A Brief History
The Nottinghamshire Miners Association
The first attempts to establish a miners union within the Nottinghamshire Coalfield occurred in 1844. It failed to gain recognition from the Coal Owners and collapsed only a year later in 1845. Despite this, the embers of Unionism lingered on in certain areas of the Nottinghamshire Coalfield such as at Cinderhill Colliery.
By 1863 support for a local Miners Union had sufficiently increased again to warrant the formation of the “Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Miners Association”. This union comprised of miners lodges located throughout the two adjacent Coalfields. Despite various strikes and lockouts this dual Miners Union appears to have still been in existence when in 1880 the Derbyshire Miners Association was formed, and then in 1881 the Nottinghamshire Miners Federation came into being.
In December 1885 the Nottinghamshire Miners Federation was reorganised, and re-established itself under the new name of the Nottinghamshire Miners Association (NMA). Under the rules of this re-formed Miners Union the powers of the individual Colliery lodges or branches were reduced with the majority of control and decision making being vested in the Association’s Central Executive Committee. In 1886 the membership of the re-formed NMA had diminished to as few as 500 men with only 11 branches remaining throughout the entire Nottinghamshire Coalfield. Consequently funds became desperately low and Mr. Hopkin, the Association’s first agent, could not be paid. In the Autumn of 1886 Mr. Hopkin resigned.