In conversation: ‘The shadow of the mine’

This book tells the story of King Coal in its heyday – and what happened to mining communities after the last pits closed.

29th July 2021 – 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

About this event

An in conversation event where IER experts discuss the recently published book The shadow of the mine, with one of its authors Huw Beynon.

No one personified the age of industry more than the miners. Coal was central to the British economy, powering its factories and railways. It carried political weight, too. In the 1908s, the miners risked everything in a year-long strike against Thatcher’s shutdowns. Defeat foretold the death of their industry. Tens of thousands were cast onto the labour market with a minimum amount of advice and support.

Today, British politics all of a sudden revolves around the coalfield constituencies which lent their votes to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in 2019. Even in the Welsh Valleys, where the “red wall” still stands, support for the Labour Party has halved in a generation.

Huw Beynon and his co-author, Ray Hudson, draw on decades of research to chronicle these momentous changes through the words of the people who lived through them in their new book The shadow of the mine.


The event will be chaired by our Director Carolyn Jones.

Prof Huw Beynon, Author

Prof Keith Ewing, IER President

Lord John Hendy QC, IER Chairperson

***All those in attendance will get a 50% discount code for the publication.***