Do you have any old photos of miners or pit communities to share? Email copies, marking Retro in status bar, to: comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk
Do you have any old photos of miners or pit communities to share? Email copies, marking Retro in status bar, to: [email protected]

Take a look at these memorable photos of Derbyshire pitmen and mining communities of times past

Bolsover, Markham and Shirebrook pits were the last to close in Derbyshire nearly 30 years ago after miners lost a fiercely-fought battle to save them.

By Gay Bolton
Monday, 17th January 2022, 1:33 pm

More than 65 percent of miners in north Derbyshire had downed tools in the 1984-85 strike. Their action was in protest against the threat to 20,000 mining jobs in the country’s pits. The National Coal Board had announced plans to cut coal output and stem a multi-million pound annual loss.

The strike lasted for 362 days, causing hardship and deep rifts in communities where some miners broke through picket lines to go to work. Wives and supporters rallied round to organise soup kitchens to feed the families of striking miners.

The previous decade, a strike by miners over pay led to the country being plunged into a three-day working week as businesses conserved electricity.

Mining began in Derbyshire in the 12th century and was so much more than a job, giving rise to many social enterprises including miners welfare clubs and brass bands.

We’ve dug deep into our archives to find these photos which look at Derbyshire colliers and the social side of pit communities…

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