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