Alston Moor is know for its lead mining past, but zinc, iron, copper and coal have also been extracted.
The North Pennines are famous for their lead mining past, but zinc, iron, copper and coal have also been extracted. Small scale coal mining, the ‘Cinderella’ of the local extraction industries, has been carried out since time immemorial and, surprisingly, it is the only one active today. Until fairly recently there were six or seven small coal mines on Alston Moor and the South Tyne valley, now there is only one. With narrow seams, occasional geological faults, sometimes wet conditions, and increasing tighter government regulations to contend with, the work could not be described as ‘cushy’, but coal mining was a necessary part of the economy of the area.
Clive, a former coal miner locally, will give us an insight into some aspects of the industry.