The day before Vesting day. 31st December 1946.

The Hardwick Colliery Company 'end of the game' dinner

'the Team'

The day before Vesting day. 31st December 1946.

The Hardwick Colliery Company farewell dinner of directors and officials

at the Hardwick Inn

In 1945, as the war came to an end, the government announced its intention to nationalise coal mining, and the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 provided for the nationalisation of the entire industry. On 12 July 1946, the National Coal Board (NCB) was established which was given sole responsibility for managing and running the industry.

In the subsequent reorganisation of the industry and due to the successful innovations he implemented whilst at the Hardwick Colliery Company, Jack was appointed Chief Mechanisation Engineer of the East Midlands Division Number 1 Area (Chesterfield)  at Bolsover Area Headquarters.

One of the first tasks undertaken by Jack in his new capacity was to investigate new methods of producing coal more efficiently and more competitive. With this mission in mind, he was sent over to America to evaluate their methods of drivage in the hard rock mines of Pennsylvania and to see if any advancements could be made in our industry.

Jack in a hard stone quarry in Pennsylvania 

Drilling in a hard stone quarry in Pennsylvania

Jack visited the Stork Club in New York on the way back home

Jack in a hard stone quarry in Pennsylvania

Soon after Jack's return from the States, he began rolling out his hydraulic chock, conveyor and shearer system throughout all the collieries under his charge. So successful a project it was that in the first five years, mechanised coal production from No.1 Area rose from 28% to over 80%. In fact, the rise in mechanised production seen was so great that Jack was seconded to the Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire coalfields to instigate a similar programs of works.

During this period of intense development, Jack worked closely with the big mining equipment companies that existed at the time. He would trial their products and give feedback for improvement.

These companies were household names in the mining industry and they would later credit Jack with being instrumental in the conception and development in some of their products. Companies like:

Anderson Strathclyde - Maker of the famous Anderson Drum Shearer

Mavor and Coulson - Famous mining conveyor makers

Joy Mining Machines - Old American firm manufacturing continuous miners

Gebr Eickhoff - German mining equipment manufacturers

Austin Hoy - A firm instrumental in introducing Carbide cutting picks and tips

Dobson - Hydraulic ram, prop and chock maker

The following photos are from some trials of Dobson chocks and roof supports. These photos are mainly from Brodsworth Colliery, Area No.2 Yorks Division, Denaby Colliery Area No.3 Yorks and Thoresby Area No.3 East Mids.

A Dobson advert from a 1957 copy of 'Colliery Guardian'