- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Don Stapeley, Tom Dobson
- Location of story:
- Leadgate in Consett, County Durham
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 24 June 2005
During the war we had a Bevin Boy staying with us. He was called Don Stapeley and came from Bexley Heath in Kent. He was a watchmaker by trade, but was employed to control the conveyor belts which transported the coal around the mine in Leadgate, near Consett. He also worked as a projectionist every night from 6.00pm to 10.00pm at the cinema. He used to leave the house with bait put up by my Mam for his shift at the pit, but went to the cinema first and then on to the pit after 10.00 for night shift.
He sometimes didn’t even make it to the pit! On one occasion, very tired from his 4-hour stint at the cinema, he went to work at the pit. His job was to watch the conveyor belt and stop and start it to control the volume of coal moving along it. Hours into the shift someone found Don asleep slumped onto the belt almost covered in coal — he hadn’t turned off the belt before he fell asleep and the coal had built up!
Disclaimer: Submitted by Carole Nesbit at Consett Library on behalf of Tom Dobson
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