Coal Mine Prosper Haniel XX – Downwards Ride on the Man-Hoist
In December 2018 Prosper Haniel, the last active coal mine of the Ruhr area, was closed down. Before the end “Sounds of Changes”-project worker Konrad Gutkowski had a last chance to document its disappearing sounds.
The coal mine in Bottrop was founded in 1856. Regular mining began in 1863 with about 60.000 tons of coal per year. Until 2016 it reached a depth of 1240 metres and mined 1.8 Million tons of coal per year. During the “Wirtschaftswunder” in the 1950s up to 12.000 coal miners worked at Prosper Haniel. Structural change and the decline of coal mining began in the late 1960s. Due to high production costs in Germany coal has been increasingly imported from China, India and the USA. One after the other the coal mines in the Ruhr area were closed down.
Material as well as tools have to be transported in and out of the mine. This is a recording of a ride on the man-hoist into the mine. The rushing and rattling of the hoist and cage can be heard along with the voices of the “Kumpel” (coal miners) as they are descending into the pit. Towards the end of the recording the voices of the recording team are audible as they are figuring out whether they have to exit the cage. Eventually the team stays on to continue their ride to descend to another floor. The voices of the miners die away, the doors close accompanied by a warning signal and the ride continues.
Sound: Jens Meißburger
Photo and Video: Jochen Balke (Sirius Images)