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Report - Exploring the UK coal industry 2006 - 2016

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#1
Having been bred from collier stock and growing up smack bang in the middle of the Warwickshire coal field it is little wonder I developed an interest in the coal industry. I can trace colliers in my family up to five generations ago, in the small pit villages around County Durham. I have a hazy recollection of being taken to Easington Colliery as a small child to meet elderly relatives in back to back houses, virtually in the shadow of Easington pit.

As asylum fever swept through the UE scene in 2005 - 06 there were very few people taking any notice of the epic industry that was around at that time. I owe a great debt to @Dave W & @Joe. who were there at the very early days battering this stuff. My first coal related explore was with them at the Selby Complex... I was hooked...

Over the next few years Turk and I drove to every scrap of the coal industry that we cold find. It became a bit of an obsession to try and capture what remained before it was all gone. Other than the few mining museums dotted around it became apparent that little of the industry would end up preserved (as we have recently seen at Snibston even the structures that were retained are not guaranteed to be around forever.)

The recent round of closures marks the end of an iconic industry. While it's been fantastic to see some new sites, one cannot help feeling a tinge of sadness, not just for the industry and the workers, but also that there will be very little to see in the future... no new headstocks to climb, no lamp rooms to rummage in. This is the last of the last.

So, below are a few images from the past decade's efforts. I've just been playing at it in comparison to Dave and Joe, but none the less I am reasonably proud of what I managed to get to see...

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First colliery explore with Dave and Joe...
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My first headstock, Pleasley colliery 2006.
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A rare treat for me, tiled engine hall at Penallta
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Shot firer's canister
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Kiveton baths, a little seen jem which was demolished a few years ago...
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Rossington, in my opinion the most attractive headstocks
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dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Rossington%2092_zpsjmcqmfuk.jpg


Coalite's last employee
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Entry from the last four men to descend down Thorne Colliery shaft before it was backfilled.
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One of my regrets, I missed Rossington's bath house by a few days. By the glazed bricks and battered lockers scattered around, it would have been a belter too :(
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The night we met Rossington's "ghost miner"
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Idle lamps at Thorne Colliery
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Turk learns how to operate a winder at Tower Colliery, just after closure.
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No doubt some interesting times in this room...
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Miner returning his lamp, just after closure at Tower
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30's modernism meets Victorian ironwork at Lynemouth
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Joe.

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#5
I remeber you did not like that set of steps at gassey wood at all! Shame it went so fast really, but then that was true of so many of the pit closures around that time.

The window between a pit being in use and demolition was always tight and thinking back its a wonder that we managed to see as much as we did.

Few other people can claim to have covered as much of the last days of coal as you have, it takes years of dedication to put together sets of photos like this and its a task now that cannot be repeated.
 

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#6
I remeber you did not like that set of steps at gassey wood at all!.
That seems like a lifetime ago!

I have a lot of regrets, I wish I had made more trips to Rossington and Welbeck, but it's easy to say that, I had a full time job / relationship / other stuff to see! I am pleased we documented as much as we did, so much of the above has gone now and like you say once it's gone it's gone!
 

Bolts

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#7
Really enjoyed looking through this, the effort you put into some of your reports is something else :thumb
 

nsdev

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#8
Brilliant work, what will, in the near future, be historically important pictures there. Won't be so long before people won't know what a lot of the content of those shots was for!
 

Oxygen Thief

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#9
Lovely mate, top work right there.

The night we met Rossington's "ghost miner"
Yeah that was ridiculous. One minute we were being hunted down and hiding on the slag heap, the next that guy walked a couple of metres away and straight past us.
 

Idle Hands

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#10
That's pretty special. Not much left to show for it now, save for the odd wheel half submerged in concrete by way of commemoration...
 

host

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#11
That is what you you call putting in the effort, absolutly fantastic…god i wish i had started 5 years before i did and knew more people too doing this, personally i feel i missed so much in the North west around 2000 to 2005 before the big development boom…cant wait to see what to put up next.
 

Cuuvin

28DL Colonial Member
28DL Full Member
#15
:thumb:thumb Aye, This be a right proper look back at what once was ... 'Tis a shame. Nicely done though!
 
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