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Stuart.C

Festival of Britain 1951

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I'm  almost sure I've  seen this clip on NS before. Still watchable though. Thanks Stuart. Funny to see the colliers waiting for their bus whilst still in pit clothes. I remember back in '58 when I  started at Bestwood pit I didn't  have a baths locker and so had to come home upstairs on the 44 trolleybus in mucky gear. Manys the time I've nodded off and gone way past me bus stop at Forest road. Felt such a pillock walking back from town with me knee pads and helmet!

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I remember when at Mellish, if I caught the trolley into town on Highbury Rd. they would be colliers returning home in their dirty working clothes. I thought that pit head baths would have been available in late 50’s early 60’s.

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1951...........Festival of Britain.........remember it well,,,Mam and Dad went,,i stayed at my Grandparents on Leybourne drive,,

                     Was when we had a City centre ie the Square to be proud of,,,

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There was Phil., it's just that there weren't enough to go round. I managed to share lockers with my older brother Keith. He managed to get a spare key from the attendant, so stayed with that until I  left. You had two lockers, one on 'clean' side and the other on 'dirty ' side. One would arrive at the pit, strip off grab a towel and walk through and dress in work clothes. End of shift would be reverse order, strip off, into showers and proceed to  clean wear. 4/5 floors of wet naked blokes wandering around. Invariably  you would be asked to wash your neighbours back, cos ' he couldn't reach.

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Not all pits had showers in the early 50's Clifton didn't, ironic, as the law required then from the 1913 M&Q Act if they employed more than a certain number of men. I don't think Gedling had them either until the mid to late 50's. The NCB went out to rectify that situation after 1947, but it took many years to equip all collieries with pit head baths.

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My uncle was a coal merchant. He and his son together. They required assistance with back scrubbing from their wives when they got home. They’d go to Gedling coal yard on Mapperley top early morning, weigh the coal into hessian sacks and carry the sacks on their backs up entries to deliver to the houses. He made a good living out of it but it was hard graft.

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That really would have been interesting Phil., if you could get somebody's wife to scrub your back!

Maybe the NCB should have employed a few.:rolleyes:

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Phil,  I believe your uncle delivered our coal - I can't remember it happening because I was at school, though.

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He was Bob Burton and lived at nearby 4, Greys Rd. His father, Elijah Burton, was also a coal merchant and a builder but on a much larger scale. He lived on Maitland Rd. where he had built many of the houses pre war. His truck garage was at the top of the road near Woodthorpe Drive. We lived in one of his houses (rented) just off Buckingham Rd. He also built a few bungalows at Chapel Point in Lincs. He fenced off his part of the beach but the council made him take it down!

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Very much enjoyed the 1951 film. It was made 6 years before I was born but I was able to recognise everywhere instantly, which is more than I can say of the city today. The area hadn't changed between 1951 and my childhood.

 

The child with the windmill on a stick, near the beginning, made me smile. My older sister was fond of those and for some reason always referred to them as "windblowings".  I haven't seen one in many years.

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The windmills are quite easy to make Jill, I have the template if you want to make one. I make smaller ones to fit on greetings cards.

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1 hour ago, Beekay said:

off, into showers and proceed to  clean wear. 4/5 floors of wet naked blokes wandering around. Invariably  you would be asked to wash your neighbours back, cos ' he couldn't reach.

I remember my first day at Bestood Pit as a 15 year old straight from school , end of the shift into the showers , all nervous showering away and suddenly a massive bloke entered my cubicle and started sponging my back, fear set in when he spun me around but it was only for him to give me his sponge and tell me " now do my back". I then started to breathe again, no one had let me know that this was the norm.

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1 hour ago, Ayupmeducks said:

I don't think Gedling had them either until the mid to late 50's.

 

From the 50s I have memories of Dad just appearing at the kitchen window, with his Black face and especially his eyes black rimmed with coal dust. He thought it highly amusing when one of us children spotted him and after the shock we would all run to the door to let him in.

 

No idea what date they started showering at the pit, but we were all aged below six. I don't remember, but I expect we were then whisked off to the bedroom while he had his soak in the tin bath before the range in the living room. We moved up to the pit estate late 50s so it was luxury with a real bathroom, but I think he must have showered at the pit. I doubt if they would have allowed the miners in 'The Grey Goose Bar' all covered in coal dust.

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It used be quite a funny sight seeing the colliers coming out of the baths on afternoon shifts, you could tell the blokes who'd rushed through the showers as they all had ' mascara ' round their eyes.

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Think of the damage all that coal dust was doing to their lungs. No face masks in those days at the pit.

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Dust masks...Hmmmm, I wore them religiously on coal faces, then on an advanced training course at the training centre we were talking to the Instructor about dust suppression on power loaders, (shearers and trepanners), and brought up the topic of dust masks, he laughed at us and told us a little known fact, the dust that causes the damage to our lungs was fine particles generated, not by the power loaders so much, but by the elf advancing roof supports grinding the roof as they were advanced. Dust masks only trap "large" particle dust, the weave of masks is way too large to stop fine dangerous particles. So what about the cartridge type dust masks, same story to a certain point, the cartridges do work far better for about two to three hours use, but even those let far too many fines through. Still, better than nowt, and my lungs seem to work pretty well after all those years down different types of mines, including most of my working life down coal mines.

 

Mascara!!! Yep, even after a good scrub down, including washing my face several times before getting out the shower, come summer in the pub mascara would run, everybody knew what a man did for a living come summer..LOL

 

One of the things in pit showers, you'd be washing your hair/face and someone would be scrubbing your back. Rinse off and turn around to to return the favour, and there was the back of an 8 foot giant!!  LOL

 

A lot of fun times at the end of the shift, some clown would turn your hot water off while you washed your face, or after some overtime and just a few of the lads scrubbing down, and some one woud grab the bath attendants high pressure cold water hose and give you a good hosing down with bitterly cold water.

 

Bath Attendant ruled the roost in the shower blocks, he had the power to get you banned from the pit head baths!!!  Walk into the clean side changing area in your pit rags and by God the floor would quake!!! That was the No1 rule NEVER to break, glass bottles were banned, running in the building wasn't permitted at any time, Bath Attendant saw to that, he was judge, jury and executioner!

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It's amazing how quickly a "boy" loses his embarrassment in the pit head baths, you soon learn nobody gives a flying...well you know what I mean, about what you look like naked, you're all the same getting ready for work and ending work.

After a day shift everyone's in a rush to get down to the Stute for a quick pint before closing time, afternoons to get to our local, and after a night shift, to get home to bed.

 

 

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Can you remember the Pit Head Bath Soap Ayup?  Perfumed housebricks. 

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I most certainly can, all the branded soaps under the PHB logo. When we had a batch of Camay arrive, unmistakable with the colour and scent, one or two of the miners would be singing "You'll feel a little lovelier each day, with fabulous pink Camay"...LOL

Not to mention, we knew what flip flops were before anyone in the country, we'd been wearing them in the baths for ever. Wished I could remember what they cost us, I know it wasn't much.

 

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When I lived in Oz, I wore Japanese workboots most of the year.

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11 hours ago, Ayupmeducks said:

When I lived in Oz, I wore Japanese workboots most of the year.

So do I, or no shoes at all, getting a bit cool now, soon be time for the Ugg Boots

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Paved surfaces were too hot to go bare foot for me, although when I lived at the "Gong" and was on swing shift, when I got out of bed, I'd drive down and get my morning paper, then drive down to the beach and get in a walk, barefoot along the beach.

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Our kids were almost brought up on North 'Gong beach, playing in the sand and surf, a swim in the ocean pool and pie and chips from the kiosk for lunch. I was never a fan of South Beach.

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