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The MP for Bolton, who was a mine owner, argued that it would unjustly deprive children of their honest livelihood, and would drive them and their families into the workhouse. Others suggested that working from a young age was good and developed useful industrious habits ... Others said that the entire mining industry would collapse if it wasn’t allowed to use child labour. Ian Hislop’s Age of the Do-Gooders II: Suffer the Little Children, BBC 2010
At Heath’s moment of maximum weakness the Miners came back for more. Heath vs Wilson: The 10 Year Duel, BBC 2011
Wilson immediately bought off the miners. ibid.
The miners are out of work ... Their problem is much more than a mining problem – it concerns the standards of living not only for themselves but in other parts of the world. Eleanor Roosevelt
It’s the story about a group of men, some of whom worked in the same colliery where my dad was a miner. Jon Blair, Perspectives: Robson Green and the Pitmen Painters, ITV 2011
In those days they proudly called it [Ashington] the biggest mining village in the world ... What’s left behind is unemployment and a town looking for its soul. ibid.
Working men together deciding to do an art appreciation class, deciding to paint, deciding to improve themselves. ibid.
This was a tight-knit community. One that was killed when the miners died. Or were they murdered? ibid.
Imagine doing this for forty, fifty years of your life. ibid.
At least there’s a record of how it once was thanks to the painters of the Ashington Group. ibid.
The miner’s harsh living conditions made a deep impact on Van Gogh. He decided to share their hardship. Great Artists with Tim Marlow: Van Gogh, Seventh Art 2003
1960: 533,000 textile workers; 1978: 209,000 textile workers; 1960: 700,000 miners; 1998: 9,000 miners in the UK. Michael Wood, The Great British Story: A People’s History 8/8, BBC 2012
There are three bodies no sensible man directly challenges: the Roman Catholic Church, the Brigade of Guards, and the National Union of Mineworkers. Harold Macmillan, cited Observer 22nd February 1981
They [miners] just wanted their fair share of Ted Heath’s brave new world. Dominic Sandbrook, The 70s I: Get It On 70–72 ***** BBC 2013
In early 1972 they woke from their slumber and voted to strike for a better deal. ibid.
Power cuts were becoming a fact of life. ibid.
Ted Heath had fatally underestimated the miners ... Heath hadn’t just been beaten, he’d been annihilated ... The victory of aspiration. ibid.
Miners: it was a showdown that divided the nation ... The miners raised the stakes as their overtime ban became an all-out strike. Dominic Sandbrook, The 70s II: Doomwatch 73–74
During the miners’ strike a few years later television took on an almost Falklands role, with the miners often cast as the Argies. Picket line violence was the main media issue. When the strike was over the Council on Civil Liberties produced a report on the role of the police. The report said: ‘Contrary to the impression given by the media, most of the picketing during the strike had been orderly and on a modest scale’. This was not reported. John Pilger, lecture July 1996, ‘The Hidden Power of the Media’
Since mining began in South Africa, 69,000 have been killed in accidents. It’s been estimated that the human cost of every ton of gold mined is one life and twelve serious injuries. John Pilger, Apartheid Did Not Die, ITV 1998
The most devastating cost to these men remains hidden. A third of all black miners have succumbed to deadly lung disease with little compensation. This continues today. ibid.
Thomas Newcomen invented a brand new type of steam-engine which was designed solely for one purpose: to pump water from deep mine shafts. The first one was installed here at Staffordshire at a colliery, and it proved to be the world’s most successful steam-engine. Fred Dibnah’s Age of Steam e1: The Early Pioneers, BBC 2003
Mining was still a difficult and dangerous business. Sometimes it was the steam-engine itself that made it dangerous. ibid.
This is my garden and of course over the last forty years I’ve amassed a grand array of antique machinery … But now I’ve got an even bigger project on the go – it is really a bit unusual to have a pit-head-gear in your back garden … I’ve got a grand plan … to build a replica coal mine in my garden … My idea is to build a working replica of a mine to show just what it were like. This programme really is about steam, coal and our industrial heritage, and my attempts to preserve some of it here in my back garden. Fred Dibnah, Dig With Fred, BBC 2004
It were steam that drove the coal industry. ibid.
Every mine needs to have three things: 1) a mine shaft which of course is a big hole in the ground that goes all the way down to where the coal is buried; 2) the winding engine which really is a winch which lowers the men down to the coal and winds up the spoils of the digging operation; 3) the pit-head gear. ibid.
So, you lay the bricks on the iron ring a few feet at a time which provides a sort of foundation, and you brick up the gap to the underside of the brickwork where you last left off. ibid.
We’ve got to build a railway from the top of the shaft … ibid.
It’s time we set up the health and safety aspect of it. ibid.
Trouble. Big problems … Another visit from the Council. ibid.
Today fewer than five hundred people work in the quarrying and mining industries combined. Fred Dibnah’s Made in Britain e2: Collecting the Coal, BBC 2005
Between 1710 and 1712 Thomas Newcomen invented a brand new type of steam-engine – the atmospheric engine which was designed solely for one purpose – to pump water from deep mine shafts. Fred Dibnah’s World of Steam, Steel and Stone e3: The Machines that Changed the World, BBC 2006
It’s all very sad really that it’s practically all gone. Fred Dibnah’s World of Steam, Steel and Stone e8: Riches Beneath the Earth
It was the growth in iron production that led to the great increase in the demand for coal. ibid.
It is really a bit unusual to have a pit-head gear in your back garden ... I’ve got this plan to actually build a replica coal mine in me garden. ibid.
Real mining men. ibid.
There are still some coal mines around where you can see what it was like to be a miner. Fred Dibnah’s Industrial Age e4: Mining, BBC 1999
The cage would go down as much as 3,000 feet. ibid.
A strong sense of comradeship developed. ibid.
In 1947 there were nearly three quarters of a million miners in this country. ibid.
Coal mines were using steam-engines to bring men and coal to the surface. The pits were the place to become a steam engineer. Mark Williams on the Rails – Rocketmen, Discovery 2004
Wrought iron made for much stronger lighter rails. ibid.
Coal: here at Worsley in the north-west commerce, necessity, raw materials and invention came together to kick-start the industrial revolution. Mark Williams, Industrial Revelations s1e1: Boom Time, Discovery 2002
Demand for coal was heavily outstripping supply ... The solution to the problem was found in the last place you’d expect: down the mine itself ... water. And you’ve got to get rid of it because it runs downhill ... And this is the engine that powers the pump. It’s a very special engine. ibid.
Why not use the water? Why not treat it as a resource? In the same way you treat the coal you’ve so heavily won underground. Why not use it to create a canal so that you can transport your coal to your points of sale? ibid.