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Mining Around W/Auck.

Brusselton Colliery Banner 1950`s

Brusselton Tower Colliery

This colliery is believed to be owned by the Brusselton Tower Coal Co. It opened in 1925 and closed in 1968. It produced coal for mainly household and steam until 1960`s when it produced for gas and manufacturing. In 1940 10,000 tons were produced. The seams used were  Harvey, Busty, Hutton and Beaumont  

for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum -click  link  Brusselton Tower Colliery


Copeland House Colliery

This Colliery is believed to have been owned by the Ramshaw coal company. It is unknown when it opened but closed down in 1948. It produced coal for household and steam using the Harvey seam. In early 1940 it employed approx 30 miners.

for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum -click  link Copeland House Colliery


Hummerbeck Colliery.

The Hummerbeck Colliery was owned by Ord and Maddison and Thomas Body. It is unknown when it opened but closed in June 1908. Coal was produced for household and manufacturing and in 1902 it employed 52 miners.  It is believed one miner lost his life when he fell down a shaft.


for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum -click  link  Hummerbeck Colliery


Ladysmith Colliery

This Colliery was owned by J.W Johnson, the registered office for the business was 17 Station Road, West Auckland, the mine produced 10,000 tons of coal for household and steam using the Harvey, Low Main and Hutton seams. It is unknown when it opened but closed in July 1949.  It employed between 10 and 25 miners during its time. (Brusselton).


for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum -click  link  Ladysmith Colliery


Ramshaw Colliery.

This pit was owned by the Ramshaw Coal company before the NCB  in 1947.  It opened in 1942 and closed in 1959. There were two locations for the colliery. It produced coal for household, steam and coking. In 1947 some 66,000 tons were produced. Total employment was 250 in the 1950`s. The seams worked were Brockwell, Hutton, Harvey and Busty. Two miners are known to have lost there lives.


for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum -click  link Ramshaw Colliery


West Auckland Colliery.

This has had many owners including, Jonathan Backhouse (1838) , Messrs. Edmund Backhouse & Co (1850`s), Bolckow & Vaughan, (1850`s),  Bolckow, Vaughan & Co. (1870`s),  Ramshaw Coal  (1930`s) and NCB (1947).  Coal was produced for household, coking, industiral, gas and manufacturing. It opened in 1838 and closed in 1967. It employed a maximum of 590 miners in 1914 and up to 260 when it closed. Seams used were Brockwell, Harvey, Five Quarter and Busty. it is known that 49 miners lost there lives at West Auckland.

Mining Picture Mining Picture Mining Picture Mining Picture Mining Picture


West Auckland Coal Washing Plant 1960 © Beamish 38614

West Auckland Lodge and Banner (the motto read "Unity, Peace, Law and Order") © Beamish 23429

1914 photo of West Auckland Pit miners © Derek Gillum - Silksworth Mining Society

Left: -Millbank School Football Team - in the background West Auckland Pit Slag Heap © Barbara Laurie

Right - West Auckland Pit Banner 1940 © Stan Bryson

for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum -click  link West Auckland Colliery

St Helens Colliery

This colliery was owned by Joseph Pease, Joseph Whitwell Pease, & Joseph Pease & Co. It opened in 1831 and closed in 1926. Coal was produced for Coking, Household, Steam, Gas and Manufacturing. The St Helens Colliery consisted of 4 pits, Catherine pit, Emma pit, Engine pit and Tindale pit. Hutton, Harvey, Busty, Brockwell, Low Main, Shaft Busty and Hutton Seam Drift were the seams used. In 1924 it employed over 700 miners. Over the years it is claimed that 39 miners lost there lives.


Mining Picture Mining Picture

for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum -click  link St. Helen's Colliery


St Helens And West Auckland Pits. More info.

Coal is extensively worked in this neighbourhood, and there are two collieries situated in this township [St. Helen's Auckland] – the St. Helen's, carried on for many years by Joseph Pease & Partners, comprising two pits, namely, the Engine pit, working the Brockwell seam, 6 ft. thick, at a depth of 81 fathoms 2ft., and rising 20 in. per yard.; and the Tindale pit, at which is worked the Harvey seam, of 4 ft. 10 in., at the depth of 40 fathoms 1 ft. 6 in. The average annual output is 120,000 tons. There are 65 coke ovens, and the total number employed is 352. The other is the West Auckland Colliery, worked by Bolckow, Vaughan & Co. Ltd. Here are also two pits – one to the Harvey seam, 3 ft. 6 in. at the depth of 16 fathoms, and one to the Brockwell, varying from 5 ft. to 6 ft. 6 in. at 56 fathoms ; and the Busty, 4 ft. 4 in., is worked from the same level. There are 116 coke ovens, the coals for which are washed by machinery. A Guibal fan, 30 ft. in diameter, ventilates these pits whose output is 240,000 tons per annum. The average number employed is 620.

Whellan's 1894 Directory of County Durham

St Helens Colliery

St Helens Hall Colliery

Location of Mines

For a Wealth of Information about mining in the north east visit the Durham Mining Museum Online

West Auckland's population swelled as a result of  mining activity after the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway which then expanded with the opening of the  Hagger Leazers branch line in 1830. There were just under a thousand people in 1801 which increased to over three and a half thousand in 1890. West Auckland was home to at least 9 mines in the surrounding area.

List of Mines




Bildershaw Colliery

Before the National Coal Board (NCB), took over the mine in 1947, the company Bildershaw Coal co. ltd owned the mine. It is unknown when it opened  but closed on the 16 Oct 1956.   It produced coal for household , coking and for steam using three seams, Marshall Green which was abandoned in 1930, Brockwell which opened in 1930 and finally the Harvey seam from 1934 onwards. it employed approx 20 people in 1930`s and 54 in 1950.

for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum - link Bildershaw Colliery


Brusselton Colliery



This Colliery has had a number of owners before the NCB took over in 1947. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co. Ltd, Thomas Walton, and Brusselton Colliery Co. ltd all had ownership prior to 1947. It opened in 1834 and closed in 7th of June 1968. During its time it produced coal for household, coking, manufacturing, gas, steam and industrial uses. In 1945, 45000 tons where produced. Seams used where Busty, Harvey, Brockwell, Hutton, Beumont,  Low Main,  Tilley and Top Busty. In the 1960`s the pit employed 360  people. 11 workers are known to have lost there lives

Brusselton Colliery Banner 1950`s (look closely to see Mr Clement Attlee the former prime minister.) © Mr & Mrs J G Iceton.

for  further info visit  Durham Mining museum -click  link  Brusselton Colliery


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