Although the mining activity on this site ceased in 1989, the collection of buildings for the pithead have been preserved for visitors. Being an early riser (especially when I’m camping), I turned up way too early so I went to explore the town and surrounding countryside. When I returned a couple of hours later the gates were open and I found myself joining a ‘tour’ of the site – although it wasn’t any old tour. Instead, I found myself with government officials, council planners and representatives from institutions and organisations making plans for the site to be used for arts and culture activities. Brilliant.

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