Filed under mining

Alderley Edge

Alderley Edge

The author that first got me interested in landscapes- not just the look, but the feel, the sense of deep history, was Alan Garner. We did his book The Owl Service at school, and from time to time I have dipped into his back catalogue, many of which are allegedly for children, but they are … Continue reading


Blackface in Lancashire

Blackface entertainers get a lot of stick these days for being a long standing form of offence by white entertainers, but historically, there is often more to the story. Many years ago I saw a special programme by the Unthanks on traditional dances in England, some of which are pretty weird, none less so than … Continue reading

The Romance of Modern Electricity

The Romance of Modern Electricity

I have no idea when or why I bought this book, but it is very thick and the modern of the title refers to 1906, so is a fascinating insight to the world before the Great War. This is the author, featured toward the end of the book rather than o the outside to encourage … Continue reading

Humphrey Davey on Science

Humphrey Davey was one of the great pioneering scientists, famous for the first safety lamp for miners; he was born in Cornwall where his mother had a boarding house where some of the Lunar Men stayed, then he worked for chemist Dr Beddoes at Howells institute where they experimented on cures for TB, and discovered … Continue reading

Fenland Losses and Gains

When we talk about Britain’s, especially England’s landscapes, it is hard to find anywhere that has not been messed about with by our ancestors. I met a guy in Bristol who had found some burnt wood near the old gaol that had been torched in the riots of 1833, claiming that this was the remains … Continue reading

London Earth Moving

Britain’s biggest engineering project at present is the Crossrail project, digging a tunnel to link up parts of the huge underground train system. But where does all the earth go? This is from an article by travel writer Simon Calder in the i newspaper: “Big Barges laden with mud from the project sail daily from … Continue reading

Fracking Fall Out

  The impact of fracking in the US has been widely reported as providing huge supplies of gas, so bringing the world prices down, but I have not heard of the knock-on effect on coal. As coal is heavy, it is more costly to extract, and transport,  so demand for it in the US has … Continue reading

Well Clearance

Here’s a story that ticks a lot of boxes for me as I am very interested in clean water and gunpowder used in stupid and/or dangerous ways. I saw an article – I think from the late 18th century on how to make a well safe for workmen, as stale air could sometimes explode when … Continue reading

Money Really Does Grow on Trees

Well, almost. Scientists in outback Australia have made a discovery that  could revolutionise how gold is mined – they have found traces of the metal in the leaves and branches of eucalyptus trees in the remote Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia. But before you pack your swag and head for the bush, the gold is … Continue reading

Dead Man’s Shoes

I’ve been having a tidy up at home and found this article from the Independent of 30 March 1991, by David Keys. “Health and safety in Britain’s coal mines were guaranteed by substitute human sacrifice, discoveries being made in Leicestershire suggest. Following the discovery of Britain’s oldest coal mine, archaeologists and modern miners have found … Continue reading