Mining in Kent: An Exhibition exploring the history of mining in Kent

2024 marks both the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Miners’ Strike, and the 100th anniversary of the cutting of the first mineshaft at Betteshanger Colliery, the largest of Kent’s mines.

Front page of a Kent Area National Union of Mineworkers Leaflet titled Solidarity with the Miners, with the title in red text above an image of miner wearing a miner's helmet and head lamp, and the caption 'Coal Not Dole' at the bottom.

Kent Area NUM Leaflet – Solidarity with the Miners (Richardson Mining Collections, Box 6)

Using archive material from Special Collections and Archives, this exhibition tells the story of the history of mining in Kent,  from the early days of discovering the Kent coalfield to the impact of the 1984 Miners’ Strike.

The exhibition showcases material from the following archive collections:

  • The Richard Richardson Mining Collection
  • The British Cartoon Archive
  • The British Stand-Up Comedy Archive
  • The Labour and Socialist Newspapers

With thanks to Beth Astridge and Karen Brayshaw – and especially to our volunteer Amy Green, who have worked on the research and curation of this exhibition.

We will be publishing several blogs of the next few months giving further insight into some of the stories and items on display in the exhibition. So do keep checking here for further blog entries!


Cartoon showing the ups and downs of Arthur Scargill's leadership of the miners' strike with him moving up ladder in March 1984, and sliding down a snake in March 1985.

Nicholas Garland in this cartoon illustrates the rise and fall in the prospects of Arthur Scargill and the NUM from the beginning of the strike in 1984 to the end in 1985. (Reference: British Cartoon Archive, NG2969, Nicholas Garland, Sunday Telegraph, 12th March 1984)



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