A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 1.—In Coal and Shale Mines

054.—Other Workers Below Ground

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Note: The occupational terms marked with an asterisk are also applied to workers doing similar work on the surface for other workers above ground, see (056).

airwayman, airway repairer
keeps in repair underground air passages, or conduits for ventilation purposes; timbers up, when necessary, and removes fallen debris with pick and shovel.
back-bye man
an underground labourer q.v. who also performs timbering work; in some districts, cf. . back-bye deputy (051).
bankrider ; bogie hand, bogier, bogie runner, sett rider
rides with setts of tubs or trams, to couple and uncouple haulage ropes at sidings.
*bargain man
general term for men on "bargain," or contract work, paid for at an agreed rate for a given volume or weight, whether getting ore, driving roadways, clearing stone, etc.; usually works on his own account; cf. contractor (051).
see shot firer.
bogier, bogie hand, bogie runner
(i) see trammer;
(ii) see bank rider.
bogie shover
see trammer.
*borer, mineral borer, boring machinist
(i) controls valves and switches of compressed air or electric plant to operate boring machine or apparatus to explore probable content, thickness and inclination of ore- hearing rock;
(ii) occasionally denotes driller q.v.
*borer, diamond
operates rotary boring machine, in crown of which diamonds are set, to obtain solid cores of strata bored through.
see onsetter.
*brakesman, drum brakesman, incline drum brakesman ; drum spragger, incline attendant, incline lad, incline man
controls speed of trams or setts of tubs at top of inclines on haulage roads by applying brakes to the drum round which the haulage rope winds.
receives and attaches tubs to (or detaches tubs from) the rope at top of underground brow or incline and pushes tubs away from landing point.
as for brusher (044).
cabin boy
as for change house keeper (056), working underground.
cage attendant
see onsetter ; cf. banksman (056).
cager, cager-on
see onsetter.
*carrier, drill carrier
see gear carrier.
*carter, cartman ; wagon driver
drives and attends to horse drawing tubs of iron ore underground; cf. carter (056).
changer and grather ; grather and changer
keeps buckets and clacks (or valves) of old bucket type of pumping (engine in order; changes buckets when necessary; obsolescent , work now done by pump doctor q.v.
see shot firer.
company keeper
accompanies and assists day wage worker, e.g., pumpman, working alone in isolated districts.
*coupler, tub coupler
see endless rope lad.
dataller, datalman, dateler ; day labourer, day man, labourer, oncost- man
general terms for all workers, above or below ground, receiving fixed time rate of wages, including haulage hands, shafters, labourers q.v.
day labourer, dayman
see dataller.
dog whipper
superintends work of pony" drivers and leaders.
door boy, door minder
see trapper.
(i) see trammer;
(ii) see driver.
makes drifts or roadways for purposes of exploration or of ventilation, by drilling or blasting; removes debris in a tub or tram.
drill changer
a driller q.v. who changes drills as required, when holes for blasting are bored by power drills.
drill charger
drills, by hand or machine, hole for blasting, and inserts charge; cf. driller and, shot-firer.
driller, drilling machine man, drill worker ; machine driller, machine drillman. machineman. rock driller, rock drill man, rock drill worker, shot borer
(i) drills holes for blasting with hand or machine drills (pneumatic, hydraulic, etc.); sometimes also bars down loose rock after shot is fired;
(ii) may also drill or bore for exploration of strata, etc., see borer.
drawer, horse boy, horse drawer, horse driver, horse leader, leader, pony driver, wagon driver; a haulier q.v. who leads or drives ponies or horses which pull tubs between face of workings and sidings, and also above ground.
*drum spragger
see brakesman.
endless rope lad ; coupler, tub coupler
attaches and detaches tubs or bogies to and from endless rope, at top or bottom of incline, at pass- bye, or at pit bottom.
engine plane and siding attendant
receives tubs arriving along mechanical haulage road; takes them to siding, where they are attached to another haulage system, sent up shaft or otherwise moved.
fat lad
see greaser.
*filler, kibble filler, ore filler, skip filler, stone filler, wagon filler ; loader, mine loader
fills kibbles, skips, tubs, trams or wagons with ore or refuse, by hand or with shovel, for conveyance away from working place.
see shot firer.
furnace man
attends to ventilating furnace, placed near bottom of upcast shaft, to maintain upward current of hot air, and thus ensure circulation; obsolescent .
gear carrier ; carrier, drill carrier, pick carrier, pick wheeler
takes drills and picks to smithy for sharpening and brings them back to workmen when sharpened.
getter ; hewer, miner, stone hewer
gets ore at underground working face by hand with hammer and wedge or by breaking down rock, already undercut by holer, with pick and bar; in some mines may also drill ore, fire shot and load into tubs.
grather and changer
see changer and grather.
*greaser ; fat lad
greases tub and bogie axles, and sheaves and drums guiding haulage ropes.
see onsetter.
general term for any person moving tubs or wagons in mine; couples and uncouples tubs, if necessary; in particular denotes underground pony drivers.
helps trammers q.v. in pushing or hauling tubs, trams, or bogies up dip or bank.
hewer, stone hewer
see getter.
see onsetter.
holes, or undercuts by means of a mechanical cutting machine, mineral to facilitate its getting; also removes material overlying or underlying bed of ironstone in mine, using pick bar and shovel.
holing machine man
operates machine used for "holing," i.e., making opening or road for connecting one part of mine with another.
see onsetter.
*horse boy, horse drawer, horse driver
see driver.
*horsekeeper, horseman ; ostler
is in charge of horses and stables below or above ground; grooms and feeds horses and attends to the harness.
see trammer.
*incline attendant
(i) takes tubs, trams, or bogies to and from self-acting (gravity) haulage incline;
(ii) see brakesman.
*incline lad, incline man
(i) see brakesman;
(ii) controls switch points on rails at top or bottom of incline.
(i) see miner's helper;
(ii) see dataller.
landing lad
is employed at junctions or extremities of haulage system to couple or uncouple tubs as they come on or go off rope.
*leader, horse leader
(i) see driver;
(ii) assists driver by leading horse hauling tubs to and from working places.
*loader, mine loader
see filler.
machine driller, machine drillman, machine man
see driller.
(i) see getter;
(ii) more generally used to denote any underground worker in a mine; usually specifically designated, e.g., lead miner, blende miner.
miner, hand
a getter q.v. getting mineral by hand, and not by machine.
miner's helper, miner's labourer ; labourer, pit labourer, underground labourer
does work other than actual getting of ore, e.g. filling, trailing, tramming or putting, in working places, and assists miner generally.
see dataller.
onsetter ; bottomer, cage attendant, cager, cager-on, hanger-on, hitcher, hooker-on, shaft foot man
stands at bottom of shaft to put full tubs into cage and remove empty ones; also signals to winding engine- man for raising or lowering of ca.ge by means of hell signals.
*ore dresser
chips away foreign substances from haematite rock got at working place, to clean ore; breaks up and sorts ore below ground; cf. dresser (056).
*ore sampler
takes samples of ore- bearing rock, crushes them and examines by visual and simple chemical means to ascertain percentage of metal contained in the ore.
*ore sorter
sorts ore into different grades which has been cleaned and broken up by ore dresser; sometimes also does work of ore dresser q.v.
see horsekeeper.
packer ; stower
packs away waste material in worked-out places; also builds stone into columns, piers, or walls, for supporting roof or for preventing waste material from falling into haulage ways.
*pick carrier
see gear carrier.
*picker, metal picker, ore and metal picker, ore picker and trimmer
picks over, and sometimes sieves, contents of tubs, trams, or bogies, to estimate deductions in weight for dirt, stone (metal), etc.
*pick wheeler
see gear carrier.
a pipe fitter (252) q.v. who carries out- any necessary repairs or keeps in order pipes conveying compressed air or water to machines for drilling, etc.
pit boy
does any odd work in mine.
*pit labourer
see miner's helper.
(i) see shaftman;
(ii) see pump doctor.
pony driver
see driver.
powder monkey
weighs out and carries round charges of explosives required for drilling and keeps record of same.
*pump doctor, pumpman, pump minder, pumpsman ; pitman
operates, i.e. starts and stops pumps and pumping engine; keeps parts oiled and cleaned; makes necessary adjustments; also packs glands, overhauls valves, etc.
pumper, hand
works hand pump for draining working places.
see trammer.
putter, hand or pony
a trammer q.v. who pushes tubs by hand or draws with pony.
*rapper, rapper lad
see signal boy.
ratchet machine man
a driller q.v. who uses hand drilling machine on ratchet principle.
see shifter.
*road cleaner
scavenges under and above ground roads, and keeps them in good condition for traffic.
*roadman, road repairer, roadsman
see wagonwayman.
rock driller, rock drill man, rock drill worker
see driller.
examines face and brow of quarry to ensure that it is in safe condition for men working below.
see wagonwayman.
rope guider
guides, with hook, haulage rope as it passes on to drum.
rope lad
runs in and hooks on or hooks off and runs out, tubs, trams, or bogies on endless rope haulage system; cf. landing lad.
*ropeman ; splicer
examines and keeps in repair ropes used (chiefly for haulage purposes) in or about mine.
rope minder
in large mines, is responsible for the main ten an ee of ropes, oiling, re-socketing, splicing, etc.; sometimes does work of rope guider q.v.
rope runner
accompanies sett of tubs on haulage road for purpose of attaching them to haulage rope or detaching them therefrom; guides rope round pulleys, guides tubs round curves, etc.; cf. hank rider.
in Cornwall , conveys ore along underground ways in wheelbarrow.
sanitary man
attends to sanitary conveniences underground.
sett rider
see hank rider.
shaftfoot man
see onsetter.
shaftman ; pitman
goes down the shaft daily on top of cage and carries out an examination of the sides of the shaft, guide ropes, fangs, pulleys, cages, etc.; carries out necessary repairs and makes a. report daily to the engineer (050) q.v.
*shale man, shale picker, shale shifter, shale sorter ; stone cleaner
a belt man q.v. who separates ore from worthless shale.
shifter, shiftman, shiftsman ; repairer
works at night, when mine workers are absent, repairing roadways, etc.; in lead mines see timber- man; cf. packer.
shot borer
see driller.
shot firer ; blaster, charger, fireman
charges hole, previously bored by power-drilling machine, with explosive, and fires it by lighting a fuse or by electricity.
*shunt lad
attends to coupling and uncoupling, and marshalling, of trams, tubs, or wagons, when they are hauled along levels underground by means of locomotives; in iron ore mines, attends to landing, or pass- bye, on haulage road.
siding attendant, siding boy, siding minder
makes up setts of tubs, and couples haulage rope to them, attends to tubs as they come on or go off rope at junctions or sidings on haulage road; and controls movements of tube in sidings generally.
*signal boy ; rapper, rapper lad
a boy who acts as signalman q.v.
attends to signals used on haulage road or at shaft, by striking a rod with a piece of wood or metal or by pulling levers which cause the hammer of a bell to strike.
skip roadman
attends to transport of skips; keeps in repair roads along which skips are hauled, and generally supervises haulage.
*sneck lifter
assists onsetter q.v. by lifting cage snecks (or latches) when tube, trams, or bogies are being put in or taken out of cage.
sneck shifter
in Scotland, moves points on tramway.
*special pump attendant
attends to small steam or compressed air pump, used for pumping water, and known as "special" pump.
see ropeman.
sets up spraggs, or short props, to prevent falls of stone and ore; work usually done by getter.
*stone cleaner
see shale man.
stone hewer
see getter.
a miner q.v. who works ore away in steps or "stopes," either by "sinking" (underhand stoping) or by "rising" (overhand stoping); work performed by blasting and drilling.
see packer.
cuts and sets timbers, supports, ladders, cribs, and chutes, in and about mine shaft; constructs sumps for water drainage, and timbers them.
attends to switch, or points, controlling movements of tubs, etc., at junctions of rolleyways, etc.
syphon minder
watches level of water in sump holes from which water is being syphoned and closes syphon valve before water falls so low that air would be let into syphon pipe; usually has other duties in road or pump maintenance.
telephone lad
has charge of telephone exchange underground.
timber drawer ; timberman
withdraws timber supports no longer required as working face advances, or supports which have been broken.
timberer, timber setter, timber shifter ; timberman, woodman
props up with timber, where necessary, roof and sides of traffic roads in mine; cf. deputy, backbye (051).
timber leader
keeps miners supplied with props, planks, brattice, and crown trees, etc.
*timber loader
loads trains with timber for use in mine.
timberman ; shifter, shiftman, shiftsman (lead mines)
(i) see timberer;
(ii) at Hodbarrow (Cumberland) denotes official who inspects workings to see that they are properly timbered;
(iii) see timber drawer.
in Cumberland, see trammer.
*trammer ; bogie hand, bogier, bogie runner, bogie shover, drawer, hurrier, putter, trader (Cumberland), wagoner
conveys tubs, trams, or bogies containing ore or rubbish along haulage roads to sidings or to shafts, and brings back empty trams, etc., to working places.
*tramway man
(i) (iron mines ) keeps tubs or trams moving on tramway by pushing when necessary;
(ii) (tin mines) keeps tramway, along which trams are drawn or pushed, clean and in repair.
trapper, trap door minder ; door boy, door minder
is engaged in opening and shutting trapdoors in airways of mine, to allow horses, tubs, etc., to pass.
a getter q.v. who raises ore in certain area, for which he receives from owner certain proportion of value of ore raised.
tut worker, tut workman
a bargain man q.v.; in iron mines, more particularly a bargain man engaged on smaller jobs; in copper mine-s, more particularly one engaged on development work, e.g., sinking shafts or driving levels and crosscuts.
underground labourer
see miner's helper.
*wagon driver
(i) see carter;
(ii) see driver.
(i) see wagon hauler;
(ii) see trammer.
*wagon hauler ; wagoner
hauls or pushes wagons.
wagonwayman ; roadman, road repairer, roadsman, rolleywayman
attends to roads or planes along which wagons, tubs, bogies, or trams are hauled by mechanical power: carries out necessary repairs to rails, etc., fixes or refixes pulleys and keeps rollers in order.
water leader, water badger
removes water from workings, where quantity is too small to be worth pumping, bv haling it into a tub and conveying it to a place in which it runs away by gravity; sometimes also takes or gets in a supply of drinking water for ponies.
breaks up ironstone, with wedges and hammer in ironstone quarries; in a mine is usually done by miner q.v.
*windlass man
operates windlass (hand or power-driven) used for hoisting or hauling.
see timberer.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.