NCB1947 Profile picture
14 Sep, 19 tweets, 6 min read
Day 2 of our conference starts with @DrBCCurtis and his paper on Oral History of Work at Tower Colliery. Dr Curtis is using recordings of his interviews to talk about the experiences of tech advances in mining.
One interview describes the reaction in the community after the explosion at Tower on 13th April 1962:

'The village was silent.'
The interviews conducted by Dr Curtis talk about humour, trade unionism, community, women working around the pit and the role of the lodge. OH allows people from coal mining communities to have their own voice.
Now we have @ewangibbs talking about his new book 'Coal Country: The Meaning and Memory of Deindustrialisation in Post-war Scotland' (which is open access!). Dr Gibbs emphasises the long process of deindustrialisation, which extends beyond the usual assumptions that only look
around the 1980s. The book begins by considering how memories of mining disasters are kept alive. Commemoration is a key bond within coal mining communities, but Dr Gibbs explains that even though nostalgia is clear, its not necessary uncritical or rose-tinted. Many use their
memories of their working lives to critique their present experiences. Next, @Kelliher_D tells us about his book 'Making Cultures of Solidarity: London and the 1984/5 Miners' Strike'. Dr Kelliher talks about the support movements around the strike, and the range of solidarity
expressed from places outside the labour movement. There is an active creation process to establishing links of solidarity, such as print workers making resources etc. Also, taking a wider look at the strike, we can see mutual relationships of solidarity going back and forth.
Now we are hearing from three ex-miners about their experiences in the coal industry. First, Mick Shaw from Bickershaw pit describes becoming a miner after working at a butchers (where there was no union to have his back). He was immediately made to feel a part of the community
and felt that the NUM was always there to help them. The experience of the strike changed him and made him into an activist. Now @AlanCum86562012 is talking about starting at Eassington colliery. He became Lodge Secretary at the age of 27, and from there rose through the ranks
to continue representing his community. His work to grow the @DurhamGala has been crucial to keeping the community memory of coal mining alive. Now Wayne Thomas from S Wales is talking about the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. Absolutely remarkable story of how they bought
their own pit after being constantly pushed into redundancy. Now, they continue their community work through a huge variety of direct support action.
Our last section begins with @ambward, a PhD student looking at community identities in Fife after the 1984/5 strike.
Since the 1980s, poverty in Fifeshire has sky rocketed. Ward is inspired by @ewangibbs to think closely about the culture around the deindustrialisation process. Her questions to her interviewees are about changes in generational, financial and social changes. She is approaching
deinduatrialisation not through politics or trade unionism, but through the community. Her choice of community groups that she is approaching will obtain a wide variety of insights, particularly from groups not traditionally associated with deindustrialisation.n
Next up @SophieRowland93 talking about the Kent coalfield community and how health and illness was discussed. Dr Rowland has been conducting ethnographic research around areas known to her through her family connections in the coal fields.
How former miners have been living with work-related illnesses has shaped family life. Dr Rowland reflects on childhood and how children remembered the 'deindustrialised body' ie the physical effects of work that endured to form a key part of the deindustrialisation process.
Enduring memories that children had of miner fathers with breathing problems that had repeated hospital visits were central to their reflections on their childhoods. Perception of disability was varied, but often it challenged sense of masculinity and identities.
These experiences proved distressing as they adjusted to a new 'disabled identity'. Masculine status often undermined when bread winner role turned into a dependent role.
Now @ProfPerchard and @ProfGildart are giving the closing remarks and talking about future events and outputs including conferences, books and blogs. It's been an incredible two days of contributions - thank you to all of speakers and people who have supported the project!

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More from @ncb1947

14 Sep
Before day 2 of our conference kicks off, here is a thread of our eight locations that we focused on for the project.
On Behalf of the People: The Industry and the Coalfields
Our project locations and themes
Read 11 tweets
13 Sep
Wonderful to see so many familiar faces gathering for our end of project event!

'On Behalf of the People': Work, Community and Class in the British Coal Industry
Douglas Nicholls, general secretary of our project partner @GFTU1, begins our event with a reminder of how important education and trade union history is to the labour movement.
Now @ProfGildart: this project has tried to include a broader range of voices. Today we have lots of people - from ex-coal miners to professors - to reflect the diverse interest in coal mining history.
Read 36 tweets

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