David’s interview covers 40 years in the industry in the UK and abroad. To hear the interview click on the arrow below
He started in mining in 1973 after a 3-year apprenticeship in engineering. His brothers, father and grandfather were all miners after his grandfather came up from a mine Coventry in 1889.
He started at South Kirby Colliery and worked there until 1978 as a Class 1 mechanic. He was then, thanks to a bit of help from Mr Scargill, transferred to Sharlston Colliery where he worked unti 1993 when he transferred to Riccall in the Selby complex until 2003 when it closed. He talks of the time it took for old reservations and sometimes resentments carried over between new arrivals at Selby from different pits and regions. He also describes the technological developments through his career – generally to the good, but not always.
In 2003 he was transferred back to Daw Mill Colliery in Coventry, back to his roots. He worked there until 2006 when he had a bad accident that laid off for a year. He returned to work with a contractor building machinery for sinking mines in Bulgaria, the North Pole (14 visits!), India and Thailand. He then came back and worked at Maltby colliery until it closed in 2013, then back to travel and contracting until he retired in 2017.
After retirement he came to the Museum at Caphouse as a guide which he describes as the ideal job.
David’s interview concludes with some thoughts about the importance of the museum in keeping the history of the mining industry and mining communities alive. He also shares some interesting experiences of working abroad.