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Bending Arches in the Colliery Arch Department

As the mining industry modernised the coal mine in particular moved across to steel for its roof supports and Skinningrove was quick to capitalise on this; the 18” (or Little) Mill being ideally suited to producing small ’H’ beams (or ’I’ beams, if you prefer) and as the order book grew so did the Colliery Arch Department. They were all cold-formed on these rotary bending machines. Frank Bridge advises:”I worked on this very machine back in 1973-1974, a memory worth holding on to. The men I worked with were the hardest grafting and drinking crew you could wish to meet; a truly great bunch of lads”. Eddie Watson adds: “I worked in colliery arch plant B.S.C. Cleveland.from 1975-1986. I worked my way up from stick lad on cropping machine to cambering machine puncher. Very hard work but best times of my life”.

Thanks to Frank Bridge and Eddie Watson for the updates and memories.

5 comments to Bending Arches in the Colliery Arch Department

  • Malcolm Nellist

    My first job after leaving school was working as a clerk in the Collier Arch at Skinningrove with Phil Beadnall, that was 1972-73.

  • AlanFranks

    As the little mill is mentioned and the pit props, I was Hot Sawman on here in the late 1960’s. We used to roll hundreds of tons of 3I/2 x 31/2 joists also called cambers, because of the bending in the mine arch plant. There were many coal mines in those days, I used to have a pile of order sheets as thick as a telephone directory. Those days are gone as are the little mill and the mine arch plant.

  • Neil Maplethorpe

    I left school and went straight into the Colliery Arch Plant in Grangetown 1978 to 1983 as a Stock Controller, a very hard bunch of very strong men. Fantastic memories

    • Trevor Fixter

      Hi Neil
      I was there too…1967-87. I left and went to Uni when it closed.
      I think I remember you. You worked in the main office with John Arthur?

      Hope you did well



  • Neil Maplethorpe

    Hi Trevor, i was shop floor stocktaker/supervisor with
    Chris Bland
    Mick Graham
    Ian Jefferies
    John Mcendoo
    Ernie taylor
    Harry Walker (adge)
    Jimmy lightfoot
    Ken lightwing
    George Easby
    Then there was all the machine crews, men of pure muscle

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