The End of Coal

Political, social and cultural perspectives on the history of the coal industry, 1970 to the present



Thursday 30 JuneFriday 1 July 2016


Thursday: 1–7pm
Friday: 9.30am–5.30pm


Highfield House, University Park




Online registration


Keynote speakers

  • Prof Jim Tomlinson (University of Glasgow) Coal in context: the deindustrialisation of Britain from the 1950s
  • PD Dr Martina Steber (University of Konstanz) Fundamentals at stake: the Conservatives and industrial relations
  • Dr David Amos (University of Nottingham) Nottinghamshire miners in the 1984–85 Miners’ Strike and after
  • Dr Jim Phillips (University of Glasgow) Meanings of coalfield community in Britain, c. 1957–1994
  • Prof Tim Strangleman (University of Kent) Mining a productive seam? The coal industry, community and sociology
  • Sophie Rowland (University of Kent) A new era for coal: the place of heritage and health in reconstructing male lives in the era of deindustrialisation
  • Chris Upton, photographer – Thoresby: the end of the mine
  • Andrew Foulds (Nottingham) Memories from the Nottinghamshire coalfield: an oral history approach
  • Dr Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite (UCL) and
    Dr Natalie Thomlinson (University of Wolverhampton) Women’s activism during the 1984–85 Miners’ Strike: memories and legacies
  • Dr Geoff Bright (Manchester Metropolitan University) Working with social haunting: a post-disciplinary, arts-based inquiry into the long afterlife of the 1984–85 Miners’ Strike
  • Almuth Ebke (University of Mannheim) How British is coal? The decline of the mining industry and the questioning of British identity, c. 1988–2008
  • Dr Michael Farrenkopf (German Mining Museum Bochum) The final end of hard coal mining in Germany: a turning point for German mining museums?
  • Dr Natasha Vall (Teesside University) Dereliction, nostalgia and the musealization of the industrial past in North East England
  • Prof Dick Geary (University of Nottingham) Comparing coalfield societies in international perspective: an autobiographical account
  • Prof Dr Dr Franz-Josef Brüggemeier (University of Freiburg) Legacies of coal

Is this for you?

This international conference marks the closure in July 2015 of Thoresby Colliery, the last working mine in the Midlands, and, with the closure of Kellingley Colliery last December, the end of deep-coal mining in the UK more generally. It brings together scholars from different disciplines to examine the end of coal in Western Europe and to consider the legacies and afterlives of coal.

The conference aims to re-evaluate the current state of research on the political economy of the coal industry and the conflicts surrounding its run-down in Western Europe over the past 40 years. It will test the heuristic value of the classic sociological concept of ‘occupational community’ for a social history of coal mining and will look at the broader cultural meanings that were attached to the industry in different contexts.

It will examine representations of coal mining in the contemporary museum and will also ask about the broader relevance of the coal industry for the history of late 20th-century Europe.

The conference is free and includes a special viewing of 'Thoresby: the End of the Mine', an exhibition of photographs by Chris Upton.



The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151