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Bullerthorpe Lane, Opencast Mining


Bullerthorpe Lane, Opencast Mining
Description:
1974. View of opencast mining site off Bullerthorpe Lane.

User Comments:

Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
I knew that this Open-Cast Mining Operation covered quite a large area of the 1500 acres Temple Newsam Estate, but I had no idea as to the depths that were achieved. There are at least eleven strata here; a veritable 'Mini Grande Canyon'. As far as I know, this huge operation started sometime in 1940, and I can see from this Leodis picture, that it was still ongoing in 1974. But does anyone know when the whole operation was finally terminated. And were the workings filled in and returned to their near original status as had been promised before the whole thing started?

Date:
07-Jan-2010

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
Steve Lyons

Comment:
I worked here in 1974.I was the youngest on the site at19 years old and was made fun of relentlessly but the men were a great bunch. Names of some of the guys were Tommy Wood ,Joe O,neill, Bill Barker,Ossie,The Keenigan brothers,Eric Addie. The site was run by Lindsay Parkinson,s later taken over by Fairclough,s.On a visit to leeds in 2006 I visited Tommy and Joe{passed away last year}.I had fond memories of the men but I hated it at the time. Steve Lyons CANADA.

Date:
08-Jan-2010

Email:
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Name:
Peter Roberts

Comment:
Re:Graham A Schofield's comments... I worked underground at Waterloo Main Colliery in Templenewsam Woods not far from Bullerthorpe Lane from 1959 to 1966 and was under the impression we were mining under Bullerthorpe Lane in the Middleton Little Seam and The Silkstone Yard Seam at the time, (Other seams that were mined were the Black Bed and the Crow Coal. I can remember frequently cycling through Halton and Whitkirk then down Bullerthorpe lane to the River Aire during the period I worked at the mine, but I cannot recall seeing any opencast activity going on in the area.I know that opencast mining started in the Bullerthorpe Lane Area after the Colliery closed not long after 1966 ( not sure of date) to win the coal that the mine left after compulsory closure. There is reference in the website below with dates of replanting in the area that was opencast mined... hope this is of interest. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/ templenewsam/woodland/wood_wood.html

Date:
08-Jan-2010

Email:
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Name:
jack mitchell

Comment:
I travelled the Bullerthorpe lane route for many years to Rothwell colliery. During the 60s the opencast mine was very evident by the very large crane, which was said to be the largest of its kind in Europe, if not the World. It could be seen on the right hand side travelling out bound. This picture only shows a small area of the opencast. In 1974 the crane was long gone.

Date:
10-Jan-2010

Email:
astrojack7mars@msn.com

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Name:
Steve Lyons

Comment:
With reference to Jack Mitchell ,s statement that the crane was long gone in 1974. I started working here in january 74 and we rebuilt the big crane.It had been sent down in pieces from near Newcastle. The landscape looked like this then so there must have been another crane there at some time or maybe it was the second time it had been there. From this picture you would not be able to see it because it was lower down.It took 6 months to build and it was freezing out there. When it was running Jimmy Savile came and was allowed to work it for a few minutes. He had worked at the pit years earlier down the road. That workshop was how i remember it.

Date:
11-Jan-2010

Email:
stevelyons@sympatico.ca

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Name:
Peter Roberts

Comment:
I can remember open cast activity between the River Aire and Pontefract Lane (South of Templenewsam Golf course)heading towards Bullerthorpe Lane in the mid 50’s to early 60’s as this was my stomping ground as a youth, but I cannot recall any open cast mining along Bullerthorpe Lane itself. I know the opencast continued along the River Aire and over the A642 almost to Great Preston after these dates but have yet to find evidence of open cast actually on Bullerthorpe Lane, although some area was excavated for the M1 Motorway project to pass through. Bullerthorpe Lane runs from A64 (Selby Road, between Crossgates and Garforth A642) along the east parameter of Temple Newsam Woods then descends down hill passing the Junctions of, 1. Pontefract Lane (Which started at the bottom of York Road opposite where the York Road Council School used to be before the Burmantofts demolition programme in the 50’s and ended at Bullerthorpe Lane), and 2. Newsam Green Lane before terminating at the A642 junction just before the Bridge going over the River Aire. The BE1150 Walking Dragline (reputedly the largest of it’s kind in Europe) weighed 1200 tons & had a bucket capacity of 20 cubic yards, it was reputedly manufactured by the Bucyrus Erie Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1948 it worked in the USA for many years before coming to the UK to work in South Wales and Staffordshire. In 1972 it was moved to the opencast mine adjacent to the river Aire in Swillington (East of the A 642 Garforth to Wakefield Road) East Leeds, and continued to work there until 1983 stripping an enormous area of top land to get at the coal underneath. On Saturday 19th March 1988 the banks of the River Aire collapsed and flooded the opencast mine, previous coal mining was presumed to have weakened the strata thus contributing to the strata failure. To recover the opencast mine, approx. £20 million was spent on combining the Leeds Canal and River Aire into a navigable river, a Marina, deep water Lock, coal loading wharf facilities and 3 bridges. After pumping water out for 2 years mining began again 10 years later in 1998 to remove another 3 million tons of coal, before making the area a wild life preserve. The BE1150 has been restored to its former glory and is on view in 2010 at: St.Aidans opencast coal site, Swillington, Leeds. (Signposted) Postcode LS26 8AL Grid Ref. SE 398 287 I think admittance is free. Check out: http://www.iarecordings.org/dragline/

Date:
11-Jan-2010

Email:
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Name:
steve lyons

Comment:
This is fascinating but confusing so much so that i phoned Tommy Wood who was the foreman at that time.Peter Robert,s info is correct.It was in 73 that Iworked there and the site was called Gamblethorpe. There was a big machine already working there called a The 600. It was the 300 that we built this had been dismantled in Spennymoor and brought down to the site in 73. It was like a scrap yard and there was no way i thought that it would be put back running but like a giant Meccano set it was.I was never interested in the place. The long hours and bad weather.The money was great though. I had unopened pay packets hidden under my bedroom carpet in Kentmere Ave.My mother found some a few months after I moved out. At 19 I knew there was more to life than this.All the men lived to work and never had time to spend it.They worked 7 till 7 Monday to Friday .7 till midday Saturday and 8 Till 4 Sunday. This went on for years.If they could get an extra hour they would. Alot of them will have passed now but that money would have soon been spent.

Date:
12-Jan-2010

Email:
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Name:
Peter Roberts

Comment:
Just had a memory flash... when I was a teenager around 1960 I remember not far from Templenewsam Golf course between Pontefract Lane and the river aire there was an opencast mine using a big 'Drag Line' as yound lads we used to call it the 'walking Monaghan' I always thought this was reference to some Irish person. I have since discovered that the Welton-Mohawk Canal excavated c.1950 some 18.5 miles accross the Yuma desert in Arizona using a 'drag line' called The Walking Monaghan, I wonder if it is the same one?

Date:
19-Oct-2010

Email:
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Name:
dave keenaghan

Comment:
terry an john was my dad an uncle they worked there all there there life if any one wants to contact them they can e mail me

Date:
28-Dec-2011

Email:
davek42@hotmail.com

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Name:
Stuart Clapham

Comment:
During the 60s and 70s there was a short stretch of road that used to run parallel to Bullerthorpe lane near the enterance to Templenewsam. Does anyone know what happened to this road? Did it get swallowed up by the diggings.

Date:
10-Aug-2012

Email:
theclaphams@ntlworld.com

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Name:
Peter Jackson Australia

Comment:
Re Peter Roberts the drag line was called the walking Monahagn,it walked in a fashion, it was wonderful to watch, an american wonder to behold, I spent some time watching it in operation it was three stories high and had a crew of three men operating it, a brief note, the road around the pit was littered with coal that had fallen off the trucks carting the stuff away, it was rationed at the time, I was taking some home, I got pinched by the boys in blue, stealing by finding they said and the magistrate agreed.

Date:
10-Aug-2012

Email:
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Name:
stevelyons@sympatico.com

Comment:
I remember the Keenigan brothers. Terry was alot older. Nice fellows . There was no mistaking their Irish heritage ,red cheeks and great sense of humour.One night they let off fire crackers under a car that was parked down a "Lovers Lane" near the site. I hope the young couple had finished what they were doing . Excuse the pun but he must have jumped out of his skin. Joe O,neil passed away recently.He was another lifer there. I still keep in touch with Tommy Wood and called to see him on a trip back to the UK. Those guys really took the you know what out of me being the youngest on the site but it was all in good fun.

Date:
10-Aug-2012

Email:
stevelyons@sympatico.ca

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Name:
C.J.Davis

Comment:
In reply to Stuart Claphams question yes,the road still exists but is not open to through traffic. The lower section adjoining Pontefract Lane at Newsam Green is still accessible up to just beyond the farm, but it is then gated off and becomes a farm track. The road beyond here was indeed excavated out as part of the opencast mine but was restored as a farm track/public footpath and is carried over the motorway by a large steel single span bridge. It can be walked along from this point to the Temple Newsam boundary and along its old route to Bullerthorpe Lane. At this point it follows the old route of Bullerthorpe Lane northbound which was diverted when the embankment for its bridge over the motorway was built.

Date:
01-Jun-2013

Email:
Not displayed

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