About this image
Looking into cut (Top Hard and Combe coal); excavator loading lorry. This batch of 22 photographs (DCER001326 - DCER001347) was acquired early in 2006 by a local historian, at book fair near Newark. They are a set of contact prints, pasted onto the pages taken from what was clearly someone's personal album. They would seem to be the property of the young man, Bob, shown on the left of image DCER001343 entitled 'Tom and myself', taken at Robin Hood's Stride. Bob was evidently one of a team working on the Shipley Hall Opencast Coal Site, on the Southeast of Shipley Hill during 1947-48, when the photos were taken. 15 of the 22 photos show work in progress on the site, and Bob and his colleagues. As such they are a fairly rare record of activity on what was probably one of the earliest opencast coal sites in the district. Opencast mining had been introduced during the Second World War, around 1941-42, as a means of increasing coal output relatively quickly and cheaply, using machinery as a partial substitute for scarce manpower. One of the earliest sites to be mined was Trowell Moor, just North of Stapleford. The industry would subsequently go on to excavate large tracts of the Erewash Valley..