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Pits And Pitmen Of Barnsley

A pictorial tribute and celebration of miners, their families and communities 1900- 2000
Brian Elliott

Wharncliffe Books
47 Church Street
Barnsley, S70 2AS

(website www.yorkshire-web.co.uk/localbooks/)

Brian Elliott is a long standing accomplished journalist and photo-social historian with a massive list of spectacular pieces of work to his credit. This latest book is one which must rate with the very best of them.

A unique and strategic selection of photos from the Barnsley pits, pitmen and communities over the last hundred years of their existence. The photos speak for themselves and most eloquent they are too. Gathered from a variety of sources well researched and accredited they stand like granite monoliths fixed in time, refusing to let those images and this culture die without trace. Would that they were celebrating a living culture of Barnsley’s deeply engrained coal mining traditions, rather than bringing together epoch images of its life, and ultimately its untimely murder. I defy any, even the most cynical to look closely at these photos and not be deeply moved by them. Brian is no outsider peering in. He is the son of a Barnsley miner, his uncles, paternal grandfather and great grandfather were all pitmen he has been immersed in Barnsley's coalwork all his life, this book is a monument to his own family traditions and those of Barnsley as a whole. Anyone interested in mining cannot fail to buy this book.
This is photograph N0.6, out of 270 used to illustrate this poignant book.It shows a group of miners, possibly from Higham, wearing pit clothes typical of the time, c.1900.

This photograph is a two page spread and is called the Cuckoo Pit. It shows Silkstone miners and their families digging for coal during the strike of 1912.

left: The 1984/85 strike began with announcement of the closure of Corton Wood. This photograph, from page 138 of Pits & Pitmen of Barnsley, shows Corton Wood miners refusing to return to work at the end of the strike when confronted by Kent miners, who were reluctant to give up the fight.

right: To illustrate the poverty endured by miners and their families, the author includes this photograph of his father's siblings.



This commemorative postcard, produced by Warner Gothard of barnsley,was produced to commemorate the Disaster at Barrow Colliery. The text reads: "Disaster at Barrow Colliery near Barnlsey. 15th Nov 1907. Seven men (Photographs above) were thrown out of the cage and instantly killed, falling a depth of 200ft. The other nine occupants were more or less seriously injured" Along with the photographs above are the names of the men who died. They are: T.Cope, C.Adams, T.W.Jennings, Byas Rooke, Isaac Farrer, W.Goodchild and Frank Dobson.