Michael Widdas was born into the Widdas family of mining engineers and managers at Dawdon, County Durham in 1936, the son of Walter Widdas, a former NEIMME President. He graduated from Nottingham University in 1957 with a First Class Honours Degree in Mining Engineering. In the same year he joined the National Coal Board as a directed practical trainee in the No. 5 Area, East Midlands Division, gaining his First Class Certificate in 1960. After holding a number of management posts in the East Midlands No. 5 and then the South Nottinghamshire Area, including Deputy Manager at Pye Hill, he was appointed General Manager of Bates Colliery, Northumberland, in 1969 and moved to Lynemouth Colliery in 1971.
In 1976 he became Head of Provisioning for the North East Area of the NCB. Later he became Head of Safety, Mine Environment and Legislation for British Coal, the position he held until his retirement in 1993.
He was NEIMME President in 1981-82.
He died in 2009.
Widdas, M. Adapting to meet the changing circumstances [Presidential Address NEIMME] Mining Engineer 142, 1982-83, 275-276
Widdas, M. Low cost coal and safety – the record and the future Colliery Guardian 237 Aug 1989, 247-248
Widdas, M. British Coal’s safety record – fact or fiction in Institution of Mining Engineers International mining symposium on safety, hygiene and health in mining, Harrogate (United Kingdom), 18-20 Nov 1992, 14-27
Widdas, M. Training in the British coal mining industry Mines et Carrieres 75 Jun 1993, 58-60