FURNESS coal miners found great success in their industry when they ventured out of their county into Yorkshire in the pursuit of new resources in 1872.

Despite being strong for iron ore, the Barrow Hematite Steel Company was lacking in the necessary amount of coal required to create steel.

Pig iron and steel were desperately wanted for shipbuilding and engineering.

The Barrow Company ventured out towards Yorkshire to gain its own supplies and started digging what would become known as the Barrow Colliery, near Barnsley.

In the company bought a small colliery in Worsborough Park which had become almost exhausted of coal after 40 years.

The Barrow firm went on to lease another 900 acres. The new ground was believed to hold five seams of coal. The local royalty owner of the land would have to get cash for every ton of coal brought to the surface.

The Barrow miners began digging the following year, half a mile from the existing pit.

The plan was to dig down 500 yards and would later be called the Sikstone coal seam.

A brick-making machine turned out 11,000 bricks a day and Barrow firm Carruthers and Woodhouse made use of them to build an engine house and cottages for the workers. Around 500,000 bricks were needed just for the engine house. The cottages were built on fields along the Barnsley to Sheffield road at Warsborogh Bridge.

This area would later be named ‘New England’.

By October 1875, the shaft sinkers were 240 yards down and on December 9 reached the coal seam at a depth of 466 yards.

The 18 months of digging was completed without an accident.

The event was celebrated on January 13 in 1876 with a banquet for 280 guests in the massive brick drying shed.

Josiah Timmis Smith, managing director of Barrow Hematite Steel, said the shaft digging had been a speculation but the firm was the first to have reached this deep seam of coal.

The vicar of Worsborough said the beauty of the village would be affected by smoke from the colliery but would bring with it employment opportunities that would put a smile on the faces of the residents.