Burntwood Old Mining College, Queen Street, Chasetown, Staffs, WS7 8QH
From the early 1870's the Cannock Chase Colliery provided evening classes in colliery working and management at its Chasetown school for its employees. The work was later undertaken by the county council, which was among the first local authorities to appoint a full-time organiser for mining instruction.
From 1891 it employed lectures to give courses at centres in the Staffordshire coalfields. Chasetown was one of the original centres, and thereafter courses were held there regularly. The 1911 Coal Mines Act, by requiring firemen in most collieries to pass an examination, produced an increased demand for practical instruction. It was partly that demand which led Staffordshire County Council to start building a small mining institute in Queen Street, Chasetown, in 1912, it was opened in 1913.
The two storied building contained a laboratory, a drawing office, and two lecture rooms. There was test equipment in the basement and also an electricity generator which provided light and power for the building. In the beginning it provided training for mining apprentices in areas such as chemistry and engineering (hence the name). Over the years Staffordshire County Council and Cannock Chase Technical College offered training courses in other fields, from welding and construction to typewriting and sewing.
From 1929 the mining institute was one of three senior centres grouped round a new county mining college at Cannock.
During the Second World War the College was the meeting place of the Chasetown Air Training Core and subsequently became the venue where generations of children were inoculated against disease or called to account by the truancy officer!
It became an annexe of the college (later Cannock Chase Technical College) in 1962 and was closed in 1987.
Later it re-opened as a training centre subsidised by the County Council and Staffordshire Training and Enterprise Council, only to be re-closed in the October 1994.
The building was opened in 1988 as ' The Old Mining College' Community Centre, a community resource centre, providing office accommodation and meeting rooms, as well as playing host to a variety of training courses.
There are a number of private businesses and groups using the Old Mining College and it is of course, home to Burntwood Family History Group.