Ashington Colliery Heritage

Ashington Colliery heritage trail project.

The Town of Ashington

If coal had not been discovered underground, only a very short distance from where you are standing, then it is doubtful that the landscape around you would have been anything more that a couple of farms. The town of Ashington, the way it developed, the people who lived here and its impact on the world, was due entirely to coal. The legacy of coal mining remains deep and can seen all around the town.

When coal was discovered here in xxxxx, people from all over the country, who had been making a living by working on the land, came in search of new opportunities and a new lifestyle by working in Ashington Colliery. The work was hard but the pay was good.

Illustration or table of 1901 census details

Coal in Ashington wasn’t just about the pit head, back breaking work and money. It was about allotments, ball room dancing, racing pigeons, brass bands and sport. These activities tell us something important and enduring about how Ashington was built. There was also a life away from work – a life of aspiration, education and creativity.

The miner’s institute, paid for by the miners themselves, had a billiards hall, library and reading room. The institute and miner’s welfares were the venue for all sorts of courses on all sorts of subjects which would have nothing to do with work. Many miners were intelligent and well educated and were keen to better themselves. The Ashington Group of Artists, the pitman painters, went on to be renowned all over the world.

Social clubs, football, running, etc

The story of coal mining and Ashington is not just a Northumberland story – it is a global story.