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The flooding and subsequent closure of Scotland’s last deep coal mine in 2002 was a milestone event in the nation’s deindustrialization. Villages and towns across the densely populated Central Belt of Scotland owe their existence to coal mining’s expansion during the nineteenth century and its maturation in the twentieth. Colliery closures and job losses were not just experienced in economic terms: they also had profound social, cultural, and political implications. Coal Country documents this process of deindustrialization and its effects, drawing on archival records from the UK government, the nationalized coal industry, trade unions, and transcripts from an extensive oral history project. Deindustrialization, we learn, progressed slowly but powerfully across the second half of the twentieth century. Coal Country explains the deep roots of economic changes and their political reverberations, which continue to be felt to this day.
About the Author
Ewan Gibbs is a lecturer in history at the University of Glasgow.