Longframlington to Whittle Cableway

Longframlington Colliery was located a few hundred yards to the north east of the village of Longframlington, a few hundred yards to the east of the Morpeth to Cornhill highway, now the A697.  It lay adjacent to the road linking ‘Longfram’ with Newton-on-the-Moor and tapped the Shilbottle seam of coal. The first shaft was sunk in 1862 by G&W Nicholson but later it was operated successively by the Longframlington Coal Company, the South Shilbottle Coal Co., and the Cooperative Wholesale Society producing household coal, team coal and manufacturing coal. Prior to the 1920s the coal was taken by road to Whittle Colliery, near Shilbottle, for screening. Because the road to Whittle via Newton-on-the-Moor was in such poor condition it was decided, in 1928, to construct an overhead cable way which would carry loaded wagons, raised from the pit, to Whittle. The cableway was suspended from large pylons which carried the tubs high above the fields and the A1 road. The entire system required just one man and two lads to operate it.

Longframlington Colliery is depicted on this commercial postcard now almost 100 years old.
This photograph, taken in 1930, soon after the cableway opened, shows the ‘midway station’ on the cableway with a loaded tub suspended high above the surrounding fields.  A line of pylons can be seen in the distance. Apart from some concrete pylon  bases very little of the cableway survives.