Bryn Hall Farm Buildings.
Bryn Gates Lane., Ashton
Part of Group:
At Risk: No
The Brynn Hall Colliery Company's lands and mines were held under common-form leases from Lord Gerard as freeholder and surface owner. The first of these was dated 1 March 1895. On 12 June 1930, a further lease was obtained, stated to run for 35 years from 1927. The Company eventually became the lessee of the surface of Bryn Hall Farm, and on 14 September 1944 acquired the freehold by purchase from Lord Gerard.
Norman Prior was born at Croft Cottages, Landgate Lane, in 1919 and later worked at the Colliery as a fitter.
He recalled in 2012:
“In the early days at Bryn Hall Farm, the farmer was called [William] Fearnley. The farm and its surroundings were owned by Brynn Hall Colliery and was always well maintained. The farmer and his wife [Annie] from my childhood days kept everything lime washed on a regular basis.
Part of the farm was used as offices for the pit. Each Friday afternoon when the men drew their wages as they came up the pit, Fredericks ice cream cart would be waiting for them in the hope of a sale. Ice cream a penny or larger one twopence (in the old money). The men would then go across the road to the bike shed and get a smoke before setting off for home on their bikes. I believe the large bike shed was supplied and installed by the Lancashire & Cheshire Miners Welfare*. In those early days Christmas Day was the only holiday but we maintenance men had to work [even] on that day, get home at perhaps 5-30/6pm, a quick meal, wash and out to a friend's party. Holidays with pay only came in 1939.
In front of the offices was the weighing machine for checking the land sales of coal leaving the pit. The pit had its own ambulance which was kept at the farm and in first class condition. That was disposed of after it became Brynn Hall Colliery.
My most enduring memory of that particular point is when, as a young boy on my way to school, I met "Master Jim", son of the then owners, and asked if he had any cigarette cards. He checked his packet and said “sorry”, then gave me a silver sixpence instead. If the lottery had been on then I would have thought I had won it.”
Images by the Makerfield Rambler.