As a fossil fuel, our supplies of coal are limited and this means that we will eventually run out. As a result, the UK government has been searching for feasible replacements for several years in preparation for this inevitability. With this said, Britain is a country famous for its coal mining era and our economy benefited greatly from the sacrifices that many working glass miners made. Read on we go over everything there is to know about the history of British coal mining…
The Industrial Revolution
Although coal was used sparingly for many years prior the 17th century, it is safe to say that the Industrial Revolution kick started the mining industry. After all, the fossil fuel was suddenly required in abundance in order to power factories and steam trains and this provided jobs for hundreds of thousands of people. With this said, the workers were often poorly paid for the dangerous work they had to carry out and many coal mines employed children as young as five for their small size and subsequent ability to squeeze into tight gaps within the mines.
For almost 200 years, coal remained the most abundant and reliable source of energy and power in the UK and this kept the mines open and workers employed. With this said, the production of coal peaked in 1913 at 287 million tonnes and our supplies began to slowly decline over the following 50 years. Further changes affected British coal mining when a conservatives government came into power in the mid 1980’s with the plan to close 20 mines, leading to a year-long strike across the country. Eventually, these pits were closed which lead to an increase in poverty and unemployment in former mining towns.
Since coal cannot be reproduced, it is essential that we find a reliable alternative before our supplies run dry. As a result, this newfound focus on renewable power has impacted the coal mining industry and created an imbalance when it comes to supply and demand. In fact, the last deep coal mine in the UK closed almost five years ago in 2015. With this said, coal still remains a reliable and essential fuel when it comes to generating power and electricity and there are around 26 open cast mines still in operation.
Here at Pearson Fuels, we consider ourselves the nations experts when it comes to all things coal related. After all, educating our customers is just as important as providing them with impeccable service. To find out more information about British coal mining and the steps that were taken to allow small businesses like ourselves to rise up the ranks, get in contact with the best coal merchants on the market and speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!