Some miners at the Keld Heads Lead mine in 1863
Manager J. Coatsworth stated in 1863 that there were about 62 men working at Keldheads and 18 at Ashbank.
Water was a problem at both mines and at Keldheads was pumped out using water wheel. Ashbank was much wetter and the men were provided with 'a glazed jacket' to try to protect them as much as possible. They still got quite wet though. Coatsworth thought the wetness worked in their favour by settling the dust so it wasn't inhaled.
Men worked an average of 6 hour days, less when it was very wet. A changing house was provided so the men could go home in dry clothes and leave the wet ones to dry in front of a fire in the changing house ("a sort of a lodge with a fire in it at the level mouth"). A water blast was used to improve the air quality.
Men entered the sumpts by windlass. The deepest part was 17 and a half fathoms.
30-40 boys were employed at the mine to dress the ore. They were generally not employed underground before the age of 18.
There were 3 local schools at which boys generally remained until the age of 12-14. When dressing ore, they worked from 7am - 5.30pm, with 1/2 hour for lunch.
Men's wages were £3-4 per week.
|Matt||Stanger||Smelting at Reverbatery fr||Preston Mills|
|Wm||Stanger||Smelting at Reverbatery fr||Preston Mills|
|Thos||Armstrong||Smelting at Reverbatery fr||Preston Mills|
|James||Ibbetson||Smelting at Reverbatery fr||Marrick|
|John||Moor||Scotch Ore Hearth||West Witton|
|Ed||Binks||Scotch Ore Hearth||Preston|
|Jos||Sw[in]dle||Scotch Ore Hearth||lodging in Preston|
|Wm||Stephenson||Scotch Ore Hearth||lodging in Preston|
|John||Sedgwick||Lobby work||West Witton|
|Henry||Dakin||Removing fumes||West Witton|
|Richd||Thistlethwaite||Removing fumes||West Witton|
|Surface Labourers & others|
|Wm||Robinson||Horse & Cart work||Preston|
|Walton||Richardson||Millwright & joiner||Preston Mills|
|John||Thistlethwaite||Blacksmith Contract||West Witton|
|Geo||Storey||&2 pts||Waste dresser|
|John||Emmett||leading ore to smelt mill||Preston|
|Thos||Horn||General carrier from Keld heads||Castle Bolton|