Records concerning industrial relations at Wearmouth Coal Company Ltd of County Durham,1925-1946

Scope and Content

The collection contains records generated and received by the Wearmouth Coal Company Ltd solelyin connection with deputations made by the Monkwearmouth Lodge of the Durham Miners' Association.They describe in detail complaints and grievances made by members of the lodge. Although the recordsdo not provide details about the constitutional history, financial position or production methods ofthe company, they illustrate labour relations in the coal industry and the operational proceduresundertaken by miners at the time. The records in the collection cover a period containing thedepression years of the late 1920s and early 1930s, the second world war and the run up tonationalisation of the industry in 1947.

The collection consists of volumes of deputations made by the Monkwearmouth Lodge of the DurhamMiners' Association and minutes of meetings where representatives of the company and the lodge werepresent, describing in detail complaints and grievances made by members of the lodge, November1925-December 1946.

Administrative / Biographical History

According to tables compiled by HM Inspector of Mines for the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne district,Wearmouth collieries A and B were operated by the Wearmouth Coal Company Ltd in 1896 producing coalfor gas and for household use. 1649 miners were employed underground in collieries A and B in thatyear with a further 339 working on the surface. In 1939, The Wearmouth Coal Company still owned twopits, at Wearmouth and Hylton, and employed over 3,000 miners. It had a directorate connection withHorden Collieries Ltd, a directorate association of Dorman Long, a mining combine linked with heavyindustry. The Wearmouth collieries and the coal industry in general transferred to public ownershipin 1947.

The Durham Miners' Association was formed in 1869 to represent the miners on rates of pay andconditions. In 1945, the Association became the Durham Area of the National Union of Mineworkers.The Durham Miners' Association was divided into branches called 'lodges' based on the workplaceunit. The dates of formation and winding up of the Monkwearmouth lodge have not beenascertained.


The items in this collection have been arranged chronologically.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must besought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and SpecialCollections (email Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

The fate of the core archives of the Wearmouth Coal Company Ltd is not known. The present smallcollection of records once formed part of the collections of the Museum of Mining at Retford,Nottinghamshire, (established in 1970) and was among other records passed to University ofNottingham following its closure. The collection was acquired by The University of Nottingham'sDepartment of Manuscripts and Special Collections in January 1990.

Geographical Names