were these mystery checks/fobs used for?
of mining memorabilia will be familiar with the series of "KING
COAL" checks similar to the one illustrated below. They appear to be
quite common but their origin and purpose of issue remain a mystery - well at
least to me anyhow.
am not sure if these brass embossed discs (32 mm diameter) are really checks
or key fobs. None of the many I have seen to date have numbers or initials
stamped on them. Most collectors attribute their issue to the UK's coal mining
industry. The date of their issue is not certain but they are thought to have
been possibly made and issued in the 1980s.
anyone throw any light on what these checks are or were used for? I would be
greatful for any information concerning them.
Submitted By : Mark
Date: April 2003
sure I can remember seeing these doing the rounds in Nottinghamshire (at
least) during the year long coal miner's strike of 1984/85. I think they may
have been commissioned by the N.U.M. (or possibly the U.D.M.) or even a
more localised group of striking miners. Presumably sales of these
commemorative checks (or more likely key fobs) would have helped raise funds
to support the striking miners and their families. In this way they could be
compared in some way to many of the miners' strike badges that were
commissioned and sold for similar reasons.
have heard it mentioned that the term "King Coal" could be intended
as a reference to Arthur Scargill the then leader of the N.U.M. However, this
is hardly likely if in fact these were issued by members of the U.D.M.
on comments submitted By : I.M. Cobwright.
the "King Coal" checks, the one that I have was attached to a miniature
oil safety lamp (key ring). This I obtained at the back end of the 1984-85
strike. If I remember correctly there were plenty of them about at this time.
By : Matty Kitchen.
remember that at various times in the 1980s Kellingley Colliery achieved and
broke several production records. I'm fairly sure that as well as the more
familiar pseudonym of "The Big K", Kellingley was also know locally
during this time as "King Coal". So could these checks be mementoes
of that period? Possibly made to celebrate the occasion when the pit achieved
one or other production record. Similar checks/fobs were issue by the N.C.B.
to miners at Grimethorpe Colliery in 1981 on the occasion of one of their
record production runs. The management at Kellingley certainly
commissioned various commemorative items through out the 1980s when the men
broke production records. These included presentation medals, Hip Flasks and
By : Tony Lewis.
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