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Sunday 28 November 2010

New commissions and a little Coalville history

Carole and I have both got ourselves new commissions!

I will be working on my Myth Maps project at Snibston Colliery in Coalville.  Carole will be working on a project for Leicestershire Museums, which she has called The Held in the Hand Hoard.  I'll let her tell you more about that herself.

I am particularly pleased with my Myth Maps project as it draws together a number of things I have been thinking about, things I have been blogging about here and it links with this project.

Leicester & Swannington rail ticket
A little history...

The colliery at Coalville, as I blogged before (see Preservation and Persistence), includes the wonderful historic railway track.  A line was put down by George and Robert Stephenson for the Leicester to Swannington Railway (L&S), one of the first of England's railways, opened in 1832 to bring coal from pits in west Leicestershire (Whitwick, Ibstock and Bagworth) to Leicester.

The Leicester & Swannington Rail Line
Whitwick Colliery, 1926
George Stephenson was known as the "father of railways", having built the first public railway using steam locomotion (the Stockton and Darlington Railway).  His son, Robert,  worked with his father and developed the famous "Rocket".  Robert was the engineer for the Swannington line and George opened the Snibston colliery the following year.

Midland Railway Station in Coalville, 1889
Sidings at Bardon Hill quarry
So the history of Snibston colliery and the railways are intertwined.  It was the success of the railways to speed up the transportation of coal that enabled the coal industry from west Leicestershire to thrive, which enabled the opening of the pit at Snibston.

Coalville East Station
Thanks to the Coalville Heritage Society website for these pictures.  Also, they have a wonderful sound archive of Coalville dialects, called Covill Tork - click on the link if you want to find out what the following mean (and make sure you have your speakers on!):


Covill Tork 

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