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FORD, James [fl 1890s-1920s]

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 378 LDGSL/1061
Held at: Geological Society of London
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Full title: FORD, James [fl 1890s-1920s]
Date(s): 1900-1926
Level of description: Series
Extent: 5 files
Name of creator(s): FORD | James | [fl 1890s-1920s] | mining engineer and colliery agent
The Newark Collieries
Newark Coal and Oil Company
Lincolnshire Coal Boring Syndicate


Administrative/Biographical history:

James Ford was a mining engineer and colliery agent, often working as a consultant. Working in the Midlands and having premises in Doncaster, Newark, and Mold (Wales) between the early 1900s and the late 1920s, he claimed to be the first man to discover the oil strata in England while superintending coal borings in Kelham, Nottinghamshire, in August 1911, at which time he was in a syndicate with Maurice Deacon and C R Hewitt, and advising The Newark Collieries and The Newark Coal and Oil Company. These borings also provided evidence for the eastern extension of the Nottinghamshire Coalfield. The discovery does not appear to have amounted to anything at the time, though oil was later extracted from the area in the 1940s.

In the mid-1920s he became part of a company named the Lincolnshire Coal Boring Syndicate, which had plans to bore for coal and build a power station nearby, thus minimising the expense needed to transport the coal to the power station and resulting in cheap electricity production.

He was a member of the Midlands chapter of the Institution of Mining Engineers (now part of IOM3), and a Fellow of the Geological Society between 1911 and 1936.


Scope and content/abstract:

Various papers relating to the search for coal and oil in the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire area of the Midlands between 1900 and 1926, and the presence of oil in England more widely. They include maps, correspondence, reports, proofs of articles and publicity literature, legal documents, and newscuttings.

They mostly cover the period from 1911 to 1919, and relate to the discovery of oil in August 1911 at Kelham, Nottinghamshire, with one file covering a later peiod (1920s) and focusing on coal borings in Lincolnshire.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Previously the series was not catalogued hierarchically, meaning that the files within the series were all given ascending reference numbers (1061, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1065). This has been revised so that LDGSL/1061 is now the series reference, with the files below being named LDGSL/1061/1, LDGSL/1061/2 and so on.

Conditions governing access:

Access is by appointment only, daily readership fee is applicable unless you are a member of the Society. Please contact the Archivist for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to copyright and the condition of the original, may be supplied. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

An online, detailed catalogue will be available shortly.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Description by John Thackray, revised by Victoria Woodcock.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
1990s, revised September 2013

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