Coalmining Representation in the Heritage Sector of the East Midlands

Coalmining Representation in the Heritage Sector of the East Midlands Blog

Family History Enquiry – The Annesley Colliery Disaster 1877

Paul Stamp recently contacted me via the “Our Nottinghamshire” Heritage Community Website making an enquiry into is family history.  His ancestor was Dr William Hodson Abbott who attended to some of the  victims from the 1877 Annesley Colliery disaster.  He lived in Annesley from the 1870′s to the 1900′s.

Seven men died in the 1877 disaster following an underground fire.  Three were killed in a valiant attempt to save the others.  The colliery had only been in production for ten years when the disaster occurred.  By the late 1990′s Annesley was the oldest operating colliery in Britain, the initial shaft sinking commencing in 1865. It finished production in late January 2000 as part of the Annesley-Bentinck Complex.

Several articles were sent to Paul Stamp to further his research into his family history.

1. A reprint of an article from the Nottingham and Midland Counties Express dated 28th June 1877.

2. An account of the disaster in “Annesley through the Ages” by Denis Pearson, (1995), pp . 169 – 172.

3. Article “The Annesley Disaster” by Alan “Doc” Griffin from the Notts Free Press local newspaper from 17th May 1968.

A memorial to the seven deceased miners exists in the churchyard at Annesley All Saints Church.


NUM National Strike – 40th anniversary

On the 9th January 1972 the NUM started its first national strike following a ten-week overtime ban.  The strike lasted 7 weeks and ended with Lord Wilberforce intervening (the Wilberforce Inquiry) following national power cuts and blackouts.   The miners were treated as a special case and they were awarded a pay increase in excess of limits set by the Heath Government.  The strike was the longest dispute since 1926.  East Midlands miners support for the strike was instrumental in the eventual victory for the NUM. They picketed the Trent Valley Power Stations.   The miners returned to work on 28th February 1972 and the power cuts ended on 2nd March after 20 days of blackouts.

Important dates in the 1972 Strike

9th January –  Beginning of the 7 week strike following at ten-week overtime ban.

8th / 9th February – Saltley Coke Depot Picketing (Flying Pickets).

9th February –  State of Emergency is declared by Ted Heath’s Conservative Government.

16th February – Electricity Blackouts throughout Britain.  Twelve Power Stations shut down to save coal supplies and industry put on a 3 day week.

18th February – Lord Wilberforce Enquiry into Miners’ wages as a special case.

25th February – NUM National Executive Committee  accept pay settlement by 27 to 1 vote.

28th February – NUM  members go back to work.  The 1972 strike was the biggest dispute since the 1926 Miners’ Lockout.

2nd March – Power cuts finally end after 20 days due to the effects of the Miners’ Strike.


Canals and Rails to Pinxton – Friday 6th January 2012

The January 2012 illustrated talk for the East Midlands Branch of the Railway and Canal Historical Society will be at Beeston Library, near Nottingham, on Friday 6th January.  The talk, titled “Canals and Rails to Pinxton” , will be given by David Amos, and gives a brief history of the Pinxton Canal, the former Midland Railway’s Erewash Valley Line and the former Great Northern Railway’s Branch from Awsworth Junction to Pinxton.  The talk commences at 7 p.m. and visitors are welcome.  There is a small charge and visitors can turn up on the night.  The talk will have a strong coal theme as coalmining was once prolific in this part of the Derbyshire / Nottinghamshire border.


S is for Snibston Colliery and Discovery Museum.

Snibston Colliery, locally known as Snibo,  is situated in the heart of the former Leicestershire coalfield in the town of Coalville.  The Colliery finished production in 1983 but remained in situ for receiving coal from Whitwick  and South Leicester Collieries until they both closed in 1986.  Snibston Colliery commenced production in 1832 and had links with the famous industrialist and Engineer, George Stephenson.

The Colliery Headstocks and buildings survived to become part of the Snibston Discovery Museum. Part of the Museum includes the excellent Colliery Tours conducted by former miners.  The tours describe vividly what life was like in coalmining and include visits to the colliery winding house, the control room, the Lampcabin and the Explosives Magazine. The Story of Coal and coalmining is told in the gallery part of the museum using interactive, hands on exhibits, audio visuals, mining artefacts and various exhibitions.

Deep coalmining finished in this part of the world when Bagworth Colliery turned its last coal in February 1991. The super-pit at Asfordby, part of the Vale of Belvoir Project, never really materialised, and it closed in 1997 after merely two-years of production.  The cost of this “White Elephant Project” was between half and three-quarters of a billion pounds to the British taxpayers. Surely the dearest coal ever in the history of coalmining!


R is for the Rufford Colliery Memorial

The Rufford Colliery Memorial stands at the end of the former pit lane in the former colliery village of Rainworth, near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.  Sinking of the Rufford shafts commenced in 1912 by the Bolsover Colliery Company.  The Colliery closed in 1993 during the coal-crisis of October 1992 – March 1994.


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.