Scope and Content

Comprising: Denaby and Cadeby Main Collieries Ltd: title deeds and other documents 1875-1946; Cadeby Disaster relief Fund Administrative Committee records 1912-1946; publications and research working papers 1869-1970s; oral history records 1971-1972; photographs 19502-1970s; census analysis and census enumerators' returns 1861-1981; records relating to taught course: 'Denaby Main - One Hundred Years of Industrial History' 1970s; papers relating to the National Union of Miners and the coal industry 1970s-1985; records relating to the National Union of Mineworkers 1943-1983; records relating to the National Union of Mineworkers (Yorkshire Area) 1932-1980; records relating to the National Coal Board 1954-1982; government publications 1915-1974; other publications 1920s-1983; newspapers and press cuttings 1970-1981; records relating to the South Yorkshire coal Trade Association 1925; Yorkshire Miners' essays 1975-1979; records relating to the National Board for Prices and Incomes: Coal Price Reference, 1970; personal papers of J.T.E. Collins 1917-1959; records relating to local government and politics in South Yorkshire 1973-1985; records relating to the Fullerton and Montagu Hospitals Retention Campaign 1978-1984; records relating to trade unionism and the merchant navy 1852-1977; records relating to the Pay Board: Reference on the Pay of Miners 1974; printed works 1922-1976

Administrative / Biographical History

James Edward MacFarlane was born on 27 April 1930 at Denaby Main, a South Yorkshire coal-mining village. He was the second child and only son of Edward and Harriet MacFarlane. His father, a mineworker, was involved in mining trade unionism and local politics (see item DD/MF/9/27 in this catalogue), but died after a short illness in 1936. An interview by J E MacFarlane with his mother concerning her early life and first marriage can be found at DD/MF/3/33. From the age of fourteen, the son was employed, like his father and grandfather at Denaby Main Colliery. Its history and that of the mining community it created was to become one of the main pre-occupations of his adult life. However, two years later he joined the merchant navy, working his way up from deck-boy to able seaman. After eight years at sea he returned to coal mining in 1954 and over the following three years attended the day-release course for mineworkers at the Extra Mural Department (now the Division of Continuing Education) of the University of Sheffield. In 1957 he won a trade union scholarship to Ruskin College Oxford for the two-year course leading to the Diploma in Political and Economic Science which he obtained in 1959. Between 1960 and 1963 he was a student at the University of Southampton reading for a B.Sc(Econ) in Government and Politics. In his third year, having previously been very active in the Students' Union, he was elected President of the Union. This was a sabbatical post, and at the end of his term of office he decided to leave the university rather than persue the third year of studies leading to the final examination. A fellow student, Mr Liam O'Sullivan, now a lecturer in the Department of Politics remembers him as 'a man of broad general culture deeply excited by ideas, who was in many ways exceptionally scholarly.' During 1964 and 1965 he worked in Northern Greece as a field director of one of the United Nations Association's Freedom from Hunger Development Programmes. He then entered the University of Sussex to take a postgraduate course in Labour Studies, leading to the award of the degree of Master of Arts in 1967. This was followed in 1968 by registration for a Ph.D on 'the industrial and social relations of merchant seamen', a subject of which he already had some first-hand knowledge, at the University of Strathclyde. A number of publications resulted from this research (see DD/MF/12/1-5) but the thesis was never completed. The principal reason for the interruption of this research was probably Mr MacFarlane's appointment in 1969 as a lecturer in industrial studies in the Division of Continuing Education of the University of Sheffield. In this post he was director of the day-release course for mineworkers, the course by which he himself had begun his career in higher education a dozen years earlier. A product of his work on the course was the production of two volumes of essays written by miners on the course, (see DD/MF/7/1-6). In the 1970s he was engaged in research on the social and industrial history of Denaby Main, and between 1973 and 1982 was registered as a part-time postgraduate student at the Centre for the Study of Social History in the University of Warwick. His life-long interest in the history of the community in which he was born and spent much of his life led to the accumulation of research notes, photocopies, transcripts and original documents which form the greater part of his papers, (see DD/MF/1-6 and DD/MF/9). His involvement, academic and personal, in the coal industry and mining unionism is witnessed in the items catalogued here in sections 6, 8 and 13. Political affairs, both academic and practical (some evidence of which is to be found in DD/MF/10 and DD/MF/11) were also to the forefront of his interests and in May 1980 he was elected to Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council as a councilor for the Conisbrough Ward. His abilities led to his rapid promotion to the position of Leader of the Council after only three years but in 1985 he died suddenly whilst engaged on council business.

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DD/MF/ADD J.E. Macfarlane, Additional Personal, Academic and Political Papers 1955-1984