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Opencast Coal: A photographic history 1942 - 1985

British Opencast Coal is an illustrated history of coal mining by surface methods from 1942 to1985.  Written by Keith Haddock, a leading authority on the subject, this book details the origins of the industry and documents the types of earthmoving machines employed during the first forty years.  The book highlights the importance of surface coal mining operations and site restoration and their necessity for the British economy.

Meticulously researched, the facts, figures and data covered are taken from Keith’s extensive collection of magazine articles, newspaper cuttings and manufacturers’ machine brochures and specifications. They are also drawn from publications by the National Coal Board Opencast Executive and Keith’s own research conducted on numerous site visits.  The sites included represent a cross section of geologically different locations in England, Scotland and Wales, and those employing the most interesting variety of earthmoving machines, such as Maesgwyn in South Wales, Newman Spinney in Derbyshire, Radar North in Northumberland and Ox-Bow in Yorkshire.

The book’s 364 historical photographs, many taken for the National Coal Board or British Coal Opencast, provide a nostalgic look at obsolete earthmoving and heavy construction equipment, and form an excellent historical resource for the student, researcher or enthusiast.

About the author

Keith Haddock has had a long career in earthmoving and surface mining.  After graduating as a professional engineer, he worked for major earthmoving contractors in the UK on highways, dams and opencast coal sites until moving to Canada in 1974 to work for a large surface coal mining company.  He left his position as Manager of Engineering in 1998 to become a full-time author and freelance writer on heavy equipment, and since then has written innumerable articles in the trade press and researched, appeared on or contributed to many TV programmes and DVDs on the subject. This is his twelfth book.

British Opencast Coal

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