Sunday, July 15, 2012

Down Pit

Looks like when I upload pics to the blogger they are uploaded backwards. So perhaps a more stream of consciousness post than usual. Possibly the shape of things to come...

Arrived at the National Coal Mining Museum. With Garth's Extension Group on first field trip. Here is a bit of a reminder of that Great Yorkshire Film Brassed Off as Grimethorpe Colliery band were in it as the band as it were.

Here I am with a banner.

I recall seeing some news footage in the last days of the NCB after the final defeat. Raising the flag of the National Coal Board when the pits were nationalised. Like this one.

The Mines rescue van. Just shows how dangerous coal mining can be.

The most famous of Bevin boys was perhaps Jimmy Saville.

who this?

Then the pits closed.

Alas coal mining was not the only dangerous and hazardous industry. But it was one of the most dangerous and hazardous.

History of the rescue van

Evidently rats went down the mines too. The fuckers!

hence it was wise to put your butties in a metal can. Our guide when we went below ground told us that on his first day down pit, the rats had his sandwiches quick as a flash so he went hungry.

We went below ground where there were exhibitions but all electronic equipment was 'contraband' and hence not permitted below ground, so we had to surrender our mobies as well as in my case my camera for safe keeping.

Here is a group photo of Garth's Extension Group.

Just a thought.....

With the coming of the Industrial Revolution coal mining became a vast industry. England ran out of trees to make charcoal and laws were passed to prevent the felling of the remaining forests, because oak was needed for the Royal Navy, which would be handy for a bid for Global Domination. So Abraham Darby I started smelting iron with coke (cooked coal, yes the industrial revolution was coke fueled......) up in Coalbrookdale. And the rest is history.

Generally with the coming of the industrial revolution family units initially continued to work together even in hazardous and dirty trades like coal mining. So women and kidz went down the pit. It seems that men would do hewing of the coal, women transport it and children operate traps.

Here is some winding gear I think.

The National Coal Mining Museum was previously of course a Coal Mine.

When deep mining started limited lighting would be provided by naked candle light, very hazardous.

And when legislation removed women from the mines traction was provided initially by horses, hence pit ponys.

Perhaps I thought I had a bit more to say in this post, perhaps more for the next one.

I recall Ewan McGregor saying of miners that they have an incredible sense of community, working in very tight spaces.

But more perhaps I recall Michelle Shocked singing 'The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore'

Beginning to appreciate the Jean Ritchie Original. Never thought I'd live to love the coal dust.

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