Manriding – Paddy In, Belts Out

“Paddy In, Belts Out

Taking inspiration from this postcard of Brian’s (Brian Morley, Mining Artist – Brian’s postcards will be on sale again when the Museum reopens), we are featuring Manriding in our blogs this week.  Over the week, we will look in more detail at Manriding in pits in Nottinghamshire, including accidents and HSE reports.  We’ll also feature some of the stories we’ve heard about ‘riding’ on either the ‘paddy’ or belts.

“Belts Out”

Brian’s commentary on this picture is:  “The Paddy or Man Rider:  At our pit, Moorgreen, South Notts, it was Paddy in and belts out.”

The ‘Paddy’ was a Paddy Train.  It was a workman’s train and was used for transporting miners in and out of the mine.  For those of us who have never seen a Paddy Train this is a clip from the National Coal Mining Museum

“Belts out” means the men were returning to the pit bottom on a man riding conveyor, like the one Brian has drawn in his picture.

Before ‘manriding’ and ‘paddy trains’ were introduced miners would walk many miles to their coal face, before they started their work.  This early clip from 1950s at Hilton Main, is worth watching for many reasons as it features film of mining in the early years of Nationalisation.  It shows the men walking in and out from their work on the coal face and images of the Paddy Trains that were being introduced (from 21 minutes into film).

BFI Player, Miner/ Documentary / overview of early years of nationalisation / features early images of manriding

This picture from 13 July 1977 shows a two-way manriding conveyor at Ollerton Colliery.

Picture taken on visit of Sir Derek Ezra to Ollerton Colliery, 13 July 1977.  Thanks to Healey Heroes and Bob Bradley for this photo.

Can you help with an answer to this question.

When were Paddy Trains first introduced in Nottinghamshire pits and at which pit(s)?

ALSO – do you have any belt or paddy train experiences to share?


Categories: News.


  1. My father worked at Calverton Colliery from about 1958 to 1984.
    In 1978, my school arranged a French Exchange with a scho0l from Rousillon (near Lyon) in France. A 15 year old lad named Christophe stayed with us for two weeks. My father arranged for Christophe and I to visit the pit and go underground.
    The three things I remember most was the rush of air when were underground, the heat and cramped space at the coal-face, and the conveyor belt.
    I remember our guide explaining the ‘options’ of getting to the face. in reality there was only one option, the dangerous one, on the conveyor belt. The phrase he used was to the point.
    ‘Keep your hands in or you’ll lose ’em’
    I can’t remember how I translated it to Christophe, but I think we both understood the miner’s words and gesture.
    An unforgettable experience. I can still remember it vividly, so I presume Christophe will too, wherever life has taken him.

    • Paul Bellis

      Got a great deal of photos of vehicles ,unbaked and braked materials vehicles, rope hauled and locomotive hauled manriders in various stages of manufacture along with information regarding braking of vehicles