Hood Family and Coal Mining

Gilmerton Coalworks - Plan of Gilmerton Colliery in 1786

18th Century Drawing of Workers in a Coalmine at Gilmerton


The entire plan is extremely large and shows the various seams, some of the pits and also houses, roads etc. In the top right, the mapmaker has added this drawing titled "A representation or section of one of the seams".


Section of a seam of coal at Gilmerton showing bearers and colliers at work



Here are some parts in detail:


Colliers at coalface with his bearersA collier at the coalface, with his bearers loading and carrying away the coal.

Bearers in the Level RoomSome bearers in the 'level room'.
They are walking through water and holding candles for lighting.

Collier smoking pipe in mineThis collier is smoking a pipe with a small boy nearby; maybe his son?
[He is not shown in the large picture above as I needed to cut off part of the left side for space]


Fillers at pit bottom loading coal into tubThis shows men known as 'fillers' loading coal into tubs to be raised to the surface by a horse powered gin.
Colliers were paid for the amount of coal they produced, so the filler would shout up to the top who's coal was being raised up so it could be recorded.
At Gilmerton this system was very complex to prevent fraud by any of those involved - Method used at Gilmerton

The tubs were also used to lower and raise the colliers and bearers in and out of the pit.

Note the small boy at the left holding a candle for lighting.


For more information see a short history of Gilmerton Coalworks

National Archives of Scotland - Ref: RHP4494 ( this is a photocopy of the original plan which is in possession of the National Coal Board)


© 2012   A Russell

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