5th November, Monthly Talk – The History of the Kent Coalfield

Most friends of the Museum will know our Curator, Darran Cowd. However what many of you may not know is that his actual specialism is industrial and engineering heritage, having worked in several national museums including the RAF Museum and National Coal Mining Museum for England. It was from the latter museum that he was “poached” to take on the Kent Mining Museum project in 2016; located on the site of Kent’s last working colliery, Betteshanger…

The East Kent Coalfield was the last of the United Kingdom’s coalfields to open, it was also the coalfield with the shortest working life, the last coal coming to surface a mere 84 years after the first bucket was raised in 1905. Grand plans were laid through the 1890s to 1920s, with East Kent expected to become the new ‘Black Country’, multiple collieries, steelworks and several new towns to follow.

In this talk Darran explores the coalfield’s history in a wider context, looking at some of the personalities involved, from chancers to Prime Ministers, and why, in the end, things didn’t quite go to plan…

This talk is free for members of the Friends of Folkestone Museum and £5.00 for non-members, either in person in the Museum’s learning space or online Via Zoom starting at 2pm on Saturday 5th November. Refreshments will be available afterwards for which a modest donation would be very much appreciated.

For further details and to book a place please email the Friends of Folkestone Museum via friendsfolkmuseum@gmail.com

Betteshanger Colliery miners, 1962 © The Estate of Mike Dugdale