A Lost World: Photosgraphs by Harold White

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These unique photographs capture a lost world. Taken in the 1950s and 60s they show coal miners at work and at leisure in their communities. They were taken by Harold White who was commissioned by the National Coal Board to make a record of coal mines and their communities across Great Britain. His collection of negatives was donated by the late photographer's daughter and form a valuable part of the museum’s photographic collection.

Harold White

Miners in tubs at Unicorn Head Colliery.

Miner using an underground telephone at Betteshanger Colliery, Kent.

Flame safety lamp, Calverton Colliery, Nottinghamshire.

Miners and a pit pony at Calverton Colliery, Nottinghamshire.

Underground pony stables at Calverton Colliery, Nottinghamshire.

Paddy train at Calverton Colliery, Nottinghamshire.

Pithead baths at Calverton Colliery, Nottinghamshire.

Flame safety lamp checks in the lamproom at Calverton Colliery, Nottinghamshire.

Man rider at Wellesley Colliery, Fife.

Cricket spectators with Creswell Colliery, Derbyshire in the background.

Creswell colliery, Derbyshire from the nearby cricket pavillion.

Cricket match with Creswell Colliery, Derbyshire in the background.

Coal delivery, Preston.

Coal delivery, Preston.

Loading coal from a wagon to a National Coal Board lorry, Southport.

Miner with pit pony.

Miner with pit pony.

Miner with pit pony.

Long wall coal cutter being operated at the coalface.

Miners leaving the cage at Unicorn Head Colliery.

Pithead baths at Unicorn Head Colliery.

Pithead baths at Unicorn Head Colliery.

Sorting coal at the 'picking tables' in the screens at Unicorn Head Colliery.

Miners releasing pigeons at Unicorn Head Colliery. Colliery housing can be seen in the background.

Miners being searched before they enter the cage.

Miners eating their snap (or bait) at Unicorn Head Colliery.

At the coalface.

At the coalface.

The cage at Lynemouth Colliery, Northumberland.

Man-riding car at Ellington Colliery, Northumberland.

Mr W.R. Boyd, an Ironworker. This image was taken for Coal Magazine.

These notices were put up when the pits were nationalised on 1st January 1947, known as Vesting Day.

Colliery canteen.

Miners leaving the cage.

Tubs taking miners to the coalface.

Using the underground telephone communication system.

Testing for gas with a flame safety lamp.

Drilling into a coalface.

Connecting a wire to a charge.


Installing timber pit props.

Training officers with a trainee.

A miner standing inside old workings.

Miners leaving the cage.

The lamproom at Unicorn Head Colliery.

Miners being searched inside the contraband zone before they enter the cage at Unicorn Head Colliery.

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