The inventor part 2

The Mawco Cutter Loader

The Anderson Drum Shearer is a famous mainstay of the UK mining industry, versions of which were still in use right to the very end of the industry in this country.


Early version of the machine were widely used in the old East Midlands Division where Jack primarily worked. Although the drum shearer had a good rate of production, the size of the coals produced were mainly small due to the close teeth on the shearing drum head and it's rotary action. Washed smalls were the main feed of choice for the power stations but there was always a market for larger, slower burning pieces such as London Brights and large nuts used in steam locomotives boilers and the home fireplace hearths respectively. 


To this end, Jack set about designing a new cutting head to replace the drum on the Anderson unit which used a frame jib cutting chain.


This definition of Mawco cutter loader is from an American Institute if Mineralogy:


'A cutter loader similar to an Anderson shearer except that the drum is replaced by a frame jib 42 in (107 cm) high and 20 in (51 cm) deep. The machine travels on an armored flexible conveyor at a speed of about 4-1/2 ft/min (1.4 m/min). It cuts a 20-in (51-cm) web on the cutting run, and the plow deflector loads the cut coal onto the conveyor. On the reverse run, the deflector loads all the loose coal left on the track, and the conveyor is snaked over behind the machine. The loader is suitable for medium-thickness seams, and the yield of large coal is good.'


The Mawco cutter unit, although designed for an Anderson unit, could be attached to any standard longwall coal cutter equipped with a horizontal drive shaft for disc shearing, producing a larger size of coal than the ordinary disc or drum shearers. 


Jack named the Mawco after himself and his draughtsman (MAWson/COwley), saying that the project would not have come to fruition with out the drawings which made up the bulk of the documentation.

The Austin Hoy company took up production of the machine and it proved to be very good at getting end coal. It remained in service for years and I have even seen one recently on a Russian equipment dealer's website up for sale.


In Seam Miner

Another machine for which Jack was heavily involed with was the In Seam Miner (ISM). It was manufactured by Dawson Miller.


The ISM was used in stable holes and driving face lines. It proved unpopular with the workforce due to the shear amount of produced dust, with some old hands nicknaming the beast " Dusty Miller"


Although unpopular, it had it's unique uses and continued to be developed after Dawson Miller was taken over by Dosco, with Dosco producing some very large versions for Australia

A later version ISM in NCB white livery

In an unsheeted Romney building

Possibly Duckmanton Area Workshops

A wooden pattern used to produce a casting for the ISM

A wooden pattern used to produce a casting for the ISM

A wooden pattern used to produce a casting for the ISM

A wooden pattern used to produce a casting for the ISM

A wooden pattern used to produce a casting for the ISM

A wooden pattern used to produce a casting for the ISM

Other Involvements

Continuing working closely with the manufacturers of the day, Jack sought improvements in shearing technology with the Austin Hoy Company. Austin Hoy had started manufacturing Tungsten Carbide in 1950, and by the early fifties Jack was commissioning them to produce different pick and teeth designs from the hard wearing material, like the teeth on this Mavor and Couldson conical cutting head.


Jack developed different pick designs for machines from all maufacturers no doubt drawn up be Mike Cowley.


Some of the designs have not changed to this day although I have been told that the manufacture of the actual material, Tungsten Carbide, has been developed further and is far more hard wearing and less brittle than the early compound which was known as cemented tungsten carbide. Tungsten being carburized and cemented with a binder creating a composite material.


It is generally utilised as a button insert, mounted in a surrounding matrix of steel that forms the substance of the bit. As the tungsten carbide button is worn away the softer steel matrix containing it is also worn away, exposing yet more button insert