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Colliery Guardian, January 2nd, 1858
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT AT COALPORT.

 

THE DEPRESSION IN THE IRON TRADE.—THE USE OF THE ULVERSTONE ORE—DIFFICULTIES ATTENDING ITS USE—PROBABILITY OF OVERCOMING THEM.—THE COAL TRADE.—NOTICE TO COLLIERS OF A REDUCTION OF WAGES.—THE PROBABLE RESULT.
THE depression in the Iron Trade has led the managers and proprietors of the different works in the several fields of this district to blow out such furnaces as needed repairs ; otherwise I am not aware that iron-making operations have been discontinued. Where the works are in any way contiguous to railways, the Ulverstone ore has been partially employed; and although exceedingly rich in metal, it has, I believe, a tendency to clog the furnace by a deposit of sulphate of zinc, which usually attaches itself to the sides of the furnace, and that in masses so hard as to resist any attempt to dislodge it by mechanical means. Several of the managers of the works have been turning their attention to this subject; and Mr. Botfield’s agent at the Stirchley Works has, I believe, succeeded, by a method very simple, but based upon the true principles of chemical science, in driving it off in vapour. The colliers in the Madeley Wood Field, and others, received notice on Saturday last, to the effect that their wages would be reduced 6d. per day. The reduction comes into effect this day week, the 9th instant, and there is little doubt but that it will be quietly submitted to by the men, who appear to consider that there is no alternative but to meet the altered state of the trade by such means. The extraordinary mildness of the season has, of course, tended to check the usually brisk state of the coal trade at this season; I mean with regard to household consumption, and what is called land sale. At the Severn wharf where large quantities are stacked for export to Worcester, and other towns along the banks of the river in that direction, the quotations are about as follows :—

   s. d.    s. d.
Tops : 13 0 per ton. Flints : 11 0 per ton.
Lumps : 11 6 “ Lumps : 10 0 “
Small :   8 0 “    

It should be understood that from the pit’s mouth a ton is twenty-one hundredweight.

 


Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

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