Mining boss gains highest honour

Peter Wood and Alan Connelly.
Peter Wood and Alan Connelly.

A COAL boss, who was once responsible for the biggest surface mine in Europe, has received the industry’s highest honour.

Peter Wood, who was Project Manager at Stobswood, has received the Citation Award from the Institute of Quarrying to formally recognise his long, outstanding service.

The 62-year-old started working for the National Coal Board in 1976 and has worked in its subsequent guises to become one of UK Coal’s most respected employees.

He has worked on sites across Durham and Northumberland including Stobswood, which was once the largest opencast mine in Europe.

Mr Wood, who now works at Potland Burn near Ashington, joined the Institute in 1984 and has been heavily involved ever since. He was Branch Chairman from 1990 to 1992 and served as Branch Secretary until 2010.

The Citation Award is a member-led accolade whereby regional branches can obtain formal recognition for a long-serving member, who is held in particularly high regard.

North of England Branch Chairman Alan Connelly, who nominated Mr Wood, said: “Branch members wanted to nominate Peter in recognition of his service to the institute over 29 years.

“He has contributed so much at both branch and council level. Under his guidance, the branch won the President’s Trophy in 1996-1997 and 2000-2001 and was joint winner in 2007-2008.

“Peter is such an unassuming person who would never blow his own trumpet so we are doing it for him.”

Mr Wood said: “I was so shocked and humbled to receive the award.

“To receive this, knowing I have been nominated by friends and peers, is a great honour and to collect it at a branch meeting at the prestigious North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers in Newcastle really is the icing on the cake.”