Mystery Yorkshire Check - Any Ideas Anyone?

I found the above check while metal dectecting in an area about 3 miles north of Wakefield in West Yorkshire. The check measures 37 mm in diameter and is brass with the initials "N.C" embossed on the obverse and a wreath on the reverse.  In side the wreath is stamped the number "350". I think this may be a colliery check. Has anyone got any ideas?
Any information about the unusual check above would be most welcome.
Submitted By : Peter Harris.
Date: May 2004

I have never seen anything quite like this check before. I can't help thinking that N.C. may stand for Newton Chambers the well known South Yorkshire mine owners. However, the location of this find doesn't tie up with any of their pits that I am aware of. The check could have migrated across Yorkshire with its once owner. I know this happened as I have a metal detector find from Nottinghamshire of a pit check originating from County Durham. Despite my "gut feeling" of this being a Newton Chambers check I must admit that of all the Newton Chambers Colliery and Iron Works checks I have seen they all carry the abbreviated title initials of "N.C. & Co.". That's not to say that all Newton Chambers checks have to follow the same pattern.

Another strong possibility is that the check is from Nostell Colliery which fits better with its find location.

I have seen a couple of varieties of pre 1947 checks from Nostell that are based on the design below, note some of the similarities;

The above illustrated unissued brass embossed check is also 37 mm in diameter. The abbreviations on its obverse stand for Lord St. Oswald Nostell Colliery. Lord St. Oswald was the owner of Nostell colliery prior to 1947. If this is a Nostell check then it must be of a type that is so far unrecorded for this pit .

The reverse wreath design on your find is similar to that commonly used by the check makers Henry Pasley & Sons Ltd. of Sheffield and Manchester . They made lots of pre 1947 Yorkshire checks many of which have one of two different wreath designs on their reverse. I know for certain that most of the better known examples of Newton & Chambers checks, i.e. Rockingham (various shapes and sizes) Parkgate, Grange, Smithywood and Tankersly etc. were made by Henry Pasley & Sons. Pasley & Sons were also responsible for making the pre 1947 checks for Nostell Colliery illustrated above.

Submitted By: Mark Smith
Date: May 2004

This may be a shot in the dark but could this token be be related to the  haulage company trading under the name of "Newton Coal Merchants". This organisation was involved in the two way transportation of both coal and leather between Derbyshire and West Yorkshire during the period 1779 to 1838. These dates may be too early for the style of the token illustrated but still I think its a possibility.

Submitted By: Chris Hall
Date: June 2004

If you can provide any further information about the above item then please contact us via the e-mail reply link below.


Previous    Home