Coal has been mined at Bradford Colliery since at least the early 17th century, when Thomas Charnock was recorded as having invested £300 in the Colliery during the reign of King james 1(1603–1624) (equivalent today to more than £750,000). At about that time the seams at Bradford were producing about 10,000 long tons (11,200 short tons) of coal a year, and probably an average of 20,000–30,000 long tons (22,400–33,600 short tons) a year over the course of the 17th century.
The early mines were shallow, exploiting seams close to the surface. In 1740 Oswald Mosely of Ancoats Hall granted a 200-year lease of mining rights. The first shaft for a deep colliery was sunk in 1840. By 1856 the colliery was in the ownership of Thomas Livesey, and had two 18-foot (5.5 m) diameter shafts to the Parker mine at a depth of 540 yards (490 m), providing ventilation. The growth of nearby Manchester took demand to higher levels but Coal was transported from the colliery by canal and railway, but most was consumed locally by the adjacent Bradford Ironworks. In the mid-20th century a 469-yard (420 m) underground tunnel was dug to supply coal directly to the Stuart Street Power station. The heat from a fire in the main winding engine house in 1953 caused the winding cables to snap, sending two coal-carrying cages crashing to the bottom of the main shaft and trapping 350 men underground. All managed to reach a smaller shaft 40 yards (37 m) away and were subsequently brought safely to the surface.
Even though there were still substantial reserves of coal in 1968, it was apparent that considerable subsidence was being caused by mining in the built-up area of Manchester around Bradford Colliery. Many buildings, Houses and factories were affected, particularly in Miles Platting, where in 1962 eleven council houses were so severely damaged they had to be demolished, even one of the large gas holders at Bradford Gas Works was touched by subsidence. The expansion plans for Bradford included working seams below Collyhurst, Cheetham Hill and Ancoats with the attendant risk of more subsidence. Consequently the NCB decided that they had no alternative but to close the pit down.
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