Coalmining Representation in the Heritage Sector of the East Midlands

Coalmining Representation in the Heritage Sector of the East Midlands

Tracing your mining family history

I recently had a call from Bill Saxton who was tracing his famly tree. In the subsequent discussion the usual things cropped up; do records exist of miners service, any accidents, any disciplinary measures etc etc. In many cases the simple answer to these types of questions is no. When the pits closed the men were quickly taken off the books and the salvage / demolition process quickly began. Apart from the excellent collection at Snibston and the Coal Authority many other aspects of mining social history was lost forever. In many cases there was no official moves to preserve unique historical mining documents. Up to the late 1990′s all the service records for the old NCB South Notts Area where based at the old Pit Head Baths at the closed Newstead Colliery. At sometime in the proceedings all these records were disposed of and a vast amont of service history, along with migratory patterns for miners moving to the Notts coalfield was lost forever.

However not all hope is lost. In some cases individuals, on their own accord, ensured that some of the colliery records were preserved. Around ten years ago, I deposited three signing on books and a fines book from Annesley Colliery, at the Nottinghamshire Archives. The record books dated from 1904 to the early 1930′s. Prior to being deposited typed copies were made of all details in the books; included were work details of the former Notts and England fast bowler, Harry Larwood.

For further details see “My ancestor was a Coalminer” by David Tonks, Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd, 2003.

 

Comments

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    David July 14th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    One of the main issues that crop up in family history enquiries is that of job description i.e. my Grandad was a back ripper, or a hewer etc etc. In a illustrated talk I occasionally give on coalmining there is a picture of a back ripping included. This was put in at the request of two ladies who were doing their family history and wanted to know what a back-ripper did. Their relative was a back ripper.

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    David July 14th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    On my sister’s birth certificate (born 1955) the profession of our Dad is a Coalface worker (Stripper). The Full Monty eat your heart out!

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    David July 15th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    The relative that Bill Saxton was tracing was John James Saxton, born 1845 or 1846. On the 1871 Census he was working as a Clerk and lived at Cottage Terrace in Eastwood. By the 1881 Census he was an Agent for Barber-Walker Ltd – the main coal-owners in Eastwood and lived on Nottingham Road in Eastwood. By 1891 he was working at a Print Works in Buxton.

 

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About this Sponsor

The MuBu Coalmining Project took place from April 2010 to the end of March 2012.  The remit was two-fold - firstly to see how the once vast coalmining industry in the East Midlands was represented in the Heritage sector and secondly to bring aspects of social media to that representation. The Coal mining project was funded by Renaissance East Midlands (REM) and the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) at the University of Nottingham. The Bursary holder was Dr. David Amos who completed a PhD on the 1984-85 Miners Strike in the Nottinghamshire Coalfield. David is an ex miner, having worked in the deep mining coal industry at Annesley Colliery for 24 years.

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