Wester Auchengeich National Union of Mineworkers Banner, about 1946-7

Painted banner from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Branch at Wester Auchengeich Colliery, either campaigning for or celebrating the nationalisation of the industry. One side depicts the hopes that nationalisation would move the miners and their communities forwards from run-down pit villages toward modern housing, and the reverse (captioned with the slogan "End Exploitation With Socialism") shows a miner hewing away in a narrow coal seam.

As with other pits, this banner may have been carried in celebration to Wester Auchengeich on 'vesting day' - 1st January 1947 - when the NCB took over the 1500 largest collieries in Britain. The NUM - and its predecessor, the Miners' Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) - had long campaigned for coal mines to be brought into public ownership. As a result the policy was part of the Labour Party's election-winning manifesto in 1945. It was seen as a way to improve working conditions, pay, housing, and job security, especially as the recessions of the interwar years had sharpened the antagonisms and mistrust between miners and the private coal companies.

Wester Auchengeich, also known locally as the Lumloch Pit, was opened in 1928 by Nimmo & Dunlop, producing a variety of coal - gas, house, steam and coking. It was featured in the 1953 Scottish Educational Films Association amateur documentary, 'Scottish Coalmining' (https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0496). It closed in 1968.

Museum reference:
COTSL-1996-32
Date:
1946
On display:
Summerlee Exhibition Hall
Associated with:
1946 - 1947 · National Union of Mineworkers · Wester Auchengeich Colliery
1928 - 1968 · Wester Auchengeich Colliery
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