Houghton Colliery, Houghton-le-Spring. Houghton Heritage Society www.houghtonlespring.org.uk

HOUGHTON COLLIERY

September 24th 2011 marked the 30th anniversary since Houghton Colliery closed. The Pit was sunk on land at the north end of the town between 1823 and 1827 and expanded to become Houghton's biggest source of employment; by 1894 1,020 hands were employed.

Houghton Colliery was also a focal point in the community and the life force behind the growth of the village. Close knit communities, something not seen very often nowadays, stemmed from the colliery houses which surrounded the pit.

We must also remember that the Colliery was a dirty, dark and dangerous place to work and Houghton saw its fair share of disasters in the Colliery's early years and the loss of many lives while it was in operation.

Time line of events for Houghton Colliery, Houghton-le-Spring, Co Durham

HOUGHTON COLLIERY REMEMBERED

This time line looks at significant events in the history of Houghton's colliery. The Colliery site is now grassed over and home to wild rabbits, but the shaft tops can still clearly be seen as two large concreted circles.
[TIME LINE]

Houghton Colliery's 7 mining banners, as seen at Durham Miners' Gala

THE 7 COLLIERY BANNERS

Houghton Miners Lodge has presented no less than seven banners at the Durham Miners’ Gala. A banner's lifespan could be short; some were even rolled up wet and stored with no thought for their care.
[COLLIERY BANNERS]

Commemorative miners lamps from Houghton Colliery were given to the Church's in Houghton-le-Spring

MINERS LAMPS

When Houghton Colliery closed in September 1981, commemorative miners lamps were presented to each of Houghton's churches. Two can be found in Houghton Methodist Church and a sole lamp in the Parish Church.
[MINERS LAMPS]

Disasters and accidents at Houghton Colliery, Co Durham

COLLIERY DISASTERS

The Colliery was no stranger to disasters; an explosion on September 1st 1828 took 7 lives; an explosion on November 11th 1850 took 26 lives; another explosion occurred on June 3rd 1885 and took 12 lives.
[HOUGHTON COLLIERY DISASTERS]

Names of those miners who were killed at Houghton Colliery, Co Durham

IN MEMORIAM

Hundreds of miners lost their lives as a result of working at Houghton Colliery. Many were injured and died of their injuries later; an unfortunate few were caught in disasters and died in agony underground.
[IN MEMORIAM] | [DISASTERS] | [DISASTER GLASS]

Houghton Miners Project - an ambitious project to record the memories of Houghton Colliery's surviving miners

HOUGHTON MINERS PROJECT

Houghton Miners Project is an ambitious plan to record the memories of the surviving men who worked at Houghton Colliery. As each year passes, the number of people with a living memory of the Pit decreases.
[HOUGHTON MINERS PROJECT]

An unusual memento from Houghton Colliery - a pit pony's hoof!

PIT PONY HOOF

Men were not the only ones to descend down the shafts for work underground, they were of course accompanied by the Pit Ponies. If a favourite pit pony passed away, its hooves often were made into ornaments.
[PIT PONY HOOF]

Joseph Stokoe, Manager at Houghton Colliery for over 50 years

A COLLIERY MANAGER

On July 30th 1881, Houghton Colliery's manager, Mr Joseph Stokoe of Gilpin House, Church Street, was presented with a golden coach clock to commemorate his 50th year working at Houghton Colliery.
[JOSEPH STOKOE]

Remnants of Houghton Colliery - bits of buildings spared the demolition

COLLIERY REMNANTS

The Colliery closed in 1981 and many Houghton residents do not know the Colliery existed or even where in town it was. If you look carefully, there are a few remnants of the Colliery still around!
[COLLIERY REMNANTS]

Join Fyass Byuk - Houghton Heritage Society's popular Facebook group

FACEBOOK GROUP

You can join Houghton Heritage Society by becoming a member on Facebook - or Fyass Byuk as we call it. We have over 3,300 members and the group is very popular with residents, descendants and ex-pats.
[FACEBOOK]

Videos and cine footage of Houghton-le-Spring

VIDEOS OF HOUGHTON

Houghton Heritage Society's YouTube Channel features exclusive videos of Houghton-le-Spring as well as footage from our heritage events throughout the year - and of course Houghton's colliery!
[YOUTUBE VIDEOS]

Old photographs of Houghton-le-Spring shared via Flickr

OLD PHOTOGRAPHS

Houghton Heritage Society has over 5,000 images in its collections. Many can be found on our Flickr page while our Facebook group has thousands of exclusive photographs as uploaded by our many members.
[FLICKR] | [ARCHIVE CATALOGUE]