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The Shadow of the Mine : Coal and the End of Industrial Britain

Hudson, Ray, Beynon, Huw
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Verso Books
Published: June 28, 2021
ISBN: 9781839761553
416 pages, + 8pp b&w plate section
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£20.00

No one personified the age of industry more than the miners. The Shadow of the Mine tells the story of King Coal in its heyday – and what happened to mining communities after the last pits closed. Coal was central to the British economy, powering its factories and railways.

It carried political weight, too. In the eighties the miners risked everything in a year-long strike against Thatcher’s shutdowns. Defeat foretold the death of their industry.

Tens of thousands were cast onto the labour market with a minimum amount of advice and support. Yet British politics all of a sudden revolves around the coalfield constituencies that lent their votes to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in 2019. Even in the Welsh Valleys, where the ‘red wall’ still stands, support for the Labour Party has halved in a generation.

Huw Beynon and Ray Hudson draw on decades of research to chronicle these momentous changes through the words of the people who lived through them.

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