Old mine shafts a ticking ‘timebomb’

Watnall Green: Mysterious holes have appered in the ground on the meadow.
Watnall Green: Mysterious holes have appered in the ground on the meadow.

A Kimberley resident and ex-coal board employee have voiced fears that old mining shafts in the area are ‘timebombs’ and could collapse.

The pair, who did not want to be named, are appealing to the public to help find the shafts after mysterious holes appeared in the ground at Watnall Meadow last year.

The man who used to work for the East Midlands region of the Coal Board said the area was ‘riddled’ with shafts and each one was like a ‘time bomb’.

“Being 200-plus years old each one is concerning and I believe they will collapse.

“This is one of the most riddled areas. The problem is, they are not always reported, so the proper remedial action is not always put in place.”

A concerned friend and Kimberley resident agrees, and says local people are needed to help find the shafts.

“We want people to let us know where the mining shafts are.

“If their grandad knows of one, for example. We want to find the shafts showing signs of movement. Some of them are under people’s living room carpets.

“If people see suspicious dents or subsidence in the ground, that might be a collapsed mining shaft,” added the resident, who also wanted to remain anonymous.

Last year the Advertiser reported on mysterious holes appearing in turf at Watnall Meadow. The Coal Board has since cornered off the area and has now agreed to dig the turf and find out what is going on underground.

The eager pair said once they had the information in hand, they would research the locations and, if necessary, re.