Conclusion: The Ghost of Coal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter highlights some of the key lessons to be learned from the book. It focuses not only on the conceptual and theoretical contribution made by each chapter but raises questions about how the legacy of coal is played out in the classroom, and at the institutional and systemic level. We draw on the notion of social haunting raised in the book’s introduction and developed in Kat Simpson’s chapter. Social haunting offers a powerful lens through which to understand the particular nature of Britain’s coalfield communities, not only in terms of reckoning with the pain and suffering which remains to haunt such locales, but also by recognising the solidarity, camaraderie, and the industrial humour and culture of the past that continues to be ghosted into the present. The chapter finishes by reimagining the nature of education and work in Britain’s former coalfields. It sets out a number of ideas and strategies which may begin to develop an agenda to (re)engage young people with learning across a range of settings. Such an agenda would, however, need to be part of a broader programme of social and economic reform going beyond previous attempts to ‘regenerate’ the former coalfields.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation, Work and Social Change in Britain's Former Coalfield Communities
Subtitle of host publicationThe Ghost of Coal
EditorsRobin Simmons, Katherine Simpson
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, Cham
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783031107924
ISBN (Print)9783031107917, 9783031107948
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2022


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