Yorkshire Mining Veterans (Paperback)
'A book that has been crucial in keeping my thoughts about my grandfather's life as a miner on the straight and narrow.' (Like Father, Like Son, Sir Michael Parkinson CBE)
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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.