On Behalf of the People:
Work, Community and Class in the British Coal Industry 1947-1994
In January 1947, signs were erected at pits around the UK proclaiming that ‘This colliery is now managed by the National Coal Board on behalf of the people’. Sixty-eight years later Kellingley, the last deep coal mine in Britain, closed. Now is an important time to study and preserve the history of the mining industry.
‘On Behalf of the People’ is a project that examines the economic, political and social history of the nationalised British coal industry (1947–1994). The project is based at the University of Wolverhampton and Northumbria University and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The researchers, Professor Keith Gildart (principal investigator), Professor Andy Perchard (co-investigator), Dr. Ben Curtis and Dr Grace Millar (postdoctoral research fellows), have undertaken extensive archival research and undertaken over 100 oral history interviews. Through a study of eight collieries located in England, Scotland, and Wales, the project explores the rich and complex history of coal, mining communities, the lives of those who worked in the industry and their families.
Case Study Pits
The ‘On Behalf of the People’ project used eight case-study pits to explore the industry and communities around it: Annesley/Bentinck Colliery (Nottinghamshire, England, 1865–2000), Barony Colliery (Ayrshire, Scotland, 1910–1989), Bickershaw Colliery (Lancashire, England, 1830–1992), Easington Colliery (Durham, England, 1899–1993), Markham Colliery (Derbyshire, England, 1882–1993), Point of Ayr Colliery (Flintshire, Wales, 1890–1996), Prince of Wales Colliery (Yorkshire, England, 1860–2002), and Tower Colliery (Cynon Valley, Wales, 1864–2008).