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.
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.