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SummitSummit Colliery - Extracts From Interviews

By Chris Kidger

Page 4
Chris Kidger

Mr Toy born 1933.
David Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

My father was born in Wales, Montgomeryshire and he came to work at Summit.

I was only fifteen and a half when I started at the pit and I was a bit frightened on the cage but the other men used to put us in the middle to look after us, they were brilliant men.

When I started it was the old conventional stinting, hand filling but I used to like it.

We did a lot of dangerous things but at the time you don't realise the dangers, not until you sit and think about it afterwards.

While I worked at Kirkby Colliery it was a brilliant workforce and a very good management.

I liked growing up in a mining community. We only stayed on David Street until I was 5 and then I don't know why we moved because we had hot water and a bath in David Street and we moved to Sherwood Street, where there were no baths and just an old boiler at the side of the fire in the living room. The reason I think was it was nearer to the centre of Kirkby.


Edward Garbett born 1933. 15, Mary Street.

My father worked at Summit.

I started work there at the age of 15 and I had to be led across the pit yard in short britches.

The conditions were terrible of course, everybody that worked at the pit deserved everything they got.

I enjoyed working at the pit, it was very hard work but everybody worked for everybody else, everybody helped each other.

There were quite a lot of accidents which were dealt with by a very good doctor, as we called him, but he was only a nurse, his name was Mr Hazlegrove.

The mood of the workforce was brilliant, family, everybody were friends, you used to get a fight now and again but it wasn't down the pit it was off pit premises, on the back field at the back of the old canteen.

Summit was a happy pit.

Growing up in a mining community was brilliant. We were brought up as kids, went to work, even went courting together.

One game we used to play as kids, you used to put 3 sticks, which we used to pinch from our mam's grate, like a cricket wicket with one across the top and throw a ball at them.

I played darts and dominoes for the Welfare, it was a way of life, it was expected of you.


Erie Proffit born 1939 Sutton in Ashfield.

My father did not work at Summit, he worked at Crown Farm.

I worked at Silverhill but the wages were better at Summit, so I got a job at Summit and I worked there for 10 years, until it closed.

Summit was the best pit that I ever worked at because everybody knew everybody and helped if needed. If you went down the pit and sat down in the high main seam and everything was quiet you could hear the trains going on the tracks overhead.

One morning I got on the chair to go down the pit and Arthur Noon, who was the banksman, "owd' on a minutes Mr Smith's coming, under manager" and I called him by his first name (which I think was John) because I knew him from working at Silverhill. He said to me "John's done now Eric, it's Mr Smith to you" I said right'o gaffer and after that I always called him gaffer, never Mr Smith.

We used to use No sew to patch our trousers for work. One day I was ripping some trousers to patch the pair that I was supposed to be wearing and when I looked I had ripped the pair that I was supposed to be patching.

There used to be small holdings at the top of Edward Street and there used to be a man who used to go round with his horse and cart selling fruit which he grew there. He was always shouting "apples a pound, pears, " he worked at Summit and so did his sons

My grand father was Dick Foster and he had a business transporting bricks and coal from Summit. Most of the bricks from the Summit brick yard were transported by Foster brothers. He had 5 lorries. 3 were used to deliver coal and the other 2 were used for leading bricks from the brick yard.

On Sundays during the war they used to take ashes to the airfields for the runways for planes.

Bricks were also taken to the builder's yard for the building of nissan huts and for making tunnels in Sherwood Forest.

I worked for my granddad and we used to deliver to miners in Nottingham and I earned more money in tips from the miners than I got in wages.



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