Shirebrook on the Map
Mining and your view's

   It is My Intention to use these Pages to put your views forward.
My personal views on the subject are that everybody has a right,
To have there say And I would like to see this section grow.
   My self, I grew up in Shirebrook, and I am proud of it, I never
Went down a pit, I only here the stories people say.
  These stories should be told for people to read and understand
What it was like to be a miner, what a tally check is, or what a stint is,
or what a chock is.
   Words no longer used, but mean so much, when a life may depend upon it.
The messages contained in these pages as they grow are your views,
And put there for you, they are not my express views, but many I will
Agree with.
So please send in you stories for all to read.
Let them not go untold, let us not forget, what we
Owe, for life that has now gone by.

"Excerpt from"
Hi! my name is Bill Riley.

Twinkle twinkle   I used to work in the coal mines. I started work in 1958 at Bates Colliery in Blyth, Northumberland.
  I also worked at West Cannock 5's, in Staffordshire, and at Shirebrook Colliery, in Derbyshire. I was made redundant in 1993 when Shirebrook was closed as part of the Government pit closure policy.
In years to come kids may be asking their parents, what were pits? what were miners?, along with other searching questions. The history books will outline the main features of mining, but may not capture the more down to earth aspects of working below ground.
Underground   One of my earliest memories happened on the day I was going underground for the very first time. There was a group of us (mining trainees)
waiting at the shaft side of Bedlington Station pit ( this was a working pit, but also a training pit for all the pits in the area),
the Banksman made sure we had been searched for contraband, cigarettes, matches etc. which were not allowed underground in case they caused an explosion.
He then allowed us to enter the cage which would lower us to the training gallery.
The cage was suspended on one long piece of wire rope.
   I can't remember how many were on the cage, but there was a mixture of trainees and experienced miners. All the trainees were extremely nervous wondering what it was going to be like, would the cage drop quickly? how safe was it?
At Work would the cage be stopped in time before it reached the bottom? etc.
The older colliers knew we were worried and they were smiling knowingly to each other.
   We heard the Banksman ring the signal for the winder to lower the cage. This was it, no turning back now, butterflies were in our stomachs,

Pleasley Pit
Local Monument to Mining

Pleasley Pit Non Working Mine(c) Mr G. Flemming 29/11/99

((c) G.Flemming 29/11/99)
   What next? With perfect timing we heard a rich deep voice saying "it's twenty years to the day since the rope last broke" and the old colliers roared with laughter as the cage dropped swiftly into the darkness.
  I learned quickly that miners had a queer sense of humour. They worked in dangerous conditions and used humour to ease their fears.

Read More of Bill's Story here
On his Home Page
Read on Going Going Gone

Have you got a Story to tell
Then Send it in,
And share Your Story

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