Digging Deep at The National Coal Mining Museum

Sarah Gaffney-Lang, Families Editor
Painting of a miner in the Digging Deep exhibition
National Coal Mining Museum

7 January — 1 March 2020 Entrance is free — Visit now

The National Coal Mining Museum is a great family day out, not least because the kids (and grown ups!) get to wear a hard hat and travel 140 meters underground! Possibly not everyone’s idea of fun but a real treat for those who do love the adventure of going underground.

The museum has live demonstrations, technical tours and a changing programme of temporary exhibitions. In their first ever exhibition looking at the role of immigrants in the coal industry, Digging Deep: Miners of African Caribbean Heritage explores black miners’ stories.

The exhibition attempts to right a wrong by sharing the forgotten story of African Caribbean coal miners. The UK coalfields could be a diverse place, where African Caribbean men stood shoulder to shoulder with white British, European and Asian miners, literally fuelling the UK economy through their back breaking work. Some even died in the process. Their part in Britain’s industrial past was forgotten… until now.

Black miner in old photograph from Digging Deep exhibition
Image courtesy of National Coal Mining Museum

Digging Deep explores the migration memories of these workers and examines how they adjusted to life in the UK.  Discover about work in the collieries; the friendships, the teamwork and discrimination; memories of accident, injuries and death at the colliery; the struggle for industrial and personal survival; legacy and life after mining.

This exhibition was curated by historian, Norma Gregory. She has pulled together the stories and recollections from many former miners and their families. It is a story that many adults will not have heard, never mind children. It is a celebration of the diversity in the coalfields and is another step forward in hearing previously unheard voices.


  • Relaxed

Where to go near Digging Deep at The National Coal Mining Museum

The York Dungeon

Prepare for an exciting adventure as you delve into the chilling history of York at the York Dungeon! The York Dungeon offers an immersive exploration of 2,000 years of the city’s most haunting tales.

White Cloth Hall

White Cloth Hall is a new food and drink project, based in a Grade II listed venue in Leeds city centre.

MUSU Restaurant & Bar

Musu is a modern Japanese restaurant and bar in Manchester City Centre, specialising in awe-inspiring food. We take an advance look at their festive menu. 

House of Fu Manchester

First Leeds, now Manchester. Expect picture perfect ramen, gyoza and cocktails at the upcoming restaurant and cocktail bar.

City Centre

Allpress at NOMA is a home to all things coffee, with a café and seasonal menu incorporating locally sourced ingredients.


Forty-Seven is a luxury boutique hotel on Peter Street in Manchester city centre, above the high-end Indian restaurant Asha’s.

What's on: Families

FestivalsCity Centre
Halloween in the City 2023

Halloween In The City is back to haunt Manchester over the Halloween weekend, with a petrifying programme of Halloween-themed events taking place across Manchester city centre.

free entry
To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere
To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere

Find out how the first tourists to the Lake District (a time before mobile phones, specialist clothing and TripAdvisor reviews) experienced the area, in this fascinating new exhibition.

from £6.00
Culture in South Lakes
Culture in South Lakes

Not only one of Britain’s most picturesque national parks, the Lake District is also brimming with culture. Here’s what’s on over the next few months.

free entry

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

From post punk legends to the leading lights of modern shoegaze, read about the most exciting artists playing in Manchester and the North this autumn.