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The following timeline from a now no longer active Coedpoeth/Minera website lists important local events while John and Sarah Shelby were living in the area. You will see that the first 1867 line mentions that mine-owner and engineer, William Low, lived at Lloft Wen. This was where the Shelbys later lived (see the bottom of this page).
The Great Western
Railway Company laid a railway line from Croesnewydd South Fork, Wrexham upto Brymbo. Opened on May 22nd, this eliminated
all Goods & Minerals from Brymbo & Minera having to negotiate the existing two brakes and two tunnels of the North Wales
Mineral line down to Wheatsheaf Junction.
The Minera Lead Mines produced 6,800 tons of ore in this 12 month period.
A tragic accident occured at the Grosvenor Pit, Coedpoeth in the November of this year. A man whose clothing became entangled with the winding rope, was wound over the pit-head pulley.
Minera Church was built.
The 'Minera Lime Company' became a 'Limited Company' & took over the existing works previously leased by the 'Brymbo Company' on July 1st.
A lead miner was killed at the Park Lead Mine at Minera when the 'kibble', in which he was being lowered down the shaft, caught onto some staging and tipped him out causing him to fall to the shaft bottom. A colleague travelling with him, saved himself by hanging onto the chain until the kibble corrected itself. They had chosen this method of descent as an alternative to decending the 675 feet by rope ladder, an effort which took about half an hour. In this same year, a Mr Pickering was killed at the Ellerton Lead Mine, Minera, when a shot misfired.
'Charlotte', the locomotive that worked the Brymbo to Minera Railway jumped the track at the Wern curve and ploughed into the embankment. The driver was pinned beneath a wagon and sustained a shattered leg.
William Low first lived at Lloft Wen in Adwy, Coedpoeth. An engineer and coal-owner, he submitted his plans to Napoleon III for a Channel crossing in this year. In a report published by 'Hughes & Sons' of Hope Street, Wrexham, Low stated that the Channel tunnel would cost £12 million to construct and could be completed in 10 years... Associated with the Vron Colliery, he later built 'Roseneath', a house which later became amalgamated with the Wrexham War Memorial Hospital.
The 'Minera Lime Company' purchased a locomotive, which they called 'Minera', to shunt and haul the ore to the Minera weigh-bridge.
There was an accident at Pentresaeson Colliery during the month of March.
On July 1st a fire broke out at the Talwrn Colliery of Coedpoeth, owned by Messrs. Burton & Burton.
The first Hoffman Kiln was built at Minera Lime Works.
The Jockey Mine at Coedpoeth, located behind the old Methodist Church is noted as working at this time.
The New Grosvenor Colliery, near the Coedpoeth railway station, began operations.
Wrexham Town Council gave their support to William low's Channel Tunnel plans, and sought the support of Prime Minister William Gladstone.
Pentre Saeson Colliery was in liquidation.
The offices of the Channel Tunnel Company were registered as being at 'Roseneath', with William Low noted as one of its engineers. The Channel Tunnel scheme was only given lukewarm support by the British Government, and they refused to supply the finances.
The 'Minera Lime Company' carried out the first of many 'big blasts', and it was following one of these blasts that bones (thought to be pre-historic), were found.
The locomotive 'Minera' at the Minera Lime Works, became derailed as it crossed the 'crusher bridge' within the works, and fell to the track below, killing both the driver and another workman.
A second Hoffman Kiln was built at the Minera Lime Works.
Representatives of 18 collieries in Denbighshire & Flintshire met at the Talbot Inn, Wrexham, to consider the formation of one union, namely 'The North Wales Association of Miners', to represent them all. Thomas Charles of Brymbo and William Lester of Adwy'r Clawdd, Coedpoeth, were prominent in the cause.
The Channel Tunnel scheme had still been proceeding but differences occured among the sponsors and at this time, William Low transferred his allegiance to the 'Anglo-Welsh Submarine Railway Company' who had already purchased land on either side of the Channel in preporation of the project. Following French defeat in the Franco-Prussian war, French enthusiasm disappeared, and the prevailing wrangling and anti-tunnel climate eventually saw an abandonment of the scheme.
The sinking of the shafts of Plas Power Colliery commenced on September 14th, under Nathaniel R. Griffith.
The Main Coal was reached at Plas Power Colliery. the pit manager was John Henry Darby.
William Low's Channel tunnel scheme is revived by Sir Edward Watkin, railway promotor, who spent several thousand pounds on preliminary work and sank two shafts from which tunnels were driven, before abandoning the scheme. These shafts are still visible today and William low's plans are still in existance.
The Vron Colliery was closed & placed in the hands of a liquidator.
The Plas Power Railway Station on the great Western Railway was opened for passengers on January 22nd. In this same month the Company refused a petition to extend the passenger carrying service beyond Brymbo and onto Minera.
Nantyffrith Hall was enlarged by Richard Venables Kyrke.
Working ceased at the New Grosvenor Colliery at Coedpoeth.
A 'Big blast' took place at Lester's Limeworks, Minera, at 3pm on May 10th. The rock face selected for blasting was 300 feet long and similar in height. Tunnels of 60 feet in length had been driven into the face and these were 180 feet apart. 20 cwts of explosives were packed in one tunnel & 23 cwts into the other. A dull roar and a dust cloud was followed by a shower of small rocks as 23,000 tons of rockface had been blasted away.
September 30th saw riots at Plas Power Colliery by colliers from rival mines who objected to the Company's workforce (Broughton & Plas Power Coal Co.) sending up 21cwts. to the ton. Pit tubs were thrown down the shaft and work was not resumed until October 4th. The Quarter sessions of November 17th awarded the company £209:14:7d for the damages incurred to their property during the riot.
The Great Western Railway were hauling out three train loads daily from the Minera Lime Company, who now owned 212 of their own railway waggons.
Weekly payments required from parents & guardians for their childrens schooling was abolished.
A very severe winter saw most industry apart from coal mining at a stand still. Bread & coal was distributed to the poor as the area remained frost bound for 55 days.
Minera Lime Company organised the first of many outings for 152 of their work force, with a trip to Liverpool at a cost of 1/9d for each rail fare. In later years workers enjoyed trips to Rhyl, Llandudno & Barmouth. The Lime Company enjoyed a good relationship with its workforce & never experienced any strike action from their employee's throughout its existance.
Berwig Quarry at Minera, saw its stone being used in the building of St. George's Hall & the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool & other public buildings in Manchester.