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
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