The Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield – Down into the pits with a real miner

Its 40 years ago, in 1984 that the Miners Strike took place.

Today the Coal Mining Museum exists to keep the story of the miners, the coal mines and their unique experiences alive.

It was a cold day when we went over to Wakefield. It was raining and windy, but once inside the museum we made our way over to the mining shaft.

Here we were surprised to be told that we had to remove all phones, key fobs, cameras and even smart watches before being kitted out with miners battery and lamp, a helmet and a safety briefing.

We stepped into a cage, with a warning from our guide Col that there would be a short jolt as the gears engaged, before descending 140 meters underground.

There were just 8 of us in the group plus our guide. Ceilings were sometimes low and I was glad for the helmet.

The tunnels were clear of debris, but contained mining machines used over many decades that helped to extract the coal.

Our guide Col, a former Welsh miner was funny, witty, informative and probably the main reason that I can say this was one of the best UK attraction experiences that I’ve had.

We learnt a lot about what it meant to be a coal miner, the community that they all lived in and the many reasons that the miners striked in those Thatcher years.

The Coal Mining Museum site had plenty of things to do and see but as the weather was not great the outdoor activities were not fully explored.

I’d definitely recommend that you take a trip down memory lane, learn about life as a miner and have a tour of a real, once fully functioning mine.

You can visit their website here