TROLLEYS AND HEAVYTROLLEYS AND HEAVY
MACHINES IMACHINES I
THE TROLLEYS FIRST USED ELECTRICITY BUT IT WAS VERYTHE TROLLEYS FIRST USED ELECTRICITY BUT IT WAS VERY
DANGEROUS (SPARKS + GAS!!).DANGEROUS (SPARKS + GAS!!).
TROLLEYS AND HEAVYTROLLEYS AND HEAVY
MACHINES IIMACHINES II
THEN THEY USED DIESEL, AND NOWADAYS THEY USE BATTERIES.THEN THEY USED DIESEL, AND NOWADAYS THEY USE BATTERIES.
GOING DOWN THE CAGEGOING DOWN THE CAGE (8(8
The mineThe mine
TThe mine has got twohe mine has got two
parts: the older oneparts: the older one
made of wood, and themade of wood, and the
new one made of iron.new one made of iron.
On the roof there areOn the roof there are
two parts: one bar andtwo parts: one bar and
two posts.two posts.
There are two pipes onThere are two pipes on
the roof. One pipethe roof. One pipe
carries water, and thecarries water, and the
other one carries air.other one carries air.
The mine is made ofThe mine is made of
principal and secundaryprincipal and secundary
galleries. Between eachgalleries. Between each
floor or gallery therefloor or gallery there
are 50 metres.are 50 metres.
Access to the mineAccess to the mine
In the past, the miners wentIn the past, the miners went
down to the mine sitting on adown to the mine sitting on a
stick tied to a rope or instick tied to a rope or in
stairs made in the rocks.stairs made in the rocks.
Then, they went down onThen, they went down on
an elevator at 8an elevator at 8
Ventilation in theVentilation in the
There were three types ofThere were three types of
ventilation machines: the firstventilation machines: the first
one, used the horse strengthone, used the horse strength
applied to an axis and a wheel;applied to an axis and a wheel;
the second one, used a horsethe second one, used a horse
to move the wheel; and theto move the wheel; and the
last one, was a miner with alast one, was a miner with a
pedal system.pedal system.
Taking water outTaking water out
Dirty water was extracted from the galleries withDirty water was extracted from the galleries with
a gear actioned when a man walked on it. Thena gear actioned when a man walked on it. Then
they put water and air through the pipes.they put water and air through the pipes.
First, trolleys worked with electricity, then withFirst, trolleys worked with electricity, then with
diesel, and finally, with batteries.diesel, and finally, with batteries.
The mule was a very intelligent and
clever animal, and very strong too.
They worked very hard and they died
in the galleries.
The mules could smell the toxic gas and
they warned the accident, and they
refused to work.
When they smelt the miners’ sandwiches
they caught them with their mouths and
then they ate it.
A local legend: The miners didn’t like
eating salmon every day, because it was
part of their salary.
There was so much salmon in the river,
that the miners were fed up with it.
In the seventies miners were very rich
and they lit their cigarettes with bank
notes (Another urban legend!!).
The boat (in Asturias ``chalana´´)
was used to transport coal along
The boats went from La Chalana
bridge (Laviana) to Sama and
then by train to Gijón.
The men who drove the boats
were called “Chalaneru”.
“Chalaneru” is a famous love
song between the boatman and
There are two basicThere are two basic
dangers with gas :dangers with gas :
Gas can cause big explosionsGas can cause big explosions
And miners sometimesAnd miners sometimes
breath this gas.breath this gas.
Lung diseases caused by gas were very common before theLung diseases caused by gas were very common before the
1970 ´s1970 ´s
In order to detect gas, miners used a small cage with a birdIn order to detect gas, miners used a small cage with a bird
If the bird died itIf the bird died it
was becausewas because
there was gasthere was gas
in the galleryin the gallery..
««Dead man walking»Dead man walking» II
The “Dead man walking” was a manThe “Dead man walking” was a man
sentenced to death who was given asentenced to death who was given a
chance to live.chance to live.
««Dead man walking»Dead man walking» IIII
He had to go down toHe had to go down to
the mine with a longthe mine with a long
torch and wet clothestorch and wet clothes
to test if there was gasto test if there was gas
in the galleries.in the galleries.
«Dead man walking»«Dead man walking» IIIIII
If the “Dead man walking” left the mine aliveIf the “Dead man walking” left the mine alive
three times,he was given his life.three times,he was given his life.
The Security Brigade (security team) is
very important in the coal mine. They
help miners when there’s an accident.
They’re on duty 24 hours per day
The Security Brigade team includes the best
and the fittest coal miners. Their working
hours include rescue exercises and physical
training. They have high salaries because
their activity is extremely risky.
When there is an accident the Security
Brigade uses thermal cameras, oxygen
kits and special equipment to work in
In the history of mining there were a lot
disasters like the Aller accident in 1889
with 30 deaths. They are mainly
produced by gas explosion, big rocks,
collapse or landslides.
A tribute to eleven Check coal miners
who died in an accident in 1999.