PITS 'N' STARTS
25 August 2006
CONGRATULATIONS to Rachel Borne, 21, who successfully lobbied the Ordnance Survey to show closed coal pits on official maps.
Britain has hundreds of mining sites but they literally disappeared from the map after the industrial holocaust of the Thatcher years.
Miner's daughter Rachel, from Doncaster, took a gap year from art studies at Middlesex University to campaign for these workplaces of yesteryear.
Now OS bosses plan a historical map to show the nation's industrial heritage, of which King Coal is a key part.
Rachel, whose dad worked at Cadeby colliery, recruited singer Billy Bragg and 80 Labour MPs in her quest for recognition.
Good on you, lass! If only government ministers were as open to the arguments for reinvigorating tbe coal industry, now that world energy prices are at an all-time high.
This week, coal mogul Richard Budge, backed by a big Russian investor. announced plans to reopen Hatfield colliery In south Yorks, closed in 2004.
His Powerfuel company has ordered £37m worth of equipment from a British manufacturer, Joy Mining Machinery, with factories in Worcester, Wigan and Notts. The venture will secure hundreds of jobs.
Hatfield will produce two milliqn tonnes of coal a year for electricity generation and a new power station is planned alongside the pit. It has 40 years of reserves.
Coal DOES bave a future - if only the government could see it.