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Who did what in the colliery!

There were many jobs to be done in and around the pit in the early days by men, boys, women and girls. These are a few of the names given to workers in those times.

Banksman1825 worked at the bank or top of the pit. They unhooked and emptied the coal from the corves into carts or waggons. 1849 a man who pulled full tubs from the cage at the surface and replaced them with empty ones.

Barrowman 1825 see putter

Corvers 1825 made the corves, wicker-work baskets used to bring coal from the hewer to the bank.

Craneman 1825 strong lads who lifted corves of coal from tram to waggon with a crane.

Drivers 1825 boys who drove horses pulling sledges, and waggons from the crane to the shaft. 1849 boys who drove horses on the main road underground.

Gin Drivers 1825 boys who drove horses in the gin or engine used to pull coals from pits of moderate depth.

Headsman 1849 a lad who needed the help of a little lad to pull and push heavy tubs.

Hewers 1825 persons who hewed or cut coal from the seam. 1849 a man who cut coals. Usually aged 21 to 70 years. He worked eight hours a day, 4 or 5 days a week. He was paid about 4 shillings (20p) a day and was given a house and free coal.

Keeker 1825 an inspector of hewers, wallers etc.


Lamp-Keeper 1892 was in charge of the Davies (lamps)

Onsetter 1825 hooked corves on and off the chain at the shaft bottom. 1849 put full tubs of coal into the cage and took empty tubs out. They were paid by the score or ton and worked 12 hours for about 20p (4 shillings).

Overman 1825 inspected the mine every morning before work began and kept a check on the men's work.

Putters 1825 filled the coal cut by hewers into corves and pushed them away on four-wheeled trams.

Screeners 1825 took small coal from under the iron screen which sorted them by size. 1849 men who passed coal over the screen into the waggons and cleaned them of stone, slate and other rubbish. They worked 12 hours a day for about two shillings and sixpence (12.5p).

Trappers 1825 young boys who opened and shut trap doors to help ventilate the pit.
1849 - wages nine or 10 pence for a 12 hour shift (about 4p).

Viewer 1825 the person responsible for the method of working and ventilating the mine.
1849 the manager of a colliery.

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22-Jun-2007 © North Tyneside Libraries 2007-8