The magazine of the photo-essay
Jan/Feb 2021 issue
Eckington MineConfined to History
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When I visited Eckington Mine, in Derbyshire in 2016, I was perturbed by the extreme, Victorian working conditions. Amazed that people could be put at such risk in the 21st century, I wasn’t suprised to hear that the mine had been closed in January 2019 and the Coal Authority had started works to secure and stabilise the site - not least because it ran some 30 metres beneath a section of railway line linking London to Sheffield. The drift mine at Eckington was Britain’s last commercial coal mine. Perched on the banks of the River Rother, the colliery offered few clues to its existence or the intense activity above and below ground. There was no pithead winding gear, as Eckington was a drift mine. Instead of a vertical shaft, this class of colliery was driven into a hillside, close to an outcrop of the coal seam. I documented, the still very much active, Eckington Mine in the early spring of 2016. Within three years, it was gone.
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