Mary Colliery – Lochore Meadows

The only two easily visible remnants of the Mary Colliery (coal mine), at Lochore Meadows, are the massive winding gear reinforced concrete headframe and a locomotive engine used for transporting the coal away from the mine.

Reinforced Concrete Head Winding Gear from Shaft 2 from Mary Colliery

Reinforced Concrete Head Winding Gear from Shaft 2 from Mary Colliery

 

The original colliery was opened in 1904, the first shaft was sunk to 613m, at the time it was the deepest coal mine shaft in Fife. The second shaft (521m deep) was opened in 1923, and this used the concrete winding gear that’s visible today.

Mary Colliery Headframe Winding Gear

Mary Colliery Headframe Winding Gear

 

Close up of concrete headframe - Mary Colliery, Lochore meadows

Close up of concrete headframe – Mary Colliery, Lochore meadows

 

Electricity was first used at Mary Colliery in 1922, the Jubilee year of the owners of the mine, ‘The Fife Coal Company’. Below are the details of a couple of long serving employees of the Fife Coal Company.

The details of a long serving employee of the Mary Colliery

The details of a long serving employee of the Mary Colliery

Details of another long serving employee of the Mary Colliery

Details of another long serving employee of the Mary Colliery

 

By 1948, the colliery reached its maximum output of approx 800 tons of household, and navigation, coal per day.

Photo of Mary Colliery taken in 1945

Mary Colliery, Lochore Meadows 1945
Image from RCAHMS.

 

At its peak in 1957, the Mary Colliery employed 780 people, but unfortunately for the local people, the colliery shut down 9 years later in 1966.

Different view of the Mary Colliery Reinforced Concrete Head Winding Gear from Shaft 2 - Lochore Meadows

Different view of the Mary Colliery Reinforced Concrete Head Winding Gear from Shaft 2 – Lochore Meadows

 

I was surprised that the Mary Colliery wasn’t part of Thatcher’s legacy that devastated much of Fife in the early 1980’s.

Below is a video of a typical Fife colliery, taken on 16mm black and white film. From the shots of the surrounding countryside (West Lomond and Bishops Hill are visible in the background about 4 mins into the video), the colliery shown must have been very close to the Mary Colliery at Lochore Meadows.

 

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3 thoughts on “Mary Colliery – Lochore Meadows

  1. Pingback: Lochore Meadows – Moss, lichen and logs | Fife Photos & Art

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