Wardley Colliery was re-opened and modernised in the 1950s. The first stage of a nearly £1,000,000 modernising scheme was completed in September 1956 when a new 2,000 yards locomotive roadway 1500 feet below the surface connected Follonsby and Usworth pits. Coal from Usworth, formerly transported overland, was now to be conveyed by underground roadway. A new 2,000 H.P. winder, larger headgear and cages had also been installed. It was at this time that they stopped using 8 pit ponies and they were brought to the surface and retirement, One was called Nelson because of its one eye. The last horsekeeper was Jack Brown.
A further stage was completed during 1957~58. All the buildings at old Wardley were remodernised and new pit head baths added plus a new canteen, offices, medical centre, locker rooms, lamp cabin etc.
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