24. Main Tub Hall

24 Tub Hall East Elevation.jpg

Attached to the south end of the Hesketh heapstead is an L-shaped mine car circuit (also known as the tub hall or decking plant). It was erected as part of a major reconstruction of the colliery by National Coal Board c. 1952. At this time a general reorganisation of the mine car capacity above and below ground was instigated and high-capacity mine cars (large wagons) were also introduced. The mid-C20 tub (small wagons) hall appears to have replaced a pre-existing high-level tubway that probably formed part of the original design of the Hesketh heapstead. The new tub hall included tipplers and creeper railways, and a combination of gravity and mechanical power was used to transport the mine cars to and from a screening and washing plant. This was situated above the east end of the railway sidings and was where coal was graded before being transferred directly into the rail wagons below. The screens and washery have since been demolished. From the 1960s production at the site fell and in the 1970s it was decided to work the remaining coal from Wolstanton Colliery. Production ceased in 1976-77 but the site was opened as a museum two years later. This ensured the survival of the buildings, but the museum closed due to financial difficulties in 1993. The upper derrick of the headstock of the Hesketh shaft was removed in the 1970s and the shaft was capped in 1978. In 2013 part of the lower concrete floor at the north end of the heapstead collapsed. Since the closure of the colliery, much of the high-level conveyor system which carried dirt and waste material from the tub hall to the spoil tip to the south of the colliery has been removed as a safety precaution.