The earliest collieries at Shilbottle were to the north of the village and were linked to Alnwick by means of wagonways or tramways. Later both Shilbottle and Whittle collieries became linked to the east coast main line by means of substantial branch line railways on which wagons were hauled by, first of all, steam engines, and later by diesel locomotives. The coal was of very high quality and was taken away as far as London. Coal for Buckingham Palace was painted white in the coal wagons to prevent theft whilst it was in transit! In addition there was a ‘landsale site’ where local coal merchants could obtain coal for local sales.