The young miner boy.............................THE YOUNG MINER BOY............................
At fourteen years of age, I first went down the big black
There wasnít any choice then, as they didnít have the dole.
Up at five feeling half alive, it was barely getting light.
I should have done my schooling, this surely wasnít right.
Wash your hands and face boy, my dad would say to me.
I didnít see much point though, as soon dirty I would be.
Hot porridge on the table, and mam sat by the fire.
She was up each day before us, yet she never seemed to
Come on you two, mam would say to us, youíre going to
Take your boots outside to put them on, and mind you
shut that gate.
Away then son lets take our leave, thereís a crust for us to
Youíll not waste your time with schooling, thatís not the
way to learn.
The morning frost was biting hard, as we crossed the
I wished we had a horse and cart, I was longing for a ride.
We had walked two mileís and maybe more, yet still no
pit to see.
I donít think I can walk much more, these boots are
At last the pit comes in to sight, the mountains left behind.
Dad shouts, come on donít drag your feet, the shaft is set
There are men with blackened faces, trudging the other
They had worked all night in darkness, now they greet
the early day.
Go on boy you get down there, I hear a raw boned
Weíve left enough for you to do, go and dig some black
Take no notice boy my daddy says, its just because your
Once you get on that shovel, weíll put some meat on you.
Down we go in to the depthís below, I grip my fatherís
It was just as I expected, it was a bleak and hostile land.
We walk again for another hour, till we reach our
Thatís where youíll be working lad, its called the coaling
I shovel and I shovel, my arms and legs begin to ache.
Iím a schoolboy in a manís world, oh my back will surely
Hours pass and its time to go, I can hardly lift my head.
A few more miles a nice hot bath, then its straight to my
I sleep as I have never slept, to tired to raise a dream.
In a few short weary hours, Iíll be back at that coal seam.
Iím not doing that for the rest of my life, it simply doesnít
Iíll go and do my schooling, and then Iíll become a
IAN JONES: 25/07/2009.