The Rise and Fall of King Coal

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Two-hundred and fifty-six page large format hardback book forming 'a tribute to mark the end of pne of Britain's greatest industries'.

And a very fine tribute it is, starting with how coal was fomed during the carboniferous period, the different types of coal, and where they are found in the UK. It then covers the early uses of coal, how it was extracted, the development of machinery to facilitate both the mining and the transportation of the mined coal - mainly railways, the glory days of the industry in the first half of the 20th century and the increasing militancy of the miners, and the reluctance of the colliery owners to engage with them.

It ends with the decline of the industry post WW11 and the varied reasons for this, before gently wondering if there is a chance of the industry's revival. Author Nick Pigott tries very hard to maintain an impartial view on the political aspects of the story, but I am pretty sure I know how he feels (and am inclined to agree).

Many very good illustrations, both B&W and colour, including lots of underground scenes.

An excellent book!