South Thanet

2015 Result:
Conservative: 18838 (38.1%)
Labour: 11740 (23.8%)
Lib Dem: 932 (1.9%)
Green: 1076 (2.2%)
UKIP: 16026 (32.4%)
Independent: 61 (0.1%)
Others: 728 (1.5%)
MAJORITY: 2812 (5.7%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Kent. The eastern part of the Thanet council area and two wards from the Dover council area.

Main population centres: Ramsgate, Sandwich, Broadstairs, St Peters.

Profile: A coastal seat, snaking around the eastern coast of the Isle of Thanet and then south into Dover to include the historic Cinque port of Sandwich and the rural villages inland from it, including Ash and Wingham. The main centres of population is the ferry port, fishing town and coastal resort of Ramsgate, the more genteel seaside town of Broadstairs and Cliftonville, a residential part of Margate. Thanet suffers from the economic problems often associated with declining seaside towns, and has some of the most deprived wards in the otherwise generally affluent Kent.

Politics: Historically this was a safely Conservative area, the Isle of Thanet seat that existed until 1974 was solidly Conservative throughout its history, as was this seat`s immediate predecessor Thanet East. In 1992 Jonathan Aitken enjoyed an apparently safe 23% majority here, but in 1997 he lost his seat to Labour`s Stephen Ladyman and subsequently his liberty after being found guilty and jailed for perjury. The seat was regained by the Conservatives in 2010 under Laura Sandys, a Tory moderate and pro-European. The 2015 election was one of the most high profile constituency battles, fought between the UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Craig Mackinlay, a UKIP to Conservative defector chosen to replace Sandys, and the Labour candidate Will Scobie. Ultimately Mackinlay won, prompting Nigel Farage to briefly honour a promise to resign as UKIP leader.


Current MP
CRAIG MACKINLAY (Conservative) Born Chatham. Educated at Rainham Mark Grammar and Birmingham University. Former chartered accountant and tax advisor. Medway councillor since 2007. Contested Gillingham 1992 as Independent, 1997 as UKIP, Totnes 2001 for UKIP, Gillingham 2005 for UKIP, Kent Police Commissioner election 2012 for the Conservatives. First elected as MP for Thanet South in 2015. Acting leader of UKIP 1997, Deputy leader of UKIP 1997-2000. Defected to the Conservatives in 2005.
Past Results
2010
Con: 22043 (48%)
Lab: 14426 (31%)
LDem: 6935 (15%)
UKIP: 2529 (6%)
MAJ: 7617 (17%)
2005*
Con: 15996 (39%)
Lab: 16660 (40%)
LDem: 5431 (13%)
UKIP: 2079 (5%)
Oth: 1076 (3%)
MAJ: 664 (2%)
2001
Con: 16210 (41%)
Lab: 18002 (46%)
LDem: 3706 (9%)
UKIP: 501 (1%)
Oth: 1012 (3%)
MAJ: 1792 (5%)
1997
Con: 17899 (40%)
Lab: 20777 (46%)
LDem: 5263 (12%)
Oth: 1049 (2%)
MAJ: 2878 (6%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CRAIG MACKINLAY (Conservative) Born Chatham. Educated at Rainham Mark Grammar and Birmingham University. Chartered accountant and tax advisor. Medway councillor since 2007. Contested Gillingham 1992 as Independent, 1997 as UKIP, Totnes 2001 for UKIP, Gillingham 2005 for UKIP, Kent Police Commissioner election 2012 for the Conservatives. Acting leader of UKIP 1997, Deputy leader of UKIP 1997-2000. Defected to the Conservatives in 2005.
WILL SCOBIE (Labour) Educated at Dane Court Grammar and York University. Thanet councillor since 2011, Kent county councillor since 2013.
RUSS TIMPSON (Liberal Democrat) Educated at South Bank University. Businessman, fire engineer and former Royal Navy submariner.
NIGEL FARAGE (UKIP) Born 1964, Farnborough. Educated at Dulwich College. Former commodities broker. Contested Itchen, Test and Avon in 1994 European election. Member of the European Parliament for South-East England since 1999. Contested Eastleigh by-election 1994, Salisbury 1997, Bexhill and Battle 2001, South Thanet 2005, Bromley and Chistlehurst 2006 by-election, Buckingham 2010. Leader of UKIP 2006-2009 and since 2010.
IAN DRIVER (Green) Thanet councillor since 2011, originally elected for Labour.
GRAHAME BIRCHALL (United Thanet) Born 1952. Businessman and former serviceman. Former Canterbury councillor for the Labour party.
DEAN MCCASTREE (Independent) Born St Lucia. Financial Trader. Former Thanet councillor, former Lambeth councillor. Contested Brent Central 2010.
ZEBADIAH ABU-OBADIAH (Al-Zebabist) Musician.
NIGEL ASKEW (Reality) Publican.
RUTH BAILEY (Manston Airport Independent) Teacher.
AL MURRAY (No description) Born 1968, Stewkley. Educated at Bedford School and Oxford University. Comedian.
Links
Comments - 1,939 Responses on “Thanet South”
  1. Will Scobie selected for Labour.

  2. I am in Ramsgate library at the moment so I’d better post on South Thanet. By the way, the library is very quiet, which perhaps indicates a lack of intellectual activity, or a Summer Saturday.

    I have just been posting about general lack of Conservative Party membership, but they have a shop here so they must have some members! In relation to likely results it would be interesting to know how many members has in this, as every, seat. In a seat like this, the size of membership is interesting not least in relation to UKIP, including the number of former members of other parties who have joined UKIP.

    It would also be useful to know, for this and every seat, to know what premises each party has, but in relation to this we would also need to assess what influence the presence of party premises has on election results (e.g. in terms of comparative swing). Similar questions could be asked in relation to full-time or part-time paid agents. Leaving aside MPs’ assistants, how many of these are there left?

    Labour have selected an energetic young candidate who I believe recently did notably well in winning a Coutny Council seat, so he has a good platform to build a profile. All the same, I think he will have his work cut out. The large swing on which Laura Sandys won this seat will be difficult to reverse, particularly as she is an energetic MP and is well placed to benefit from an “incumbency effect”.

    There is some slight indication that Ramsgate is benefitting from the High Speed train service, A bigger commuter vote would help the Tories. However, Ramsgate station is very badly placed for the town (the Southern Railway closed Ramsgate Harbour station in the 1920s) which lessens the attractiveness of the town for commuters, and indeed for other purposes such as day trips to the seaside.

    Other changes which may have an electoral effect are the closure of the Pfizer site at Sandwich, which whilst outside the constituency was the largest employer. This might reduce skilled employment. Much will depend on how successful the local authorities are in building up replacement work, e.g. a science park. Other issues include the chronic problems with attempts to get a ferry service (the latest hope is Ramsgate to Boulogne) and to expand Manston airfield. Neither of these are likely to have a major effect.

    In response to a previous post, the affluent areas in this constituency include Broadstairs and the coast around the North Foreland, where there are are some to my mind horrible gated estates, There are also small affluent enclaves above the harbour (although the Harbour work is far from affluent). Ramsgate Harbour is host to a well known yacht club. It is however, difficult to see why Ramsgate is so much more conservative that Thanet North: for example some of central Ramsgate is pretty run down. Much of the answer relates to long-term campaigning by Roger Gale in Thanet North.

    Clearly the effect of UKIP needs to be discussed in relation to this seat. I suspect the comparative effect on Labour and the Conservaives might not be as great as some people might think, but I hope to come back to this.

  3. Frederick: what do you think Nigel Farage’s chances would be if he contested this seat in 2015? I think he will now that Roger Gale has been reselected for the adjacent constituency.

  4. what would happen if he contested it and won

  5. Lib Dems will come through the middle of this, given the nullyfied split of tories, labour and ukip. Lib Dems will win with an 8,000 majority, and stupendous momentum.

  6. “Lib Dems will come through the middle of this, given the nullyfied split of tories, labour and ukip. Lib Dems will win with an 8,000 majority, and stupendous momentum.”

    No..Labour will win here with a huge majority, won’t they Bob 🙂

  7. That’s got to be the worst prediction of the lot.

  8. there should be a memorial to john le mesurier here

  9. I don’t see why.

    As was quite obvious from his accent he was not in any way a son of Ramsgate, in fact he only lived there for about the last 15 years of his life (he lived to age 71).

    For most of his younger adult years Le Mesurier lived in Chelsea, in fact I think he kept a flat in London after he moved to Kent with his 3rd wife.

  10. Andy JS

    My apologies for not replying before to your question.

    The 2005 result suggests that Nigel Farage would do well, but even with the current swing to UKIP and a personal vote I think he would have difficulty winning. I suspect he would come a stronger runner-up, perhaps in close competition with Labour for second place (the LibDems have no chance here and the Greens were wise not to stand).

    Laura Sandys is very active and should benefit from an incumbency effect, and as indicated in my last post the Labour candidate is well placed to build a profile.

    Perhaps we could discuss two points.

    Firstly, what evidence is there about how candidates perform if they stand in one election, skip the next and then come back? it doesn’t happen too often. If Farage sttod here his opponents could ask why he swanned off to fght the Speaker in 2010, instead of plugging away at this seat. On the other hand, if Farage had stood in 2010 and then tried here again in 2015 he might have been seen as having been around too long, a repeat lose. But I suppose who could look at the example of Gwnyfor Evans for Plaid in Carmarthen in the 1950s and 1960s and his evntual bye-election win.

    My personal view in that Nigel Farage would have done better to stick to building up a presence in one seat over several elections, but it is too late for hime to do that now.

    The other thing we should be discussing more is where UKIP are taking votes from. I think too many people are assuming that UKIP supporters are mostly disaffected Tories. If you take a very naiive view of the national polls over the last sx months or so, you could say that Labour has shipped about five per cent of the voters to UKIP, with the other parties staying largely unchanged. Of course, the polls are aggregated from indivuidual changes of opinion in many different directions, but there might be more truth in the simplistic view I have just given than one might think. Labour Party smacks of a “rainbow coalition” of interests, rather than policies, from the top down. I think that quite a few older Labour members, if you like the old style workers who have also been deserted by the union are deserting to UKIP.

    There was a snippet in the paper here the week before last about a Lbaour member who went into a huff because a Labour councillor sent him an apparently rude letter and is joining UKIP as the only viable non-Westminster party.

    FInally, I was thinking that Farage, who comes from Kent, albeit West Kent, ahould fight one of the Thanet seats. However, I increasingly think a seat in the East of England might be better for him. However, one advantage of South Thanet for Farage is that it both has a strong UKIP presence and is a marginal. From the point of view of his national campaign Farage does not want to be seen to be in a straight fight in either a Tory, or less likely, a Labour safe seat, which is perhaps partly why he challenged the Speaker last time.

  11. I think it will be a fascinating seat to watch in 2015: a three-way Con-Lab-UKIP marginal?

    I’ve looked at the county council result and what it could mean for the general election on All That’s Left, along with Thanet North.

    http://www.allthatsleft.co.uk/2013/08/ukip-targets-5-6-the-thanets/

  12. Jackie South- Roger Gale is not stepping down or even considering stepping down. http://www.rogergale.com/content_manager/page.php?ID=104005&dbc=c119c97a57ac76bf924b729a4470d525

  13. If the UKIP is the UK’s version of the Tea Party then maybe some of the commentators on here should look across the pond and see that the Tea Party had well faded by the 2012 Presidential election..

    I am not even sure that the MEP election will be their high-water mark, I suspect last May’s council elections were…

    The question is if the UKIP have fizzled by 2015, will a continuing Cameron-led gov’t even bother with the referendum?

  14. I don’t see UKIP as being at all a British version of the Tea Party. It’s image as being the party for, amongst others, working class smokers and drinkers, is a long way from Sarah Palin’s Christian Evangelicalism, even though I do believe that at least one of UKIP’s leading members is quite definitely an active Anglican.

    I think we have been told on the North Thanet thread that Sir Roger Gale has been readopted as the 2015 candidate for his seat.

    I would be interested in more views as to whether on balance the UKIP vote in this seat will come in greater numbers from the Tories or from Labour, or (as I suspect) fairly equally from both Labour and Conservative.

  15. Thanks for the reply to my question, Frederic.

  16. UKIP appear to me to be a curious mixture of populist white-van-man and populist golf club. Similar views, different ways of expression

    Definitely right wing but some appeal to Labour voters who vote Labour because of class identity rather than values

    However – the evidence of by elections is absolutely clear. UKIP are largely taking from the Tories and doing best in Tory areas

  17. Going back to Zak and H.Hemmelig’s comments in August, there are blue plaques to several popular entertainers in this seat on the basis of not very strong links. So why not John Le Mesurier too?

    Coming to my main reason for posting, we have rather been assuming in discussing where Nigel Farage might stand that he can pick and choose, but following an interesting letter in the local paper here eight days ago, local residents might reasonable wish to have a say in who is their UKIP candidate. As I understand it, following the county council elections, leading to an increased number of UKIP councillors, Farage himself is concerned at tightening up UKIP procedures, which will involve such things as vetting UKIP candidates and then having formal selection procedures. Which means that Farage might need to strengthen his position by oversoming challenges from other UKIP members in a candidate selection.

    Overhauling selection procedures raises issues about getting prospective UKIP candidates in place a reasonable time before the general Election. I personally think that selecting candidates too early can result in their being at a loose end and losing enthusiasm, but clearly serious candidates do need to be campaigning for months before the formal election period.

  18. I referred in my previous post to a letter in the “Isle of Thanet Gazett.” I see from Ramsgate Library’s copy of this week’s Gazette that a local (UKIP) councillor syas that he cannot find the writer, or that of two other recnet letters written by somebody with the same initials, on the full electoral role in a local library.

    I would have thought the library would have an editted electoral role, but a councillor could access the full one.

    Nothing in this post affects the points I made in my previous one about organization and candidate selection for UKIP. UKIP are becoming a serious party and it is in their interests to update their organizational procedures accordingly, as indeed they are doing.

    By the way, in case Councillor Heale sees this post, I am visiting Ramsgate regularly at the moment, but I don’t live here. That doesn’t mean I cannot interpret this seat from a psephological perspective.

  19. The FT has apparently reported that Farage is to contest this seat in 2015, but the man himself has denied this in the last few minutes.

  20. FT repeated the story with more detail in Saturday’s edition…

    Wondering whether the LibDems should maybe not field a candidate…..Sandys is pro-EU after all… seeing her go down to Farage would not be in the LD interest

  21. It’s pretty worthless for the FT to speculate that Farage might stand in Thanet South in 2010 because the constituency is obviously one of the best seats for him to consider standing in. The only newsworthy information would be if he’s actually decided to stand there for certain.

  22. Once again, what are UKIP’s selection processes? Surely Nigel Farage should apply when the local UKIP Party decides to select a candidate, if he wishes to stand here.

  23. Our politics seem to be similar to a rerun of the 1930s, so maybe Laura Sandys could run as a Conservative and National Liberal candidate.

    I don’t see it happening in 2015. These days the party’s are determined on running a slate of candidates in every seat.

    I am not sure what psephological evidence there is that running a candidate in every seat, at considerable cost, benefits parties as compared to the situation until 1945 when parties did not stand in seats that were from their point of view hopeless. Or, to put it the other way round, that electors are less likely to vote for the parties unless they are standing in every seats (possibly except for special cases such as the Speker’s constituency or where several parties are standing down, as against Martin Bell in Tatton.

    A different point. I went off my now usual haunts in Ramsgate the other day and see that UKIP have a shop in King Street. In how many consitutencies are UKIP maintaining offices between elections, where, and what difference is it likely to nake to their fortunes?

  24. I’ve always argued in favour of my party standing a full slate of candidates even in my own hopeless (from Labour’s point of view) borough. Firstly the failure to do so is an admission that you are not a serious party in that area, and secondly my party, like all major parties, has supporters who would not be happy if they are deprived of the chance of voting for it. In my ward in 2006, Labour stood only one candidate for the 3 seats, and I did not enjoy deciding what to do with my other 2 votes.

  25. What did you do?

  26. “Our politics seem to be similar to a rerun of the 1930s”

    What a weird thing to say. The 1930s were a decade of complete Tory dominance, with Labour a shrivelled up irrelevance with little more than 50 seats for several years.

    Today’s politics are much more comparable to the 1970s – neither major party electorally dominant, both widely disliked and distrusted with weak leadership, being buffeted around by economic turbulence. The next election will surely have a ring of February 1974 about it.

  27. H. Hemmelig. In 1931 there was a National Government under Ramsay Macdonald and with the Liberals and Conservatives. Few Labour MPs supported it. The National Government went to the polls and the Conservatives won a large majority of the seats, but some Liberals, who became Liberal Nationalists, continued to serve in it. Even in the 1950s the Conservatives stood down for the Liberals in certain seats (notabley Hdeersfield West and Bolton West). and some MPs were returned as Conservative and National Liberal.

    So in the 1930s there was in effect a Government much like today’s, Conservative dominated with some Liberal (Nationalists). It was not dissimilar in terms of its crucial economic policies at a time of recession, cutting to reduce the Government debt but then having to make some Government to prevent economic collapse. It was also a time when the Government identified with the establishment and perpetuated unacceptable inequlaity.

    The next step would be a split in the LibDems alng the lines of that between the Samuel and Simon Liberals in the 1930s. One can see the strains in the current LibDem party, with grassroot preference for Labour over the LibDems. One also wonders whether if the Tories won an outright majority they might wish Clegg, whose background insofaras it is not establishment is European (a not infrequent infulence on LibDems), to stay in office, which would undoubtedly split the Libdems.

    The most worrying aspect of a rerun of the 1930s is that the parrallel would lead to war or revolution because of Government support for unsustainable establishment interests. There are too many hints in terms of unsustainable inequality and international unrest that this might happen.

  28. FS- I tend to disagree with you but I still found your post interesting.

    (1) As HH points out, the 1930s were dominated by the Conservative party. Baldwin entered Coalitions from a position of strength- 1931 and 1935 were enormous Conservative victories. Cameron’s party does not enjoy nearly so much support. From a psephological perspective, the situation is more reminiscent of the 1970s than it is the 1930s.

    (2) Is this government really cutting to reduce debt? I hear a lot of talk about it from both front benches. However, Osborne’s tinkering is not remotely comparable with what Snowden and Chamberlain did. Remember that Snowden’s second Budget imposed 10% cuts in all unemployment benefits and all civil servant salaries. Remember also that the 1930s Coalition resorted to Protectionism unlike the current administration.

    (3) What did the Baldwin government’s supposed support for ‘unsustainable establishment interests’ have to do with the Second World War? And why should international unrest today lead to British involvement? Militarily, this country is a shadow of its former self. I don’t condemn or applaud that, I just point it out.

  29. 2015 most likely

    Con 37%
    Lab 31%
    UKIP 25%
    LD 7%

  30. UKIP might get to 25% if Farage stands here, otherwise I think they’ll be significantly lower

  31. Agreed. Ukip have been underestimated before by tories but I can’t see 25pc even here in normal circumstances. I would like to agree with frderic but the 70s is a closer comparison to today

  32. Con – 39
    Lab – 32
    UKIP – 22
    Lib – 7

    Probably a bridge too far for UKIP in 2015, though in the event of Farage standing here it could be a genuine 3 way marginal.

  33. Tory makes some interesting points. I to consdierable extent agree but: –
    1. Tory is right sbout the weakness of Conservative support now by comparison with the 1930s, although my understanding is that the two 1930s elections were both at points where Labour’s support was exceptionally low by comparison with that between elections. However, there is a similarity in that in both decades there have been coalitions with the Liberal/LibDems very much as junior partners, weakened by their lack of support outside parliament as much or more than their number of MPs,
    2. By comparison with the 1930s, the Tories are hamstrung by the UKs economic decline, which means they cannot challenge international free trade. They, like all parties, face the issue that debt in the UK and other Western countries has become so unsustainable that “cuts” can only reduce its increase.
    It should be pointed out that the current Government is cutting wages in the private sector and also benefits, although not the salaries and, in particular, pensions of an out-of-control core civil seervice establishment. The Tories aren’t cutting debt as much as they would like because they can’t.
    3. Baldwin and Chamberlain both came from Midlands manufacturing families. Read the famous 1940 book “The Guilty Men” by “Cato” (Michael Foot sna others). More worryingly, in the early 1930s, British anxiety not to be involved in a re-run of the Great War meant that too little was done to stop Fascism, particularly at the re-occupation of the Rhineland in 1936. There is very much a parrallel here because british anxiety not to be involved in a re-run of Iraq and Afghanistan, unwise adventures accompanied by a dreadful lack of political honesty – in particular the refusal of adequate reporting by the media, means that we are not facing up to more seious threats from the Middle East which will before long come home to roost.
    We tend to forget that the British right were not as opposed to Fascism as we now suppose, not least because of their loathing of Communism, and in particular Stalinism. Given what we now know of the millions of people sent to camps and put to death in the USSR, particularly in the 1930s, they were right about the second half of this, if not the first half.
    If you want to think more about this, look up for example the activities of John Baker-White, who was involved in unofficial Brisih intelligence gathering in the 1930s and subsequently became MP for Canterbury.

  34. I still think Joe James B is indulging in wishful thinking if he thinks that UKIP is not going to get 2.8-3 million votes in 2015.

    I find it odd why Cameron is refusing the British people a referendum before 2015 because he is unlikely to be reelected.

    If it were held on Sept 18 2014 lots of taxpayer money and parliamentary debating time could be saved.

  35. FredericStansfield…” However, there is a similarity in that in both decades there have been coalitions with the Liberal/LibDems very much as junior partners, weakened by their lack of support outside parliament as much or more than their number of MPs”..

    You are referring here to the Liberal Nationals, who were not the Liberal Party but rather a quasi-liberal stalking horse that was just an attempt at Tory brand fragmentation…

  36. Jonathan Aitken has a book of political memoirs out.

    According to the Sunday Times review Thanet South was one of only two Conservative mining constituencies.

    Firstly I was surprised to hear there were mines here – I thought the Kent coalfield was in Dover constituency.

    Secondly where did Aitken and/or the Sunday Times get the idea that only two Conservative constituenices in 1984 had coalmines.

    I wonder if Pete could tell us how many Conservative constituencies did have a coalmine in 1984.

  37. “I wonder if Pete could tell us how many Conservative constituencies did have a coalmine in 1984.”

    Falmouth and Cambourne?

  38. Well you have the Nottinghamshire seats of Rushcliffe and Sherwood. And how about Selby in Yorkshire?

  39. NW Leciestershire and South Derbyshire also come to mind.

  40. Open Collierys Today by Constituency

    Sherwood
    Rossendale (3 employees)
    Forest of Dean (3 employees)
    Hexham
    Selby and Ainsty

    Doncaster North
    Neath (In Administration)

  41. I might be able to help with that question. I think the following constituencies had coalmines in 1984 & had a Tory MP – indeed, one had one until recently. S Thanet definitely isn’t one of them.
    Dover
    Bridgend (I think, in the far north of the seat)
    Brecon & Radnor (in the far SW)
    NW Leicestershire
    N Warwickshire
    SE Staffordshire
    Cannock & Burntwood
    Stafford (I remember Bill Cash saying he had a colliery in the north of his constituency)
    Nottingham N
    Sherwood
    Newark
    Rushcliffe (not totally sure if it was still open)
    Amber Valley
    S Derbyshire
    Selby
    At least one Liberal seat, Berwick-on-Tweed, had a colliery at that time.
    This list may not be totally complete either. It may well be for instance that Erewash still had collieries in the Ilkeston area but perhaps they’d already gone by that time.

  42. Cotgrave had a mine until 1993 so Rushcliffe is valid.

    I would have thought possibly MId Staffs -looking at some of the villages

  43. Yes Lea Hall colliery, Rugeley. You can also add Staffordshire South (Huntington),Gedling, Bosworth, Elmet

  44. Of course Elmet – shouldn’t have missed that.
    Garforth area I suspect.

  45. I wondered about Bosworth (probably near Earl Shilton?) and Gedling – isn’t Gedling itself the mining area in the Gedling constituency? I must say I hadn’t realised that there was a mine in Elmet or S Staffs. I must confess I’d temporarily totally forgotten about the existence of the Mid Staffs constituency altogether, which is surprising given the dramatic by-election there in 1990.

  46. Mid Staffs had coal mines in the Rugeley area.

    I don’t think SE Staffs did because that was just Tamworth plus extremely affluent commuter villages near Sutton Coldfield, unless there was a mine in Tamworth I wasn’t aware of.

  47. There were a couple of pits in Dewsbury in the Denby Dale area.

    How about North Wales? Or did they all fall under Wrexham and Alyn?

    Did Nuneaton have any?

  48. The remaining colliery in N Wales was at Point of Ayr, which I think was in Alyn & Deeside. Nuneaton is a coalfield town, but I think its pits had closed by the 80s. I was under the impression that there was still a pit in the Gillway area of Tamworth.

  49. This site is quite useful http://www.nmrs.org.uk/mines/coal/index.html

    There was indeed a pit at Emley which closed in 1985. I’d missed that one although I saw there was one at Denby Grange, when I checked it I found it was actually in Wakefield Rural

  50. Broxtowe would have been on the list too – Moorgreen colliery closed in 1985

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