Voices in the Coalshed: 801-2015
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Voices in the Coalshed: 801-2015

In this week’s Voices in the Coalshed, we welcome Eileen Neil from Heartlines Creative Writing Group who explores the rise and fall of coal with her poem ‘801-2015.’

Heartlines is a creative writing group based in Leeds and their writers have taken part in several live shows at HEART, including a jazz & poetry evening, a spoken word/music event to mark International Women’s Day, a performance in the Headingley Literature Festival & made regular appearances at ‘Soundbites’, HEART’s monthly poetry Open Mic night.

You can see & hear more of Heartlines work at http://www.heartlines.uk/ and information about past and upcoming Soundbites Open Mic nights can be found at https://www.facebook.com/SoundbitesPoetry/



Last Coal Train – Image Credit David Wilders

Want to discover more about the Nation’s evolving energy story of coal? Unearth Coal’s origin as a popular energy source for the Nation in our Powering a Nation exhibition!


It began aons ago, fuelling Britannia.

in 1801 the four strong horses of Whitehaven

hauled it slowly from the underground earth.

Men, wedged and pick axed with black dust hands

arms tattooed with battle scars of the deep.


Then steam and machines,

cutters; electricity; longwall cutters

continuous miners; haulage trains;

conveyor belts with enormous gears;

the giant underground shearer……


All buried in Kellingley, in 2015

once the largest deep mine in Europe

Now a graveyard for machines

while the men raise their black dust hands

to the power of the future.