Bluesky Aerial Photos Bring English Mining History to Life

June 10, 2013 -- Aerial photographs are being used to promote and preserve South Derbyshire’s mining heritage. The images, donated by aerial mapping company Bluesky, illustrate the changes in environment in what was once England’s mining heartland. On display at CONKERS, the award winning attraction at the heart of the National Forest, the images form an integral part of a display of mining memorabilia and artefacts collected and maintained by the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group.

The two Bluesky aerial photographs depict the site of CONKERS as it was more than forty years ago and as it is now. The first, taken in 1971, shows the Rawdon Colliery and surrounding area complete with spoil heap and nearby clay workings. In comparison the second image, taken in 2011, clearly shows the CONKERS building and its contrasting surroundings of open green space and trees. The images titled ‘CONKERS; then and now’ are part of the South Derbyshire Mining Preservations Group’s collection on daily show at the Mining Display Room, CONKERS.

“We are a group of ex miners and their wives who are trying to preserve and promote the local mining heritage. Over the last twenty or so years, since the mines have closed, we have been extremely blessed with donations of books, badges, certificates, clothing and items which we are pleased to be able to display at CONKERS,” commented Keith Moore Secretary of the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group.

“However, as a non-profit making organisation we rely on donations of both artefacts and finances from the public and businesses and we are extremely grateful to Bluesky for the donation of these extremely informative and engaging aerial images.”

The modern aerial photograph supplied by Bluesky was taken from their off the shelf archive which covers the whole of England, Scotland and Wales. Continuously updated on a five year rolling data capture programme the high resolution digital images files are available in a range of formats suitable for use in desktop mapping, GIS and CAD software packages as well as hard copy prints.

The 1970’s image forms part of an historically important archive that includes some of the earliest commercial aerial survey images, military photography from World War II and many national archives. Offering a record of most major UK cities and towns, transport and utility infrastructure and commercial property developments, OldAerialPhotos are an invaluable resource for anyone with a personal or professional interest in local studies, genealogy, boundary disputes, environmental land use research or town planning.

Both modern and historic images from Bluesky are available to view and purchase online at and, respectively.


Bluesky, tel +44 (0)1530 518 518,

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