Coal miners worked long 8 hour shifts and change over time between the men was often a busy time. This photograph is of miners, along with their personal miners lamps, waiting at the surface area, known as the Pit Top, to go underground to start their shift. Those with dirty faces are the men coming off their shift and are ready to go home.
Alfreton Colliery was first sunk in 1885 by the Blackwell Colliery Company close to the railroad station in the town. It was a large site and included its own brickworks. It closed in 1968, after trialling a new form of mine known as drift mine, which focused on working coal at the surface rather than deep underground.