Volunteer Opportunity: The Bradford Colliery Project, Manchester

Posted on 19/01/2015 by


The Bradford Colliery Project: Call for volunteers to work on an exciting live regional history project

Gain oral history training, practice your research skills and play a part in documenting an important piece of Manchester’s industrial history!

Did you know that there was an area of Manchester called Bradford? Did you know that it was the site of continuous coal mining for over 350 years and once a ‘super pit’, less than 2 miles from Manchester city centre with networks of shafts and tunnels extending for miles beneath the city? Did you also know that on the same site now stands a range of international sporting venues developed for the Commonwealth Games in 2002? Well, most people including many who now live in the area didn’t know that either!

Bradford Colliery supported numerous important industries in East Manchester. By the time of its closure in 1968, (despite considerable good quality coal reserves still underground) the mine employed nearly 1500 men and daily output averaged 2130 tons.

Working with ex-miners from Bradford Colliery, and the local community this project explores the rich history of this industrial heartland. We are collating an archive (to be housed and exhibited at Archives+ in Manchester Central Library) documenting artefacts, histories and memories of the area. The culmination of the project will be a permanent commemoration of the site.

We are looking for volunteers to be part of a small team to gather oral histories from ex-miners, members of the community and other key figures from the period who were associated with Bradford Colliery.We are offering oral history training, a chance to be part of the archiving process with the Archives+ team and the opportunity to hear first-hand these remarkable stories from the mining community.

See the ongoing Blog http://bradfordpit.com/

If you are interested in participating, or simply want to find out more please contact us by Friday 31st January 2015 at: Lauren Murphy, Jenny Walkerj.walker@mmu.ac.uk


This project aims: To celebrate East Manchester communities past and present, and foster a sense of identity and belonging through heritage, in an area of constant change and redevelopment. Where there is little physical evidence of the past, we believe it is  even more vital to collect the oral histories of those who remember what has gone before!
Project Lead and partners: Lauren Murphy is a graduate from Manchester School of Art, and started researching Bradford Colliery in her final year of study. Having met many ex-miners and their families and recognising a need within their community she started a campaign to commemorate the pit site, for which she won the community history award at last year’s Manchester Histories Festival. She is working with partners including Manchester Central Library, Manchester City Council, East Manchester Regeneration and MMU and is employed by contractors Laing O’Rourke as part of their Community Regeneration Team to bring the project to fruition