A Coal Miner’s Life

by Anne Wright

I am interested in learning about all aspects of a coal miner’s life, as I was born and have lived in a coal mining community all of my life. My grandfather was employed at Mainsforth Colliery until chest problems forced him to retire and take a lighter job on the local council. My family were living in a colliery house in the small village of East Howle, but had to vacate the house and move to a newly built council house at Ferryhill, where I was born and spent most of my childhood.

From the age of twelve I lived with my mam’s sister and her husband Uncle Jack who was a cutter employed at Leasingthorne Colliery. We lived at Leasingthorne, a small pit village consisting of four long rows of colliery terraced houses, encompassing a wide village green, stone cottages, two village shops, post office, chapel, village school, one public house, two village halls. It was a lovely community, with everyone looking after each other. No locked doors in those days!

I used to listen in awe to all the stories about working down the pit.

Eventually the mine closed, and our family moved to Ferryhill, some of the miners were forced to move down country to find work.

The houses at Leasingthorne were all demolished which was a shame as they were all good family houses in a lovely setting of green countryside.

My father in law was a blacksmith and his father was a horse-keeper at Dean and Chapter colliery, so the stories and memories go on and on, and I just love hearing and learning all about mining history.

It is my heritage