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Title: The Lancashire coalfield, 1945-1972 : the politics of industrial change
Author: Catterall, Stephen John
ISNI:       0000 0001 3525 2505
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2001
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The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the process of industrial change in the Lancashire coalfield during the post-war period. Industrial change refers to the processes of modernisation and rationalisation of the coal industry and the broader modernisation of the coalfield. As a regional study of a British coalfield in which industrial change was written large it sheds light on the under-researched process of the modernisation of a staple industry and the political imperatives which accompanied it. This study is unique because for the first time it undertakes a re-evaluation of industrial change in the coal industry through an appraisal of available historical sources. The thesis proceeds from the premise that industrial change was impelled by a longstanding socialist analysis of Britain's industrial dispensation and the post-war debate on Britain's perceived decline. It is argued that these two factors informed a desire for modernity in post-war Britain in which the coal industry was caught between the requirement to modernise and to provide a key role in wider economic modernisation. It is advanced that these factors saw the coal industry squeezed by government economic and political priorities in favour of the 'multi-fuel' economy. From this the thesis develops the theme that industrial change in coal was underpinned by a high degree of acceptance amongst industrial and political opinion including organised labour in the industry. A major part of the thesis is then devoted to an assessment of how the different levels of the NUM in Lancashire and the Labour Party in the coalfield deliberated upon industrial change and articulated a response to it. This thesis is the first substantive attempt to examine reaction to industrial change in coal in this way. Finally, this study assesses the consequences of industrial change in the Lancashire coalfield through a discussion of attitudes toward coalfield modernisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Industry ; Trade Unions ; Labour Party