THIS picture from 1950 shows a group of Huncoat miners. The pit was sunk in 1890 and completed by 1893.

255 men were employed underground in 1896. Sadly., Huncoat closed on February 9, 1968 because its workable reserves were exhausted.

The coal mines of East Lancashire were a major employer for nearly 150 years, until the last one, Hapton Valley Colliery, closed in 1982.

In the early days, young boys started at the pit with very little training – they would spend a few weeks on the surface, sometimes taking the stones out of the coal or oiling coal tubs, before being sent underground.

In 1950, a new pit bottom was constructed and two of the faces were fully automated using machines which cut and loaded the coal automatically.

Coal was transported in three ton mine cars hauled by steam locomotives, with half the output going to general industry and half to a crushing machine on the surface, which was then sent on to the NCB coke works at Altham.

At the end of the world wars there was a call for more coal to get the economy back on its feet, and miners were happy to believe.