There’s coal in them thar hills!

Sadly, the seam discovered on the site of the former Badger pub in Bradley is just four inches thick, offering little hope of a pit revival.

Yet historians and local residents say it is further proof of the district’s industrial past, with one specialist commenting that there was once more coal in Huddersfield than in neighbouring Barnsley or Wakefield.

“Huddersfield was full of it,” said Roger Lynch. “Unfortunately this area all tends to be small seams – the one at the Badger is at the minimum – so there’s nothing worth bothering about. If it had been a 3ft seam they might have had to bring in the Coal Board.”

Care home development on site of former Badger pub, Bradley Road, Huddersfield.

The miniature seam was spotted and identified by local resident Paul Jackson, who asked contractors working on the site if he could investigate further.

He was delighted to unearth the black bed coal and scooped some up as proof of his discovery.

Paul, of Bradley, said: “I’m very much a layman and not an expert, but I knew there was coal underneath the surface here. I was walking past the Badger site when I saw all this black. A workman allowed me to look and there it was on the surface. The old pub was sitting on a seam.

“To be local and to see it up close makes me very excited. I got some out but I won’t burn it. I may smell it! I’ll keep it because it’s from there.”

Millions of years ago the land that became Britain was an enormous delta region that was draining into the sea. It was also much nearer the equator. Evidence in the form of fossilised shells belonging to bi-valve creatures has been discovered in Fixby Woods.

Site Manager Colin Pratt with coal seam uncovered at care home development on site of former Badger pub, Bradley Road, Huddersfield.

Mr Lynch says mining for coal, fire clay and ironstone in the vicinity can be traced back as far as the 1100s when monks from Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, dug bell pits to mine for ironstone from Bradley Park to Denby Dale.

“I expected that coal would be found,” he added. “There are no records for a lot of it but maps of the area show old workings, mine shafts and adits everywhere. The entrance to Fixby Crematorium was Bradley Lane Colliery back in the 1800s.”

The former Badger pub was demolished in March after standing empty for six years. The site has been earmarked for a 43-bed care home.

Video thumbnail, Former Badger pub in Bradley is demolished
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