Our Ollerton Interviewees

Malcolm Hall, Bryan Bracegirdle, Jimmy Lees, Arthur Jackson

By Ann Donlan

Malcolm Hall (Pudda)

Malcolm (Pudda) Hall

Malcolm said, “I was born in County Durham. My dad was a miner and so were my two brothers and my sister who was Lab Technician.  My dad worked on the face in 2 foot seams in County Durham.

I left school in 1966 when I was 15 and I went to work on a farm until I was 18 and then I started at the pit.  I worked on and off on farms whilst working at the pit – I had two jobs.

I went to the pit at Ollerton I went to see the Training Officer and had a medical and when I got my papers back they said, “Grade 2, Surface only”.

So I started at the Washeries where I was filling railway trucks full of coal.  In 1977 I went to work on the Rapid Loader where I stayed until the pit shut in 1994.”

Bryan Bracegirdle

Bryan Bracegirdle

Eric Eaton for the Notts NUM Ex and Retired Miners

Bryan’s family was from “The Potteries”, but he was born in New Ollerton in 1935.  He said, “as soon as I was able, at 15, I started at the Colliery and we started work just before Christmas.

My wages were 6 shillings and 2p per shift and if you worked the full week you got another 6 shillings and 2p bonus and that was good pay for a young lad.”

After he had completed his basic training at Crown Farm and he went back to Ollerton he says “The Deputy would say go with him” and you learned your job from the men on the job, and that is how you completed your training.

Jimmy Lees

Jimmy Lees

Eric Eaton for the Notts NUM Ex and Retired Miners

Jimmy was born in a little pit village in Ayrshire in Scotland.  He says, “I was 16 years old when I left school on the Friday and went up the Pennyvienie Pit Yard on the Monday morning and had an interview with the Manager and on the Tuesday I started work at the pit.”

“That’s the way it was in those days – a job for whoever wanted a job.”

Jimmy said that it was all “hand getting” in those days. The first time he saw shearers was when he went to Bevercotes in 1978.

Jimmy says, “it was a big culure shock moving from a tiny pit like Pennyvienie to a deep mine with three times the work force.  But that is what I always liked about mining you could always find comrades you could share the banter with.”

Arthur Jackson

Arthur Jackson

Eric Eaton for the Notts NUM Ex and Retired Miners

Arthur says, “I was 15 when I left school. All my family worked at the pit. The Union man, Vinny Parkin,  lived next door.  I used to go and listen to them at the ‘stute’, that’s the Institute at the end of the pit lane, when they had meetings.

“Everybody worked at the pit and I wanted to be there with them.”

Arthur said at that time he wanted to be a pony driver. On my 2nd day at work I was told to-

“go with him and fetch a pony” and they gave me this pony called Star and I’ve never been prouder in my life than when I walked out of them stables with that pony.

This page was added on 01/11/2012.