Nunnery Colliery

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Nunnery Colliery was a coal mine close to the city centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The mining company, known as The Waverley Coal Company, also worked High Hazels Colliery about 3 miles (5 km) further east.


Mining started on the Nunnery site in 1868 and it is claimed that its coal supplied half the houses in Sheffield.

The colliery was nationalised in 1947 becoming part of the National Coal Board and closed in August 1953, its reserves said to be exhausted.

The Nunnery "Paddy Mail" accident

On 3 December 1923 an accident caused by the breaking of a rope hauling an underground Paddy Mail train, carrying ninety men and thirty boys, seven people were killed and around fifty others injured.

The -long rope was 19 months old but, the management stated that there was no guidance in the Mines Act (or elsewhere) as to the life, or required strength, of a rope. A section of the broken rope was submitted for examination to a local testing company and Dr C. H. Desch, Professor of Metallurgy at Sheffield University. The strain on the rope was at its highest level when the coal was being drawn, and one of the mysteries of the accident was that it occurred when the men were in the train and the strain would therefore be lighter.

James Hoyland, superintendent at the testing works said the test did not prove that the rope had materially weakened. Dr C.H. Desch said that he had examined the two pieces of broken rope 2 ft (60 cm) long taken from a...
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