The news paper cutting below is about Samuel Nixon who worked in coal mining for 51years and retired in 1965. A companying the news paper article is a letter the CCMHS received from the late Samuel Nixons son Joe Nixon who along with his own son Peter (the little boy in the picture) own & run L. Nixon & Co, Engineers and Toolmakers of Willenhall, he has kindly given us permission to feature the letter and the article on these pages.
A HAPPY 51 YEARS IN MINING (report from 1965)
"Coal mining is a good life" commented 65 year old Samuel Nixon of Wood-avenue Wednesfield and he should know at the end of 51 years in the coal mining industry. At 14 he started work at the Holly Bank colliery, Essington, in the days of picks, shovels and oil lamps. In the 1920's he spent eight years roaming between South Wales, the Midlands and Yorkshire when he worked with men whose job it was to sink pits. While engaged on sinking a pit on Tees-side, Mr Nixon met his future wife Dorothy. After I was married I thought I had better settle down. So I came back to Hilton Main colliery near Featherstone. This was one of the collieries I helped to sink he added. Mr Nixon First became a deputy then an overman at the colliery. On his retirement last week he had been an overman for 35 years. There was no comparison between working conditions today and those when he started work, "Much of the really hard work is mechanised. Coal is moved by conveyor belts, instead of ponies and endless ropes to take it to the surface," he said "Also the pits are now light and airy - miners do not suffer from eye strain (Nystagmus) anymore. It is a safe job nowadays as long as there is good discipline amongst the men. I think factory workers may be better paid but the miners are a good friendly lot, so I would rather work in the coal industry" he said. At the age of 65, Mr Nixon looked a fit and healthy man "Yes I am" he said I now people say it is not good for your health being a miner, but if everyone at my age feels as well as I do, they wouldn't be able to grumble."
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