Friday 11 December 2009

Advent 11: Snibston

Broadly speaking the east side of Leicestershire is purely agricultural while the west side mixes agriculture with a number of extractive industries. In 1982 there were six coal pits operating in North West Leicestershire, employing 25% of the workforce and in some communities as much as 40-50% of the male workforce. By 1990 all the pits had been closed. Most visible signs of the coal mining industry in the area have disappeared under supermarkets and country parks - most as part of the National Forest - but the colliery at Snibston has been turned into a 'Discovery Museum' (as well as a country park). Indeed, Snibston has the largest fashion and costume display outside London and is the biggest interactive science, design and technology museum in the East Midlands. This photo from Snibston shows miners' artifical respirators, a vital part of the kit carried by all miners underground. For more information about the history of mining in the region, and Snibston itself, follow this link: