chapter  15
29 Pages

The Decline of Mining: a Case Study in Spennymoor Martin Bulmer

This chapter and the next form part o f a study o f industrial change in County Durham undertaken with the support o f the Joseph Rowntree Memorial Trust in 1968-70. A copy o f a 280-page report on this work, entitled Collectivities in Change: some sociological reflections on the decline of mining in the Durham coalfield, by M.I.A. Bulmer, comprising eight chapters on community studies, the regional and local background, the decline o f mining and the growth o f factory industry, the social role o f the workingmen’s club and the relationship between industry and locality, is deposited at the Library o f Durham University. Policy aspects o f the pit closure discussed in this chapter are examined in *.Mining Redundancy: a case study o f the workings o f the Redundancy Payments A ct, 1965, in the Durham coalfield9, Industrial Relations Journal, Vol.2, No. 4 , 1971, pp.3-21. The close-knit, industrially homogenous and class-conscious mining community has been immortalised in Coal is Our Life.1 What happens when the industrial underpinning of such a community is knocked away? How do miners experience redeployment, redundancy or early retirement? What is the experience of ex-miners who go to work in new industries? These are very broad questions, of interest to all who live in and know British coal-mining districts. They have, moreover, considerable policy implications for labour mobility and industrial development.