Coal Miners of African Caribbean Heritage:
Narratives from Nottinghamshire Project

Nottingham News Centre CIC, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, led an exciting project from 2015-2016 titled, Coal Miners of African Heritage: Narratives from Nottinghamshire, documenting the memories and experiences of former African-Caribbean coal miners of Nottingham / Nottinghamshire, from the nationalisation of British coal in 1947, to the miners’ strikes of the 1970 and 1980s, to the end of British deep coal mining on 15th December 2015.

Coal Miners of African Caribbean Heritage Brochure FRONT pdf
Coal Miners of African Caribbean Heritage Brochure BACK pdf
BBC Inside Out programme featuring the project 12.09.2016

Nottingham News Centre and supporting organisation Communities Inc., both Nottingham based community enterprises, will work with volunteer ex-miners as well as volunteers from the local community to focus on capturing, exploring, preserving and sharing the memories of BME (black minority ethnic) ex-miners of Nottinghamshire’s coalfields. July 2015 saw the closure of Thoresby Colliery, the last working pit in Nottinghamshire and brought to an end over 900 years of mining heritage in Nottinghamshire. Nottingham News Centre believes that this project will enable many people with direct and indirect links to coal mining heritage, as well as individuals unaware of contributions made by diverse communities to the mining industry, to learn about transition and change affecting many generations. The project will be completed by 31st December 2016.

This unique HLF community heritage project will include:

  • Offer volunteer training in oral history, archive research as well as audio and visual media recording.
  • Visits to Bilsthorpe Mining Heritage Museum and Gedling Country Park (formerly Gedling Colliery) to trigger memories and discussion.
  • The creation of audio recordings of former BME miners with an accompanying leaflet/booklet to help preserve and share the miners’ oral histories in hard copy format.
  • The creation of writing, poetry, photography and art from volunteers and BME ex-miners through the encouragement of unique creative responses.
  • Research to record the working conditions and the relationships formed between miners of different nationalities, with the input from former miners and Nottinghamshire mining historians.
  • Recording of memories of the miners' transition from their life in the Caribbean to the Nottinghamshire coalfields. We will help collate the feelings of BAME ex-miners about the closing the forty-two pits in Nottinghamshire: Gedling Colliery in 1991 and the final Nottinghamshire pit closure at Thoresby in July 2015.
  • A display of the project findings; to be distributed as widely as possible and a 'Tribute Night' community event to share and to showcase project findings.

Vision: supporting statements

Commenting on the award, Norma Gregory (M.A), Director or Nottingham News Centre, historian and Project Co-ordinator said: “We are excited and extremely proud to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, to deepen the community’s understanding of an important part of Nottinghamshire’s social and cultural heritage. We are confident the project will support many senior and younger citizens from all nationalities in their own understanding and relationship to and within Nottinghamshire’s Coal Mining Heritage.”

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “This is an interesting and untold part of Nottinghamshire’s industrial heritage. Exploring these types of stories can give us a crucial insight into the history of our local communities which is why the Heritage Lottery Fund believes that they should be preserved and shared as much as possible.”


Miners of African Caribbean Heritage Narratives from Nottinghamshire PROJECT EVENTS 2016

Programme of events pdf
Tribute Night Invitation pdf
Certificate of Appreciation pdf

FREE WORKSHOP: Oral History & Notts Miners of African-Caribbean Heritage
DATE: Friday 15th April 2016 TIME: 11am -1.30pm. Refreshments provided.
VENUE: Renewal Trust building, 27-31 Carlton Road, Nottingham NG3 2DG (20 PLACES ONLY)

FREE VISIT: Notts Collieries Heritage Sites
Group visit to important Nottinghamshire Mining Historical sites with links to Notts Miners of African-Caribbean Heritage:
Bilsthorpe Mining Museum & Gedling Country Park (formerly Gedling Colliery)
Handle artefacts, speak to mining historians and recreate memories through creative arts.
Refreshments provided. BBC in attendance (filming)
DATE: Saturday 21st May 2016 TIME: 9.00am -3.30pm (20 PLACES ONLY)
MEET US: 9am sharp, International Community Centre, 61B Mansfield Rd, NG1 3FN
FREE SHOWCASE EVENT: Miners’ Tribute Night 2016

0115 871 3819

Notes to editors

About Nottingham News Centre CIC
Nottingham News Centre CIC is an organisation, which aims to improve the sourcing, collating and sharing of diverse local history and community news. We aim to improve employability skills, through various media production, in individuals of all ages, cultures and genders. Nottingham News Centre actively promotes knowledge transfer through research and publishing. Nottingham News Centre was instrumental in erecting the first blue heritage plaque for a BAME individual in Nottingham, for George Africanus (c1763-1834) in Victoria Street Nottingham, October 2014.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery

For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Norma Gregory
Project Coordinator
Tel: 0115 871 3819