.  The east shaft is in the foreground, with the west shaft behind.

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Temporary headgear over shaft of Asfordby mine under construction


3-of-16) Temporary headgear for sinking the east shaft for the new Asfordby Coal Mine with the winding house on the right, 23/11/86.

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Temporary headgear over the shaft of Asfordby mine under construction


4-of-16) Temporary headgear for sinking the east shaft for the new Asfordby Coal Mine with the winding house on the left, 23/11/86.

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Electric winding engine for the temporary headgear over the shaft of Asfordby mine under construction


5-of-16) Part of the electric sinking engine for the temporary headgear for sinking the east shaft for the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.

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Electric winding engine for the temporary headgear over the shaft of Asfordby mine under construction


6-of-16) Part of the electric sinking engine for the temporary headgear for sinking the east shaft for the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.

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The east shaft under one of the sets of temporary headgear for sinking the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction


7-of-16) The east shaft under one of the sets of temporary headgear for sinking the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction. One miner is sending bell codes to the sinking engine operator while another miner can be seen who has just ascended the shaft in the kibble, 23/11/86.

The notices on the shaft say:

THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF
PERSONS IN THE SHAFT
MUST NOT EXCEED 30

NO PERSON SHALL ENTER A
KIBBLE WITHOUT PERMISSON
OF THE BANKSMAN

ASFORDBY UPCAST SHAFT

MAXIMUM UNBALANCED
LOAD PERMISSABLE ON
THE CLIVVY HOOK IS 8500KG

THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF
PERSONS CARRIED IN THE
KIBBLE IS 10

THE SHIFT TIMES ARE
8:00?? - 4:00??
4:00?? - 12???
????

SHAFTS OUTLETS ROADS
REGS 1960
51.1 NO MINERALS EQUIPMENT
OR MATERIALS SHALL BE
CARRIED THROUGH THE SHAFT
WHILST PERSONS ARE BEING
CARRIED THROUGH IT WHETHER
IN THE SAME DIRECTION OR NOT

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The control panel with the shaft signals for controlling the sinking engine for the east shaft for the new Asfordby Coal Mine


8-of-16) The control panel with the shaft signals for controlling the sinking engine for the temporary headgear for sinking the east shaft for the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.

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The pit head of the east shaft under one of the sets of temporary headgear for sinking the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction


9-of-16) The pit head of the east shaft under the temporary headgear for sinking the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.

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Looking down one of the new shafts at Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction


10-of-16) Looking down one of the new shafts at Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.

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Looking up to the top of one of the new shafts at Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction


11-of-16) Looking up to the top of one of the new shafts at Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.

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Temporary headgear over the shaft of Asfordby mine under construction


12-of-16) Temporary headgear for sinking the west shaft for the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.  The building behind houses the winding engine.

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Electric winding engine for the temporary headgear over the shaft of Asfordby mine under construction


13-of-16) The electric sinking engine for the temporary headgear for sinking the west shaft for the new Asfordby Coal Mine, under construction, 23/11/86.

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Foundations under construction next to the west temporary headgear at the new Asfordby Coal Mine


14-of-16) Foundations under construction next to the west temporary headgear at the new Asfordby Coal Mine, 23/11/86.  I am not sure what the foundations were for — were they for the actual operating shaft?

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Asfordby “Super Pit” coal mine with construction progressing, Autumn 1987.


15-of-16) Asfordby ‘Super Pit’ coal mine with construction progressing, Autumn 1987.

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Asfordby “Super Pit” coal mine with construction approaching completion and the distinctive Koepe winding towers being very prominent


16-of-16) Asfordby ‘Super Pit’ coal mine with construction nearing completion and the distinctive Koepe winding towers standing prominently, Winter 1988/1989.

Coal, initially from driving roadways, was taken away by train using the connection to the Old Dalby test track, with the first long-wall coal face commencing production in July 1995.  However, serious geological problems and the low market price for coal caused the mine to close in 1997, and these two Koepe winding towers were demolished using controlled explosions on 29th March 1998.

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This site also has a few photographs of a coal train being loaded and departing Asfordby mine.

88px-CC-BY-SA_icon.svgThe photographs in these railway photograph galleries are available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Attribution should include a link to www.nigeltout.com.

Asfordby Super Pit Coal Mine