“Ponies were replaced with rope haulage systems”

Barrie, a miner at Linby recollects his time at the pit:

“By the time I entered the mining industry horses had just about moved on at nearly all the collieries.   I started Linby in 1974, there was no ponies but there was plenty of banter from the men who had worked with them, how they had rode them to pit bottom or elsewhere about the mine.  They was there to perform a task which must have been terrible at the time.

Brian Morley recollects this accident in the 1950s when a belt started up and a pony got trapped. The belt had to be broken and the pans taken out to get the pony free.

“Ponies were eventually replaced with rope haulage systems. Which at times they could kick back if they were not treated right.  Roadways with hollows had to have holding down rollers these could be nasty if not treated right.  Common sense was not always the order of the day.

A Rope Haulage System with a rope roller in the foreground.

There was so much to pay attention to.  Warwicks were girders going from floor to roof and there be one at each end of the danger area to prevent ‘runners’ from achieving any distance.

“Ropes played a big part in modern mining  they lowered men into the pit, they were also used in man riding and then of course to convey material to the districts.

Smallman Rope Clip




Categories: News.


  1. Dave Bradley X rope fitter 15 years

    Smallman Rope Clips only used on very level ,haulage routes ,very dangerous to use on shallowest of gradients so much so ,other rope coupling devices were used ,better more forceful clamping to rope.

  2. Jed Thomas

    Interesting to read Barrie, reminds me as well as Warwicks I recall something called a Manchester Gate on some rope haulages. This was a girder set in frame maybe a foot or so above rail level and at right angles to the rails to prevent errant tubs passing. It had to be swung to the side before tubs could pass and perhaps incorporated a holding down roller for rope. Me, I always felt safer walking a Loco Road than one with a rope haulage. The rope could suddenly whip up to the roof and wouldn’t be taking any prisoners as you’d know!
    Jed Thomas
    Mining Surveyor
    16 years

    • Eric Eaton

      Yes Jed I remember the Manchester gates, I can’t remember them on manriding loco roads these had sand drags on them.

      • Jed Thomas

        Yes Eric agreed, I generally only remember Manchester Gates on rope haulages.
        Maybe there was the odd one at the outbye end of a Linby loader or tail gate serviced by little (28hp) locos to prevent tubs left there from rolling out onto the main Manriding Loco Road but my memory’s not that good!

        • Eric Eaton

          Yes Jed we are all of an age and memories fade I’m afaraid, but I have some wonderful memories of my time at the pit.