Hi Peter. After watching the parents sheparding the children to and from school here in Canada, I think our ways in 1920 Finedon, must have been very lax. At that time the mining of ironstone was still active in both the open pits and the underground mines. We children from Plackett’s Yard and vicinity, played in the open pit at the Tainty. A quick way to get from the Tainty to Knight’s field, another play area, was to walk the planks. These planks were laid accross the pit at three different heights to move the overburden from the north to the south. The navvies would fill a wheelbarrow and push it accross to the Tainty side to dump. Sometimes, if they thought we were watching they would run across on the plank. We kids thought there was nothing to walking the plank until we got halfway across. Then we would look down, and many of us would finish the plank by crawling on our knees to the jeers of our playmates. We rarely ventured into the underground mines with our candle lantens. Are there people alive who worked those mines ? Les Mason tells me his father and brother Bob did. His brother Bob, wrote poems about the work and here is a sample about a fall in.
The air was now dense, the silence intense ,
As a myriad of stars came cascading.
Then they all disappeared leaving darkness so weird,
As he lay there his consciousness fading.
A moment before he’d been shovelling ore Contented his mind free of trouble,
Then a rumble was heard, and disaster occurred
And burried him under the rubble.
All through the years, he had shown by his sneers
That religion was beyond his belief
But now in despair he murmured a prayer
That the good lord would grant him relief
As he frantically raved, his rescuers slaved.
A path through the fall they were clearing
Their voices were hushed, for they feared he was crushed
“Neath the boulders of rock they were nearing
Then hearing a groan, sound from under the stone
Their efforts they knew wern’t in vain
The speed was increased,and the miner released,
And he managed to smile once again.
Two rocks they all said had locked overhead
To shield hm from most of the weight.
It was luck said a few, but one miner knew,
That his prayer had not been too late. “”
Are there any more plank walkers and poets left in Finedon.? Len Butler.