ALTHOUGH there was coalmining in the /"^ village of Willington, in Wallsend, some f 370 years ago, it was not until 1772 that he collieries there really began as productive inits, sending their output over the historic Cillingworth waggon way which linked the pits t Killingworth with the staiths on the River Tyne. It was on this waggon way, with its 4 foot inch rails—at first of wood—that George tephenson, who had moved from Willington to ^illingworth, ran his first steam locomotive— n July 25, 1814.
The primitive mines of the late sixteenth entury had been abandoned through steep or rery conditions. Their task had been to supply oals for extracting salt at Howden. The pits
hich were sunk nearly 200 years later drew coal jom the Wallsend High Main seam—and had to jpe with a great deal of water by driving a jnnel nearly IA miles to the Tyne.
Transportation also became a problem as :veral more shafts were sunk in this area—close
> the present rising sun colliery—to the High lain seam. By 1820 a further railway was laid
> the Tyne staiths.
The Willington Low Pit, sunk in 1806 to the igh Main seam, sank a staple to a new seam, ie Bensham. Here, 128 fathoms down, the issue " gas became so great that it was brought to the irface and "lit to be burned away", during 1831. Near the end of the eighteenth century the first rge venture at Wallsend, Carville pit, reached e High Main seam at 6 feet 6 inches thickness id the district became famous for highest lality house coals.
More shafts were sunk in the vicinity—and in
'96 a "coal machine" was erected at Carville, "raise coals from the pit"—at a cost of £615 ^d with an estimated horsepower of 20. .Closing of the High Main seam through jcreasing water, in 1831, put out of operation ] the Tyne Basin collieries at Wallsend and
illingion. Over the next 60 to 70 years pumping .gines were installed at intervals, and reduced E water in a number of the shafts. In 1897 coals
:re brought up Church Pit's "H" pit shafts sinking of which began in 1866—and by
01 Wallsend's output was 168,000 tons—at a
mping cost of £16,000 a year.
The present rising sun was sunk in 1908.
iring the 1930 depression and the "quota" heme three of the four pits under the then
-ners were closed, but the rising sun continued.
From 1934-36 reorganisation at the rising sun
luded a modern cleaning and preparation
nt, while underground modern conveyors
ilaced the old main and tail rope haulage. 'Mow a major reorganisation scheme is being Hsidered for the rising sun colliery whose life
increased output is believed to be good for pther 80 years and whose coals still leave the
le, as Wallsend coals have for 150 years.
tined for gas producing in London.
AL, August 1950
COAL^ August 1950