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Mining Checks, Tallies, Tokens & Medals
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OSC pit check?

Does anyone know for certain if the item on e-bay number 200511218405 is a pit check? I have seen several of these, all identical but with different numbers on, so they are not recently made up.
I have been told that it is Old Sacriston Colliery, but there is no such colliery listed.
Any idea's?

Re: OSC pit check?

Hi Charles

These are certainly genuine checks and almost certainly originate from Sacristan Colliery, located 4 miles north west of Durham City. While they could be pre 1947 in origin I think they are more likely to have been issued sometime in the NCB era, which in the case of this pit ended with its closure in 1985.

I remember coming across them well over 15 years ago up here in Co. Durham and other local collectors up here like Jeff Gardiner (author of the standard catalogue of Checks, Tokens, Tickets And Passes of County Durham and Northumberland) had them recorded well before then from his own collecting and early recording days that go back into the 1970s and earlier.

The letters on these checks have been variously explained buy collectors as;

· Old Sacristan Colliery
· Official Sacristan Colliery
· Owners Sacristan Colliery

As you point out none of the pits that made-up Sacristan Colliery appear to have been either officially or locally known as “Old” Sacristan Colliery. I don’t go with either the first or second of the above two explanations and am not overly comfortable about the “Owners” version either. That said I’m confident of them being original and coming from Sacristan Colliery.

What is needed is an appeal to ex-miners in the area for them to confirm that they can remember these checks being used and to see if they can recall what the letters O.S.C. stand for.

All the best