Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib

Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib

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Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown Ex-Lib
 
Most Splendid of Men, Life in a Mining Community 1917-25 by Harold Brown  Ex-Library Book, page 18-19 has light staining - photos looks darker than the staining is.  
Hard Cover
186 pages
Copyright 1981
CONTENTS
Acknowledgements6
Foreword7
Introduction9
Preface11
The Early Days
1 Leaving School18
2 First shift at the pit28
3 The work of two boys51
4 Ripping dirt and waggoning62
The Miner's Life
5 On the face80
6 Tightening our belts98
7 Pumping117
8 'Hooker-up'125
9 A gob fire!139
10 Liberty156
Epilogue174
Index185

Introduction
By John Golding
Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme
This is a most splendid book about 'the most splendid of menthe miners of North Staffordshire. It is an account of Mr. Brown's experience as a miner between the years 1917 and 1925. From it we learn of the hardship faced and the courage shown by men underground, many of whom are still living among us today. 'In every way,' he says 'it was a struggle for survival.'
One scene put the final seal of authenticity on to this book for me. One morning when two men arrived to see me quite separately, Mr. Brown began talking to Mr. Tom Sanders. Mr. Sanders is typical of so many North Staffordshire miners; he is serious, intelligent, straightforward and, above all, he is of great natural dignity. As they talked about pits long since closed, about the exact day on which the gob fire took place, and about Mr. Brown's 'feyther' (much of the book is about the relationship between father and son), so Mr. Brown's face became alight with enthusiasm and affection.
This is indeed a book written with a true affection for its characters. It is clear that although chance took Mr. Brown away, first from the pit and then from the village of Silverdale, he has never left either in spirit. On his first day at the pit Mr. Brown's father said to him, 'You will find life very hard in the pit, but it will make a man of you; you will find fine characters among miners-men who work hard for their wages and observe the pit regulations. Such men are brave and courteous, they are second to none among working men.' It is clear that the years in the pit have left their mark on Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown is so obviously a man of great character, drive and humanity. Had he not left Newcastle-under-Lyme, he would almost certainly have become one of its leaders, perhaps a Councilor, a Magistrate, and perhaps, the best anyone could ask, become the Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme. Now, with this book, we have been more than repaid for this loss. Had Mr. Brown remained he may have become accustomed to the slow change, so hard fought for both in working and in living conditions, and so may not have written so vividly of the past.
As I have said, many of the men who were working with Mr. Brown are still with us and it is one of the pleasures of my job to enjoy sitting before a good coal fire, listening to old miners talking of days gone by, of the Minnie Pit Disaster in 1918, when one hundred and fifty-five men and boys were killed; about the Dig lake Flood Disaster when seventy-seven men drowned in that pit. As Mr. Brown's father remarked ... 'Tragedy is part of our lives.' In those times there were more bad days than good ones. Such, however, is the character of these 'most splendid of men' that, despite being crippled by injuries and by 'the dust', there are always likely to be more smiles than frowns, more tolerance than bitterness as they talk of the past.
Mining is still one of the most difficult jobs to be done. When first I went down the pit at Silverdale with my old friend, Sid Fox, my eyes were opened to the hardship faced by coalminers. Men are still, as in Mr. Brown's day, relieved to come up from Silverdale Pit and smell the fresh, clean air blowing on to their faces as it comes in over the Cheshire Plain from the sea. They, like him, still face the constant contrast between darkness, ugliness, and drudgery underground and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Many of these present-day miners share Mr. Brown's love of music; his passion for music is so vividly brought out in the book.
When I leave Silverdale to go to London on Monday morning at about six o'clock and I pass miners in the street, I feel grateful that I am not having to share the sinking feeling which many of them must suffer at the thought of another week at the pit. Now I am grateful to Mr. Brown for having written so vividly of his experiences and for paying testimony to those miners I am proud to represent-the most splendid of men.


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