Tyne and Wear HER(1649): Blaydon Burn, coal drops - Details
Blaydon Burn, coal drops
Coal Mining Site
A reinforced concrete-framed building with brick infill panels (Plates 42 and 43), projecting from retaining wall (26) on the east side of the valley and straddling a rail line. This first appears on the 3rd edition OS revision of 1913-14, and again on the 4th edition revision of 1940. The construction of the drop presumably post-dates Priestman Collieries’ take-over of Blaydon Burn Colliery in c.1900. The building is shown either under construction or in the process of demolition in an undated photograph [Figure 13]. Coal from the Bessie Drift was carried on an elevated platform across the valley to the ‘drops’ and then transferred into waggons below. This site is described in the HER as ‘staiths’. The truncated concrete beams and framework are clearly visible in the retaining wall on the west side of the valley with a flight of stairs to the south (26), running up to the level of the deck. The remains of the drops comprise four large square apertures, or chutes, each measuring approximately 1.5m, with a re-enforced concrete floor spanning above and below (Figure 15). The concrete structure sits upon two concrete beams inserted into the earlier retaining wall (26). The area around these inserts is surrounded by brickwork. The steps to the south (see 26) were probably also inserted at this time to provide access to the platform above.
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