About: EARLY DAYS - COAL MINE
At the turn of the century a lot of mine owners were Methodists, workers would live a life of temperance attending church daily and three times on Sundays. There was great camaraderie, people lived in close communities which shared an interest in art, music, allotments, canaries and pigeons - all things to be enjoyed in the fresh air. If you were working you were well rewarded, paid the equivalent, in todays money of £900/month plus a rent free house and free coal, worth another 100/month. Very important that considering there was no welfare state or national health service. Before you sign up though, consider this...
These men worked hard, damn hard, for 6 days a week and 10 hours a day and that excludes the one hour walk each way to the pit face and then to and from home. They could be fined for lateness, insubordination, not finding someone else to cover a shift when sick and even for talking. And what brutal work this was, hard on the knees, eyes and back and arms. Working in dark, noisy, wet, claustrophobic, hot/cold, lonely conditions, surrounded by rats and stench, it's too far to walk to the surface to use a w/c. Death is very common, be it by, disease, accident, gas, flooding or collapse. In later years, if you make it to 50 you'd inevitably be retired but contending with, industrial deafness, blindness, nystagmus, white-finger, osteoarthritis, phthisis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumoconiosis, silicosis and black lung. This was a life before organised trade unions, once you stop working you lose all your benefits. There's no payoff, no pension, no house, no income, no coal. The only option open to families is to send young children into the self-same world.
Early miners would be paid based on piece-work, the more coal they can mine the more they are paid. Workers would draw lots, possibly open to underhandedness, for a 3 months stint on an assigned seam. The lucky ones could get a seam 4 feet thick were they could sit on a cracket/stool and effectively wield a shovel and pick. The unlucky ones could be crawling up to 30 feet into narrow seams, there's no value in widening the space, only the coal has value. They'd crawl into a seam area as little as 18 inches high, that's lower than your knee, for 10 hours wielding a pick, lying in 1 inch of standing water.
These men and their families are the foundation for the privilege the western world now enjoys.
this guy sounds like hes far away from the program hahahahaha
Lol teacher showed us this in class 😂
What year is this?
Absolutely brilliant film Frank, thanks for posting this