Prof David Turner, Dr Kirsti Bohata, Dr Alexandra Jones, Dr Mike Mantin, Dr Daniel Blackie, Dr Steven Thompson, Dr Ben Curtis
“From Pithead to Sickbed and Beyond: the Buried History of Disability in the Coal Industry before the NHS”
College of Arts and Humanities
Led by Professor Turner, A Cultural History of British Coalfi elds 1780-1948 is a major Wellcome Trust funded project at Swansea University. It tells for the fi rst time the story of disabled people during the Industrial Revolution, focusing on the experiences of those disabled in Britain’s coalmines. The research has uncovered and shared the hidden history of disability in the Welsh coal industry, using it to create a major cultural product, an exhibition ‘From Pithead to Sickbed and Beyond’, and an educational resource. The project has empowered disabled users, showing how their experiences have a history, and by enabling them to shape presentation of disability in museums and to a broad range of audiences.
Via local, national and international media, the project team has extended the reach of the research within and beyond Wales. The research had a signifi cant impact in creating a new cultural product intended to enrich and expand the lives, imaginations and sensibilities of groups, including members of the public, families of former miners and disabled people’s organisations.