A Brief History of Hatfield Main
(The bulk of this text, covering 1910 -1998, was kindly provided by
Hatfield Coal Company Limited)
1910 - December. Hatfield Main Colliery Company formed by Emerson
1911 - 14th October. First sod cut to commence sinking of the
1916 - 11th September. Sinking of No. 1 Shaft completed.
1917 - 1st April. Sinking of No. 2 Shaft completed.
1921 - Started production in the Barnsley / Dunsil seam.
1927 - January. Colliery incorporated into Carlton Main Colliery
Company. Working of the High Hazel seam commenced.
1928 - 1932. Washery (Blantyre Baum Washbox) constructed by Sherwood-Hunter.
1931 - Canal Staithes constructed - up to 8,000 tons/week transported
1934 - Pit Head Baths opened - facilities for 2,800 men.
1939 - 12th December (1:50pm). Overwind at No. 2 Shaft. 58 men
admitted to hospital with serious injuries. One man died in hospital
on 14th December.
1944 - 1951. New No. 2 Pit Bottom constructed.
1947 - January. Colliery nationalised and operated by the National
1948 - June. First diesel locomotive installed underground in
Barnsley seam. The first diesel locomotive was installed in the High
Hazel seam a month later.
1948 - First attempt at mechanisation. Meco Moore coal cutter
was installed on 34's Unit in the High Hazel Seam. This proved to be
1954 - A jib coal cutter and armoured face conveyor (AFC) in
conjunction with link bars and friction props on 28's unit in the High
1958 - Underground connection made with Thorne Colliery.
1961 - July. Hydraulic props and link bars with coal cut by Trepanner
on 19's unit in the High Hazel seam.
1963 - August 31st. Hydraulic powered supports introduced onto
65's unit in the High Hazel seam.
1967 - Last hand filled unit at colliery, 20's in the High Hazel
seam, was mechanised. A second machine was introduced onto faces.
1967 - Hatfield and Thorne collieries are merged.
1967 - November 15th. A breach in the supporting wall of a tailings
lagoon floods house in Mayfield Lane, Stainforth.
1969 - September. Skip winding introduced to No. 1 Shaft, replacing
the system of winding coal out of the mine in tubs.
1971 - The Rapid Loading Scheme to load trains with coal destined
for power stations was commissioned.
1973 - July. No. 2 Shaft winding engine is electrified, replacing
steam driven engine.
1975 - May. No. 1 Shaft winding engine is electrified.
1978 - February. Hatfield and Thorne collieries become separate
1978 - June. First heavy duty face, 30's unit in the Barnsley
1979 - December. The first face (B12's) in the new North East
area of the Barnsley seam commenced production.
1981 - The new Coal Preparation Plant was commissioned.
1981 - May. First retreat face, HR2's in the High Hazel seam.
1983 - August 26th. Working of the Barnsley seam ceased. The
last coal worked was from B15's development drivage.
1986 - February 1st. Hatfield and Thorne collieries merged again.
1989 - February 4th. Highest total weekly saleable output of
26,560 tonnes produced from 3 faces.
1992 - December 19th. Highest weekly output from a single face,
110's unit produced 17,107 tonnes.
1993 - November 18th. Closure of Hatfield/Thorne Colliery on
economic grounds is announced at a reconvened review meeting. All work
1993 - December 3rd. Production officially ceased.
1994 - January 4th. Interest declared by management team in continuing
the operation of Hatfield Colliery.
1994 - January 25th. Hatfield Coal Company Limited formed.
1994 - March 7th. Last coal cut by British Coal in High Hazel
seam, from F105's unit. Face equipment salvaged.
1994 - Hatfield and Thorne become separate again.
1994 - July 7th. The first coal is cut, by the new operating
company, from F122's Unit in the High Hazel seam.
1994 - October 31st. The Coal Authority take over as licenser
of colliery from British Coal Corporation.
1995 - June 30th. Hatfield Coal Company makes an operating profit
of £2.4 million in it's first year of operation.
1995 - Filming at Hatfield surface for the colliery scenes in
the feature film "Brassed Off".
1997 - April. Redundancy of 31 employees announced, due to a
1997 - August 28th. The BBC at Hatfield to film surface and underground
colliery scenes for an episode of "Dalziel and Pascoe"
1998 - November. Hatfield Coal Company acquires freehold of the
2001 - August 9th. Hatfield Coal Company goes into
Receivership. Closure of colliery announced. There followed a few frantic
weeks while the future of the pit hung in the balance.
2001 - October. Coalpower, Richard Budge's new
company takes over operation of Hatfield Colliery.
2002 - April 18th. Plans released which outline
the future of Hatfield Colliery. Proposals include the building of an
electricity generating power station and a business park.
2002 - May. Work begins on reshaping the colliery
surface. The 20 years old coal prep plant is demolished to make room
for the planned power plant
2004 - January 30th. Hatfield Colliery ceases production,
for what appears to be the final time. The preceding year saw the ambitious
plans for the site turn to dust as the management vied frantically to
find financial backing for the scheme. Everyone, from the outcast NUM
representatives to the local MP, Mr. Kevin Hughes, lobbied the government
to intervene and prevent the closure.
2006 - March Earlier this year Richard Budge announced
the formation of his new company, Powerfuel PLC. In the second week
of March, the announcement was made that Kuzbassrazrezugol (KRU), one
of largest coal producers in Russia, had acquired a 51% shareholding
in Powerfuel. KRU expect that by the time the colliery has been fully
refurbished and production is at full capacity, possibly by 2009, Hatfield
could be producing around 2m tonnes per year.
2007 - 2008 Autumn - winter . Work is resumed on reshaping the colliery surface, this time with obvious intent. Large banks have been constructed around the site using spoil from the East Lane tip. Coal poduction has been resumed from a single face, with further developments being planned. Many of the old colliery buildings have been demolished and replaced with new structures.
2008 - March. An application to construct a 900 MW electricity generating plant has been made. This is to be built on the site of the colliery adjacent to the shafts, where plans for a similar 430 MW IGCC plant have already been approved.
2013 - February. Millions of pounds worth of damage caused to nearby railway track after earth movement possibly caused through colliery waste heap moving. Railway closed for several months.
2013 - March. Colliery re-locates spoil heap material to area previously designated for a Power Park and on site coal fired power station.