by Alan Davies - £12.99 Tempus Publishing Ltd (2006)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780752439129 | ISBN 10: 075243912x
This illustrated book tells the story of the female colliery surface workers, or pit brow women, of the Wigan coalfield. The numbers of women working in mines grew rapidly after the Industrial Revolution. The practice continued until the Children's Employment Commission of 1842 outlawed women working below ground, leading to many families suffering huge losses of earnings. In Lancashire, many women soon started working on the colliery surface, grading the coal on conveyors or acting as general labourers, and the Wigan Coalfield employed more than any other area.
There was enormous interest in these remarkable women, fostered by illustrated newspapers from the 1840s onwards. From the 1860s, Cambridge academic A.J. Munby turned his attention to the women and his detailed diaries form an important part of this study. The women themselves remain a fascinating and unique feature of both local and industrial history.
(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)