In 1945, when John Pascoe photographed Denniston, it had an unkempt feel. Like many West Coast coal-mining communities, Denniston fell on hard times between the wars and more particularly in the 25 years after the Second World War. Competition from Waikato mines, declining demand for bituminous coal for ships and trains, a move to safer opencast mining, and consumers’ preference for clean electricity over gas and coal all hurt mines such as Denniston.
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