Powerflush nearby to Coalville
Coalville is an industrial town in North West Leicestershire, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England, with a population of 34,575 according to the 2011 census. It is located on the A511 trunk road between Leicester and Burton upon Trent, close to M1 junction 22 where the A511 meets the A50 between Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Leicester. To the east of town, it borders the upland area of Charnwood Forest.
Coalville has a sister city relationship with Romans-sur-Isère in southeastern France.
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Coalville arose during the Industrial Revolution. It is, as the name suggests, a former coal mining town that served as a hub for the coal-mining district of north Leicestershire. It has been suggested that the name is derived from the name of the founder of Whitwick Colliery’s house, ‘Coalville House.’ A report in the Leicester Chronicle on 16 November 1833, however, provides conclusive evidence: ‘Due to the traffic produced by the Railway and New Collieries on Whitwick Waste, land which 20 years ago would not have fetched £20 per acre (£50 per hectare), is now selling in lots at from £400 to £500 per acre (£1,000 to £1,200 per hectare), for building upon.’ The high chimneys and numerous erections on the site give the area a much improved appearance. We’ve heard that this new colony will be called “COALVILLE,” which is a fitting name.’
In the early nineteenth century, the area now known as Coalville was little more than a track called Long Lane, which ran roughly east–west between two turnpikes called Bardon and Hoo Ash. Long Lane separated the parishes of Swannington and Whitwick (both to the north of Long Lane) from Snibston and Ibstock (both lying to the south). Hugglescote and Donington-le-Heath were part of the parish of Ibstock until 1878. A north-south track or lane running from Whitwick to Hugglescote crossed Long Lane near the clock tower war memorial. This path or lane is now known as Mantle Lane and Belvoir Road. The Red House, an eighteenth-century structure near this crossroads, was one of the few remaining structures.
Samuel Fisher described the area in 1832 in his memoirs written at the end of the nineteenth century. Fisher describes how, when looking down Long Lane towards Ashby, “we see a large tract of waste on both sides of the road, still traceable, covered with gorse-bushes, blackberry brambles, etc., with not a single house on either side of the way” until reaching the Hoo Ash turnpike.  Looking back toward Hugglescote (down a track that is now Belvoir Road), “we see a magnificently timbered lane with the exception of White Leys Farm and the Gate Inn on the Ashby Turnpike.” There were no houses in the direction of Bardon until arriving at a group of five or six cottages on the corner of what is now Whitwick Road and Hotel Street, and nothing in the direction of Whitwick (the modern day Mantle Lane) except a smithy and a carpenter’s shop, and the houses of these tradesmen. These would have stood on the current site of The Springboard Centre (formerly Stablefords waggon works). Following the advent of deep coal mining, the modern town of Coalville arose on a large scale from this wilderness.
Despite its emergence as one of Leicestershire’s largest towns, Coalville’s history was not well documented until the establishment of historical societies in the 1980s, though a few independent local historians had put some information on record. In recent years, the Coalville 150 Group and the Coalville Historical Society have collaborated to publish a wealth of material tracing the town’s history, and in 2006, these two organisations merged to form the Coalville Heritage Society.
Coal has been mined in the area since the mediaeval period, as evidenced by the place name Coleorton, and examples of mine workings from this era can be found on the Hough Mill site at Swannington, close to the Califat Colliery. On the Hough Mill site, a life-sized horse gin has been constructed, and craters in the ground can be seen where mediaeval villagers dug out their coal allocation.
The seam is at ground level in Swannington, but gradually deepens between Swannington and the deepest reserves at Bagworth; as a result, shafts were not sunk in the district now known as Coalville until mining technology advanced, beginning with Whitwick in 1824 and Snibston in 1831.
Local engineer William Stenson pioneered deep coal mining in the 1820s when he sank the Long Lane (Whitwick) Colliery on a relative’s farm land. Stenson defied an old miner’s dictum of the time, “No coal below stone,” by sinking his shaft through a layer of ‘Greenstone’ or ‘Whinstone’ to the coal beneath. The ‘concealed coalfield’ was effectively opened up as a result of this. This was followed by George Stephenson’s Snibston mine in the early 1830s, and Stephenson was also responsible for the creation of the Leicester and Swannington Railway at the same time.
During the nineteenth century, the town’s quarrying, textile, and engineering industries, such as railway waggon production, grew. Stenson has been dubbed “the Father of Coalville.”
Coal mining in Coalville came to an end in the 1980s. Six collieries – Snibston, Desford, Whitwick, Ellistown, South Leicester, and Bagworth – closed in and around Coalville between 1983 and 1991, resulting in the layoff of approximately 5,000 men.
The disused colliery at Snibston was redeveloped into Snibston Discovery Park before being controversially closed by Leicestershire County Council in 2015. Whitwick Colliery’s former site has been redeveloped as the Whitwick Business Park, which includes a Morrison’s supermarket. There is also a small memorial garden here in memory of the 35 men who died in the Whitwick Colliery Disaster of 1898, which was caused by an underground fire, though the etched metal plaque commemorating this terrible calamity has been removed (as of 2014) from the large granite memorial boulder.