Peter Hemmings and John Sharpe - The Canari Project

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Peter Hemmings and John Sharpe share their memories of working in the coal industry in South East Wales.  The interview was conducted by Joan Jelley at the Fleur de Leys Institute.   Both recall accidents that happened at the pits during their working life and how other miners responded to such events.  Peter reflects on the difference between accidents and the effects of mining with regards to other incremental disabilities such as silicosis and pneumoconiosis.

Peter and John worked together at Brittania Colliery after training at Bargoed.

Other topics discussed include the miners baths, working as an ostler, pit modernisation and the effect on working conditions.  

Peter talks of people with disabilities manning the belts including those with mental disabilities.  John talks of amputees working in the lamp room.

They also talked of disabled workers being made redundant first as the mines were closed.  

Both say they would go back down the pit if they were still open.  They miss the cameraderie.  John says he would like to train the youngsters if he went back.