Last Coals to Leeds
May 1968 was a significant month in the history of the Middleton Railway, as it saw the closure of Middleton Broom Pit, after more than 200 years of mining coal and transporting it into the centre of Leeds. To mark the 50th anniversary of this closure, the railway will be running a special event in September 2018, but this event will not just run for that one weekend. Rather, it will be the focus of a much larger project, which is aimed at providing a proper commemoration of this change in the industry that had been key to this area of Leeds.
Nearer the time a separate page will give more details of this special event, but this page describes the rest of the project that surrounds it. This project has been funded by Leeds City Council through its Community Wellbeing Fund.
In addition to the event, there are four main strands to the project, as follows.
- Producing booklets to describe the history of coal mining in the area, and going into local primary schools to distribute these and to explain this history to the pupils.
- Assembling an exhibition of photographs recording the history of the pit, and arranging for this to be displayed at various local venues.
- Collecting memories of the pit from those who worked there, or who lived in the area.
- Creating and installing a memorial plaque.
These will be produced by the same team that has written "Bert's Tales of Middleton", and will be in similar style. There will be two versions of the booklets: one aimed at primary school pupils, and the other at the wider community. Copies of the school version will be distributed to the pupils at all of the local primary schools.
The Photographic Exhibition
This will draw heavily on available archive photographs and related material, including items from the railway's own archives. The exhibition will be displayed at various local venues, starting in June, and then from August until the end of September it will be displayed in the railway's Engine House. More details of the venues will be available later.
Did you work at Middleton Broom Colliery? Or do you have a relative who did so? Can you share memories of the colliery with us?
The Memorial Plaque
The plaque will be a memorial that will be dedicated to those who had worked at Middleton Broom Pit from opening to closure, and in particular to those who had lost their lives working at the Pit. The obvious place to install it would be on the platform at Park Halt, since this is on the edge of what used to be the site of the colliery yard. Unfortunately, boards which have been installed there have suffered from vandalism to an extent that suggests that this would not be a good location, and so the plaque will be installed at a suitable location within the Moor Road site.
More information about other projects is given in the following pages: