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Flourmill Colliery, 1894

A photo of Flourmill colliery, Bream in 1894

Frances wrote: "My Great-Grandfather was Mr. Charles Cooke and he was Manager of both the Princess Royal and the Flour Mill Collieries at the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th. My Grandfather, the Revd. Francis B. James, was Methodist Minister at Whitecroft from 1908 -1910. He married Miss Louisa Cooke in August 1910".

"Charles worked in the mines - in Polesworth - as a child of eight, he then went on to a colliery in Manchester (we have the silver tea service he was given as a wedding present from there so he must have been in a managerial role by then) before moving to the Forest of Dean. He was obviously quite a man and we are very proud of him".

"The ... (photo) is of the Flour Mill Colliery, with a large crowd assembled and my great-grandfather in the foreground, taken in 1894".

Activity seems to be centred around the headframe - does anyone have any ideas on this event?.

Bob Smith added: "... I'd guess the occasion was on the sinking/completion of the new 'main' shaft they are stood alongside of . There were 2 other shafts at Flour Mill which dated from the earliest days of the colliery's life. Those 2 shafts were much smaller in diameter and also (I think?) had come down on the 'awkward' side of a fault at pit bottom and hence made working the mine more difficult than necessary. The sinking of the 'new' much bigger diameter shaft improved matters greatly. My Great Grandfather Billo Nash (who features elsewhere on this site) was one of the boiler men at Flour Mill Colliery until his retirement.This fine shaft was only finally filled and re-capped about 6 years ago by the Coal Authority and now all trace of it has been obliterated. A great shame in my opinion as it was one of the very last proper 'deep' coal shafts left in the Dean".

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