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high pit wilma :- This is an ANDERSON-MAVOR 16 -inch high ,coal-cutter..[AM-16] -it had a nine feet long cutting jib on it. -an 1100volt motor [or stator -which was the term used]. Some coalfaces i worked in were so low,we had to drill and fire the bottom up to make height for the cutter to pass. [less than 18 inches high!


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From the album:

Bates Pit by High Pit Wilma

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BigLoada :- This is an awesome shot. Mind you, this whole set of pictures is incredible.

Erics dowta :- Hi, Can I just say I love your pics of Bates pit and how nice it was to see pics of the pit again. Bill, in this pic, is actually my father-in-law. My father also worked at Bates, he was called Eric. I have fond memories of going to the pit with my Dad and Mam to either pick up his wages or a visit to the canteen. One day my Dad took me to see the pit shaft, I remember walking down, what seemed a long sloping corridor, he showed me where the lamps were kept, we went through an air lock room, I remember that really hurt my ears, then I saw the pit shaft, it was dark and drafty. Like a lot of people I was sad to see the pit close, some were probably glad because of sons, husbands, fathers etc losing their lives there. A family close to us lost their son, bless them! I am so glad to have found this site and thank you for the pics, just wish my Dad was here to see them, they`re great!!

BigLoada :- I think this is my favourite shot of the set. Even though I totally love them all, there is something about this shot that just grabs me.

By the way, Dawn, I too used to get tken down that long corridor past the lamp cabin. I believe they called that walk the "Golden Mile" but I am sure me dad (HIgh Pit Wilma) will correct me!

Erics dowta :- Hi Big Loada
I cant quite recall what the long corridor was called, but you could be right, I agree with you the whole set of pics are great, I love them. I even remember going with my Dad during the `84 (i think that was the year) strike and digging for coal. Everyone was so skint but looking back you had to do what you had to do!! I was gutted the other day when I was driving and we stopped at some railway crossings and a train carrying coal passed, my son asked me what was in the trucks and I said coal, he asked what coal was.....I was gutted, talk about being a thing of the past, quite sad I thought when you grew up in that kind of environment and then all of a sudden its gone!!!! Cant wait to show Bill these pics.....I can just hear him now....it`ll be his claim to fame!! Ha Ha.

BigLoada :- Dawn
I have just noticed your avatar...snap!

That headgear is an iconic image for me. I am so glad that dad took these pictures though, as like you said, kids nowadays don't even know what coal is. Its important to remember the history and keep it alive.

Erics dowta :- Yeah, your right, its important!!! I showed Bill the pics the other day....and yep I was right he asked me if I wanted his autograph!!!! Ha ha. By the way...my avator....great minds think alike!

high pit wilma :- Cheers Erics dowta!
Thanks for your comments. Eric was a great guy to work with,nice lad.

high pit wilma :- Aye, Loada,the waakway was caaled "the golden mile" for donkeys years..!

spartan missile :- My fatha used to take me to the canteen at bates when he had to go to the pit to sort his pay out. He worked on the coal face his name is Jackie Smails and was marras with Ivan Threadgold Norman Brannigan and deputy Tommy Buck .When i left school i wanted to go down the pit ,but my fatha said ower his deed body was i gannin doon there . ATB barrie Smails

high pit wilma :- Hi Barrie! Thanks for your comments.
Would that be Ivan that's on the shot taken in the transformer hoose....[the boiler hoose!!]..? A knaa it's Ivan,but canna mind he's second nyem!
Ya faatha was reet wise ti stop yi gaan thoon thi black hole. It waasn't much fun when ya family and marra's who weren't pitmen,were gaan ti bed at 
11-0 o'clock at neet,and yi had ti get oot o' kip ti gaan doon a thoosand foot deep black caad miserable hole,on thi end of a rope!.....ti work in these conditions....and these pics only give an insight,they dinna convey the stinking atmosphere,clarts,dust,noise...................getting jaaped noo 'n agyen.........beat knees,......
....if ever aa get me book finished,wat aav been writing for owa two yeors,aboot me life's experiences,it'll be an interesting read,for them that's nivvor been doon a mine before.
Is Norman Brannigan still knocking aboot?...it's a lang time since a saw him at Blyth,on he's bike.
Aal thi best Barrie!

high pit wilma :- Update on my last comment!
It is now nearly 30 years since I took these photo's,in 1986,and 
my comment about Ivan ,to Barrie,is now resolved,and I now know that his Dad isn't on the photo of us all in the transformer house.

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