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West Sleekburn Middle School

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Hi Alan,lovely to see this [previously unseen by me] pic,which has my lovely Niece,No 14,Elizabeth Bell..["Liz" to all who know her.]..on it.She was,and still is,the most gorgeous personality you could ever wish ti experience if you met her..really lovely...wor Liz!

Also great ti see is Gary Usher,who went on to be one of wor "Cross-Marra's",[on thi oncoming shift after wor shift ended],at Bates Pit,in the Three-Quarter seam..not lang afore pit closure in 1986.

Gary and his two Marra's,who were freshly-trained for facework,[rookies!]...asked me if we wud pick them up as Cross-Marra's on a new Coalface,that we were gonna win oot.

I put it ti thi rest of my Marra's,who were a bit dubious,cos it was really rough conditions,wet,bad roof stone,...not like the training gallery where they just come from,but I convinced them ti give the youngins a go at it,so we aal agreed.

Gary and he's Marra's made a few cock-ups,at the start,bringing criticism,from the other shifts,and aa had a hard time persuading them ti let the youngin's get stuck in.

After a week or two,they were amang the hardest working,conscientious,miners at the pit.

Gud at the job,it was only a pity thatcher  ordered the ropes ti be cut...spoilt the lives of a gud team of youngins,and a hope Gary  sees this and smiles...thinkin' back!!

Billy McGregor's Parents moved inti the Hoose me Mother-in-Law and her Family lived in,when age and ill-health took it's toll,and my Ma-in-law moved into a sheltered bungalow.

I lived in for the first two years of marriage,before getting our own place.

Billy went on to tour the Country with his Elvis Presley tribute band,for many years.



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