Archive for July, 2008

Coal’s Cathedral – Clipstone Colliery

July 4, 2008

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Clipstone Colliery in Nottinghamshire closed in April 2003.  The headstocks and winding house are Grade ll listed.  All of the other buildings at the colliery – which were not listed – have now been demolished leaving the remainder alone in a sea of bulldozed black and brown.

 
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Newark and Sherwood District Council held a local referendum on the future of the site in 2003 where – supposedly – the majority of the villagers voted in favour of total demolition so that the site could be repopulated with characterless metal boxes for the tasteless frozen chicken and ready-meals packing industry, and erection of densely packed future slums from the likes of Wimpey and Barratt.   How many of the voters were newcomers (who just require a McDonalds within 5 minutes drive of their front door) and how many were miners or other long time inhabitants of the area?

 
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If you stand on the adjacent road and watch the passing traffic you’ll see that more than 50% of drivers look over at the remaining buildings; one wonders how many of them really wish that someone would save this graceful cathedral to coal for future generations.

The headstocks rise elegantly skywards and surely offer a breathtaking view of the adjacent Sherwood Forest.  The machinery house (between the twin headstocks)  is a beautiful example of post-war modernist industrial architecture.  For inspiration the planners and developers could look at Titan Clydebank (a massive shipyard crane that now has an elevator and viewing platform) or to Germany and the Duisburg Landscape Park, a contemporary park around the old steelworks. <BIPS © 2008>

 
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