The two-year Heritage Lottery Funded Project aims to collected mining memories from the Nottinghamshire coalfield as an educational resource for future generations. The Project is collecting mining memories from six former mining communities at Ollerton, Blidworth, Rainworth (Rufford Colliery), Hucknall, Linby and Newstead. The Project has just completed its first year and is in the process of collecting audio testimonies from miners in these former communities.
The Mining Memories Roadshow visited Newstead on 13th October 2011 and pupils from Newstead Primary School and Kirkby College visited the exhibition to learn about aspects of coalmining in the former Nottinghamshire coalfield. For further details of the Project contact the Notts Area (NUM) Ex and Retired Miners Association on (01623) 416895 or by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mines Rescue Team from Mansfield Woodhouse recently attended the tragic mining disaster at the Gleision Drift Mine, situated in the Neath Valley near Swansea. Mines Rescue Ltd, based at Leeming Street in Mansfield Woodhouse, travelled to the site of the Gleision Mine on the morning of the accident on 15th September 2011. They provided extra support to the local rescue teams trying to free the four trapped miners. However, the operation ended in vain when the bodies of the four miners were discovered the next day. A further fatality in coal mining occurred later in the same month when a miner was killed at Kellingley Colliery in the Yorkshire coalfield. Even in its death throws the coal industry gave us a stark reminder of the “price of coal”.
The 30th September 1991 saw the finish of production and subsequent closure of Cresswell Colliery. Geographically based in Derbyshire, the colliery came under the remit of the Nottinghamshire Area. Cresswell also came under the Notts wages league, this state of affairs dating back to 1926 and the influence of the “Nottingham Miners Industrial Union”, more commonly known as the Spencer Union after its founder, George Alfred Spencer.
The shafts at Cresswell were sunk in 1895-96 by the Bolsover Colliery Company. A “Model Village” followed which included an Institute, billiards room, reading room, library, smoking room, refreshment bar and lecture hall. Because of past closures around Cresswell it was not appreciated that in its final years it had to deal with more mine-water than coal! The colliery is now a pumping station dealing with mine-water mainly from the North Derbyshire coalfield.
During the past week two new mining memorials have been unveiled at two venues in the former Nottinghamshire coalfield. On Sunday 2nd October 2011 a new memorial was unveiled at Calverton to commemorate miners killed during the lifespan of Calverton Colliery (1952-1999). Two days later, on Tuesday 4th October, another memorial was unveiled at Bilsthorpe to commemorate miners killed whilst working at Bilsthorpe Colliery (1927 – 1997). Bilsthorpe suffered a triple fatality in 1993 following a serious roof-fall in a development heading. The Bilsthorpe event was organised by the Bilsthorpe Heritage Society.
A fair number of mining memorials now exist in the Nottinghamshire coalfield reflecting the proud heritage of the former colliery communities in the county.
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 is 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.