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Annesley / Bentinck

Annesley and Bentinck were collieries near Kirkby-in-Ashfield. The sinking of Annesley’s shafts commenced in 1865. Bentinck began production in 1896. It was the largest Nottinghamshire colliery between 1967 and 1983. By 1981, the two pits were linked and Annesley’s coal was brought to the surface at Bentinck. Most Annesley/Bentinck miners continued to work during the 1984–5 strike and afterwards the Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM) became the dominant union. In 1988 the collieries merged and became known as Annesley-Bentinck.

Workplace Conditions 

Working conditions varied tremendously between pits – and sometimes even within a single colliery. Steve Parr described the conditions in different parts of Bentinck.

Steve Parr
00:00 / 03:30

Interview with Ben Curtis, 11 February 2019, Transcript

Community ​Tensions During the 1984–5 Strike

Colour picture of the police arresting someone. The background is Bentinck colliery and the foreground is three policemen and the back of a picket's head

A view from the picket line: Bentinck Colliery, summer 1984 (Bruce Wilson) 

Daily life within Nottinghamshire mining communities was significantly affected by tensions arising from the 1984–5 strike. Steve Parr, from Bentinck, got married during the strike and described his wedding reception.

Steve Parr
00:00 / 01:15

Interview with Ben Curtis, 11 February 2019, Transcript

A typewritten letter from the NCB.  The letter has been torn in half. There is residue from where the letter was stuck together with cellotape

Terry Allen's response to the June 1984 letter that NCB sent to striking miners can be seen on the document, both ripping it in half and sticking it back together.

Terry Allen's letter from Ian McGregor (Terry Allen personal collection, Crown Copyright, digitised for this project under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence) Transcript

Integration of collieries

Annesley and Bentinck became 'receiver pits' as men were moved to them from other collieries that had closed down. Kirkby (also known as 'Summit') Colliery had been the largest pit in the area when it closed in 1968, and many mineworkers were transferred from there to them.

A single page of tpe written text, some details are filled in in pen, others are blanked out using white squares

Transfer letter, (digitised image courtesy of Mick Haskard) Transcript

The integration of previously separate collieries could have a major impact on miners’ daily working lives. Terry Allen, an Annesley miner, described his experience of this.

Terry Allen
00:00 / 01:40

Interview with Ben Curtis, 18 February 2019, Transcript

Last Shift

Annesley-Bentinck continued production after the privatisation of the industry in 1994, before closing in January 2000.  

13 men wearing helps and orange overalls, posed for a photograph in an industrial setting

Officials on the last British Coal shift at Annesley-Bentinck Colliery, February 1994 (Mick Haskard) 

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