Thanks Maggie

Derelict headstocks - former Clipstone Colliery
David Severn
Playing Bingo, alone - Boothy's Working Mens Club, Mansfield
David Severn
Ex miner and miners rescue serviceman turned performance poet and storyteller
David Severn
A mother out on a walk with her two sons - Brierley Forest Park, former Sutton-in-Ashfield Colliery
David Severn
Berry picking - former Mansfield Woodhouse pit tip
David Severn
My late Granddad's Deputy stick (used for picking and measuring), lantern and desk sign along with a photograph of him soon before his death.
David Severn
Local teenagers in the community mini bus - Newstead Village
David Severn
"Jack Daniels", a former pit worker, preparing to go on stage as Elvis - Boothy's Working Mens Club, Mansfield
David Severn

This series of photographs explores the reinvented uses of ex colliery sites in and around the former coal mining stronghold of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. The project also seeks to examine the current milieu of the area, particularly in relation to its post-industrial recovery.

I myself grew up in the town and like so many from Mansfield, come from a mining family – my Father working at the pits all his life and my Grandfather a Deputy at nearby Ollerton Colliery during his time. Taking shape through the impression of my memories, cultural background and experienced perception of Mansfield, this has been and remains to be a very personal project that speaks of my own roots and sense of belonging. I have walked at dawn, collar high and camera clenched, along contours of buried coal seams. At Pleasley I wandered amongst sapling silver birch and foraged fungi on the wood stock yard. Then, followed beaten paths winding through Brinsley and Brierley and climbed mounds once sculpted of black spoil. Moved by the stories of ex miners and inspired by the work of young people in Newstead, how bitter sweet it is to tread the exhausted ground, revived.

This body of work is part of a wider project involving 8 artists of varying different practices inquiring into Mansfield’s current socioeconomic climate given the prolonged period of volatility sparked by the withdrawal of its primary industry in the early 1990’s. Work produced for this project will be exhibited at The Mansfield Museum in Spring 2012

To see more of my work visit

Comments about this page

  • Politics of the strike, and pit closures aside, I am both amazed and delighted by the good work done on the former tip sites that border Mansfield Woodhouse, Shirebrook and Warsop, Clipstone, to name just a few. The levelling out, footpath construction, ponds to attract wildlife, such as at Pleasley Pit Visitor Centre. These former slag mounds have been sculpted, planted, and made for the future use and recreation of the residents of the locality, this is something really good in my book. The work done has been truly considerable, and if like me you walked across them when strictly speaking you should not have, you will see the vast change for the better. Dog walkers, mountain bikers, naturalists, all have something to encounter here. Gone is the sludge, slurry lagoons, barbed wire and ever present danger, in its place, something truly worthwhile. I recommend the walk from Littlewood Lane, across the railway line at the farm, and across the former tips of Shirebrook Colliery.

    The old red bridge that was, carried a lane, and along this lane, which could be accessed from the bottom of Sookholme, at Bath Farm I think, you could walk the lane right through to the start of the model village at Shirebrook. The land immediate to your left was Warsop Park Farm, long since buried by the second tip, running parallel to the railway line.   

    When the development of Welbeck’s former tip takes place, it may even be possible to cross this part of the area using the tip footpaths alone. Sherwood tip is a good walk too I am told, and the bird hide and wetland area at Pleasley former colliery is worth a look too, as is the visitor centre.

    By John. (28/02/2013)
  • David, if your Grandfather’s name was Albert Severn, and his birthday was 28th January, also originally lived on Moor Street. Then he and I went to school together at Moor Lane School and High Oakham School for years. Every school day he would knock on our door about 8 am. and we would walk to High Oakham School, come rain or shine….We were always in the same class together. Albert went into the mines and we lost contact..Best Wishes. Alan

    By alan curtisa (14/02/2012)

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