When I acted as a guide on the Heritage Open Day on 13.9.2014, I tried to set the scene and explain in words what the place would have been like when it was working. I have done some more reading, as you do and found this information.
In the early 1900's Whitfield was drawing most of it's coal from the Institute shaft, but having to go out well over a mile to get to the work face. There was a need to sink another shaft to get better access to the coal below, so in 1914 work began on the Hesketh. It became operational in 1917 and during its life 24 million tons of coal was extracted. The last coal coming up the shaft in 1976.
The shaft was 1900 feet deep and when coal was being hauled up and down the shaft it took 46 seconds...... When they were taking the men up and down the speed was slowed down a little and they took 70 seconds.
Now the boring bit.......24 million tons were extracted, but only at a rate of four mine cars per lift. So every time they hauled coal from the pit bottom they only raised 6 tons - 4 mine cars at a time in the cage.....
So there would have been at least 4 million mine car movements around the processing plant. I say at least, because I can not find a record of how much waste would have come up................
Depth of shaft 1900 feet.... four 30 cwt capacity tubs, these tubs being pushed into the cage by hand both at the pit bottom and then on the surface by hydraulics.
Shaft capacity per eleven shifts, approximately eleven thousand tons.
Diameter of shaft twenty one feet.
April 1969 Audit of site:
HESKETH - DEPTH 653 YARDS
Function as a Down Cast 20 feet in diameter, brick lining with rope guides.
Type of Headgear : Steel Lattice
Number of winders : 1
Type of Winder : Steam Drum
Winding Depth : 647 yards
Date of Installation : 1915
System of Winding : Two Cage
Nominal Capacity:Coal Capacity : 30 cwts
Cars per Deck : Two
Number of Decks : Two
Shaft Capacity Tons/Hr : 280