Published on July 20, 2020

The End of Coal Mining in South Wales: Lessons learned from industrial transformation

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The report reviews the economic and political context of coal mining in South Wales, describing the origins of coal mining, its growth through the industrial revolution and into the inter-war period, its gradual but irreversible decline after the Second World War, and its eventual disappearance in the 1990s. It then examines the pronounced social and community consequences of mining and the closure of coalmines, drawing attention to the role of unionized labour and the role it played throughout the rise and fall of mining in Wales.

The overarching lesson from the Welsh experience is the powerful influence of global economic factors and the need to establish a critical mass of local skills and resilience to respond to both the closure of collieries and subsequent economic changes.

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