2008 - 2012
The final pit to close in Leicestershire was Bagworth in 1991. I would have been almost twelve months old. Bagworth Colliery was once the most productive coal mine in Europe and even earned a place in the Guinness Book Of Records.
For centuries coal mining built communities across Britain and supported them through thick and thin, peace and war. The coalfield of Leicestershire was no different, it was central to the economy and communities of the region for hundreds of years.
Between 2008 and 2012 I set about exploring the post-industrial landscape in which I grew-up, two decades after the final coal mine ceased production.
- Christopher Mear, 2012
Supported by Snibston Discovery Museum, Leicestershire County Council and Arts Council England.
"I came down stairs and picked it up, but when I looked for it I couldn't find it. So I put it down and walked away with it. What was it?"
"I said it then and I say it now. We don't need a museum to remember the mining history... They should have spent the money on Coalville - it needs it."
"I wouldn't say I enjoyed it, but it paid a decent wage. And I did enjoy a new suit."
"You always looked after the chap next to you, whether you liked him, knew him, or not, because tomorrow, you never know, you might have needed him to save your life."
"Worst thing they ever did were shut the pits. It were a marvellous life."
"She's one in a million, and we wouldn't leave here for a million pounds."
"I had three retirement parties when I left Bagworth... I still read the Las Vegas Sun every night before I go to bed."
"It doesn't matter now anyway."
"It was a splinter in my foot."