The Rise and Fall of King Coal


Deep-mined coal is no longer produced in the United Kingdom – the last of the country’s collieries was closed at the end of 2015, causing the sun to set on a vast industry that at one time boasted 3,000 mines and employed well over a million workers. The Rise and Fall of King Coal tells the fascinating story of coal… from its origins in prehistoric swamps to its early primitive mining methods and to its role as the mineral that fuelled the Industrial Revolution and put the ‘Great’ into Britain. It explores the history and operation of the collieries and their railways, explains the location of the coalfields and examines the hazards, hardships, disputes and tragedies that were part of every miner’s life. Finally, with Britain now possessing only a handful of opencast and tiny drift mines while still importing millions of tons of coal from overseas, the UK’s energy policy is examined at a time when many Britons are worrying whether it is sufficiently fit for purpose