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New Broughton

New Broughton Corner of Windsor and Coronation Road

New Broughton Corner of Windsor and Coronation Road

New Broughton is a former heavily industrialised area with rich and extensive deposits of coal, lead, and iron ore, but didn’t really exist until around 1883 when heavy industry demanded the accomodation of workers. The industrial village grew up around these resources,and is part of the wider Broughton local government community, situated between Southsea (to the North) and Caego (to the South).

The New Broughton Colliery was sunk by Thomas Clayton, of Brynmally Hall, in 1883 and remained in his possession until the turn of the century when it was taken over by Mitchell & Butler of Birmingham.New Broughton actually took its name from this mine, labelled ‘New’ to distinguish it from the ‘Old’ Broughton (Broughton Hall) colliery sunk in 1835 by John Pearce and Richard Gough who also had the Southsea Colliery and Broughton Forge. In 1901, 310 men were employed underground with a further 43 workers on the surface. The mine passed into the hands of the Higginbottom family of Mold who finally closed it in 1910. The colliery was always known locally as ‘Clayton’s Pit’. Among the managers of the pit were two brothers, Samuel and Edward Cunnah. A third brother, Edwin was the owner of Blacklane Colliery, Pentre Broughton.

Other collieries in the area included Gatewen, built in 1874 and opened in 1877 by the Broughton Coal Co. The mine had a very restricted working area, with all of the workings being to the south-east of the shafts, extending to the gates of Erddig Park. From the Inspector of Mines list 1896, Broughton and Plaspower Coal Co. Ltd. then held it and at this time there was a total of 522 men employed.In 1908 and 1918 there were 803 and 878 men in total working respectively.The workforce totalled 1,073 in 1923, producing from the Main, Four Feet, Crank, Powell and Smith seams.A small working area restricted the pit and it closed in 1932. Its steel trellis headgear was later used at the nearby Bersham colliery after a fire in 1933, which destroyed the wooden headgear there.The site was re-opened in 1957 and used as an open-cast coal disposal point until 1966. It subsequently became an HGV training centre.

Near by, Vron colliery was sunk in 1806. It worked on and off throughout the 19th century and in 1845 a tramway was constructed enabling the easy transfer of coal from the colliery to Tanyfron. By 1869 Maurice and Low were the owners later to become Vron Colliery Co., Limited. During 1882 the Vron Colliery was closed and placed in the hands of a liquidator. Later reopened by Vron Colliery Co. Ltd., who in 1896 employed 266 men at the colliery (including 68 surface workers).It was then taken on by Broughton & Plaspower Co. Ltd in 1908, who employed a total of 222 men, rising in 1918 to 358 men and shrinking to 285 in 1923, producing from the Powell and Drowsell seams. Vron Colliery at Tanyfron closed in 1930 after operating for 124 years. Later the coal pillars, which supported the Vron shafts were worked from Offa’s Dyke level. This level, which was owned by John Houghton employed 27 men in 1938. It closed during 1943.

Old Broughton colliery was sunk in 1835 by John Pearce and Richard Gough. John Pearce owned the Broughton Estate and the colliery was sunk just a 100 yards or so from the Broughton Hall, the colliery is also referred to as Broughton Hall. Later another shaft was sunk a few hundred yards to the north of the Broughton Hall. The partnership also owned the Southsea Colliery and Broughton Forge.By the 1850s the business was in trading difficulties and the collieries and estate was taken over by Messrs. Robertson, W. H. Darby, and C. E. Darby of the newly formed the Broughton Coal Co. Because of flooding problems a new pumping engine was installed in 1869. Broughton Hall (old) closed in 1978.

During 1883 Broughton New colliery was opened a couple of hundreds of yards to the south of Broughton Hall by Thomas Clayton of Bryn Mally Hall. In late 1885 Irishmen working at Broughton & Plas Power Co.’s pits, mobbed and driven off by Welsh colliers, owing to their willingness to work for lower wages.From the Inspector of Mines list 1896, the were 223 men working underground and 33 on the surface at New Broughton, producing Coal and the manager was G.F. Povah. Later it was own by New Broughton Colliery Co, Wrexham, who in 1908 employed 270 men underground and 58 on the surface, A Elce was the manager. New Broughton colliery closed in 1910.

The continued growth of New Broughton was based around the normal requisits of a working population, as was the norm for the area, the addition of achools, churches, chapels and, eventually, even a station (New Broughton Road Halt). One such chapel,Soar Chapel,opened in 1894 and extended in 1904, stood on the south side of the crossroads and was demolished in 1998 replaced by a block of flats, which set the standard for the villages continued expansion as a typical accomodation centre for a now commuting working population after the demise of local heavy industry.

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