Carbon Dioxide - a lethal gas an aftermath of an underground explosion
Back Canch
Roadway enlargement away from the working face.
Back Shift
Afternoon shift e.g. 2.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.
Surface area of the Colliery
Person in charge of winding operations involving the cage at the surface and linking with the underground (shaft bottom onsetter) and the winding engine man.
Iron pyrites - similar to pieces of metal brass within some seams of coal
Stone (rock) above and below the coal seam removed to form a roadway.
A draw (lottery) to determine without prejudice who works where at production level.
Check Weighman
Mineworker representative (union official) whose initial duty was to check the weight of the coal within tubs on behalf of the miner.
A roof support usually at the edge of the roadway made up of a number of blocks of solid wood.
Cross Cut
A minor roadway linking two major roadways.
The area of the coal face where the coal has been removed by a coal cutting machine prior to shot firing then further removal of the coal.
Datal Worker
Miner on standard wage earnings without any additional bonus or piece-work payments.
A Supervisor who is deputy to the Overman with specific statutory duties involving safety inspections and gas monitoring. He also has First Aid qualifications.
Downcast Shaft
The mine shaft from the surface to an underground level down which the air is drawn into the mine for ventilation.
Endless Rope
A haulage system to which both empty and full tubs are attached and can be hauled in both directions. (Inbye and outbye).
A coal face worker as part of a team who shovels prepared and loose coal from the working face to an adjacent conveyor belt.
A combustible hydro-carbon gas-methane which if allowed to accumulate due to inadequate ventilation can be the cause of an explosion if ignited.
Fore Overman
The senior official in charge of an underground district.
Goaf / Waste
The vacant area left behind as the coal advances after supports have been removed.
The surface structure and equipment at the head of a mine shaft.
A roadway usually driven separate from the coal face.
Air crossing a sealed roadway crossing another roadway as part of the ventilation system.
An underground official in charge of underground operations on a shift basis. e.g.
Fore Overman - Senior official responsible to the colliery Undermanager.
Fore shift Overman - early shift overman
Back shift Overman - day/afternoon shift overman
Master Shifter- night shift (tub loading) overman.


Coal face production machine designed to rip coal from the face as it is hauled in each direction, the coal is automatically deposited onto a chain conveyor.
A worker who moves tubs manually.
Removing stone (canch) usually above the extracted seam to form a or enlarge a roadway.
Crushed / powered limestone spread throughout the mine to render coal dust accumulations on outbye roadways incombustible.
An area below normal level where water is allowed to drain to facilitate pumping operations.
A four wheeled container used for the transporting of minerals and materials.
Roadway at the opposite end of a longwall face to the maingate or mothergate, normally return airway from the working face and access to it for materials including roof supports.
The gap left in the coal face after the operation of the coal cutting machine.
Coal cuttings produced by the operation of the coal cutting machine.
Kist Deputies district operational base (desk).
A wider than normal section of the roadway designed to accept a number of both empty tubs for loading and loaded tubs for transport out bye to the shaft bottom landing.
Loading Point
The terminal point of the conveyor system where the mined coal on the conveyor is transferred into empty tubs at the landing.
Longwall Face
A method of mining where a length of coal face, 200 metres in length is extracted and moved forward with a roadway at each end of the face driven at right angles, named maingate or mothergate and tailgate.
Main and Tail
A rope haulage system where the main rope at one end of a train (set) of tubs hauls in one direction and the tail rope hauls in the opposite direction.
The worker who is responsible for the cage loading and unloading at the shaft bottom with signalling links with the surface Banksman.
Outbye / Inbye
Outbye is the underground area of the mine approaching the shaft bottom and Inbye is the area of the mine approaching the production area.
Upcast shaft
The mine shaft from an underground level to the surface where a power-ful air extraction unit draws air from the surface, through the downcast shaft throughout underground workings and completes the ventilation system.
Compressed air for use of pneumatic equipment.
Windy Piele
Compressed air driven pneumatic drilling machine

Terms given by Tom Watts.