Men of Coal

by Edmund Birchall

The last mine in the UK closed in 2015, bringing to an end the industry that put the ‘Great’ into Great Britain.
This is the story of brave and courageous men who mined the coal in a workplace that was dark and dangerous. However, their sense of humour and strong camaraderie was always present. 
The novel is set in the 1950s when coal was still being produced by hand filling but as mechanisation was slowly creeping in. 
The book describes Redman’s Colliery’s Management and its dedicated miners. The pit’s daily routine is soon turned upside down by a political visit from the leaders of the Tory Government.



About the author:

On leaving school at 15, Edmund (Eddy) Birchall, like many young lads in the 1950s, went straight down the mines.

Eddy comes from a long line of coal miners, having traced his family tree back to 1786 to discover that he is a seventh generation miner.

After serving the whole of the First World War, his grandfather, was killed down a coal mine and he is buried in a Lancashire Cemetery.

Edmund studied mining for a number of years, gaining the City and Guilds Silver Medal for Mining for 1967. He went on to become a Ventilation Officer at a number of collieries, before moving to the National Coal Board’s Method Study Department. He left mining in 1970 and worked in local government for the next 30 years, becoming the Head of the Chief Executive’s Health and Safety Unit in a large local authority.

Edmund now lives in retirement on the beautiful island of Anglesey, with his wife Margaret.

This semi-autobiographical novel is based upon Edmund’s experiences working in mines in the Lancashire coal area in the 1950s.

Edmund was one of the students to gain a Bachelor of Arts with the Open University on its formation in the early 1970s.

Men of Coal is edited and published by Mosaic (Teesdale) Ltd.

Contact the author by email:


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