Fires of Prometheus


Two chock wagons are recorded as being in the collection, but only one is identifiable (RM32). A chock was a method of supporting a mine roof as excavation advanced. It commonly consisted of a pillar of short lengths of thick wooden timbers (Figure 13). The museum’s chock wagon was presumably a small coal tub repurposed to carry these timbers. Because the tunnel ceiling would eventually press down on the chock, making its removal difficult, some sort of metal wedge would often be included in the structure. This would be knocked aside causing the chock to collapse, allowing its retrieval. Modern mines would frequently use much more sophisticated, and larger, hydraulic chocks.

Last updated 9th November 2019

The Chock Wagon
A chock wagon (RM32)

A chockin position at a coal face
A chock in position in a coal mine (Healey Hero)