- Manvers Main Colliery
Manvers Main Colliery was a coal mine, sunk on land belonging to the Earl Manvers and was situated on the northern edge of the township of Wath-upon-Dearne, between that town and Mexborough, in the Dearne Valley, South Yorkshire, England. Within the complex was the Regional headquarters and laboratories of British Coal.
Manvers was, in fact, a complex of collieries, the original sinkings being known as "Old Manvers", the later sinkings as "New Manvers", and a coke and by-products plant. The first shaft was sunk in the late 19th century and this was followed by the second shaft, sunk between 1900 and 1901, and later a third shaft was added.
The Manvers Main Colliery Company was also responsible, in 1911, for the sinking of two shafts at Barnburgh, a village about two miles north east. The collieries were connected by a private railway.
Between 1920 and 1934, the manager of the coke-oven, washery and brickworks departments at Manvers Main was Cornelius Finn, who during this period (1923-24) was also president of the Coke Oven Managers Association.
On 4 March 1945, the colliery suffered an accident which caused the death of five underground workers. The cause was an explosion of firedamp ignited by sparks from a damaged trailing cable.
Immediately prior to nationalization, Manvers was owned by Manvers Main Collieries Ltd. The coke ovens and coal by-products plant were closed in 1981. With rationalisation in the South Yorkshire coalfield, from 1950 to 1956, this became the centre of coal output from a number of local collieries (known as the South Manvers complex) linked below ground and including Wath Main and Kilnhurst. The colliery complex was closed on 25 March 1988.
Dereliction and rebirth
The land remained derelict until the mid–1990s when the government started a regeneration programme with the assistance of the European Social Fund. Manvers, and the adjoining areas that were formerly the Wath Main Colliery and the Wath marshalling yard were bulldozed, landscaped and are now an area of light industry and commerce, including the call centres of companies such as Ventura, TSC, T-Mobile and many others occupying purpose-built units. They are now the area's largest private employers with approximately 60,000 employees between them. It was also home to the nursing campus of the University of Sheffield, although this has since closed and currently stands empty.
Plans have now been put in place to develop more land to be used for 9 hole golf course with driving range, hotel, restaurants and residential home after the original plan for a multiplex cinema was objected to by Barnsley Council.
Several very large distribution and warehousing centres have been built in Manvers: these are so large as to dominate the surrounding area. Maplin Electronics is one of the companies that is located in these buildings, after relocating their headquarters there from Wombwell, two miles away.
In 2009, several builders began construction of housing developments based around the lake at Manvers and the area will eventually have more than 300 homes consisting of apartments and houses.
Other developments such as retail outlets, a health centre and restaurants are planned to add to the Blue Bell public house already on the site.
- Reports of RiDO, Rotherham Investment and Development Office.
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