Industrial Landscapes > Headstock 1, Easington Colliery May 1994
Headstock 1, Easington Colliery May 1994
1994, Ink and gouache 700 framed
0 x 0 cm

Painted on location as the demolition T-Rexs slayed the giant. Noise of steel on steel terrible and agonised in the bright spring sunlight. The stillness as the dust settled at the end of the day's work was incredibly moving. I have no great nostalgia for the hardships and serious health risks of underground coal mining but I could not help be upset by the cold Thacherite disrespect of this destruction. A few weeks earlier I had gone 1500 feet down under this headstock in the miners cage- an eerie experience I will never forget. Very sad to see a great 100 year old symbol of sub-sea mining being wrecked. It should have been preserved as a singular and impressive visual monument to 600 years of County Durham mining overlooking the dramatic east coast. In my mind this was an enormous opportunity lost forever to educate future generations.
It was ironic ( and annoying to locals) that a Nottinghamshire based demolition company should have destroyed an heroic bastion of resistance during the 1982 miners strike.0
©2004 Tom McElderry