Summersales Colliery Upshaft
off Merton Road, Highfield, Pemberton
Part of Group:
At Risk: No
The Summersales Colliery upshaft was built in 1944 in front of Sumners Hall, off today's Merton Road in Highfield, Pemberton.
The first drift mine was built in 1938. Coal seams under Bankes' Winstanley Estate were mined and the colliery was connected underground to Pemberton Colliery. The mine was very wet and 4 tons of water had to be withdrawn for every ton of coal mined.
The photograph shows the chutes under which the coal was bagged and loaded onto lorries to take coal to homes and businesses. The lorries were weighed coming in and leaving so that the tonnage of coal could be determined.
The colliery was nationalized in 1947, coal mining ended in 1966, the structure was demolished and new houses built. The pit baths (built 1952) and surrounding buildings down by Smithy Brook were used by small businesses, including sausage making.
I lived in Highfield View, one hundred yards downwind of the pit. Every Monday my mother had the washing on the line by 9am. Every other week she had to bring the washing off the line before midday and rewash by hand the clothes covered in coal dust...soul-destroying. On a positive note, we used to roller skate, run a homemade trolley and cycle up and down the pit road before going home to listen to Dan Dare and have a few jam butties.
Derek Winstanley 2021