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Yorkshire Mining Veterans (Paperback)

Local History Yorkshire and Humberside Mining & Miners Barnsley

By Brian Elliott
Imprint: Wharncliffe Books
Series: Mining Heritage
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781903425589
Published: 30th September 2005
Last Released: 20th February 2012

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Yorkshire Mining Veterans is an extraordinary collection of stories told by the Veterans of the mines. Their memories span nearly a century from the early 1900's to the great strike of 1984/85 as well as the pit closures of the 1990's. Miners all across the Yorkshire region from the Selby Coalfield to the old West Riding area in and around Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield share their experiences with the reader.Brian began his research prepared to explore the many roles of miners, working conditions and their way of life, but interviews uncovered more remarkable stories, especially relating to the period before nationalisation. Getting a job often meant leaving school on Friday and starting work either in terrible conditions on the pit top screens, described by a 99 year old veteran as 'Miltonic' or 'on the haulage' in the cold pit bottom. Incredibly, one man described his work as a young trammer in the 1930's, painfully pushing tubs along a low underground roadway using a candle as his source of light, 'a throw back to conditions a century or more earlier'. A sprightly 93-year-old described an occasion when. as a young lad, he worked naked alongside his father and refused to make himself to make himself 'descent' when the lady Mayor made a VIP visit.Set chronologically according to the age of the miner, the author profiles each of the 47 veterans and tells their individual stories based on his interviews with them. Their stories, all previously untold, together with a superb collection of photographs makes fascinating reading.

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 Brian Elliott

About Brian Elliott

Brian Elliott was born in the village of Royston near Barnsley and spent his childhood in neighbouring pit village Carlton where his father worked as a miner. Leaving school early, Brian's first job was in professional football, then in local government before starting a career in teaching and Further Education. It was whilst at teacher-training college that he developed a passionate interest on local history, inspired by one of his tutors, who subsequently became a great friend, David Hey. Brian's B.Ed dissertation was on the Oaks Colliery, particularly the great disaster of 1866.

A freelance writer and editor for many years, Brian has published many books and articles on local and regional history, as well as initiating and developing series such as Aspects of Local History and Mining Heritage for the well-known Barnsley-based publisher Pen and Sword Books. He has also appeared on BBC Radio Sheffield on many occasions and has made contributions to BBC Radio 4, BBC and ITV local news programmes. He is a founder volunteer member and trustee of the recently opened Experience Barnsley people's museum and Discovery Centre.

Though now retired, Brian continues to research and write articles and books, for Pen and Sword and Script Media especially relating to coalmining history and has recently developed an interest in the remarkable contribution of miners during the Great War.

Before Brian's father died he recorded an interview with him as part of the research for the book Yorkshire Mining Veterans. This and many other interviews with former miners are deposited in the National Mining Museum for England's oral history archive.

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