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SummitSummit Colliery - Extracts From Interviews

By Chris Kidger

Interviews - Page 2

Edward Street

Brian Parker born 1939 Kirkby-in-Ashfield.
No my father did not work at the pit. I was employed as a bocklayer at the pit and if there were any accidents at the coal face we had to pick up a stretcher and carry them out because they would not fetch men off the coal face, that would stop production.

I did not work shifts at Summit but at the week-ends we used to sometimes go to work on ventilation and things like that.

Brian Coleman born 1927.

My father worked at Summit and I started work on December 31st 1955.

I saw one bad accident where a miner went under the shearer, he jumped on the machine, which was illegal, but everybody did it and his knee-pad strap got caught and he went under the shearer.
The workforce were generally very happy. The men who did not have a regular job were called market men and if the butties were short of men they would come into the pit bottom and say "I'll have him," and pick out who they wanted.

I had two teeth knocked out by a pony which was a bit wild.
It was a great adventure growing up in a mining community because we'd got railways down at the bottom of the street, the railway bridge to play on and the Welfare grounds to run about in.

We used to go on Welfare bus trips to Skegness, Cleethorpes and Mablethorpe and then my dad often used to take us on the train.

Sheila Cohen.

Sheila's father did not work at the Summit but she used to play in the surrounding area of Summit pit.

We used to call the pit tips hills and we used to sit on the hills with a bottle of water and kaili and make our own lemonade.

I was in the girl-guides and we used to go swimming at Summit baths, it was some where just off the pit yard. We used to go on a Thursday night between 6 and 7 o'clock. The water was ever so green and there were changing rooms with little cubicles all along one side.

I can remember a nurse in the Summit fírst-aid room, her name was Mrs Humphries and if any kids got hurt, they'd go to the pit to have first-aid.

There was always a smell of sulphur. I remember people used to try to avoid that area if they had a new baby because there would be smuts everywhere which came from the engine-sheds.
I used to pal about with a girl from David Street whose dad worked at Summit and they had hot water and electricity which came from the pit.

They were happy times.

Reg Heath born 1929, Tunstall, Staffordshire.

Reg's father was a miner who worked at Underwood.

My mam said I couldn't go down the pit, so I joined the Navy. I did 12 years in the Navy and then I went to work at Underwood before working at Summit.

While I was there the manager was Mr Cumberland and he was a good manager.

We were the first pit to raise a million ton and we kept doing that year after year and when they said they were going to close it, it came like a bolt from the blue.

Mrs Heath used to work in the pit canteen.

It was a good pit, you all knew one another. Mrs Heath used to work in the pit canteen.

I was very happy working in the pit canteen, the lasses were very nice to work with.

The men used to come into the canteen after their night shift at 6 o'clock and they would still be there at 11 o'clock, playing cards.

Photograph of pit canteen by courtesy of Maureen Newton.

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