Dealing with the Past: Coal, Community and Change (1965-2015). 

Dealing with the Past: Coal, Community and Change (1965-2015)

The coal industry, once a main employer in the East Midlands, has a long and proud association with the arts and this travelling exhibition aims to deal with the contested memories of coalmining in the region through a selection of iconic photographs. It is an important topic as the East Midlands region was a particular focus of attention during the fifty-years covered by the Exhibition; from being ‘Roben’s Promised Land’ in the 1960’s, to the strikes and upheavals in the 1970’s, the controversy surrounding the role of East Midlands working-miners in the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike and finally to the closure of the final East Midlands colliery in 2015.

The Exhibition opens to the public at Mansfield Museum on Saturday 9th March running until 30th March 2019.  The Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10am – 5pm. The Exhibition is free to attend and the public will be encouraged to leave their comments on the role coal has played in the region and the legacy it has left behind.

Following Mansfield, the exhibition then moves on to Chesterfield Museum, opening there on 4th April running until 27th April 2019. Other venues the Exhibition will be visiting include Harworth Town Hall (Bircotes), the National Coalmining Museum for England and Conkers Discovery Centre.  A post exhibition Day Conference is planned to take place at Nottingham Contemporary in late September 2019.

Funded by the Global Heritage Research Fund at Nottingham Trent University, it aims to cover different important aspects of coal mining in the region during a time of rapid change. These include coal communities and change, the role of women in coal mining, the impact of closures and rationalisation, strikes and industrial action and legacies of the industry in today’s society.

Special thanks go to the Coal Authority and Chad Newspaper for permissions to use the iconic coalmining images for the Exhibition.

Further information:  From Natalie Braber (Nottingham Trent University) on (0115) 848 3011 or by e-mail at


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