Coalmining Gus and Crook

Contributed by Radstock Museum

Coalmining Gus and Crook

THE GUS AND CROOK. Coal in the Somerset Coalfield was usually hand-hewn and removed from the coal face by carting boys. In the thin sections of the coal seams, the carting boys used the infamous 'Gus and Crook'. The Gus comprised of a rope girdle worn around the waist, from which a chain was suspended; the crook was a hook, placed in the chain, passed between the legs and attached to a putt. Carting boys were used in similar fashion to a pony! This object was in use underground for more than 350 years and portrays the dreadful conditions under which young boys were obliged to work.

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North Somerset Coalfield




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