EXHIBITION Changing Landscapes has opened at the National Coal Mining Museum.
And it will go on a nationwide tour later this year.
The evocative exhibition at the museum at Overton, between Huddersfield and Wakefield, was opened by Robert Napier, chairman of national regeneration agency English Partnerships.
Guests at the opening included Kirklees Mayor Clr Jean Calvert.
Changing Landscapes focuses on physical and social changes at colliery sites and in mining villages since the mine closure programme.
The exhibition provides a visual, two-phase case study of pits from around six English regions. It looks at the working mine and the current landscape.
Designed as a working model, the museum hopes other communities will add to the exhibition as it tours other venues from June.
The museum will be running special workshops from March 2008 near the sites of Grimethorpe and Houghton Main collieries in South Yorkshire.
Workshops will be run by the museum’s education team and a professional photographer.
As the exhibition draws to a close a photography competition will take place at the Museum encompassing all the photos taken by schools and community groups.
Mr Napier said: “Coal mining has played such an important role in our industrial heritage and it is vital that the history of the industry is kept alive for future generations.
“The exhibition will help younger generations gain a full understanding of the role coal mining played in shaping their communities and how things have moved on.
“I am proud English Partnerships has been able to contribute through its National Coalfields Programme to the success of many of these former mining areas.
“I highly commend both this exhibition and the National Coal Mining Museum to all; it is an excellent free resource.”
Rosemary Preece, curatorial director at the museum, said: “The exhibition gives a fascinating insight into the changes that have taken place around coal mining sites within a single generation.
“The exhibition will increase knowledge of these historic photographic collections and also, through the involvement of local communities, will grow and develop with the addition of new images.”
Changing Landscapes is at the museum until May 18.