Oldham history, mid 19th century.
The photo shown here was for me a great find for Oldham history. I gave it minimal photo restoration and a little additional photo colourising so’s not to invade on the true age being depicted. Holebottom Colliery was situated on Moss Street (now named Fairbottom Street) in Oldham. In 1854 the colliery was operated by Lees, Jones and Co, and this continued until 1878.
The photograph shows Fairbottom Street in the middle of the 19th century. The base of the colliery chimney stack was later covered up by the front stalls of the Kings Cinema, which was built in 1911. The pit shaft is also now under buildings. The large building in the background, is the back of the Theatre Royal on Horsedge Street. The Coliseum, which was built in 1887 would appear later on the extreme right of this view.
In 1856 the pit was part of a valuation of the assets of Lees, Jones and Company. the equipment was listed as:
One pair headstocks, pulleys, capstan and cages.
One 24 horse, condensing engine with pumping gear complete.
One 20 horse, H.P. winding engine, with winding gear complete.
One hemp and one wire rope.
Two boilers fitted up complete.
One boiler house and chimney.
One wire capstan rope.
Smith shop and store rooms.
1305 pairs of rails with iron sleepers.
69 3-basket wagons.
2 houses at Holebottom.
In August 1876 the rotary beam engine at Holebottom was giving 17 strokes/minute and the pumps working 6 strokes/minute. The shaft was 177 yards deep to the Lower Bent seam, passing through five other seams on the way.
Operation passed to Jones and Company in 1878 but legal disputes and geological problems led to closure around 1880.
The same site today for this Oldham history photo. This is looking in the opposite direction, so the Kings cinema (Built on the mine) is on the right and the Oldham coliseum being refurbished on the left.