Is This All I Am?
I was a miner….
By Paul Redfern
I looked up at the headstocks at Thoresby Colliery at the age if 16 and thought…. “Is this all I am”? If the answer was yes then that’s all I was. The answer was “No”.
“You’re no good” said my careers teacher.”Your only fit to go down the pit lad”. So I did….
I moved on after eight years of mining divided between underground and surface work at this Colliery. I went on to do a multitude of jobs and went on to be where I am now, an actor in film and television.
But it must be said, that I learned more about real people, communities, and real working life as some will never experience in my eight years as a coal miner. So I’m ever grateful that my experience has made me possibly more understanding as a citizen than I might not have been had it not been for this. I’ve seen blood sweat, toil, loss, grief, as well as community spirit and teamwork the likes of what can only be experienced as a miner.Some of my most memorable moments both good and bad will stay with me forever as a result of this working life which I was cast.
It is for this reason I was pleased to have been involved with this worthwhile project .
I salute all ex and retired miners and those that still continue for their part and achievement within this once great British industry.