“The fight against that infernal nuisance pit dirt, has been and will continue to be a long one, ” Coal News 1947
Following the 1926 General Strike a levy on coal owner profits was introduced that allowed for the creation of funds for the “welfare” needs of coalmining communities. Gradually, over time, as the demand for pithead baths grew, more of these funds were allocated to the building of pithead baths. The amounts allocated to the national fund grew from £28,692 in 1927 to £1,035,866 in 1937.
Coal News, August 1947, advises us that at that time, the rate of building in any District was determined by the amount of welfare revenue produced by the levies in that District. The order of priority within a District was decided by the District Miners Welfare Committees.
These were the same funds that were used in the development of canteens, welfares and medical facilities at pits.
In 1944 it was estimated that 500 Collieries still required the building of pithead baths. Building had stopped at the start of the War and recommenced in 1946.
We wish to thank the family of Clifford Bradford. Elaine Brownley, his granddaugher has shared these images from the Bathers’ Handbook at Rufford Colliery, published in 1947, before Nationalisation by the Bolsover Colliery Company.