A sad day for those with coal mining ancestors and interests. Whilst doing some research into my many ancestors working in this industry, I attempted to access one of my favourite occupational websites, “The Coal Mining History Resource Centre” (CMHRC).
However it appears to have vanished.
Ian Winstanley compiled the information for the website. But I believe Raleys Solicitors, an old-established Barnsley law firm specialising in miners’ compensation claims, ran it. They went into administration in March 2016. Whereas client work appears to have transferred to Ison Harrison Solicitors, the website seems to have been a casualty.
Ancestry.co.uk have Ian Winstanley’s “Coal Mining Accidents and Death Index 1700-1950“, which was on the site. But CMHRC was far more than this wonderful database. Described as the UK’s largest and most comprehensive website concerning the history of coal-mining, its resources included maps, the 1842 Royal Commission reports, poems, a glossary of mining terms and a photo gallery. Unlike Ancestry, it was a free website. And to be honest I much preferred its search facility.
I would hope the loss of CMHRC is temporary and it can soon be restored in all its former glory. But in the meantime there is a bit of a work round.
In my post about an obsolete County Mayo website, I described how the Internet Archive Wayback Machine could be useful in accessing defunct websites. You can partly access CMHRC via this mechanism, but be warned you do lose much of the original site functionality.
If searching via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, the URL to use for CMHRC is: http://www.cmhrc.co.uk
There are also the following useful sites:
- National Coal Mining Museum: http://www.ncm.org.uk
- The North of England Mining Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers: http://www.mininginstitute.org.uk
- The Durham Mining Museum: http://www.dmm.org.uk
- Mines Rescue: http://www.healeyhero.co.uk/
Feel free to add more to the list.
Some suggestions that I’ve since received (thanks Judy & Fergus):
- The Mining History Network: https://projects.exeter.ac.uk/mhn/
- Scottish Mining Website: http://www.scottishmining.co.uk/