July 10: Hatfield pit closure is blow to a proud breed of men

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From: Joan Hart, Woodford Road, Barnby Dun, Doncaster.

I HAVE just read again the sad and devastating news that Hatfield Colliery is to close. I come from a mining family. Grandfather, father, brother and myself. I was a nursing sister at Brodsworth Colliery, which employed 3,000 men in 1954 and at Hatfield Colliery 1974 to 1988, then employing 2,000 men.

These men are unique and a breed on their own, going from school at the age of 16 years, travelling 2,800 feet to the bowels of the earth and then possibly another four miles to the coal face every day. They never lost much time and worked with pride at their job. They were always there to help each other and to listen to each others’ problems.

The remarks by Business Minister Anna Soubry were really the last straw – to say the Jobcentre Rapid Response service would be available to help support Hatfield workers was ridiculous.

If they are so good, why is unemployment so high? Maybe she should get off her comfy seat in Parliament and come and see the devastation and heartbreak the closing of these coalmines is causing.

To me, at 83 years of age, the North-South divide gets bigger. The report by Sarah Freeman was fantastic, truthful and very well written. Congratulations.