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Title: The Somerset and Lothian miners, 1919-c.1947 : changing attitudes to pit work in the twentieth century
Author: Bonsall, Penny
ISNI:       0000 0001 3470 168X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1990
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The somewhat neglected topic of attitudes to mining, as an influence on labour supply in the coal industry, is the subject of this thesis. By the 1940s antagonism to mining was a nationwide phenomenon, although the regional experiences of miners and their families varied considerably between the wars. The study therefore starts at regional level before moving on to consider from a broader perspective the topic of changing attitudes to pit work. The first part of the thesis comprises a comparative study of the Somerset and Lothian (Mid and East Lothian) coalfields, two districts which have attracted little attention from historians. An overview of the industry in both areas is given in the opening chapter, where the regional characteristics of ownership and management are also discussed. The following three chapters focus respectively on change and continuity in the work place; life in the mining communities; the relationship between the miners' unions and the wider labour movement. The perspective shifts to national level in chapter five but the theme of regional influence on attitudes to pit work is carried forward by extensive reference to a Social Survey inquiry carried out in Scottish mining communities (including those of Mid and East Lothian) in 1946. Finally, the impact of the Second World War and of nationalisation are considered, before a survey and commentary on general attitudes to mining and miners over time. The conclusion reached is that post-nationalisation labour-supply problems had their origins in the decades before the Second World War. As the social and psychological isolation of the mining communities broke down over the inter-war period, circumstances within the industry and wider socio-economic change combined to erode the tradition of occupational inheritance and to promote the growth of negative or hostile attitudes to mining as an occupation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain