LOCATION E. of Bickershaw & Abram station on the Great Central Railway Lowton – Wigan line. Also directly served by LNWR Bickershaw mineral branch.
OWNERS (1892) Abram Coal Co. Ltd.

Shafts (Wigan Pits)
No.1, commenced c.1870, 15 feet 2 inches diameter, lined in brickwork, sunk to Wigan Nine Feet, 320 yards. Downcast.
No.2, Downcast, commenced c.1870, 14 feet 2 inches diameter, sunk to 320 yards.
No.3, Upcast – possibly an old shaft refurbished.

No.1 Pit – Twin cylinder horizontal engine 26 inches x 60 inches, built by R., J., & E. Coupe, Worsley Mesnes Ironworks, Wigan, c.1868, slide valves, parallel drum 15 feet diameter, winding ropes fitted with Ormerod detaching hooks, four wire rope conductors to each each cage, double deck cages, two tubs per deck. Headgear pulleys 13 feet diameter.
No.2 Pit – Twin cylinder horizontal engine 26 inches x 60 inches, by R.,J., & E. Coupe c.1868, slide valves, parallel drum 12 feet diameter Ropes, tubs and cages as No.1 Pit. By 1898 engines were reported as winding 6 tubs in 3-deck cages, tubs 7cwt. capacity.
No.3 Pit – Upcast ventilation only – see Ventilation.

Underground Haulage
Steam haulage engine placed on surface for main endless rope haulage system. Twin cylinder horizontal engine 14 inches cylinders, geared 12 to 1 to 3rd. motion shaft, ropes passing down shaft.
Compressed air haulage engines placed underground also.

Air compressor, twin cylinder cross-coupled horizontal 28 inches x 60 inches (steam). 28 inches (air), made by Walker Bros., Wigan.

Initially by furnace at No.3 Pit. Guibal fan installed 1877. Made by Walker Bros., 46 feet diameter by 12 feet wide, 202,000 cfm., 48rpm., 4.3 inches water gauge. Duplicate tandem compound horizontal engine, condensing, 20 inches(HP), 36 inches (LP) x 36 inches stroke. Meyer cut-off slide valves on HP cylinder, ordinary slide valves on LP. Eccentrics mounted on drag shafts driven from crankpin.
Disc crank on drag shaft driving condenser air pump. (see notes)

Walker Bros. INDESTRUCTIBLE fan, works nos.14890-3. 18 feet x 7 feet Pulleys 16 feet and 7 feet 6 inches diameter, 7 ropes, 1¾ inches diameter, (ordered August 1909)

Nos. 1 & 2 (Wigan) Pits – 6 Lancashire boilers, wrought iron, 7 feet x 30 feet by J.& W. Barlow, Rochdale, 1 – Lancashire boiler (steel), 8 feet x 30 feet.
No.3 (Upcast) Pit, – 3 Lancashire boilers 6 feet 6 inches x 27 feet (wrought iron), fitted with Walton’s furnaces.

Shafts (Arley Pits) – Commenced c.1878.
No.4 Pit (Upcast), 18 feet diameter sunk to Arley Mine at 650 yards. Lined in brickwork.
No.5 Pit (Downcast), 18 feet diameter lined in brickwork, sunk 650 yards to Arley Mine.

No.4 Pit – Twin cylinder horizontal engine by Walker Bros., 32 inches x 72 inches, valves, winding drum parallel 18 feet diameter. (Described as “Corliss Type” slide engine), trunk crosshead guides and girder or bayonet frame bed. Winding ropes of steel, 3¾ inches circumference. Wooden headgear.
No.5 Pit – Twin cylinder horizontal engine by Robert Daglish & Co., St Helens, 40 inches x 84 inches , Cornish valves, parallel winding drum 24 feet diameter, cast iron, wood lagged. Winding rope tapered 4¾ inches to 4¼ inches circumference. 6 – 7cwt. tubs raised per cage on three decks. Headgear pulleys 18 feet diameter. Lattice headgear.

Twin cylinder cross-coupled single stage air compressor, 25 inches (steam) 25 inches (air) by Walker Bros.

No.4 Pit – 5 Lancashire boilers, wrought iron, 7 feet x 30 feet, 70psi., made by J & W Barlow, Rochdale. One Lancashire boiler (steel), 8 feet x 30 feet, 100psi., by Heaton & Son, Holt Town, Manchester.
No.5 Pit – 5 Lancashire boilers 8 feet x 30 feet, steel, by Heaton & Son, Manchester.
All boilers fitted with dead-weight safety valves and Hopkinson high steam/low water safety valves.

Engineer’s – two steam hammers, 9 inches engine driving machinery.
Carpenter’s/Wagon Shop – 9 inches twin cylinder engine.

Underground Haulage (1892)
Twin cylinder horizontal engine located at surface, geared 12 to 1 to 3rd motion shaft for endless rope underground haulage.

Underground Haulage (1898)
Cross-compound horizontal condensing engine by Walker Bros., located at top of No.5 Pit for endless rope haulage. Geared 12 to 1 to 3rd. motion shaft carrying two 12 feet diameter “Clifton” pulleys each fitted with a Fisher & Walker friction clutch.
Engine cylinders 22 inches (HP), 42 inches (LP) x 48 inches stroke. HP cylinder fitted with Hartnell type expansion slide valves, link motion and governor. LP cylinder fitted with hand adjusted Meyer slide valves.

Underground Haulage (1927)
Pair geared haulers 8 inches x 12 inches, slide valves. Walker Bros. No.29060 (4-1-27)
Pair geared Haulers 8 inches x 12 inches, piston valves, Walker Bros. No.29866 (28-10-27)

Guibal fan by Walker Bros., 1881, 46 feet x 12 feet, 40rpm., 250,000cfm, 2.1 inch wg. Duplicate tandem compound engines 20 inches (HP), 36 inches (LP) x 36 inches stroke. Meyer cut-off slide valves on HP, ordinary slide valves on LP (see notes)

Seams worked (1931)
Bickershaw Yard, Six Feet, Smith, New Peacock, King, Furnace, Prince, Queen, Haigh Yard, Arley Two Feet, Seven Feet, Orrell. (Note the use of local seam names)

Accidents & Disasters
On the 19th December 1881 a methane explosion, probably caused by a sudden outburst of gas, claimed the lives of 48 miners. It is thought that it could have been caused by an unlocked safety lamp. The full report can be found here.

No.3 (Fan Pit) reported closed 1916.
Nos. 1 & 2 (Wigan) Pits closed October 1931.
No.4 (Arley) Pit closed July 1932.
All three Pits formally abandoned May 1933.

Abram Coal Co. Ltd. amalgamated with Ackers, Whitley & Co. Ltd., 1933 to form Bickershaw Collieries Ltd.

No.5 (Arley) Pit abandoned July 1934.

Albert Pit – Mining was resumed 1939/40 in the locality of Abram Nos. 1 & 2 Pits by Albert Longworth Ltd, – possibly using the old Abram shafts. Closed – c1965. Seam Worked/Workforce (1954) – Park Yard. Underground 256, Surface 43

New winding engine ordered Sept. 1909 for delivery 24 March 1910, Walker Bros., No. 15000.
Pair 40 inches x 72 inches engines, drop inlet, Corliss exhaust valves, steel lagging.
Cast iron drum 18 feet x 7 feet 6 inches wide in two rings, lagged ¾ inches steel plate.
Double post brakes with weights and steam cylinder with cataract. Steam reverser and gear.
Driver’s platform and framing for reversing engine.
(Probably for No.4 Arley Pit)
Two double deck cages ordered January 1911, Walker Bros. No.16025.

Copyright © NMRS Records: G. Hayes Collection

Return to previous page