Southgate or Clowne colliery of the Southgate colliery company was started in 1877, the company being formed in 1875. In that year Miss Bowden cut the first sod inaugurating the construction of Southgate Colliery. The company owning collieries at Shireoaks, Steetley (Manor pits Darfoulds), Harry Crofts colliery near to Kiverton and Whitwell colliery. The Southgate colliery was around a thousand feet deep by 1900 and produced some six hundred tons of hard coal each day from a workforce of about four hundred men. The company installed a new pair of steam winding engines at the mine in 1887 produced by James Farrer of Barnsley the shafts and cranks of these engines weighed in at over seven tons each. A large chimney was constructed in 1890 for the steam engines to exhaust through. This blew down in 1951. Two railway branch lines served the colliery by the late nineteenth century the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway and the Midland Railway.
The first recorded death was of Rufus Mew in 1878.
Barnet Kenyon, who was born at Aston in 1850 moved to Clowne in 1876 and was employed at the Southgate colliery where he was elected as checkweighman by his fellow union members. This was a very important job as he represented the interests of his fellow workers to the colliery management. It was his job to keep a check on minerals extracted and to negotiate the true weight of coal coming out of the mine which the men got paid for. Management claiming a ton of coal could be between twenty one and twenty five hundredweight dependent on the amount of slack and small coals it contained, which they would not pay the miners for.
On the 22nd November 1911 there was an accident involving 12 men, 3 were killed, named Bunday, Marlow and Wild. The pit produced 600 tons per day with a workforce of around 400. On March 18th 1920 rescuers took six hours to evacuate the pit after a fire destroyed No 1 Engine House.
The colliery finally closed on January 17th. 1929 after it was flooded by a sudden inrush of water from an adjacent pit at Oxcroft causing severe flooding to the main mining districts within the mine, there was no loss of human life but two pit ponies perished in the incident. The colliery was opened up again in 1955 to aid in the construction of a link to Creswell colliery High Hazels seam. This was abandoned and the shafts and colliery site were filled in and cleared by 1961.
'Oil has existed at Southgate colliery Clowne for a long time, though its potential is not high. two ton, three hundredweight and seven pounds were sent to Storry Smithson and company of Hull and was found to contain two ton, three hundredweight, two quarts and sixteen pounds of petroleum grease and four hundredweight and seven pounds of petroleum spirit. However output would not exceed half a pint per month and no further steps were taken to develop it commercially. A sample of the oil was put on display at the Chicago Exhibition'.
T.P.Woods Almanac 1920. T.P.Woods and company p.138.
Number five pit shaft was 1022 feet deep.
Southgate colliery in 1896 is mining coal from the Top Hard seam. Owned by the Shireoaks colliery company of Worksop and managed by John Jones and his undermanager David Ashley. 296 men are employed underground and 94 work on the surface.