It’s the pits!

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Alan Payling explains what’s on offer for groups when they visit a former coal mine in the Welsh valleys or elsewhere in the UK, and finds that passengers may have a sinking feeling

coal mine

Big Pit National Coal Museum in South Wales. NESSY-PIC WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

When the coal industry was nationalised in January 1947 and came under the management of the National Coal Board, 800,000 people were employed in supplying the nation with King Coal. That’s not to mention the previous generations of people who worked down t’pit.

Given that genealogy (where people research their family’s history) is a popular pastime, that means an awful lot of people will have coal miners popping up in their family trees. Now that deep coal mining in the UK is a thing of the past, the traditional coal mine has become part of the industrial heritage industry. This means there are a few places where people who had miners in the family can see what their forbears went through.

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