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Using a siscol cutting machine at the coal face

by halevan

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Archive List > Working Through War

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Harold Evans - Wilkinson
Location of story: 
South Yorkshire Pit
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
20 December 2005

Hal.Evans many years after leaving the pit.

There were two men to operate a Siscol cutter at the coal face, as we had to cut the layer of stone out of the coal,which was comprised of a top layer of coal, stone, coal.
The machine was set to cut from side to side at a predetermined height and there was a steel cutter which revolved, fixed on to the end of the boom which moved forward as the layer of stone was cut out.

We didn't have face masks to protect us from the dust, so we got a dust cold, which was just like having the influenza, I.E. sore throat, sneezing, coughing phlegm up.
After removing the stone from the coal,we drilled holes into the coal to a depth of approximately six foot to enable to shotfirer to place his charge into the holes sealing it in with a special formula sealant before retreating to a safe distance to fire the charge.
After the shotfirer had done his job, we then loaded the coal into tubs to be taken by the ponies to the main board where it was linked on to endless rope and taken to the pit bottom and the surface.

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