Yesterday, Daddy and the boys went to the National Coal Mining Museum in Middlestown / Flockton, near Wakefield with Lee and Jessica.
We arrived just after 10am and managed to get on the first tour of the mine at 10:45am. The tour starts with a little information on safety where we learn that we are not allowed any form of battery powered item in the mine such as mobile phones, watches or car keys that contain remote opening controls. So, once we were set up with helmets and special miners lights that will not cause any sparking down in the mine, we got in the elevator that took us 140m below the surface and into the mine.
A really nice guy called Trevor (or TC to his mates) took us around the tour telling us of all of the ins and outs of the mine from the 1800’s to modern day (well 1985 when this mine was officially closed following the miners strike in 1984). The early years were quick eye opening with the families going into the mines from the age of 5 onwards with mummy and daddy being the main miners but with the children being responsible for taking the coal out from their place in the mine to the main shaft for it to be removed. the families looks to earn 12p per day (1p per box of coal) in order to have enough money to survive.
As we moved around the mine, we learned about the different challenges along the way, although mainly the challenges were about safety – preventing explosions in the mine at all costs.
Some of the newer machines that were used in the mines towards the end of the time that the mine was live were incredible pieces of engineering that automated much of the mining and collection process all while reducing risk of human life.
One thing that we did not learn about was how did the human race figure out that there was anything worth mining in the first place – can only assume it was curiosity 🙂
If you find yourself with a few hours to kill and are in the area, give this place some time, you will be pleased that you did 🙂
Yay – it’s that time of the year when we head over to Oxenhope for lunch at the Dog and Gun and then onward to the Santa Express on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway 🙂
We certainly over ate at the Dog and Gun again this year but still had plenty of time to have a walk around the engine sheds and the whole way down the platform at Oxenhope. It was Lily’s first year this year and she managed to sleep for most of the train ride until the big guy showed up 🙂
The boys had a great time as usual although Olly is still tired from his trip to Centre Parcs 🙂
We have a day tomorrow to catchup with sleep and relax etc and then the Christmas visits and what have you begin 🙂 We have a super busy schedule this year with a few day trips out to see old friends around the North of England – between Christmas and New Year.
and it is at Center Parcs 🙂
Win for Olly 🙂
He has been swimming, rock climbing, lunch out and has a panto to watch tonight….
It has been v strange for the rest of us – we nipped out for lunch and the cinema (we saw “Get Santa” – very cool film) and mummy spoke to Olly on the phone this evening. Olly is keen to go swimming again in the morning 🙂
Let’s hope he sleeps OK tonight – we have had a week of poor sleeping so we are just hoping that he is simply tired out and sleeps well tonight 🙂
Poor Olly has a high temperature for the third night on the bounce 🙁 it has not been like this for a long time 🙁 in fact, even with his tonsils in, two nights was usually enough for his body to clear the problem.
We are now at 38 degrees and he is not allowed any drugs for over two hours 🙁 his body temp has raised from 36 in 45 mins….
Last week, the local Land Rover garage wrote to us about the charitable work that they do at Christmas time with a local (Huddersfield) Women’s refuge and a local food bank.
So, today we took a reasonably large cardboard box filled with tins and dried food that we had ordered extra of, as well as a large bag containing about 5 board games and half a dozen other toys and things that we keep in stock for birthday’s etc that come along.
We hope that they do a little to brighten the lives of a couple of families that are just not having much luck at this time, if only for a few hours. These things really make you realise just how lucky we are most of the time and how quick and easy it could be to lose just a little of that luck. We really should do more to help others and this little bit of help hopefully will just shed a little light for somebody somewhere.
We think that our boys understand what they have done today to help other little boys and girls – certainly Oliver didn’t complain when he was donating a gift that we think he really fancied for himself 🙂