A Miner’s Home Life

by Sarah Beal

By the time I was born in 1937 both my grandparents were in ill health. At the time my father was a miner so the right to the house passed to him. So I was born in the house that my grandfather first moved into in 1904.

My father worked in the pit which was a reserved occupation in the war time, however he joined the Home Guard or “DADS ARMY”.

It was a memorable day when he received his uniform, his weapon was a Pick Axe Handle and he and company were to guard the pit. As the youngest child it was my job to clean the buttons with Brasso.

It was also my job to empty the bath when he came home. Although the baths were there sometimes at weekends on overtime shifts they were closed.

There were no carpets but home made mats. My mam sewed in the harn and made the pattern and cut anything suitable into clippings. Dad used to do most of actual making of the mat as he said it helped to relax him. He always used the “Hooky” method where the clippings was brought harn in a loop. He taught me how to do it and I felt quite important. When he was in fore shift, I was allowed to wit for him at the canteen door. He then took me in a bought buttered and jammed teacakes. I felt lucky to have been born at that time as more machines were being used and my life was quite easy compared to earlier children.