It is not so long ago that coal had a place in everyday life in Central Scotland. At its peak in the post-war period, the industry employed around 140,000 workers and met roughly 90% of the Nation’s demand for fuel.
The local landscape of the colliery towns and villages were dominated by the bing, the headstock, colliery buildings, the railway sidings and the associated housing, clubs and bowling greens. Rapid decline from the 1960s brought closure, demolition and subsequent repurposing and/or redevelopment of the colliery sites that erased much of the industrial archaeology of one of Scotland’s foremost industries.
The aim of the project is to establish official and unofficial landscape biographies of these ex-colliery sites. How they have been re-purposed and redeveloped, how the industry has been remembered or commemorated, or not as the case may be, and how the sites have been understood, experienced and used by the local communities from closure to present day. It combines archival research, historic maps and images, oral histories, industrial archaeology and on-site observations.
Catherine Mills (History) and Ian McIntosh (Sociology) lead the project.