Coal Mine Disasters in the Modern Era c. 1900 - 1980

Brian Elliott

* Many previously unpublished photos

* First book of its kind; detailing mining disasters from the 1900s to the 1980s

* Foreword by Ceri Thompson, curator of the Big Pit, the Welsh national mining museum.

* Published at a particularly poignant time, after the recent closure of Britain's last deep coal mine.
Date Published :
April 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Series :
Images Of The Past
Illustration :
200 color images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473858848

Dimensions : 9.75 X 7.5 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 176
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Mining disasters attracted the attention of the public and the press during the twentieth century, just as they had done a few generations earlier. This interest was made even more immediate and certainly more graphic through the increasing use of photographic images and film; and the impact of broadcasting via radio and, eventually, television was immense.

The disasters also demonstrated and underlined the tremendous courage that miners had for their comrades, selfless heroism evident on countless occasions.

Although everyday fatalities in mines was far greater, it was the disasters that encouraged those in power to reform the way in which miners had to work underground, especially with regard to safety. And it would be no exaggeration to say that it was the disasters that greatly contributed to bringing the coal industry into national control.

Sadly, for bereaved individuals and families, nothing could really compensate for the loss of one or more of a loved one. The impact of the big disasters, where hundreds of men and boys – one or two generations – were lost, immediately, the impact was massive, and continued to be felt many years afterwards. New and restored disaster memorials bear testimony to the great respect that former mining communities continue to have for their 'lost miners'.

Using many previously unpublished images, and a carefully supportive text, the author provides a detailed overview of mining disasters in the modern era, from the early 1900s to the 1980s. It is the first book of its kind to attempt such a large project in pictorial form – with a Foreword by Ceri Thompson, curator of the Big Pit, the Welsh national mining museum. The book is published at a particularly poignant time, after the recent closure of Britain's last deep coal mine.

About The Author

Brian Elliott is a well-known local historian and editor who has written widely about the British coalmining history. Among his recent books on the subject are Barnsley Pits and Pitmen, Yorkshire Miners, Yorkshire Mining Veterans, The Miners' Strike Day by Day, South Yorkshire Mining Disasters (2 vols), Tracing Your Coalmining Ancestors and in Pen and Sword's Images of the Past series, Coalminers.


"I'm old enough to remember the declaration of war by Margaret Thatcher against the miners, and the various battles on British soil as they fought to preserve their industry and to maintain the highest standards of safety in their places of work, probably the most dangerous working environment in the world. I'm old enough to remember the Aberfan disaster which killed over a hundred young children and their teachers. But Brian Elliott's book about mining disasters in Britain during the first eight decades of the 20th century brings back other memories - grim reading, but fascinating, nevertheless."

- Books Monthly

"These haunting images, with well-researched facts, figures and timelines providing context, bring the bygone era of 20th-century coal mining to life."

- Family Tree, May 2017

"Well-illustrated and makes compelling reading."

- This England, Summer 2017

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