While some local communities today have shifted from secluded rural villages to factory working suburbs, from remote hamlets to bustling urban centres, former mining towns have lost their economic role. They are experiencing a new financial autonomy calling for additional economic acumen.
In the past, mining towns were thriving places with good housing, good schools, good businesses and employment. Now that many mines have closed, most residents have moved away and the remaining miners commute to nearby jobs. Social life has undergone a basic change. Festivals and holiday celebrations once expressed a vital community spirit arising from a practical relationship to day-to-day struggles. Although this spirit is still alive, its impoverished expression only reflects the greatness of the past. The once lively and hospitable inns are either closed or partially occupied as residences. There may be a nucleus in the community which is promoting new businesses and inviting basic industries, but the existing businesses covering a broad range of dry goods and foodstuffs are deteriorating. Some business people carefully maintain what they have rather than risking new directions.