The colliery was sunk in 1879 by the Exors of Col. Hargreaves and had two shafts to the Arley Mine.
The shafts here were sunk by the Exors of Col. Hargreaves in 1879 in order to work the Arley Mine at a depth of 210 yards. The Dandy and the King Mines were also worked after 1910. By 1892 Reedley’s ventilation system was partly shared with Bank Hall. Eventually, Reedley’s coal was brought to the surface by the Reedley Drift which began near the Bank Hall washery.
Known locally as Barden Pit, because it was near Barden Recreation Ground, Reedley Colliery was linked underground with Bank Hall and Wood End Pits. The latter shaft, which was halfway between the bottom of Barden Lane and Duck Pits Sewerage Works, is still visible.
Reedley was the first pit in east Lancashire to have pithead baths, and only the second in the whole country. They were opened in November 1914, under the Coal Mines Act of 1911, clause 77. The buildings, which cost £2000, were paid for by Sir James Thursby. They had facilities for 180 men, and the shower stalls were made of slate with concrete floors so that they could be “swilled down without any difficulty”. The centre of the building had a pulley system on which the men raised their day clothes before going down the pit. Pit clothes were placed on the rack in the same manner at the end of the shift.
In later years, Reedley pit became a laboratory mine, where new equipment was tested. For example, the “American System of Mining”, using shuttle cars, roof bolts etc, was tried here. But roof bolts were universally disliked by Reedley miners, who preferred something they could see holding the roof up.
Another feature at the pit was the 558 yard long Sandvic Steel Band Belt conveyor, which took the coal underground to Bank Hall colliery coal washery. This conveyor worked against a gradient of 1 in 3 and, remarkably for the day, weighed the coal at the same time. Reedley pit was also one of the first to use fluorescent lighting underground.
From early in the 20th century Reedley was linked to Wood End Colliery, and from 1955 to 1960 it included Fence, No.2 Drift. Marked for closure in the 1959 review of the industry, Reedley succumbed in May 1960. Its site, off Barden Lane, is now occupied by a ready-mixed concrete plant.
- Nadin, J. 1997 The Coal Mines of East-Lancashire (British Mining No.58, NMRS)
- Williamson, I.A. 1999 “The Burnley Coalfield” British Mining No.63, NMRS, pp.5-27