Situated on the outskirts of the Shropshire Village of St Martins near Oswestry , and bordering on the principality of Wales coal mining was the mainstay of the local economy, during the Victorian and early post Victorian era. Coupled with the local Military Garrison at Park Hall Camp, Railways, Farming and related trades, employment was varied if not poorly paid. As with modern times success and achievement rose and fell, Ifton Pit became Shropshire's biggest Colliery and belonged to the North Wales Coal Fields, but unlike numerous mines over the border was deemed to be one of, if not thee safest in the area. Ifton Pit was however closed by the National Coal Board who cited "Heating" (under ground fires) as one of their reasons for doing so.
Accidents and fatalities alas did occur, this author remembers only to well from his schoolboy days the feeling of grief felt amongst his class mates on hearing the Pit Hooter (Siren) sounding out of sequence, we knew instinctively something had "happened" even as 7 to 10 year olds, it was something we grew up with. Spending our breaks in the play ground at Ifton School, we could look across to view The Pit!, many of us had kin working below ground, and whilst my beloved Grandfather was then a surface worker, most of us became "mining experts" at very tender ages. Many of my school chums completed their schooling and went on to become miners on leaving at 15 years of age, it was "expected".

St Martins "The Road to History"
St Martins "The Road to History"


Ifton Miners Welfare Institute,
Affectionately know then and now, as The Stute !