"What the Papers Said" - from Shropshire Caving & Mining Club Archives

Pit props  Previous page Pit props Main Index

Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News, September 3, 1910


"I was able to render some help," said Mr. Randall, "to landed proprietors and others wishing either to make new ventures or extend their mining operations. Sometimes they were encouraged to proceed by the advice I gave, and at other times they were told it was no use spending money on fruitless efforts. It was on my advice that the Madeley Wood Company extended their operations in the direction of Kemberton. The late Mr. Anstice asked me if he could find a new coalfield. I told him to sink a shaft on the other side of Kemberton Brook. He set the men to head that way, and he found the coal continued. The company then sank a shaft which has proved the most profitable in the coalfield. The late Mr. Thomas Horton, who was manager for the Lilleshall Company, sent to me at Coalport specimens of their borings. He said they did not know where they were, as the formations they had gone through in sinking were new to them. I said `Go on: you have got into the red rock of the upper coal measures'. They did as I advised, and the opening of the Granville Pit was the result. At a banquet at which the late Earl Granville, then principal shareholder of the Lilleshall Company, was present. I was asked to point out to the Earl the extent of the coalfield on the east. I readily did this, and Earl Granville must have remembered that when he selected me in 1881 as the Postmaster at Madeley".

Mr. Randall took great interest in ascertaining the appearance of the surface of the earth at different periods of the world's history, for which purpose he began with the lower Silurian, and fought his way upwards to the present surface. He sold a collection of his fossils to the trustees of the Wolverhampton Free Library, and another, when his sight began to fail him, and he could no longer take interest in examining them, to the Principal of Wellington College.

Chaplain as Coal-Eater.

Among the many breezy anecdotes related by Mr. Randall was one concerning the chaplain to the late Lord Hill. Mr. Randall was consulted by Lord Hill on the subject of seeking coal on the latter's estate at Hawkstone. He gave it as his opinion that coal could not he found there. Lord Hill said— "There is coal on the estate, and some has been found”. Mr. Randall convinced him that he was wrong, and the men stopped work at six o'clock the same day. Lord Hill's chap-lain also remarked that he would eat all the coal found on the estate. Nothing more was said, but some time later at lunch a dish was set before the chaplain, and on lifting the cover he found a lump of coal. `You said you would eat all the coal found on the estate.


Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

Go back .... "What the Papers Said" index ... or ... Top of page