Flowedge Colliery 1973 Copyright © Mike Gill

Flowedge Colliery 1973
Copyright © Mike Gill

J. & H. Varty & Watson began mining the Little Limestone coal, at Flow Edge near Alston, at the outbreak of WWI. The venture was not a success, however, and the mine was described as standing from 1916 to 1923.

Isaac Currah and George Percival Currah, trading as the Flow Edge Colliery Co. reopened the drift in 1947. They employed around twelve men underground, with five on the surface, but by 1957 they were in financial difficulties and had sold their debt under a Deed of Assignment to N.T. O’Reilly. The latter kept the company running until 1963, but only employed an average of seven underground and four on the surface.

By 1964 Harrison’s Lime Works Ltd ran the mine until 1969. The coal was taken by lorry to their quarry at Flusco, 5.3 km west of Penrith, where it was used in the kilns to produce burnt lime.

Shepherd & Bell worked Flow Edge in 1970, and J.R. Bell in 1971, but from 1972 to 1987 the owner is given as F.G. Shepherd.


  • NMRS Records, Gazetteer of British Collieries
  • The London Gazette, 26th April, 1957
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