Quick Facts

Miners used a tin piece box for their sandwiches to protect them from the rats and mice that lived at the pit bottom.

When the pits closed for holidays the ponies came to the surface for a holiday too! The children made a fuss of them and rode them at miners galas.

For 30 years the Lady Victoria pit employed over 120 ponies!

Playing in pipe or silver bands was one of the most popular activities with mining folk. They headed the gala processions and played in competitions. There are still many colliery bands to this day.

The Lady Victoria pit produced over 40 million tons of coal while it was open!

For more than 2000 years coal has been used as a fuel.

Did you know that coal is used to make tar, oils, mothballs, paint, fertilizers, weedkiller, disinfectants, batteries, explosive, inks, fabric dyes, soaps and lipstick?

Entire families used to work down the mine. In 1842 women, girls and boys under 10 were banned from working there but older boys were still able to work in the mine instead of going to school!

To prevent accidents, any miner found carrying a match would lose his job. A single spark could cause a huge explosion.

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that formed in mines. It’s hard to detect, so miners took canaries down with them. If the bird passed out, that meant it had probably breathed in too much dangerous gas and the miners would get out sharpish!

© 2014 National Mining Museum Scotland
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