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  • Durham OnAir

Public talk to tell the story of mining communities

What happened to mining communities when the last of the pits closed will be the focus of a free online talk taking place on Monday 20 June.

The talk will be given by Professor Ray Hudson from Durham University who is the co-author of the highly acclaimed book ‘The Shadow of the Mine’, written with Professor Huw Beynon from the University of Cardiff.

The book charts the story of mining communities in the North East and South Wales through the words of the people in the former pit villages.

Through interviews, archive research and work with people in the mining communities, it tells the story of King Coal in its heyday and what happened after the pits were shut down.

The book draws on decades of research to chronicle the momentous changes - from profitable mines to strikes and unemployment - described through the experiences of the former pit workers.

Professor Ray Hudson said: “Coal was key to the growth of the British economy, powering its factories and railways and it carried political weight, too.

“The defeat of the miners in the year-long 1984/5 strike by the Thatcher government was the prelude to the death of the industry, with tens of thousands cast onto the labour market with minimal advice and support.

“The impact of this can still be felt today for those who worked in the pits and for their families and communities.”

The talk follows a recent event and public discussion, hosted by Durham University, about historical research looking at families’ experience of the Miners’ Strike.

Professor Hudson’s talk is part of Durham University’s 2022 Global Lecture Series with an umbrella theme of Extinction and Survival with respect to communities, species, ideas and the cosmos.

It will take place via Zoom on Monday 20 June at 6.30pm. Registration via this link


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