Janet and Terry’s Memories
On a visit to Treeton a few years ago, Joan and I walked up to the top of Pit Lane. I knew that the mine was closed down and wanted to go and have a look at the mine as we remembered it. The emotional shock that I experienced when to my disappointment I saw that the mine no longer existed at all was something that I will never forget. Coal mining and the Treeton and Orgreave mines were such an integral part of what Treeton and its people were, and had been for over a century, that my first thoughts were how are the new generations of children ever going to understand what mining coal meant to the lives of those that lived before them. Will they ever have an understanding of the life of the miners and their families. Your web site can be an important vehicle for documenting and sharing that information as well as means by which people can maintain contact with Treeton regardless of where they are in the world. Treeton Colliery was an integral part of my life since being a small boy when I would walk to the pit at Sunday dinner-time and take my Dad his Sunday dinner on a plate wrapped in a towel when he was working at the weekend loading materials in the pit bottom. The banksman would take me to he cage and put Dad's dinner on the cage. I would watch it go down to him where he was waiting in the pit-bottom. I remember thinking that going down on that cage must be the most scary thing anyone could do. Little did I know at that time that my whole career would be as a mining engineer and that career would start with the National Coal Board as an apprentice surveyor at Treeton and that my life would be always closely connected to the mining industry.
Let me say "Hi" to a number of friends whose name I noticed on your Local History Group. Derek Walker and I went to school together and we played cricket for Treeton together. We also played football on the same team but Derek was also good enough to play for Rotherham United. We were also fellow members of the Treeton Methodist Social Club. I knew Fred Higginbottom well. Fred was a champion wrestler and you knew it when you saw those great shoulders. I also knew Walt Farmer well and he was a good friend of my brother-in-law David Harper. Hedley Frost and his sister Joan lived on Church Lane, and I believe Hedley was an avid fisherman who fished at times with Joan's brother Andrew Harper
Additionally, my father Harry Bates, who worked at Treeton for over 50 years wrote extensively and documented his memories and experiences both in stories, anecdotes, and poetry. His story was published as a series by the Sheffield Weekend Star in November 1979. My father-in-law William S. Harper, started at Treeton at age 13 around the same date as my father, and became Under-Manager. He also documented his life story and providing extensive detail of his 50 years of experiences and the working conditions of miners.
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