Treasure 35: Records of the National Union of Mineworkers, Derbyshire Area, 1880s-2015

The archive of the National Union of Mineworkers’ Derbyshire Area documents 135 years of trade unionism within the north-east Derbyshire coal industry, from the early days of the Derbyshire Miners’ Association, formed in 1880, through to the formation of the NUM in 1945 and the Area’s closure in 2015. It reflects the great changes that took place within the industry, such as nationalisation and colliery closures, and their influence on the economy, culture and communities of the East Midlands.

These records provide an insight into various aspects of the union’s activities, as well as significant national events, including the strikes of 1972, 1974 and 1984-5. They also provide an unparalleled resource for the study of miners’ health and welfare in Derbyshire, with thousands of individual case files of miners who applied for injury and disablement benefit under the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act 1946. Derbyshire Record Office has received funding from the Wellcome Trust for an exciting project to catalogue this important collection and make it available to the public.

Paul Carlyle, archivist for the Miners’ Health and Welfare: cataloguing the NUM Derbyshire Area archive project

Derbyshire mining material.JPG

The photograph above shows some of the material on display as part of the 50 Treasures exhibition. It includes:

  • A volume of Derbyshire Miners’ Association minutes covering the years of the First World War.
  • A brochure for the Rhyl Holiday Centre, 1963 season
  • A large poster advertising a rally and march through Chesterfield on 19 February 1972 organised in support of striking miners
  • ‘The Bathers’ Handbook’. Markham Collieries Pithead Baths, c1938

Find 1926 General Strike documents on Warwick University’s map

1926 map

Our colleagues at the University of Warwick’s Modern Records Centre have been busy.  They have completed the digitisation of over 450 documents on the General Strike of May 1926, including TUC reports, bulletins issued by strike committees, and transcripts of BBC radio broadcasts.

A lot of the documents have particular local content, which you can access by finding pins on the interactive map associated with this resource.  I had a play with it just now and managed to find the text of a speech about the coal industry by J F Vardy of Stanton Ironworks, delivered at the Welfare Institute at Pleasley on 25 Jul 1925.

The site also has some additional contextual material including a summary of key events before, during and after the strike.