Coal Mining Legacies and Struggles for Workplace Justice in Central Scotland, a Lecture by Ewan Gibbs

As we celebrate the successes of Andrew Hay’s exhibition, Darkness on the Edge of Democracy, join us for a lecture on mining legacies, here in central Scotland.

We are currently marking the fortieth anniversary of the 1984-5 miners’ strike along with the closure of Scotland’s last remaining collieries in its aftermath. These changes marked the culmination of centuries of coal mining in Central Scotland. This talk profiles the decisive role of miners in the remaking of Britain’s industrial order in the decades following the Second World War and then the remaking of the economy following the end of mining. Central Scotland was crucial to these episodes, with miners migrating to Stirlingshire and Clackmannan from Lanarkshire during the 1940s and 1950s. These were usually young men from mining families who expected their loyalty to their industry to be rewarded with economic security and decent wages. They demonstrated these sentiments through their prominence in a succession of industrial disputes from 1959 to 1985.

Coal remained central to the economy and energy production into the twenty-first century, through the operation of Longannet power station and the coal mines that supplied it. The closure of Longannet along with the recently announced closure of Grangemouth oil refinery, which lies directly across the Forth from the power station, raise further questions about the future of energy workers and economic justice.

Dr Ewan Gibbs is a Lecturer in Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of Coal Country: The Meaning and Memory of Deindustrialization in Postwar Scotland (University of London Press, 2021).

Wednesday 5 June
7pm, Doors open 6:30pm




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Event Details

Date: 5th June 2024

Start time: 19:00

End time: 20:00

Venue: Smith Art Gallery and Museum

Phone: 01786 471917