The south shaft of Easington Colliery NZ4344 : Capped shaft of Easington Colliery
was 1586 feet (483 metres) deep. It was the main entrance for miners who reached its depths in just over a minute from the surface riding in a similar three-tier pit cage as the one erected here. Set up as a monument, the cage was shot blasted and painted in Sheffield. It weighs almost 12 tonnes and has been re-instated at the restored site of the former Easington Colliery by the Turning The Tide project as part of the clean up of Durham's coastline. The cage incorporates a time capsule provided by the people of Easington as a store of their memories of the local coal industry.
YouTube tribute to the men who worked coal at Easington 1899-1993 Link
PEACE IN THE COALFIELD by Lisa Garside Link
(Archive version: Link
Where the whirring of the pulley
Or the metallic grate of the aerial flight?
Where the precious black gold
Unceremoniously ripped from this verdant pasture?
Twenty years have idled by, since last we stood on this spot
Now the silence is broken only by
The crashing of the endless tide
And the cries of the voracious birds resting on the cliffs.
Yet yonder rests a man-made hill made from slag and waste,
And a beach still black as the cormorant that has returned to nest.
The lift shaft wheel now a decorative symbol,
Where a worker can fill his cup with yesterday.
No longer do men trudge in line down the street
Dragging their feet to their next shift
Their "bait" tucked firmly under their arm,
Dreading the weary, wet and wasted hours ahead.
For here today lies the bruised remains of a once vociferous giant,
Heralded as a perfect industrial example.
Yet Nature brings her own cathartic frisson.
Now all that's left is peace.