‘Everyone is entitled to their own opinion’

Geoff and I spent a fascinating bit of time with a ninety six year old ex-miner. Trying to capture his approach to life, these are some of his words shaped into a short monologue.


Everyone is entitled to their own opinion

Nobody should force their opinion on me,
I won’t be told what to think.

Worked down the pit
from school till I was fifty two.
When I first met my wife,
they wouldn’t let me in her house
because I was a miner.
She was very upset,
It made me very angry.

They were a canny group of men
down the mines.
We got on well,
looked out for each other.

After I left the mine
we ran a care home for children.
I still hear from some of them now.
Never had a bit of bother with them,
Used to keep them active.

I don’t remember my parents ever
Really talking to me.
We were very green
I didn’t know what a sissy was.

I love to walk,
But I’m not countrified.
I’ve no interest in birds
I like painting butterflies.

It’s since I retired,
I like to write poetry
About being down the mine.
And I like to paint
About being down the mine.

I think about it a lot now,
We were paid piecemeal wages.
When I look back
I think we were treated like slaves.

I’d be alright here if my wife was still alive
But now, there’s no one that I connect with
You cannot just reach for the skies
You’ve got to fit in.
Sometimes I go to the pub,
meet up with three old blokes
and the four of us just sit there
and grumble.
(He says with a grin)


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