The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157256   Message #3711172
Posted By: GUEST,David Nuttall , Wakefield
23-May-15 - 09:03 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Miner's water bottle
Subject: RE: Miner's water bottle
My father, Sam, was a coal miner at South Kirkby Colliery in South Yorkshire in the forties, fifties and sixties . He ,too, carried his sandwiches in his 'snap tin' and his water in his circular metal Dudley . Both were kept attached to his belt.I do not know the origin of the word 'dudley'. He wore shorts , a vest and the knee pads made from belting which Ray mentioned earlier.He chewed his tobacco and it was foul- smelling and pungent. He had several accidents in the pit when cutting coal to include broken legs, damaged cartilages due to kneeling and wounds caused by falling stone. The wounds inevitably turned a blue colour on his arms ,legs and back due to the coal dust infecting them. All this culminated in having his knee cap removed and walking with a stick. He always made a fuss of the pit ponies each of which he befriended and fed....together with the many mice which were fed from the remains of the 'snap tin '. He was paid a little extra money each shift for working in a seam whilst kneeling in water....called WATTER MONEY ! My brother and I were taken as children by him to the coal face one Sunday afternoon !! He wanted to deter us from even contemplating working in the pit....AND IT WORKED !! The vocabulary associated with the pit ponies is also rich, specialised and varied....worth investigation. I have written many poems /songs about my father and his work in the mines ...a very hard existence.