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Lourches (Municipality, Nord, France)

Last modified: 2021-02-02 by ivan sache
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Flag of Lourches - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 17 December 2020

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Presentation of Lourches

The municipality of Lourches (3,959 inhabitants in 2018; 265 ha; municipal website) is located 20 km south-west of Valenciennes.

Coal-mining in Lourches was initiated in 1832 by Charles Mathieu, founder of the Compagnie des Mines de Douchy. In the next decades, seven out of the nine shafts owned by the company were opened in Lourches: Saint-Mathieu (1833), Beauvois, Gantois and L'Éclaireur (1834), Sainte-Barbe (1835), La Naville (1845), and Désirée (1852).
In the early 20th century, all shafts, deemed no longer profitable were closed but Sainte-Barbe, which was revamped and renamed in 1902 to Schneider. Firedamp caused three disasters in 1906, 1910 and August 1952. A flood caused its definitive closure in August 1955. Extraction of firedamp was resumed to supply the coke furnace, which remained in operation until 1983, the smelting furnaces of Escaudain ,and the power plant of Hornaing.

Ivan Sache, 19 December 2020

Flag of Lourches

The flag of Lourches (photo, photo, photo) is yellow with the municipal arms, "Gules, a miner's pickaxe and a pickaxe in saltire a carrier mass debruising in pale all or".
Th. Leuridan (Armorial des communes du département du Nord, 1909) assigned to the municipality the arms of the abbey of Saint-Amand, once lords of the village, "Azure semy fleurs de lis or".

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 19 December 2020