NESTON’S coal mining history is being celebrated with the launch of the Neston Colliery Audio Trail.
The new audio guide consists of 15 short MP3 tracks available to download at www.neston-audio-trails.co.uk.
Little Neston and Burton councillor Kay Loch said: “This latest trail provides a fascinating tour revealing the hidden history under our feet. I would encourage everyone to download the trail and learn about the history of Neston.
“The Colliery Trail joins three other award-winning trails; Neston Parish Church Trail, Neston Town Centre Trail and Parkgate Parade.”
The first Audio Trails were awarded The Best Community Project at the 2008 Cheshire Community Pride Competition, for being particularly suitable for young people and those with visual impairment.
Local historian Anthony Annakin-Smith has produced interpretation panels at the site of the colliery, while he and other local historians provided information for the new audio trail script and can be heard during the trail commentary.
He said: “This was the site of the region’s Industrial Revolution. The first steam engine anywhere in Wirral and West Cheshire was sited here during the early years of industrialisation and later the great engineer George Stephenson visited the site.
“The mine was also extraordinary for being one of the very few in the country to use underground canals to move the coal.”
The first colliery, Ness Colliery, owned by the Stanley family of Hooton, opened in 1759, another mine operated in Little Neston, owned by the Cottingham family, 1819 to 1849.
Both mines had closed by 1855, when silting of the Dee Estuary had made it difficult to move coal in bulk.
Operations restarted as Neston Colliery in 1874, using a newly built railway. It went through several hands before closing in 1927. At its peak, in 1921, the final business – Wirral Colliery – employed about 350 people.
A special Neston Colliery guided walk will take place on Saturday, September 10, as part of the National Heritage Open Days. For further information and to book, email email@example.com.