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Express and Star, 1st July 1955
New pit to be sunk in Salop as part of drive for more coal

As part of the drive for more coal, a new pit may be sunk at Madeley, Shropshire, Mr. I. W. Cumberbatch, retiring chairman of the West Midlands Coal Board, said this week.

Drilling, originally intended to prove reserves for the existing Madeley Wood Colliery, had discovered new seams containing more coal than could probably be handled there now.

Mr. Cumberbatch spoke of 25 feet of coal in various seams at a reasonable depth. But, he said, sinking and development of a new colliery to full production might take up to 10 years.

The national plan laid on the West Midlands Division the obligation of expanding output by 1965 to approximately 22 million tons a year, an increase of 20 per cent over its 1949 output.

This meant both continual replacement of capacity exhausted through the mining of coal and expansion.

Raise output
To provide this divisional output, the South Staffordshire and Shropshire area had to raise its output by some 100,000 tons to 1.7 million tons a year.Locomotive haulage had been installed underground in 12 collieries including Madeley Wood, and power stowing of pit waste was in operation there.

A vigorous welfare policy had resultcd in the provision of pit-head baths and canteen and medical centres in the division.

Labour position
The canteen programme was virtually complete and medical centres had been established at 37 of the divisions 52 collieries. Another six were being planned.

Although 652 men in the division Have left the industry this year - 313 of them fully-trained face workers whom the industry can least afford to loose — there is no shortage of labour in the Shropshire coalfield.

Submitted by Ivor Brown

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