History of Chatterley Whitfield
Part Six: 1947 to 1991
After 1947 a policy of modernisation took place throughout the whole mining industry. In 1952 mine cars and locomotive haulage were introduced underground at Whitfield and a new mine car circuit installed on the surface. The building to accomodate this is still standing.
With the advent of cheap oil supplies from abroad in the late 1950s, contraction in the coalmining industry began to take place. The collieries most affected by this were the older ones where the best coal had been worked out and at which it was dificult to mine coal economically. Chatterley Whitfield was one of the victims of this period, output declining from over one million tons per year in 1937 to 408,000 tons in 1965.
Coal drawing stopped at the Institute shaft in 1955 and the Middle Pit in 1968. In 1974 it was decided that Whitfield coal could be more easily worked from Wolstanton Colliery and an underground roadway was driven to join the two pits. In 1976 coal drawing at Chatterley Whitfield came to an end.
Two years later, a Trust was formed to establish the Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum.
The Musem operated for twelve years, but finally closed in August 1991.