Bradford Colliery Co
Bradford Colliery was a coal mine in Bradford, Manchester.
Although part of the Manchester Coalfield, the seams of the Bradford Coalfield correspond more closely to those of the Oldham Coalfield. The Bradford Coalfield is crossed by a number of fault lines, principally the Bradford Fault, which was reactivated by mining activity in the mid-1960s.
Coal had been mined at Bradford since at least the early 17th century, when the area around the pits was largely rural; it became increasingly built-up and industrialised as nearby Manchester expanded during the 19th century. Coal was transported from the colliery by canal and railway, but most was consumed locally by the adjacent Bradford Ironworks.
1902 Sinking of new shaft commenced. See report below. The winding engine was made by Robert Daglish and Co of St Helens. It was a twin cylinder non-condensing engine with cylinders of 42" bore, 6 ft stroke. Maximum speed 30 rpm. Photographed by George Watkins in 1954.
In 1948 a 469-yard (420 m) underground tunnel was dug to supply coal directly to the Stuart Street Power Station.
1958 Bradford Colliery merged with Ashton Moss Colliery.
In the 20th century, No. 1 shaft was the downcast shaft for fresh air and was used for the movement of miners and supplies, while No.2 shaft discharged stale air and was used for winding coal.
The mine was surprisingly close to the city centre, and eventually the increasingly noticeable effects of subsidence could not be ignored. By 1965 the Roger seam workings extended close to Great Ancoats Street. The western area was deep, hot and wet. A visitor in 1960 recorded that at the western face the rock temperature was 106 degF, and the air temperature 90 degF.
1968 Mine closed
1973 Headgear demolished.
The 1932 O.S. map shows that the colliery covered quite a small area of ground, approximately 500 ft square, immediately south of Bradford Ironworks. It was surrounded by houses and factories, with no possibility of depositing spoil in the vicinity. A rail connection crossed Forge Lane to join the L&YR at Beswick Mineral Yard.
From the Press
1776 Advert for the sale of a share in the 'extensive and profitable Colliery, long established and carried on at Bradford , near Manchester, and in several adjoining Estates, under the Direction of a Company, called Bradford Colliery Company, with all the Liberties, Privileges, Advantages, and Emoluments of the said Colliery, and all the Stock, Horses, Cattle, Geers, Implements, and Utensils. ...' 
1800 Advert: 'The Shares of the Bradford Colliery advertised to be sold by the Assignees of Messrs Thomas and Richard Walker, Wednesday next, the 19th instant, is unavoidably postponed till a future day, but the other property, advertised be sold by the said Assignees on Wednesday next, will be sold on that day, conformable to the advertisement.'
1902 'SINKING OF NEW SHAFT AT BRADFORD COLLIERY. An interesting ceremony took place to-day at the Bradford Colliery, near Manchester, when the sinking of a new deep pit was commenced. The colliery is the property of the Fine Cotton Spinners' and Doublers' Association, Limited, and the managing director, Mr. A. H. Dixon, accompanied several co-directors and the officials of the company, performed the ceremony of cutting the first sod in the presence of a considerable number of people. The new shaft will be sunk to a depth of 900 yards, and the work of sinking will occupy three years time. It is expected that on completion of the scheme the output of the colliery will be trebled, and whereas employment is now found for 600 miners, it is probable that the number of men required in future will be 1,500. The coal in the newly discovered seam is a house coal of excellent quality, and the works, therefore, in addition to giving employment to a largely increased number of people, will provide the dense population of the district with fuel at minimum cost at their own doors.'
Sources of Information
- ‘Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 3.2: Lancashire’ by George Watkins: Landmark Publishing Ltd.
- 'Underground Manchester' by Keith Warrender, Willow Publishing, 2007
- The Godfrey Edition: Old Ordnance Survey Maps: Manchester (Clayton) 1932: Lancashire Sheet 104.08
- Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 22 October 1776
- Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 18 March 1800
- Manchester Evening News, 23 October 1902