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Mining Memories: Going Underground

Working conditions underground were harsh and at times dangerous. Many of the miners remember the heat in the mines; Peter Hughes describes South Crofty as a ‘filthy, horrible, hot, humid, stinking, dirty, bad-tempered environment’. Others recount the safety measures that were necessary for their daily activities. Despite these pressures, the camaraderie that the miners shared in their daily lives is clear.

Here several miners talk of their experiences underground, both good and bad, and John Peck remembers his time underground as the official photographer.


“It was unpleasant, but you put up with it” Speaker: Graham Hill


“If you want to hear people swearing get them down Crofty in the 60s and 70s” Speaker: Peter Hughes


“It was a good community” Speaker: John Brown


“Underground it’s a bit more difficult”  Speaker: Mike Shipp


“I’m not talking about nighttime dark, I’m talking pitch black, absolutely no light” Speaker: Peter Hughes


“We’d all down tools and try and help” Speaker: Robbie Risbridger


“It was another adventure” Speaker: John Peck