Saturday, 5 May 2018

Maltby Mutterings P.S.

Up Before the Beak!

In 1931, the miners at Maltby Colliery started a "club". They all paid one shilling to form a Limited Company to provide bus travel to and from the pit, plus lorries to deliver coal to the miners' homes.

In 1936 they were in court for running an unlicensed bus and an unlicensed bus service. The following is an extract from a news report of the courtroom drama (!).


What was described as a unique transport scheme organised by coal-miners at Maltby, near Rotherham, was the subject of prosecution at Rotherham, when the Maltby Miners' Home Coal and Transport Services, Ltd., was found guilty of having used a motor vehicle as a stage carriage without a road service licence and without a public-service vehicle licence.

It was explained that, under the Scheme, which was started in 1931, the miners were provided with -transport to and from a colliery. Each miner took a shilling share in the company, which was not only self supporting, but gave other benefits, including pensions and insurance.

For the defence, Mr. W. R. Hargrave contended that no licence was needed. A sum each week, deducted by the colliery company from the men's wages for the purposes of the scheme, was a levy (i.e. NOT a fare - fbb). Some men paid the even when they did not ride, on the vehicles.

Mr. Hargrave added that if the defendant were wrong, the administrative difficulties which would be placed in the company's way would be so great that probably the whole scheme would be wrecked.

The magistrates held that it was necessary to have public service vehicle and road service licences.

The summonses were dismissed on payment of costs.

The company and its buses survived the crisis and continued to run at least until the late 1980s. An on-line picture shows an ex Huddersfield bus bought by the Maltby company.
Possibly the last vehicle bought was JHC 178Y ...
... acquired from Empress Coaches of Hastings who had owned it from new.
Empress still trades with an attractive fleet of well-presented smaller vehicles mostly with "Irish" registrations including the number 1066.
Two heritage Bedford J2 coaches are operated; EXS 569F ...
... has been around a bit!

SMT Sales & Service as demonstrator 10/67
Pattison, Paisley 12/67
Wilkinson, Gateshead 8/70
Sowerby International, Gilsland, Carlisle 11/72
Abcan, Gilsland c6/90
Tom Jackson, Blackpool 4/92
Bradshaw t/a G-Line Coaches, St Annes, Lancs 12/92
Stokes, Chelmsford 6/12 for preservation
Empress Coaches, St Leonards on Sea 10/16

Its newer "twin" is PVV 888J ...
... formerly with Country Lion in Northampton.

Empress run a small gift shop with one of the products being a series of three posters.
They are a modern production in the style of Art Deco publicity from the 1930s. Empress did not own the Bedfords when such designs were de rigueur. The one on the left is recognisably Hasting sea front ...
... but no doubt the small child would not be allowed to sit on the roundabout's kerbstones today!

Maltby Station Survivals
In 1903 a total of five railway companies got together to seek Parliamentary powers to extend a line northwards, as the South Yorkshire Joint Line, from the projected Shireoaks to Dinnington Branch. Its route was to be via Brookhouse, Slade Hooton, Maltby Wood, Stainton, Tickhill and St Catherine's Junction at Doncaster, to join the Great Central line at Kirk Sandall. (shown on GREEN on the map below).
On 21st March 1904, a minerals lease was sealed between the 10th Earl of Scarbrough and the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Company Ltd which was then active at Dinnington. The railway route was started in 1905 and required much civil engineering and consequently progress was slow.

The line was necessary to allow the development of several coal mines along its route, one of which was sunk about a mile east of the small village of Maltby. the first shafts were sunk on 1910 and the first coal extracted four years later. Also in 1910 a passenger station was opened.
It lasted until 1929 but the platforms saw occasional use until the early sixties for special excursion trains.

Both platforms were recognisable fairly recently ...
... and the former station master's house still stands, albeit much extended.
The pit itself was operational until 2013 when unsafe working conditions forced its closure. 

A deep coal pit in South Yorkshire which employs 540 staff will close, its owners have confirmed. Hargreaves Services said Maltby Colliery, near Rotherham, was no longer viable on safety, geological and financial grounds after producing coal for more than 100 years.

Last month, the company set up a group of staff to look into alternatives to shutting the mine. The company said the group could find no "viable alternative solution".

Demolition of the most buildings took place the following year.

Inappropriate Station Design
Work is nearing completion of the new station at Seaton for its popular "reduced size" tramway. Nobody in Seaton likes the vast barn of a structure, likening it to a public convenience or a small potted beef factory.
Four undercover tracks are provided in the barn but the trams will be invisible to the passing trade; possibly a move detrimental to the business?

Fortunately, some trees will partly obscure most of the unnecessarily large "SEATON TRAMWAY" lettering on the roof of the caff and booking office.
It is all a bit of a disappointment.

 More Miscellaneous Mentions : Sunday 6th May 

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