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Moorgreen pit tip
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Moorgreen pit tip

Directly ahead, on the approach to The Headstocks Tearoom is the former site of Moorgreen pit tip. This impressive hilltop was once covered in grey, lifeless, pit slurry. Combed-over by heavy machinery, the landmark dominated the skyline for generations and is a classic example of how industrial wastelands can be transformed in a short space of time – from black to green – coal to nature.

D.H. Lawrence loathed the scars of industry and would have approved of today’s manifestation as nature appears to have triumphed over the effects of industrialisation.

 

Dawn of the Unread comic

Lawrence is filled with horror and rage at the machine age in this comic panel by Hunt Emerson. From the Guardian award-winning Dawn of the Unread digital comic and anthology by James Walker and Paul Fillingham.

This amateur cine-film footage shows a Marching band parading along Church Street at the 1978 Brinsley Carnival with Moorgreen pit tip in the background. (49 seconds).

Moorgreen pit tip digger

Photograph of a digger levelling waste from Moorgreen Colliery in the 1960s.

Ode to a Green Hill. Rhymes of a Marlpool Miner by Owen V. Watson. Poem read in local dialect by David Amos. (1 minute, 20 seconds).

Transcript

If perchance these words survive.
The frailty of this mortal frame.
The others of my race will know
From whence this green hill came.

That far below in its dark heart
Now lies for all eternity
Steel tortured traces I and others
Left in caverns without pity.

All that’s left of a mining past
Deep within its bosom lies
Far beneath the emerald crest
Where countless ghosts do sigh.

Let them look and think awhile
Of Moorgreen miners and their dead
Suffer a moment of sad regret
For the blood and sweat long shed.

Yes, they were young and ever thought
That death was just for others
They too laughed and danced and sang
In the company of their brothers.

So let this hill be a monument high
Lasting ’til the end of time.
To a breed who soon will be no more
I dedicate this rhyme.

Oh green hill when the rains do come
And hurry down your creeks.
Will you too remember them
As tears stream down your cheeks.