Miner at Eastern United Colliery near Cinderford in 1959.
The photo shows a young Ray Jackson at Eastern United Colliery. Immediately
behind Ray is the bridge over the railway line and in the background
are the Colliery buildings. The date was January 30th 1959 and Ray had
just received his redundancy notice as Eastern was about to close.
Ray started as a Bevan Boy, training with some experienced miners at a special training mine at Cannop. He then worked with Pit Ponies at Eastern. His pony had a liking for apples and onions. After working with the ponies Ray moved on to work on the coal face. As is well documented elsewhere, Eastern was a drift mine and Ray remembers riding down the dipples on carts, then out to the coalface under Speech House. The miners at this time at Eastern still used carbide lamps.
An event which Ray remembers is a rail strike during his time at Eastern. Coal continued to be extracted during the strike but presented a storage problem. The solution was to whitewash the coal and then send it up to the spoil heap for storage, many tons of coal were stored in this way, and not all of it was recovered at the end of the strike. Below is Ray's training certificate awarded by the NCB (National Coal Board) after training at Cannop in 1954.
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