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Boothstown Mines Rescue Station
Wikimedia Commons

Boothstown Mines Rescue Station, which served the collieries of the Lancashire and Cheshire Coal Owners on the Lancashire CoalfieldThe Lancashire and Cheshire Coalfield in North West England was one of the most important British coalfields. Its coal seams were formed from the vegetation of tropical swampy forests in the Carboniferous period more than 300 million years ago., opened in November 1933 on a site in Boothstown, close to the East Lancashire Road (A580). The mines rescue station is Grade II listed and at the centre of a conservation area.[1][2] It replaced Howe Bridge Mines Rescue StationFirst mines rescue station on the Lancashire Coalfield, opened in 1908 in Lovers Lane Howe Bridge, Atherton, Lancashire, England. and mines rescue stations at Denton, St Helens and Burnley.[3]

The rescue station and its associated buildings were designed by architects Bradshaw, Gass and Hope of Bolton. A two-storey building which fronts onto Ellenbrook Road contained a garage, shower rooms, laboratory, oxygen and equipment storage areas and offices, A board room and aviary for the station’s canaries were located on the first floor. At the rear, a single-storey section contained U-shaped training galleries representing underground workings. Observation halls overlooked the galleries, so that training taking place in them could be inspected. The galleries could be filled with smoke, or heated to simulate the conditions that might be encountered in an emergency; a chimney exhausted the fumes and smoke after the conclusion of the training.[1]

The permanent staff consisted of a superintendent, two instructors and two teams of six rescuers. They lived on site in a development of seven pairs of semi-detached houses and a superintendent’s house with allotments, parking, and recreation areas. The site also had underground air raid shelters.[1]