The history of penmaking around Britain

Colin Waters explores Britain’s penmaking industry, particularly associate with Birmingham. Vast fortunes were once made from manufacturing the humble pen nib. For example, Josiah Mason and Joseph Gilliot, from Sheffield, came from poor uneducated backgrounds but went on to make their fortunes in the trade. Mason used his fortune for philanthropic purposes, including founding Birmingham … Read more

The miners of Mostyn

The Gittins family were well established in Mostyn, north Wales, where they mined coal. But what would they do when their mine closed? By Rick Kitson.  Mining in Mostyn has taken place since 1261, and it has always been a dangerous occupation. As well as the risk of the underground workings collapsing, throughout the last … Read more

Whitby Abbey reopens after revamp

Whitby Abbey, the imposing ruin overlooking the North Yorkshire coast, has re-opened to the public following a major £1.6 million re-interpretation project by English Heritage – including a new museum and new interpretation around the historic site. To celebrate the re-opening, and as part of English Heritage’s Telling Tales season, the charity has re-imagined a … Read more

The National Coal Mining Museum for England

Learn about our industrial past with this Yorkshire museum. By Nell Darby. In 2016, the last deep coal mine in the UK – Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire – closed, bringing to an end our long association with mining. Many of us will have had family members and ancestors who made their living as miners, … Read more

Exploring the history of Leeds

This West Yorkshire city has seen a recent resurgence, and it’s a mecca for shoppers: but what else does it offer the history-lover? Nell Darby explores. It is today a fashionable city, home to an extensive number of high-end shops, and thousands of students studying at one of its three universities. It is also proud … Read more

Exploring the Yorkshire Dales

This rugged area may be less populated than other parts of Yorkshire – but it still has a history of textile manufacture, mining and tourism, as Mike Bedford explores. Today, the centres of population in Yorkshire are the industrial conurbations in the modern day counties of South and West Yorkshire. However, the Yorkshire Dales, which … Read more