Monthly Archives: April 2016

Disability and Coal in 20th-century Britain by Mike Mantin

The Rest convalescent home for miners, Porthcawl, c.1920. With kind permission of the Disability and Industrial Society Project.

To rethink the history of disability and employment, we can turn to one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.

Introduction

Coal was one of the most notoriously dangerous British industries. Many of its most deadly incidents are well known: the Hartley Colliery disaster of 1862 that trapped and killed 204 miners in Northumberland and the 1913 explosion at Universal Colliery in Senghenydd, South Wales, that took 439 lives, to name just two. Yet everyday accidents were equally commonplace. Unlike major disasters, the common accidents, injuries and diseases faced by coalminers are near-impossible to collate and quantify. Continue reading