The Nottinghamshire Mining Museum has recently asked for memories of riding the paddy train or the belt. I had this short memory as a 15 year old, on a visit to Calverton Colliery in 1978.
My father worked at Calverton Colliery from about 1958 to 1984.
In 1978, my school arranged a French Exchange with a school from Rousillon (near Lyon) in France. A 15 year old lad named Christophe stayed with us for two weeks. My father arranged for Christophe and I to visit the pit and go underground.
The three things I remember most was the rush of air when we were underground, the heat of the cramped space at the coal-face, and the conveyor belt.
I remember our ‘guide’ explaining the ‘options’ of getting to the face. In reality there was only one option, the dangerous one, on the conveyor belt. The phrase he used was to the point.
“Keep your hands in or you’ll lose ’em”
I can’t remember how I translated that to Christophe, but I think we both understood the miner’s words and gestures.
An unforgettable experience. I can still remember it vividly, so I presume Christophe will too, wherever life has taken him.
The Nottinghamshire Mining Museum
The Nottinghamshire Mining Museum is a people’s museum remembering and celebrating the working, social, leisure and family lives of Nottinghamshire Coal-miners. It shares the experiences and struggles of the people of the Nottinghamshire coalfields
For more details, go to https://www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk/