Coal and steam had powered the industrial revolution, and in one sense had enabled the growth of the 20th century city. The technological change that replaced coal with oil was the development of diesel and petrol engines. By the time these photographs were taken coal had been replaced by petroleum as the dominant source of power. Villages and communities that had for a century been built around coal mining were threatened, and within twenty years mining vanished from the country’s industrial base.
These photographs were taken in South Yorkshire and South Wales. The loss of the industry to these communities was badly handled by politicians.