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Mik Critchlow's epic documentary about the last years of coal mining in Ashington and England's North East.
288 backers pledged £12,328 to help bring this project to life.

About

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For the past 42 years, Mik Critchlow has been photographing the town and people and surrounding areas of Ashington, the town in which he was born, educated and still lives.

Ashington is a small coastal town, north of Newcastle Upon Tyne, in Northumberland. Before the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947, it was the headquarters of the Ashington Coal Company, which paternally controlled the work, housing, education, leisure and social behaviour of its workforce.


The town owed its very existence to coal mining but, although extracting coal was the dominant factor in their lives, miners and their families shared many interests and enjoyed a strong tradition of community life.

Mik's great-grandfather moved with his family from the coalfields of Staffordshire to the Northeast in search of work in the mid-1800s, when the industry was booming and many new mines were being sunk to satisfy the huge demand brought on by the Industrial Revolution. His grandfather worked at Woodhorn Colliery for 52 year, his father was a miner for 45 years and his two brothers worked for 25 years before taking redundancy shortly after the 1984 Miners' Strike.

About Mik Critchlow

Mik Critchlow (b.1955) is a social documentary photographer based in the North East of England.  Mik has worked on long term community-based projects for over forty years. His work is held in many public and private collections and has been widely exhibited & published. Some of which include : Side Gallery, Amber-Side Collection, Mining Art Gallery, Durham Art Gallery, Arts Council England, Laing Gallery, MCC Museum, Northern Arts, British Journal of Photography, Amateur Photographer, Museums Journal. 

Coal had been in the family blood for at least four generations but Mik, with the approval of his parents, left school at the age of 15 to become a merchant seaman. Having travelled the world for a few years he returned to Ashington in 1977, enrolled on an arts course at the local college, picked up a camera for the first time and began photographing his hometown.

In 1978, he applied for a Northern Arts grant to further this work, stating:

I see my work within the context of a long term plan, documenting the area in which I was born, educated and now live during periods of social and economic change.

Little did he know just how long he would continue this work. 

Reward Print #1 ' MIning Apprentices' - Ashington Colliery 1981 (Signed)
Reward Print #1 ' MIning Apprentices' - Ashington Colliery 1981 (Signed)
Reward Print #2 'Winning Brass Band' Northumberland Miners Picnic 1983 (Signed)
Reward Print #2 'Winning Brass Band' Northumberland Miners Picnic 1983 (Signed)
Reward Print #3 'Last Night at the Wallaw Cinema' 1982 (Signed)
Reward Print #3 'Last Night at the Wallaw Cinema' 1982 (Signed)
Reward Print #4 'Una's - First Avenue' 1978 (Signed)
Reward Print #4 'Una's - First Avenue' 1978 (Signed)
 Reward #3     Signed copy of Coal Town plus 'Hirst'   Published by Buddleia Projects 2018 .  Softback with laminated dust cover 98 pages, 245 mm x 190 mm
Reward #3 Signed copy of Coal Town plus 'Hirst' Published by Buddleia Projects 2018 . Softback with laminated dust cover 98 pages, 245 mm x 190 mm

The Book

Coal Town will be published as a hardback in landscape format (size 270mm x 290mm) with approx. 216 pages.

Risks and challenges

Bluecoat Press has published over 250 books and has established an international reputation for its photographic books. This will be its 14th Kickstarter - all the previous 13 have been successfully completed and fulfilled.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 30

    Reward #1 Hardback book Coal Town

    A hardback copy of Coal Town signed by Mik Critchlow

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    Pledge £35 or more About US$ 43

    Reward #2 Book + Acknowledgement

    A hardback copy of Coal Town signed by Mik Critchlow PLUS your name in the Acknowledgements as a valued supporter of the project.

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    75 backers
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    Pledge £45 or more About US$ 55

    Reward #4 Two copies of Coal Town

    Two signed copies of Coal Town,

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    Pledge £55 or more About US$ 67

    Reward #5 Two copies of Coal Town PLUS

    Two signed copies of Coal Town PLUS your name in the Acknowledgements as a valued supporter of the project.

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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £55 or more About US$ 67

    Reward #6 Signed book PLUS signed print

    A signed copy of Coal Town + a signed 10" x 8" Ilford print chosen from Reward prints #1 to #4 PLUS your name in the Acknowledgements as a valued supporter of the project.

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    Pledge £75 or more About US$ 91

    Reward #7 Signed book + 2 signed prints

    A signed copy of Coal Town + two signed 10" x 8" Ilford prints chosen from Reward prints #1 to #4 PLUS your name in the Acknowledgements as a valued supporter of the project.

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    Pledge £90 or more About US$ 109

    Reward #8 British documentary package

    Five great British social documentary hardback books at a special price: Tish Murtha's Elswick Kids, Rob Bremner's The Dash Between, Zak Water's Birdmen, Chris Hunt's Beeton Grove PLUS a signed copy of Coal Town.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 122

    Reward #9 Signed book + 4 signed prints

    A signed copy of Coal Town + all four 10" x 8" Ilford print (Reward prints #1 to #4) PLUS your name in the Acknowledgements as a valued supporter of the project.

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    Pledge £800 or more About US$ 972

    Reward #10 Corporate sponsorship

    Your company logo prominently displayed on both page 2 and in the Kickstarter acknowledgements PLUS 25 copies of Coal Town PLUS the set of 4 signed photographs.

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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £40 or more About US$ 49

    Reward #3 Two Mik Critchlow books

    A signed copy of Coal Town PLUS a signed copy of Hirst - Mik's first book about the area of Ashington where he was born and brought up. Sold out - these are Mik's last copies.

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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Funding period

- (28 days)