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Philip's Roots - Page 1

Philip Healey 1928 - 2000

PHILIP RAYMOND HEALEY, father Wilfred Thomas Healey (left) and mother Alethea Annie Smith (right), was born 2 April 1928 at 295 Alfreton Rd, Nottingham, and died 17 September 2000 in Ilkeston Community Hospital.



Brinsley Church Yard
Brinsley Church Yard
John William Smith, son of John Smith. Also his wife, Mary Townsend and their two children
Philip's Great Grandfather, John Smith was a Hanger-On at Underwood Pit. He put the full tubs in and took the empty tubs out of the cage at the shaft bottom, making about 4 shillings per 12 hour shift.

He lost his life on Sunday 12th April 1874, aged 22. There was a fire in the main intake road. He went with George Ball, aged 38, a Stallman, to release the pit ponies in the return road but was over come by noxious gases, both miners died before being rescued.

"On Monday evening I found the body of John Smith. That was about forty five yards from the junction of the main airway; his lamp which was extinguished was in his left hand. I think he must have been overtaken when running, and mistaken his way at the junction."

Read more about it, includes the Inquest,
thanks to Alan Beales.

Alethea Annie Smith, Philip's mother, 24th January 1900 to 5th May 1987.

She was visiting her grand parents Farm in Whittick when she fell off the doorstep, aged 4 years and broke her leg.

It never healed properly, and was noticeably shorter.


Thanks to Charles Snarski for the Photo. Pit Pony, Brinsley Colliery, Eastwood begining of 20th Century

Alethea's grand mother, known as Granny Smith (second from the right) lived in Brinsley in an area known as the Rookery, she was not a qualified nurse, she practiced homeopathy. Granny Smith mixed up her own medicines and, for most, was the only medical person around. She used to carry Alethea from Brinsley to the hospital in Nottingham. (No buses).

Sometimes they managed to get a lift on a carrier's cart for a bit of the way. Alethea passed the exams to go to Blue Coats School but could not attend because the family could not afford the uniform and travelling costs. Then her mum died when she was 11 years old. Granny Smith, her dad's mother, was like a mother to her. Her mother's death meant that at the age of eleven Alethea had to take over the running of the household. She always maintained that one of the hardest things she had to do was the washing of her father's and brothers pit clothes, it was physically very hard work. Alethea looked forward to Friday afternoons, she treated them as a time for recreation, a time when she could get away from the chores of the household and walk to Eastwood where she met her friends at the market to buy food. She never complained about one leg being shorter than the other and was very proud of the fact that she could jump streams as well as anybody else, even though she had to do it on crutches.Alethea went into service in her teens to a doctor on Alfreton Road.

She met and married Wilfred Thomas Healey, although we do not have much information about him except that he was adopted by the Lister family in Nottingham and he probably came from Cork, Ireland. When Philip was born they were living in Nottingham, his father was a wine merchant traveller. Later he was working for a company, installing telephones, his work took them to Coventry where they were bombed out during the blitz. At this time no one was allowed to leave Coventry but Wilfred managed to get hold of a car and they escaped through the side streets to Underwood, Nottinghamshire.

Much to Alethia's amazement, a few years later her stove, which was in her bombed out house, was returned to her, it had been put into storage by the authorities.