Victoria Colliery in 1900AD (Standish)

There were two shafts at this colliery, located on the South East of Standish, approximately 100ft to one side of the main railway line from London to Glasgow. Sinking commenced at North Pit on 15th May, 1900; a man named Cowburn being the sinker. The first brick was laid on 24th May, Queen Victorias birthday. South Pit sinking commenced on 25th June, 1900; the first brick being laid as the Royal Train passed the site taking the Queen to Scotland.

On 2nd February 1901 the first wagon of coal went out from Victoria Colliery – this was from the Riding Mine sunk through at a depth of 76 yards, 2ft 9ins. On the same day a service was held at the pit in memory of Queen Victoria, who had died a few days earlier.

Water first appeared at Victoria Colliery in 1937, when an average of 13,000 gallons in 24 hours came through. To reach Victoria, the water flowed from Giants Hall and Taylor Pits through the Gidlow Yard Mine. The interconnections in the Standish Pits were complicated, and the latter was connected to Prospect, Langtree, Broomfield, Gidlow, John, Taylor and Victoria Pits. The water at Victoria increased after 1937, until in 1944 it reached 187,200 gallons in 24 hours. With slight variations this continued until 1950, when it began to reduce, and by 1955 it was only about 58,000 gallons. The reason for this reduction was assumed to be the gradual closure of deeper passages between Walthew House and the Standish Pits after 1951.

Victoria Colliery was never a profitable concern and during the 1950’s was losing 30/-a ton. The output per manshift was down to 14cwt, and it was said to be the most badly faulted colliery in Lancashire. However the era of cheap oil came in with the resultant closures of all but the best pits. Coal winding ceased at Victoria on 13th June 1958 and the colliery was officially abandoned on 30th May 1959.

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