Filling up Whistleberry Shafts


Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 23.55.06You may be wondering what happens to the deep coal mine shafts, one they are no longer used. Most are infilled, or flooded but this newspaper account copied and shared here by Wilma Bolton, tells of how the two double shafts at Whistleberry Colliery were filled in.

The shafts were owned by Messrs Archibald Russell & Coy., Ltd., which was closed down in May 1935, were filled in during December 1935.

The work having been began on 10th December 1935, filling of No. 2 shaft. The contractor who secured the job  was Mr Thomas Duncan of the Craighead Crusher Works, Blantyre, who stated that the shafts were 186 fathoms deep and he estimated that the material required in the filling up of both shafts was from 16,000 to 20,000 tons. The work took three months.

The material used to infill the shafts was obtained from the colliery refuse bing of the colliery nearby, where a mechanical digger and two large buckets on wheels ran from the bing to the pit mouth, with the refuse tilted into the depths below. In 1935, it was well known that since the colliery closed down the water had risen in No. 1 shaft for a distance of sixty fathoms up the shaft, but there was no water in No. 2 shaft.

I’ve posted about Whistleberry Colliery before, but a recap….Sunk in 1894, the Whistleberry Colliery closed down on the evening of Monday 27th May 1935 after a working life of forty years. The 2 shafts of Whistleberry Colliery were in what is now the carpark of the new Audi car dealership.

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