Synopses & Reviews
Coal was the very bedrock on which the town of Whitehaven was built, the trade in coal with Dublin starting after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Shipping ever increasing quantities of coal to Ireland brought another industry to the town - shipbuilding. In the seventeenth century, the Whitehaven Pottery began, local coal firing the kilns. Coal mining fathered several more local industries, including chemicals, iron ore smelting, glass bottle making, foundries, engineering and even the railways made use of phenomenal quantities of coal. The winning of coal was a costly business in terms of lives lost, with several disasters occurring in the Whitehaven Colliery. Women and young children were employed in the mines, working for twelve hours or more a day. Now, there are few physical traces left of the Whitehaven Colliery: some sites have become housing estates and others have been returned to grass. In this book, Alan W. Routledge looks at the history of the Whitehaven Colliery.
Whitehaven grew on coal. The town was expanded after a pier was built in 1634 by the Lowther family. A steam engine was built here in 1715 to pump water from the mines, which were some of the deepest in Europe in the 1700s. Major accidents, killing hundreds, occurred at Wellington William and Haig collieries. Haig pit was the last to close, in 1986, soon after the disastrous miners strike finished.Alan Routledge, who has compiled many books on Whitehaven, takes us through the history of mining in the town, using photographs old and new to show the contrast between the industry of the past and the town of today, and how it has recovered from the loss of the mining industry."