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FIELD DAYS: Life above ground.

IT'S easy to forget that the collapse of the UK's mining industry in the 1980s swept away communities and a whole range of entertainments and activities that had little to do with coal-dust and dark underground tunnels.

The scouts, cubs and guides pictured above were caught by our photographer on a visit to Shuttle Eye Colliery, Grange Moor, in May, 1960. It looks like a sunny day with no pithead gear in sight and no trace of coal or those who mined it.

Shuttle Eye closed at the end of April 1973 after at least 135 years in operation. Millions of tons of coal were extracted, a lot of it at the rate of 45 hundredweight per man shift, 61% higher than the national average.

The workers and families from six local pits met in Grange Moor each year for a field day and show and it was at these events that a Coal Queen was chosen and crowned. The picture below shows Connie Noble, of Middlestown, Wakefield, being crowned by Meriel McCooey, of Dewsbury.

Her boy attendants are (from left) Douglas Wales and Glyn Taylor and the crown bearer is Ann Sidney, of Moldgreen.


* CORONATION: Connie Noble being crowned Coal Queen at a miners' field day at Grange Moor in 1953 (Examiner ref: 53-3800, TmcHUD310809-KE20929) * HERITAGE DAY: Young visitors at Shuttle Eye Colliery in 1960 (Examiner ref: 60-1436, TmcHUD310809-ke11744)
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Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 8, 2009
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