Patron: Mr. J.W. Evans. OBE.
Honorary President: William Field
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How it all began
In Cannock Chase there had always been a great family tradition with son following father into the mine. The early miners had moved here from the fast fading coalfields of South Staffordshire and Shropshire, as well as further a field, a decision borne out of necessity to provide for their families. These old timers were skilled tradesmen and experts at winning coal from the bowels of the earth; they were hard men and women their existence and way of life dictated this.
The miners started to arrived at the new Cannock Chase Coalfield, around 1850, when deep mining was in its infancy. This was when the Marquis of Anglesey leased his mines in the Burntwood/Edial area to Mr John Robinson McLean. This action by the Marquis opened the flood gates for others to become mine owners and there was a dramatic increase in mining activity, with company after company opening mines throughout the district. And this is where our exploration of the coal mining history begins.
The Companies that came in those early days may have built the mining villages that sprang up (and endure to this day) to house the miners and their families. But it was the integrity, honesty and spirit of those miners that would mould these communities and build Cannock Chase District as we know it today.
This area of Staffordshire owes its very existence to coal and the men who mined it whether coal owner or workman. One miner "Mick Drury" (see Mick at work) who attended the reunion in 2001 and in fact was the main motive power behind the event, had read many books about coal mining in other coalfields around the country but could find very little if anything written down about the Cannock Chase Coalfield. He realised that soon there would be no one remaining who had actually worked this coalfield to record our mining heritage on Cannock Chase. He had an ambition to fill this void and produce a book his life down Littleton Colliery and its history. After speaking to several friends the idea was born to produce a concise history of the Cannock Chase Coalfield and the pits in it, to preserve and protect the memory of those mines and miners that were about to pass into oblivion. To this end he gathered together a group of 7 (original founding members) like minded individuals from all walks of the local mining industry and they agreed to help write his book and make his dream a reality. The task was an important one but there were other things that must also be done to ensure the preservation of this mining communities heritage. The collection of artefacts, documents, photographs, memorabilia and taped interviews of the old miners. The need to inform the ever growing influx of new residents from outside the district of the areas heritage. Informative leaflets and talks, for local schools telling of the lost age of coal mining. All these things had to be done because the clearance of colliery sites, has been so complete that it is almost clinical, (it is as if some one or some body wanted to erase any trace of coalmining from the area) so collectively they decided to form the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society.
The Society had its official launch in December 2002 and membership is now open to the general public, remember you do not have, to have been a coalminer to join the CCMHS all we ask is you have an interest in the Coal Mining Heritage of the Cannock Chase Coalfield. If you would like to become a member of the CCMHS then please visit the Membership Page where there is a printable membership application form. CCMHS Membership Details
The initial group of 7 authors has grown to 12 who are researching and writing the history of various Colliery Companies and Collieries and of course the Cannock Chase Coalfield.
The financial issues of funding our project was solved in the initial stages by a grant from the Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) to whom we are most grateful.
We are now totally self funding and a non-profit making organisation, we achieve this by selling our publications for the cost of their production and rolling the monies over to produce the next publication or reprint.
We also give talks on mining to schools and various other organisations within a reasonable distance free of charge, any donations are directed to local charities. If you would like a mining talk then contact us on the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society please visit the remaining pages
A TIME LINE OF MINING ON CANNOCK CHASE (new)
The progress we made
How it all ended
West Cannock stripped Going down Scrap metal
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LAST UPDATE 18/04/2013
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