Coalville, Leicestershire

Coalville is the town that I spent most of my formulative years around, and I have watched it decline from the thriving town that it once was to the run-down shell that it is today. I once thought of Coalville as the boring town that I would return to during the summer breaks, but as I got older I realised that it actually has a rich and important history within the Midlands.

For example, as the name suggest, Coalville was one of the key mining towns within the Midlands, and as with many mines of the time, the town developed around the coal. In the early 1900s, Coalville had a rail system linking it with other towns in the area, and people would travel as far as Leicester just to visit the famous ‘Coalville Market’. Sadly, the future of this market is now uncertain as the council are due to demolish the current market hall.

Below are a few items I have collected over the years relating to the history of Coalville.

Olympia Theatre programmes

Coalville once had both a cinema, a theatre and an ice rink. Both the cinema and the theatre were owned by Mr Charles Deeming. The two programmes below are from the late 1920s and show the opening week and second weeks showings. The theatre is now ‘Flutters’ bingo hall, whilst the cinema became a ‘Dunelm’ mill store.

Snibston Colliery

The mine in Coalville was known as Snibston Colliery. Closed in the 1983, the former mine is now a museum called ‘Snibston Discovery Park’. Primarily aimed at children the museum has many scientific based attractions. Thankfully, the headstocks and colliery buildings have all remained intact, and upon special request a tour can be taken of them. I will post photographs at a later date of the tour I managed to join.

Below are two photographs taken in the early 1980s of the colliery shortly before it ceased production. Following these is a National Coal Board booklet produced giving details of the history of the colliery. Finally there is a ‘pit check’ from the mine. These were assigned to the miners when working so that each man could be accounted for.

Working Men’s Co-operative Share Withdrawal Form

I am afraid that I do not know too much information about this item, other than it being an instruction for the withdrawal of shares for a Mr Benjamin Thirlby, in 1935.

The Coalville Collier


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