LANt023 Maurice West
LANDshapes Oral History interview summary
In this absorbing recording listen to Maurice West as he talks of
his life and experiences as a miner. Born in Burton-on-Trent, Maurice
was taken to live in Coton Park as a "Babe in arms" and
says that Coton Park was then known as 'Strip and at it' because
" if you were from outside Coton Park, you wouldn't have
dare walk through because the kids used to have you, the parents
would have you"!. Share Maurice's happy memories of playing
cricket at 'Top Field' and learning to swim as a child "We
used to rock the brook up, leave it for a couple of hours
three hours go home and have a jam sandwich and then, when
we got back, it would be deep enough to swim in".
Join Maurice down the pit as he recalls the camaraderie of living
and working in a close-knit mining community; learn about what an
'Ossenter' did and find out about bat-picking and ring-dragging.
Discover the dangers of "Chucking a length on" and hear
about the "Little Demons" that helped the process. Find
out why Maurice says that "There weren't a more gaseous pit
than Cadley" and listen as he talks about the pit closures
saying that he feels "Sad. Sad because it were a way of life
and it were my way of life . you'll never get the comradeship
that you had at a pit, even now. If I'm in Swad 'Hey up you. How
are you'? you know? 'Wish Cadley were open again'. And I still get
that . Loved my job loved it"
Interviewer: Roger Kitchen.
Interview Date: 15/03/2005
Landshape Zone: Leicestershire and Derbyshire Coalfield
Parish: Swadlincote and surrounds
Location: Church Gresley, Derbyshire,
Date of birth: 1938
Location of Original: Originals held with The National Forest Company.