Ever since I told many Felling folk that, until several generations of them collectively misheard the proper and logical name of Cube Pit as Q Pit and thus made Q Pit the proper name now, most look at me as if I am mad..and that makes me mad. There is such a thing as a Q Pit but it is something entirely different to a coal mine
No one, it seems except me has ever heard of a Cube Pit and googling doesn’t now help much. When I learned from my Dad that it was indeed Cube Pit I looked it up and there were many references, a decade ago, to a Cube pit or a cube ventilating furnace.
The William Pit’s main job was to be an outlet for gases drawn out by the ever burning “cube” furnace it had at the bottom of the shaft and to send it up high in the sky away from harm’s way by the huge chimney that rose above the William Pit.
So I’ve yahooed, because they are better than google and the bottom line is that Cube is a Scottish mining term and it was used here presumably because of Felling’s close proximity to the English/Scottish Border. Here are the references I found, which i include, not to score any sort of point but to record this fact for posterity
Found here www.healeyhero.co.uk/rescue/pits/Caprington.htm or here
"Only four of them, however, did this, and on arriving at the bottom of the new air pit they thought of raking out the fire of the ventilating cube or furnace to enable them to pass on to the bottom of the pit, but decided first to go back to the water, where they found the boy Hugh Gibson alone, crying, and stating that David McCabe and two boys were drowned. Laird and his son then took Gibson with them back to the "cube." After this they "drew" the fire, which took about 15 minutes, and after waiting for the "sulphur to clear" they were met"
Here on www.scottishmining.co.uk/13.html you'll find these
IX. The bottomer... shall, along with the fireman, attend to, and keep in proper order the cube or rarifying furnace in the pit.
XXIV. When a cube, or rarifying furnace, for accelerating the current of air through the Colliery has been established, the fireman and bottomer shall be bound to attend thereto, and see that it is at all times kept lighted and in a sufficient state to aid the ventilation.
On this website http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/coalface/glossary/cterms.htm you'll find
Glossary of Mining Terms
Cube or Cupola, a shaft sunk near to the top of a furnace upcast, and holed into the shaft a few fathoms below the surface, with a wide chimney erected over it, rising 30 or 40 feet above the surface. It relieves the pit top from smoke. Called also a tube.
And on here http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Dictionary_of_Mining,_Mineral,_and_Related_Terms/C/9 you'll find this definition
Cube a. Scot. A ventilating furnace in a mine.
Or from here
22.4.1903 Joseph William James & MaryTodd 27 George St. Cube Pit, Felling
In contrast, here is a WW2 evacuee in talking about the place of their billet...
"...we were accustomed to back home at 53 George Street in the Q-pit area of Felling." That was in 1939 but lest you're thinking the address had changed between 1903 and 1939 it had not because my Dad as a POW in 1941 wrote to his sister in Kenmire Street, Cube Pit, Felling