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Malcolm Robinson

Old Views Of Gallager Park.....

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The pits in the past were terrible places to work but like almost everything else conditions have changed. Modern pits have improved in safety, health and production, (unless you live in China!) and are very little different to working in many other heavy mechanised industries.

If pits were to be opened (or re-opened) properly while considering the miners and the environment they could provide a lot of needed employment directly and for support industries, I'm sure it is straight economics that closed them and keep them closed!

The camaraderie of miners is second to non, when your life is constantly in each others hands it has to be strong!

Posstubs, backlane washlines, proggy matts, wireless accumulators, outside netties, tetty picking, picking wiliks all great memories, but thats how I like it, memories!

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I'm sure it is straight economics that closed them and keep them closed!

No it is straight politics, the NUM had to much power for the tories liking, so how did they deal with trade unions with to much power, make the work force redundant so there is no point in them having union membership, stops the members stop the money, can't call a strike without money, make the unions have no power.

Edited by Adam Hogg

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This will soon get like a religious argument............................never between friends!!!!

Yes malcolm your right, we have all gotten off on a rant that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

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If there is an argument breaks out it will be like the fundamentalists in the Middle East…………entrenched positions with no chance of changing mind sets……..on either side!

Re-opening pits is purely hypothetical at the moment and while everyone is entitled to their opinion it's not worth falling out about.

Personally I suspect our coal reserves will form part of our future position as we try to be as energy independent as possible but again that has just come by e-mail from Nostradamus! :dribble:

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If there is an argument breaks out it will be like the fundamentalists in the Middle East…………entrenched positions with no chance of changing mind sets……..on either side!

Re-opening pits is purely hypothetical at the moment and while everyone is entitled to their opinion it's not worth falling out about.

Personally I suspect our coal reserves will form part of our future position as we try to be as energy independent as possible but again that has just come by e-mail from Nostradamus! :dribble:

I think we will have to wait for our MP become energy secretery, as he is already parliamentary private secretary to Harriet Harman. Next step a position in the shadow cabinet?

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I understand the health of the time, my grandads worked at a lot of pits in the area both have health problems now but they would go back down the pit again if they could and many other people i know have said the same "if the pits had not shut we would still go down them." It is up to the people you talk to but personally as i have said many times before if any pit was open in the north east i would go down it to work, hot, cold, dry, damp, dirty or clean i would not mind at all.

I'm all for a bit of hard graft and have done my fair share but purposely putting your health at risk for the benefit of employment is crazy. Why don't you get a job as a one man band asbestos removal firm....much like the two lads that were doing elliott's roof with jumpers over their faces and claw hammers.

Yes the decline of the mining industry has devastated the area but like has already been said I would rather have the cleaner environment we have now. I never experienced it but have stood and watched someone close suffer the consequences of working in the Ashington colliery and wouldn't wish it on anyone!

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Totally agree Brettly. But as Malcolm says, the return of the pits is hypothetical and it is not worth arguing / falling out over. If they did return, I suspect that many of us will not be around to see them. Who knows?

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I never experienced it but have stood and watched someone close suffer the consequences of working in the Ashington colliery and wouldn't wish it on anyone!

I have seen the consequences of years of working in a colliery to, many of my family have seen/live wih the consequences of working down pits: vibration white finger, Osteoarthritis (miners knee), deafness, to name but a few. But all my family agree if they where still young and the pits where still here they would be down them and i would as well, but that is my personal opinion, like keith and malcolm say no point in arguing/falling out over.

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Why don't you get a job as a one man band asbestos removal firm....much like the two lads that were doing elliott's roof with jumpers over their faces and claw hammers.

I don't understand how they where allowed to do that as it is a risk to their health and safety and the public's health and safety.

Edited by Adam Hogg

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i have red posts on these pages regarding about going back to the coal mines i think this is up to the individual to go back down the mines i for one would do exactly the same without thingking about any other job to do . i spent nearly 40 years in the mining industry

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I don't understand how they where allowed to do that as it is a risk to their health and safety and the public's health and safety.

It was a sunday....day of rest and all. H&S officers must have been at church.

Edited by Brettly

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I don't understand how they where allowed to do that as it is a risk to their health and safety and the public's health and safety.

If there was any asbestos in that building a specialist firm should have been used to remove it. They would have used the correct clothing and equipment and the building would have been shrouded to protect the public. I remember bringing several loads of scaffolding up from Bridgend in South Wales to be used in the shrouding of the power station prior to its demolition.

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Your definitely right Adam and Keith but I think the dangers are little bit overblown!

Asbestos! bit like PCB! bad stuff to be around, but far too much hype about the dangers, I worked at Blyth Power station for several years during it's construction, I was always covered in asbestos, breathed it, wore it and probably eat a lot of it! PCB's were everywhere, (I was an electrician) it was in motors, transformers and capacitors etc, we were always covered in the stuff, the underground miners used it to clean off their hands! yes it is bad and can cause many medical problems, and it rightfully should be handled with care, but its dangers are a little bit over exaggerated!

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Your definitely right Adam and Keith but I think the dangers are little bit overblown!

Asbestos! bit like PCB! bad stuff to be around, but far too much hype about the dangers, I worked at Blyth Power station for several years during it's construction, I was always covered in asbestos, breathed it, wore it and probably eat a lot of it! PCB's were everywhere, (I was an electrician) it was in motors, transformers and capacitors etc, we were always covered in the stuff, the underground miners used it to clean off their hands! yes it is bad and can cause many medical problems, and it rightfully should be handled with care, but its dangers are a little bit over exaggerated!

My dad found some Asbestos sheets a while ago and got them damped down with water and then bagged them up, sealed the bags, labeled them and contacted NCC and told them he had asbestos in the bags and some blokes from NCC arrived and took the asbestos away, like vic says things like asbestos, PCB's and other old building matierials are a danger but only if handled incorrectly there dangers are a bit over exaggerated.

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I had a school holiday job (must have been 1967) stripping the asbestos lagging off the boilers at the old West Sleekburn (I think that's what it was called) pit ... the place was an engineering factory. Hammer and spike were the tools and a damp hanky over the nose ... Ah, happy days!

Every Thursday after school I'd catch the North Shields bus from the Red Lion to see my Granny. The route went through Forrest Hall but before that passed a huge pit heap (could it have been the Wheatslade) ... the pile was always on fire with tons of smoke coming off it. In the dark winter nights the !*[email protected]# heap glowed red from the heat; this went on for years.

Even if there was a political will to resurrect the UK mining industry it's unlikely that we will ever see any new deep mines opened. The cost of shaft sinking alone would scare off any state or private finance.

para 2 should read s.l.a.g. heap but without the dots ... poo!

Edited by Symptoms

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Re - the above , maybe you did have a casual approach to the handling of asbestos Vic; maybe your Dad did take some basic precaution Adam, but that does not make asbestos any safer. There are many who have been exposed to the stuff that have died of Asbestosis related cancers. I know quite a few people who have lived well into their 90's (and one who lived to be 103) who have smoked all their lives (and drank in the case of the 103 year old). Knowing of these people does not make it ok for everybody to smoke, as does knowing that Vic and Adams dad handled asbestos without any ill effects make the stuff safe for everyone to handle.

The 103 year old that I mentioned was a man that I knew,

who would bike to the village pub every day (about a mile or so). His biggest scrape with a "near death experience" was when he fell off his bike in front of the butchers van and broke his leg,,,,,,,,,, at the age of 98, he had a tab in his hand as well. From then on a neighbour took him to the pub everyday. He said that tab nearly killed him, so he stopped smoking. "Bloody smoking, nearly sent me to an early grave" ( at 98 ?, ) his words not mine !!

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Even if there was a political will to resurrect the UK mining industry it's unlikely that we will ever see any new deep mines opened. The cost of shaft sinking alone would scare off any state or private finance.

I don't think the cost is a problem because if it was why would mining companies in the 1800's pay for it and the state pay for it up into the 80's, the last "new pit" to open i think was Wistow Colliery in yorkshire in 1983, so i don't think the cost is a problem.

Edited by Adam Hogg

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They open coal mines quite often here in G.C. but they are either drift or open pit, no shafts.

But you have areas where coal is that you cant get at with open casts or drifts, like Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Ellington, Lynemouth, Newsham and many others where there is housing, active farm land and others so open casts and drifts will not work, so only thing left is shafts, but there needs to be a political will to resurrect the British Coal Mining industry but the tories will never do it because of history with the NUM.

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