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LMS Route: Nuneaton to Birmingham New Street

Arley Colliery Sidings

In 1901 an ambitious young mining engineer, Edward 'Teddy' Knox, sank an exploratory shaft in the hope of finding coal. After almost a year no coal had been discovered, at 320 yards below the surface, and it was suggested that work halt. Knox, however, persuaded his co-financier, George Herbert Fowler, to allow exploration to move sideways and coal was quickly discovered. The original shafts had been sunk, it was found, into the geological remains of a two hundred yard wide river bed passing through the coal deposits. The pit started on the 1st January 1901, the first bricks were delivered in March and the first coal was extracted eighteen months after the initial exploratory activity, in 1902. The colliery was situated in an easily mined site in the upper coal measures of the East Warwickshire plateau. Later superceded by Daw Mill locally it gave rise to the village of New Arley as it is today. The houses were built on the hillside with the pithead in the valley below. At its height in 1939-1960 over 1000 men were employed. At around this time other collieries were developing and mining became the source of work an influence on the culture of the area. On 30th March 1968 production ended at Arley Colliery. After sixty-six years, first as The Arley Colliery Company Limited and then as a part of the National Coal Board, it was considered no longer economically viable to mine the area despite the fact that one hundred years of coal remains beneath Arley.

The signalman poses in this 1920s view of Arley Colliery Sidings signal box which sited near to the station
Ref: mracs364
WoW
The signalman poses in this 1920s view of Arley Colliery Sidings signal box which sited near to the station
Arley Colliery Sidings signal box seen on 9th August 1969 a few weeks prior to its closure the following month
Ref: mracs1067
W Wright
Arley Colliery Sidings signal box seen on 9th August 1969 a few weeks prior to its closure the following month
A three-car Craven DMU set approaches Arley Colliery Sidings on an Leicester to Birmingham service
Ref: mracs1070
M Mensing
A three-car Craven DMU set approaches Arley Colliery Sidings on an Leicester to Birmingham service
BR Standard 7MT 4-6-2 No 70000 'Britannia' approaches Arley Colliery Sidings signal box on Sunday 3rd May 1964
Ref: mracs1071
M Mensing
BR Standard 7MT 4-6-2 No 70000 'Britannia' approaches Arley Colliery Sidings signal box on Sunday 3rd May 1964
D326 is seen on the diverted combined 16:20pm Euston to Blackpool - Holyhead service on Sunday 3rd May 1964
Ref: mracs1072
M Mensing
D326 is seen on the diverted combined 16:20pm Euston to Blackpool - Holyhead service on Sunday 3rd May 1964

BR Standard 7MT 4-6-2 No 70050 'Firth of Clyde' is seen on a diverted Euston bound express on 3rd May 1964
Ref: mracs1073
M Mensing
BR Standard 7MT 4-6-2 No 70050 'Firth of Clyde' is seen on a diverted Euston bound express on 3rd May 1964
A 1923 25 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map of Arley Colliery Sidings  and the adjacent Colliery buildings and sidings
Ref: mracs1074
M Mensing
A 1923 25 inch to the mile OS map of Arley Colliery Sidings and the adjacent Colliery buildings and sidings
Ordnance Survey map showing the layout of Arley Colliery Sidings and the adjacent Colliery buildings and sidings in 1924
Ref: mracs1074a
M Mensing
A 1923 25 inch to the mile OS map of Arley Colliery Sidings showing the track layout on both the up and down lines
A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Arley Colliery Sidings, produced courtesy of the S.R.S.
Ref: mracs1884
Signalling Record Society
A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Arley Colliery Sidings, produced courtesy of the S.R.S.