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Living in a Mining Village

by Barnsley Archives and Local Studies

Contributed by 
Barnsley Archives and Local Studies
People in story: 
Mrs C Flanaghan
Location of story: 
Lanarkshire, Scotland
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
16 March 2005

"This story was submitted to the People's War site by the Barnsley Archives and Local Studies Department on behalf of Mrs C Flanaghan and has been added to the site with his/her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions."

I was born in a mining village in Lanarkshire in Scotland. It was called Shotts and the mine was called Northfield. It was very like Hoyland with lots of little communities like Dykehead and Springhill.

We lived in a long row of houses, which were joined together. You stepped off the pavement into the house and went through the main door into the kitchen.

There was a big range in the kitchen and two beds against the wall. These were covered up with curtains during the day. Then you stepped down into the scullery. It had a small sink for doing the washing. There was a cauldron to heat water for wash day. We only had cold water. Then there was a big room with two double beds in it. There was a curtain dividing the room into two, so there was a place for the girls and one for my brother. Out of the backdoor was a yard where my dad kept chickens.

I went to St Patrick’s Roman Catholic School in Shotts. In winter we wore boy’s boots because they were more serviceable and you could put thick socks on.

I can remember the sweet coupons and sweet rationing. My favourites were sherbert dabs.

In winter we had wood sleds with metal runners. The miners made them. We used to sled down the High Street to meet the miners as they came home from work.

At Christmas the miners had a black box. This was a square black metal box with a lid on. Inside there was tea, cocoa, dried eggs and sweets. These boxes were a gift from the mine owners to the miner’s families.

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