About the project
‘A History of Coal Mining in 10 Objects’ explores the significance of various iconic mining objects; how they relate to the development of mechanised mining and how they have impacted upon Nottinghamshire communities. The study comes at a pivotal time in the industry when UK Coal’s production capability is reduced to just three working collieries and many former mineworkers are now entering their twilight years.
The project is jointly spearheaded by Dr David Amos, a mining historian and former mineworker, and Paul Fillingham a miner’s son and digital producer. Both share a connection with local coal mining communities in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and have experience of developing heritage projects and cultural trails.
The website for ‘A History of Coal Mining in 10 Objects’ www.miningheritage.co.uk has been designed to adapt to mobile tablets and smartphones and incorporates picture galleries that scale beautifully on PC, connected TV and double-density displays that are typically found in WiFi-enabled coffee shops. The website also contains embedded video clips with the prospect of additional audio archive material being added before the end of the pilot project.
The website is augmented by a range of social media pages that encourage the submission of user-generated content and help publicise a busy schedule of community events where the project team engage with former miners, their families and members of the public. Social media pages are also used to announce the publication of fresh content on the main website.
Community engagement has helped build an archive of mining artefacts related to the project. Photographs from private collections presented by members of the public at these events are being digitised and conversation often reveals further themes for investigation. Some important historical documents have also been donated to the University of Nottingham Archives, these include direct references to Arthur Lawrence, the father of working-class novelist D.H. Lawrence.
One of our successes has been the discovery of fourteen union banners and other artefacts at the former NUM Headquarters near Mansfield. The union banners have been digitised and can be viewed as an image gallery on the mining heritage website which discusses their history and iconography.
The issues surrounding the preservation and restoration of the banners has since been raised with union representatives, heritage groups, the University of Nottingham, Mansfield District Council, Mansfield Museum and Alan Meale MP. As a result, a trust has been established to ensure these important objects can be cared for and eventually loaned out to the communities they represent.