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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/07/10 in all areas

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    Inspired by Cympil's post of Netherton Pitmen, I have scanned some of old family photographs taken at Netherton Colliery. There are a lot of people I can't identify, but someone else might recognise them. Thanks to everyone who has sent me helpful and encouraging messages. I don't know if I'm going to get my photos in properly but I'll give it a go ... The first photo was taken in about 1911. The man 3rd right (with his ‘bait' under his arm) is my grandfather, Edward Rochester, known as Ned. He became a winding engineman at Netherton, and worked until he was 69. He died only 2 years later. I was 6 when he died but I remember him well. He was a lovely man, very kind to me when I was a child. The young lad on the left is Tommy Harrison, also called Percy by some (his middle name). His older sister later married my grandfather, so Tommy was my great uncle. When the First World War broke out he ran away and joined the army and he was sent to France. His parents contacted the army authorities because Tommy was only 16 and he was sent home. He did it again the next year and this time his parents decided to let him go. He served with the Scottish Regiment of Horse, surviving the Western Front and Battle of the Somme. After the War he worked as an engine fitter at Netherton Colliery. The slightly older lad second left is Joe Swann, Tommy's cousin. Joe also became a winding engineman. He worked at the Hall Pit (near Nedderton village) while my grandfather worked at the Howard Pit. I don't know who any of the others are. The second photo was taken at Netherton Colliery in about 1915, I think, but I'm not sure of the exact year. The man on the far left is Michael Harrison who was my great grandfather. He was the colliery engineer. The 3rd photo is of French Flag Day in 1915, a fundraising event for The Great War held in the grounds of Howard House at Netherton. My great aunt Kitty Harrison is 3rdleft but I can't identify anyone else. 4th is a photo of a Netherton Chapel outing in about 1917. I can only identify 3 people, Joe Rochester back row right, my grandfather's older brother, and Joe's 2 children Billy and Kitty front right and 3rd right. 5th photo is of the Pecketts engines at Netherton Colliery. The Office Row houses are behind. My great grandparents Michael and Thomasine Harrison and their 8 children lived in the house on the end of the row. 6th is Netherton football team in 1921. My grandfather Ned Rochester is 3rd left in the back row, but I don't know who any of the others were, and I don't know what the trophy was. 7th is a photo of some of the children at Netherton School in 1924. My Dad is front left (with his front teeth missing at the time) but I can't identify any of the others. 8th photo is Michael Harrison, my great uncle, and brother of Tommy in my first photo. He worked at Netherton as an engine fitter. He was a member of the underground rescue team even though he was a surface worker (perhaps because he was exceptionally strong). This photo was taken just before he was lowered down a disused shaft to look for a man who had gone missing, I think in the 1930s. Michael put on extra layers of jackets to try to give him some protection in the shaft. He told the family about the eerie experience of finding wooden coal tubs fully loaded and still in good condition, as if waiting to be raised up the shaft. He though he might be crushed when crawling under rotting bratishes to search for the missing man, but he wasn't there.


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