Category Archives: Bachelet, Pierre

A civilisation founded on coal

Without it, writes Dalrymple,

we would have lived in unlit and unheated houses. The miners were like Atlases; upon their shoulders a whole world rested.

He gives his recollection of a typical European mining town:

everything begrimed with coal dust, the slate roofs of tiny terraced houses dull in the perpetual, dirty rain; black slag heaps lowering.