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EPPLETON COLLIERY 1833-1986 When it closed in 1986 Eppleton Colliery was one of the oldest coal mines left in Europe Work on a shaft at the site at Hetton Downs in Hetton-le-Hole was started in 1825 The mine was owned by the Hetton Coal Company which also owned Elemore Colliery in Easington Lane It took 8 years to finally finish this first shaft called The Caroline pit It took so long because soon after digging down the miners found lots of sand and water The work was very dangerous because the mine often caved in and flooded Many people did not believe it was possible to have a pit there There was 30 meters of sand and water flooded in at a rate of 1200 gallons per minute but the Main coal seam was reached 270 metres underground on August 1st 1833 A second shaft the Jane pit was sunk in 1837 and reached the Busty coal seam It was at this time that the terraced houses in Hetton Downs were built where the Eppleton miners and their families lived A third shaft the Lindsay pit was sunk in 1874 to connect with the Hutton coal seam Over time Eppleton Colliery changed ownership from the Hetton Coal Company to the Lambton Hetton Coal Company and finally to the Lambton Hetton Joicey Collieries Ltd By the end of the 19th century Eppleton Colliery was one of the most modern in the Durham Coalfield It employed 1100 men and boys underground and 300 on the surface The coal seams were fairly thick and could be easily worked The three shafts at Eppleton were ventilated by furnaces and coal fire boilers which pumped air to the underground coal faces The daily production for coal was 3000 tons per day making it a one of the most efficient in the country The National Coal Board NCB took control of Eppleton Colliery when
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