Follow Folly Books on facebook





Volume 2

by D.P Lindegaard


Laminated heavy card jacket
392 pages, 235mm x 156mm
Publication date: 13 October 2023
ISBN: 9781916178991

PRICE:  £25.00


The coal industry in Somerset has a rich and ancient legacy. Due to the county having a pleasant and mainly rural aspect, the contribution of its collieries to its economic and social history is not widely appreciated. There are insightful economic and technical accounts of the coal mining industry and the operation of the mines of Somerset, but these provide few details of the lives of the men who toiled underground. If one, or several of these, are identified at all, it is usually because of an accident when they have been killed or badly injured in the pit. 

The author saw this as a wrong which needed to be righted and it was her starting point. In the event the book uncovers many colourful additions in the doings above ground, and includes the lives and roles of women in the coal mining districts who were, as a general rule, even more forgotten than the men. 

The central core of the book is an alphabetical list of those men who died in accidents in the pits, often illustrated by contemporary (often gruesome) newspaper accounts or reports of coroners enquiries - starting with  Carter Atkins ('Killed at Britton cole-pit' and buried at Paulton on 26th October 1778), and ending with William Young, aged 55, who 'was killed at Vobster Quarry whilst breaking stone when a large rock smashed his skull.  He was the sexton of Vobster Church and greatly respected'

Other chapters talk of the men seriously injured in the pits and who escaped death by a hair's breadth,  the plight of the Dunkerton Carting Boys,  the perils of the hauliers who carted coal by road to Bath,  the lives and roles of women of all social classes whose lives were largely dictated by the coal mines and the colliers,   the tragic consequences of silicosis,  the 'Heros, Outrages and Disorderly Proceeding' of the coal mining district, and much more besides.  

Hopefully this book will provide a useful tool for researchers, and for others, act as a reminder of times past, both good and bad.

About the author:

For over half a century, D.P. Lindegaard has been researching the family histories and genealogy of the poor, the unsung and overlooked, who don’t usually make it into the history books. Much of her extremely varied output can be read at where she can also be contacted if the story of your Mendip coalminer does not appear in this book. This study is a companion to ‘Killed in a Coalpit’ the lives of the Kingswood miners of the Bristol coalfield.

Born in 1937 to Alfred and Florence Pillinger,  D.P Lindegaard is the sister of the late  Professor Colin Pillinger, (1943-2014), the planetary scientist, who is well known for his work on the Beagle 2 Lander to Mars.