Concession of Fléchinelle
Mr. Podevin, administrator of the mines of Hardinghem and Fiennes decided, in 1852, with a small number of people, to prospect the end of the basin then recognized towards Bolted. He thought that only one layer extended without discontinuity from Germany in England. Two surveys were undertaken on the territory of the commune of Enquin of which one, revealed the presence of the carboniferous ground to less 130 meters. Encouraged by this first result, the company of research asked for a concession, while continuing the surveys with Estrée Blanche in Erny. The existence of three positive drillings very close from/to each other pushed the associates to create an civil society of exploitation, on August 28th, 1855, under the name of Compagnie of the higher coal mines of the Lily.
The concession of Fléchinelle was granted by the imperial decree dated August 31st, 1858, with the Company of the Coal mines of the Lily the Higher founded on August 28th, 1855. The concession of Fléchinelle, located at the western end of the Field of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, is joint, in the east, with the Auchy-with-Wood concession.
Three communes are concerned, none them is not included entirely in the perimeter of the concession:
The surface of the concession was carried 376 ha to 532 ha per decree dated July 16th, 1863.
It is on December 22nd, 1855 that the sinking of the well n° 1 in Enquin is undertaken the mines with the hamlet of Fléchinelle. This pit N° 1 started to produce only in 1858, of the difficulties to cross the water table delayed work. Coal was met with 127 meters.
The exploitation of the concession is taken again by Mr Emile Ridoux with the dissolution of the Company of the higher coal mines of the Lily in 1884. It founds the Public limit company of the Mines of Fléchinelle, Auchy-with-Wood and Lières in 1894 after having acquired the Company of the Coal mines of Lières.
The twin well n° 1 (a) is produced in 1894.
The pit n°1 gathering wells 1 and 1bis is stopped in 1928. The veins are exploited starting from the pit n°2 located at the territory of Ligny the Surface to 1600 m as the crow flies.
The pit was drowned in 1917.
The exploitation ceased in 1942.
Under the concession of Fléchinelle the exploited sizes were with a depth ranging between 150m and 400m. The exploitation was difficult taking into account the slope of the layers. They is approximately 1,7 million tons of coal which were extracted. The layer of Fléchinelle had a strong content methane, between 1858 and 1923 three accidents related to the firedamp were listed.
The railwayThe company of the Coal mines of the Lily higher was connected to the channel of Surface than Based and the regional railway network by the means of a railway line a fourteen kilometers length until Berguette while passing by Surface-on-the-Lily.
The way was bought by the Public limit company of the railroads of Estrée Blanche. It, opened it with the movement of minor travellers working with the pit of Fléchinelle, peasants eager to go to the weekly agricultural market of Surface-on-the-Lily. In alternation, it made circulate goods trains charged with coal which the pit of Fléchinelle was to deliver to the subsidiary company isberguoise Company steel-works of France (SAF) specialized then in the manufacture of the rails and the material of railway. During the harvests, came to be added special convoys intended to forward cereals to various agribusiness industries of Surface for the Lily. The section will cease being used in 1950.
From this period of exploitation, there remains only one quite now wooded spoil heap, of the houses in mining cottage, a platform industrial waste land and traces of the old railway which passed to Tirmande, with Estrée Blanche.
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