Scottish shale Scottish shale

East Benhar No.2 mine

Whitburn, Linlithgowshire
Local authority:
West Lothian
Current status of site:
Conical bing, and remains of power house survive
Regional overview:

A coal mine in the lands of Polkemmet, the last to work coal in the Benhar area.

  • The 1945 List of Mines records East Benhar No.2 mine, owned by Barr and Thornton, Manager W.T. Fisher to employing 55 underground and 22 on the surface working the Ladygrange coal.
  • The 1948 List of Mines records East Benhar No.2 mine, owned by N.C.B., Manager W.T. Fisher to employing 86 underground and 24 on the surface working the Ladygrange coal.

  • Location of mine, and boundary of the lands of Polkemmet


    At East Benhar, Barr and Thornton have recently put down mines to work the Virtuewell (here six feet thick) and the Ladygrange, the latter a thinner seam not hitherto worked in this area.

    Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser 30th July 1938


    FAULDHOUSE MINERS ACCEPT N.C.B. PLAN By 38 votes to 25, miners at East Benhar Colliery, Fauldhouse, yesterday accepted a proposal by the National Coal Board to pay off 39 men as an alternative to closing the pit. Mr Alex. Edgar, agent for the Scottish area of the National Union of Mineworkers, told about 150 miners employed at the pit that unless they accepted the N.C.B. proposal the pit would be closed for economic reasons. bore to the surface proved that water was now almost nonexistent, Coal has been produced at East Benhar fur about 20 years, but in recent months the output has dropped as low as 11.4 cwt. per man-shift. He said that if the manpower was reduced to 111, as suggested by the N.C.B., a promise had been given that the pit would continue in production for 12 to 18 months more. The Board also assured the Union that there would be alternative jobs for the redundant personnel in their own grades of work at Polkemmet Colliery, Whitburn. which is only three miies from Fauldhouse. Notices terminating employment will probably be given on Friday

    Edinburgh Evening News, 15th October 1956


    MINE TO CLOSE AT EAST BENHAR - New Jobs Promised

    East Benhar Mine, Fauldhouse, West Lothian, which lost £11,596 in the first three months of this year. is to be closed by the National Coal Board today (Friday). The 100 underground and surface workers received dismissal notices last Friday. Most of the redundant men have been promised new jobs within three miles of their homes, at Polkemmet Colliery. Whitburn. Labour officers will interview the miners this week. Low output and insufficient coverage of the solid material between the coal seams and the surface caused the closure. Last month the output was down to 11.7 cwt. per manshift. compared with 23.5 cwt. when the mine was nationalised in 1947. The mine's future has been the subject of Coal Board-Union talks for nearly a year. Mr Samuel McMillan, former union branch secretary at Benhar, who attended the last conference, said: "The closure was inevitable. There was no case we could offer to keep the mine open.' Mr McMillan added that safety was the most important factor in deciding the mine's fate. The union's safety and technical officer had made a survey last October. Part of his report stated: "Further development of coal in this area would endanger lives," and he added that very difficult conditions would be encountered in working the coal. The labour force was reduced in a reorganisation scheme last October. About 40 men were then paid off, and the majority of them are now working at Polkemmet Colliery The mine was opened about 20 years ago, and its closure will leave only one pit in Fauldhouse—Greenrigg Colliery.

    West Lothian Courier, 6th September 1957