Interview with Brian Jaques – Selby Coalfield Miner


Listen to an audio version of Brian’s interview about his life in the coal mining industry.

In 1962 his 32-year-old father had been killed in a mining collapse at St Johns Normanton leaving 9 children. Against¬† his mother’s wishes, 9-year-old Brian set his heart on following in his fathers footsteps.

Brian started as a miner in 1970 at Walton Colliery becoming a ‘wireman’ working on underground communications. He was face trained at Lofthouse and then moved to Parkhill colliery near East Moor.where he lived.

In 1982 he moved to Selby where he worked for 26 years, first at Wistow where they mined ‘the sweetest coal’. He started on the headings and then went on to become a locomotive driver. By 1988-89 he became a deputy.

When Wistow shut in 2005 he was transferred to the drift mine at Gascoigne Wood but within a few months was made redundant as production fell –¬†‘first in, last out’. He worked briefly outside the industry before being invited to work at the National Coal Mining Museum for England where he has now worked for 11 years.

Brian goes on to talk about the effect of the 1984-85 strike

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