Opencast Executive

Scope and Content

Papers of the National Coal Board, Opencast Executive and British Coal Opencast, comprising papers relating to public inquiries into opencast coal sites, colliery tip removal, extension of opencast sites and accident reports.

Administrative / Biographical History

Opencast mining started as an emergency measure under the Defence Regulations in 1940 when the Government set up the Directorate of Opencast Coal Production within the Ministry of Works and Planning. In 1952 responsibility for opencast mining was transferred to the National Coal Board Finance Branch until the Opencast Executive was subsequently set up.

The Opencast Coal Act in 1958 replaced the Defence Regulations and a fourth director was added with responsibility for the executive's regional organisation. This divided the supervision of opencast mines between five regional opencast directors. Each region was subdivided into areas covering a number of working sites, which were run by private contractors.

In 1990 the name of the executive was changed to British Coal Opencast.

[Information taken from The National Archive Catalogue, COAL 81, accessed 30 May 2017.]


Original order reconstructed.

Custodial History

This subfonds is made up of material presented by the British Coal Corporation from 1996-1998.

Accession numbers for the material have not been identified, however material was filed under the reference numbers DNCB/Box 49-63 and DNCB/67.

The previous reference number for each item is listed in its individual catalogue entry.

Related Material

Further material concerning opencast mines can be located in the National Coal Board, Mining Department papers at DNCB/6/9.