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SummitSummit Colliery - Extracts From Interviews

By Chris Kidger

Interviews - Page 5

Doreen Pask born 1926. Milton Street, Kirkby, Ashfield.

I came to live at Mary Street because my dad worked at Summit.

When dad's coal came from the pit, he used to fetch his barrow and take it up the yard and then hump it in, we had a step which must have been 10 or 12 inches high and round into the coal house.

We used to go to Mrs Dodsley's house in Mary Street to fetch pickles and piccalilli which she used to make herself.

Further up Mary Street there was Mrs Theaker who used to keep hens and we were kept in eggs.

We as children used to go to the acre (Kingsway Park) and that was were I learnt to play tennis. We also used to go there to look at the birds. We did have some fun. It was hard growing up in mining community but by golly we did enjoy ourselves.

Eddie (Pim) Holloway born 1927. Kirkby in Ashfteld.

Both my father and grand father worked in the pits. My dad also had 5 or 6 brothers who were miners.

I did not work at Summit until I was demobbed from the Army, which was 1949. I was about 27. I was sent to Summit brick yard for a job and it was not long before I went to work at the pit.

There were about 300 ponies in the Summit pit and they used to get them out and put them in the fields. Summit was really a happy pit.

The conditions were very different from when my father worked there because there was baths, canteen and a very good medical staff who were very dedicated.

There was a big change after nationalisation, they were very strict. We were searched and even our breath was smelt to see if we had been drinking.

I shall never forget when they said "your future is secure" at the Kirkby colliery and then after 6 weeks we'd gone all of us.

Over 300 of us went to work at Bentinck when Summit shut, they were all right there but we were outsiders, coming from another pit.

There was a very good committee at the Welfare and they had very good entertainment. If the turns did not turn up the committee would ask us if we would go on stage and sing a song or two. We used to get free ale if we did. I think it was a great community.

Mrs Marriott born 1924 Edward Street, Kirkby in Ashfield.

Our next door neighbour and quite a few of the families kept pigs on their back garden and we used to take potato peelings to feed them and we sometimes got a penny or two for doing this.

The railings that were at the front of the Welfare were taken down during the war for the steel, to help with the war effort.

My father was on the committee at the Welfare and he had a lot to do with the band, he sometimes played the big drum on the Whitsuntide procession.

He used to polish the dance floor in the Welfare and one day he collapsed and died while polishing it.

Mr Marriott worked at several local pits including Summit.

My basic job was demolishing the old workings when they were being replaced.

There were some Germans who were farmed out to live with the miner's families and we had one called Paul. He could not speak any English at all so we tried to learn it to him.

I was the Secretary at the miners Welfare for a number of years from about 1967.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary