Fig 1: Miners Statue at Silverhill Woods, site of the former Silverhill Colliery (1875 – 1992). This is the highest point in Nottinghamshire. Photo Credit: MuBu Miner.
Longwall, Landscape and Legacies: The Coal Mining Memorials of the East Midlands.
The proposed Longwall, Landscape and Legacies project will be a digital project based on the coal mining memorials of the East Midlands and aims to engage people via creative media, local arts and heritage and walking for health and wellbeing. Pending a successful funding bid, the project is planned to run for eighteen months from 1st July 2021 to 31st December 2022. It will be administered and run by Mine2Minds Education, a not for profit organisation based in the East Midlands which provides community education and training based on its heritage.
Fig. 2 – Example of a coal mining heritage tour at Annesley in Nottinghamshire – Photo Credit: MuBu Miner
Fig. 3 – Guided industrial heritage walk around Annesley and Newstead in 2011 as part of the HLF funded Annesley Old Church Project (2011-2014). Photo Credit: MuBu Miner
Coal Trails and Tales.
The project will link the memorials of the present with the past via a series of digital ‘Coal Trails and Tales’, which will incorporate mining terminology and the pit-talk / local dialect of the region. Each memorial will include a brief pit history, with local links being made to the arts, heritage and tales of coal mining folklore to tell the story of East Midlands coal.
A YouTube video of the Annesley coal mining heritage trail can be seen at; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Tv9Grofrw&t=122s
Fig. 4 Helen Sharp and David Amos recording an audio version of Helen’s story, The Miners Lot, in 2011. Photo Credit: Mick Sharp.
Mining a Deep Seam: Telling the Story of Coal
The Miners Lot.
Helen Sharp’s short story, ‘The Miners Lot’, tells a tale on the eve of the Pit Heads Baths (Shower Block) opening in the 1950’s and the end of the ritual of miners having to come home in their pit dirt to get washed. The story first appeared in ‘The Selstonia Anthology’ (2010), produced as part of the HLF funded Selstonia Living Heritage Project (2008 – 2011). An audio of the story can be heard below and a video of the story appears on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7fhrimbTHk&t=36s
The Miners Lot
Fig. 5 – Pupils from Holly Hill Primary School, Selston, Nottinghamshire, visit the National Coal Mining Museum for England near Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 2011. Photo Credit: Selstonia Living Heritage Project Archive.
Learning beyond the Classroom.
In 2011, pupils from Holly Hill Primary School, Selston, Nottinghamshire, visited the National Coal Mining Museum for England in Yorkshire as part of their Key Stage 2 studies in History. The visit was in conjunction with the HLF funded Selstonia Living Heritage Project (2008 – 2011). Many of the pupils had grandfathers who were miners in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire coalfield. Prior to the visit the pupils were taken on a local heritage walk around Selston which featured aspects of its coal mining past and a lesson entitled ‘Gas in Coal Mines’ was presented by the MuBu Miner.
Our Visit to the National Coal Mining Museum - 2011.
The Coal Mining Memorials in the project.
The project will include coal memorials at Bilsthorpe (North Nottinghamshire), Eastwood (West Nottinghamshire), Heanor (Derbyshire), Coalville (North West Leicestershire) and Church Gresley (South Derbyshire). Other memorials will be added as the project progresses. In total, it is estimated that there are around one-hundred coal mining memorials in the East Midlands region. The regions last colliery at Thoresby, near Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, closed in July 2015.
Fig. 6: Mining Memorial at Bilsthorpe, Nottinghamshire, in the shape of a Flame Safety Lamp. Around the memorial is the names of all the fatalities at the colliery during its seventy year life. Photo Credit – MuBu Miner
Fig. 7: DH Lawrence themed coal mining mural at the side of Caunton Engineering, Engine Lane, Moorgreen, near Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. Photo Credit – MuBu Miner.
Fig. 8: DH Lawrence Literary Trail, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. Photo by MuBu Miner.
Fig. 9: Coal Mining memorial in the shape of a half headstock wheel at the Shipley Visitors Centre, near Heanor, Derbyshire. The memorial is for Shipley Coppice colliery which closed in 1966. Photo Credit – MuBu Miner.
Fig. 10: ‘Strong I’th’ Arm: The Rhymes of a Marlpool Miner’, published in 1975, by Heanor pitman poet, Owen Watson (1912 – 1980). Photo Credit – MuBu Miner collection.
Fig. 10: Preserved colliery headstocks at Snibston Colliery, Coalville, Leicestershire, in 2016. Snibston Colliery closed in 1983 but prepared and dispatched coal from nearby Whitwick and South Leicester collieries until 1986. Photo Credit – MuBu Miner.
Fig. 11: Part of the coal mining collection at the HQ of the South Derbyshire Miners Preservation Group, at Gresley Old Hall, Church Gresley, South Derbyshire. Photo Credit – MuBu Miner.
Fig. 11: Part of the extensive photograph / slide collection of a former NCB Photographer at an East Midlands based heritage centre. Photo Credit – MuBu Miner.
Collections and Documents
As part of the project many of the coal mining artefacts and documentation based at heritage centres, museums and in private collections in the region will be accessed to help tell the story of East Midlands coal mining.
For further information about the proposed Longwall, Landscape and Legacies project, contact Mind2Minds Education at https://miningheritage.co.uk/mine2minds-education/