Free event


Discover the career of Martyn Pitt, National Photographer for the final years of the Coal Industry. His work chronicled the successes and failures, development and decline, and throughout his 30+ years in the industry, Pitt built friendships with the miners he recorded.

With a focus on Pitt’s underground photography, the exhibition gives us a peek at the hidden world hundreds of meters below our feet and examines his role and responsibilities as the industry’s photographer. His images documented the conditions, practices, and stories of the last 20 years of coal mining and were used to illustrate mining reviews, posters, and newspapers. They reveal the working conditions of modern mining, and most importantly, the men who mined the coal.

After over 30 years in the industry, Martyn retired in 2012 and in 2014, the National Coal Mining Museum acquired his image archive. The Martyn Pitt collection contains images spanning the period of privatisation between 1994 and 2012 and includes film negatives and digital images, taken whilst working for British Coal, RJB Mining and UK Coal. These images are the sole visual record of mining during that period, documenting mining developments and illustrating the corporate journals and newsletters produced in that period.

This exhibition is the first major showing of his legacy of work.

Venue opening hours

Monday : Closed

Tuesday : Closed

Wednesday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Thursday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Friday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Sunday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

    Access facilities

  • Accessible Car Parking
  • Accessible Toilet
  • Assistance Dogs Welcome
  • Baby Changing Facilities
  • Dementia Friendly
  • Guide Dogs Welcome
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Venue Details

Find us at

New Road, Wakefield, WF4 4RH