Black Country Living Museum – Racecourse Colliery – the Weighbridge House – manager’s desk by ell brown

This is the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Midlands.

The museum was established in 1975, and the first buildings moved here in 1976. Since then a 26 acre site has been developed, with the unique conditions of living and working in the Black Country from the mid 19th century to early 20th century.

It is off Tipton Road in Dudley.

This is the Racecourse Colliery at the museum.

The ground beneath the Museum site was once mined for coal, limestone, fireclay, and ironstone. More than 40 old mine shafts are shown on old plans and around one of these shafts, Racecourse Colliery has been built as a typical small Black Country coalpit.

The colliery was so named because the land on which it stands was originally the Dudley Racecourse which was closed when the railway line from Dudley to Wolverhampton was built in 1846.

Racecourse Colliery is shown as it would have been in about 1910 with the Manager’s Office in the weighbridge house from Rolfe Street in Smethwick, the typical hovel and blacksmith’s shop. It represents a typical Black Country coal, or fire clay mine. The wooden pit frame stands over a shaft 30 metres deep and a cylinder outside drum steam powered winding engine would wind the cage up and down the shaft.

Next to the colliery is Brook Shaft a reconstruction of a small 1930’s pit built over an original mine shaft worked before 1842.

This building is the Weighbridge House. It originally stood on Rolfe Street in Smethwick.

Manager’s desk and chair.

Manager’s Office cicra 1910.
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