The Book Tunnel Vision.
Part 1. 1950 to 1970:
This section is Snippits from Horace Lister’s Book
Recording his career as a
Distinguished Mining Engineer.
This is a must read!! if you have been in Mining, Contracting, or just interested in life of a miner working the hard way up the ladder,
You Will Enjoy This....
The book Contents Below:
Contents of the Book
Tunnel Vision Book 1
By Horace LISTER
1 Stoneyholme Ginney Riders
5 Pit Lad in Short Trousers
7 Sixteen Weeks Basic Training
9 The Real Business Begins
13 Nicknames and Lasting Impressions
15 Introduction to the Coal Face
21 Rescue From a Life of Drudgery
25 Tunnelling From a Pit Bottom
27 Start of My Real Career
29 Winding From a New Pit Bottom
31 Serious Methane Ignitions
35 Mine Location Maps
40 A New Colliery Manager
44 Keeping Up the Impetus
48 My 'SS Nazi' Superior
50 A move That Alters My Whole Career
56 A day That Changed My Life Forever
63 The Fastest Demotion in the World?
65 Convalescence, Unions and Rehab
67 Einchman Again & Farewell NCB
69 Experienced Tunnellers Required
75 the road to the Monkey Puzzle
79 South Wales Experience
89 Aberfan Disaster and Consequences
93 Handling a Gang of Militants?
95 Carte Blanche in 1968
101 Hard Work and Arguing
105 A Serious Case of Embezzlement
109 No Travelling Distractions
First Book Ends
This section is a short
abstract from Horace Lister’s upcoming
book TUNNEL VISION
recording his career as a
distinguished mining engineer.
My impression, even as a 15 year old, was that all the pits around Burnley were antiquated except for Reedley, which operated a ‘Yankee’ mining system of pillar and stall extraction, using short wall Joy under cutters with 7 ft jibs, ‘fired’ to a depth of 7 ft. By complete contrast, Bank Hall operated an advancing ‘longwall’ system employing over 1,000 men. Spa Pit had to be avoided at all costs due to floods and generally wet conditions. During my initial training period, trips to various pits were always enjoyable, if not frightening to a 15 year old. But the most frightening trip which you could ever go on, was the one to Huncoat, which was always without a spare lorry (wagon) to transport up to 20 trainees back to the Bank Hall training centre. On these occasions we were expected to catch the bus, and the timing of the bus for us coincided with finishing time at Accrington Nori brickworks, from whence the big girls covered in red dust from the yard would emanate, and God help the youngsters like myself, who would immediately be debagged and your old man would be covered in red dust. It was terrifying, and you would pray that the bus would reach Wood Top, where most of them left the bus. It was so frightening that on one occasion, I......
46 walked halfway to Burnley rather than face that experience. Dick Hitchen Let me explain to you who Dick Hitchen was and why he left a lifetime impression on me as a young man. His nicknames at the pit were; Dick wit' dogs, broken clogs, new TV, and rotten lungs; that’s how considerate the blokes were in those days. The nicknames for different people were endless; Bill wit' dolls was given to a very decent bloke who’d been seen in Thomson’s park pushing a pram containing twins, (nobody knew his proper name), There was Corky the cat after the bloke who tried to grow a moustache but failed. Another was called Doris, because he was a bit effeminate. I was lucky, they called me Aitch. To continue with the story about Dick, I had to work with him for 20 days to complete my CPS (close personal supervision), and met him sat in a manhole drinking tea out of an enormous flask. His first remarks to me were dus’t catch yon Padiham bus in’t mornings, ah think ah’ve sin thi on’t top deck. He made me start work with his shovel when he had finished his first cup, he showed me how to hold a long handled shovel without catching my knuckles. Manholes were 10 yards apart on the Bank Hall Rise 1 belt road or intake airway, so that when I’d cleaned 10 yards of conveyor, he would shout “not so fast” you’ll soon be out of work, and he would move his padded cushion on to the next manhole to shelter from the strong wind or if it was in a damp area, he would have a long snooze, giving me strict orders to shout of him if I saw a light in the distance, so that he had chance to get out of his manhole, hide his cushion, and take my shovel and be using it by the time whoever it was came alongside. When he got to know me he would tell me some intimate details of when he was a lad, mostly sexual [he dreamt a lot about bygone days], but one of his stories, I believe to be true. Conjugal Express There were no pithead baths at Wood End pit, so the men went home in their black, and although he was married, he would walk along the banks of the river Calder on Fridays, when he was on afternoons, and meet his lady friend. He would take with him to work a folded Burnley Express and so that he could have sex without dirtying Rosy, he would unfold the paper, tear out a small hole, place it between them and have conclude his conjugal outing! One night after meeting Rosy and having sex, it went on a little longer than usual, and being Friday, his wife was wondering where he’d got to and became suspicious. When he walked in the house, she accused him of having another woman; ‘don’t be silly who would have me in my pit rags’? The tin bath was filled ready for him, so she said let’s wait and see. She stood there whilst he got undressed and guess which only part of his body was clean. She set about him, and things were never the same thereafter......