dated checks from Victoria Colliery in Biddulph.
pair of white metal (left) plus brass (right) checks from Victoria Colliery, Biddulph (Actual size 39 mm wide by 35 mm
collectors of pit checks will be familiar with the above examples from
Colliery in Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent. Both of these checks are normally
attributed as being pre 1947 in date.
There are a couple of things that
make the white metal check in this pair a little different. Firstly the
choice of metal used - they appear to have been struck in nickel or a nickel
based alloy. Secondly,
and more intriguing is the addition of what appears to be a date,
"1936", embossed on their reverse (see below). The similar brass checks
in this series are all uniface in design.
The "1936" dated reverse of the white metal alloy check from Victoria
Why do the above checks carry a date and what significance does it
Submitted By : Mark
Date: December 2003
I have seen these checks a lot and was always led to
believe by fellow miners I talked with in Stoke that the date on their reveres
is to commemorate the opening of the pit head baths (PHB) at Victoria
After reading your enquiry I have made further enquiries with a well respected
local historian and author who has lived in Biddulph over 60 years plus. He
confirmed that the date on the checks does coincide and commemorate the
opening of the PHB at Victoria Colliery. This was a bit of a first for the
area as these baths were the first to be installed at any of the pits in the
North Staffordshire Coalfield (i.e. the Stoke-on-Trent area). I expect that
was worth commemorating?
wander then if these white metal checks could be PHB checks and not lamp
checks? As many collectors are aware several pits issued such checks which
look to all intents and purposes like lamp checks but which normally carry the
words "PIT HEAD BATHS" somewhere in their legends. Although the above white
metal checks don't carry these words they do have the crucial date on their
reverse which directly relates them to the colliery's PHB.
Submitted By : Dave Richards.
Date: January 2004
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