Part of an ongoing project documenting life in the former coal mining areas of the UK.
I have been working on this project for a few years and these are some of my latest pictures taken at the beginning of March 2017 in the heartland former coal village of Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire UK.
The village had it's own pit and along with neighbouring Barnborough Colliery nearly all the men from the village worked "Down the Pit". The Coal Industry has now gone and the pits were closed in 1985 after the bitter year long Miners Strike. This ended over a hundred years of coal mining tradition where sons followed fathers and grandfathers down the pit which although often backbreaking work was all that was available in the area. It was a proud life and the village along with the whole area had a thriving community where everyone "looked out" for each other. The community spirit has survived but there is no work and people scratch a living anyway that they can.
These pictures are from the seconhand good auction that is held weekly at the local Greyhound Track. It is heartbreaking to see the sad sales of anything that might make the odd Pound or two. Anything is sold often for next to nothing. The portrait is of a Farrier from Barnborough Colliery and his job down the pit was to look after the horses who pulled the tubs of coal from the coalface to the pit bottom. He reminisced to me about how he loved his horses, knew them all by name and used to feed them mints which they loved to eat in the dusty conditions.
These people are still proud but have nothing and it embarrasses them that they are reduced selling their odds and sods like this.
I went on two occasions - the second time was after heavy rain and the area was a sea of mud but the sales went ahead with the goods just sat in all the mud and wet grass.
These pictures were for the most part made on a pair of Leica M8.2 cameras with 28mm Elmarit, 35mm Summicron, and 75mm Apo Summicron lenses. The few not made on M8.2's were on a Leica M9 with 50mm Summicron and 35mm Summicron lenses.
Edited by paulmac, 21 March 2017 - 00:21.