A Tunnel of Darkness

A miner from Ashington discovers his wife's infidelity. left alone he faces an uncertain future when the pit is set for closure. the strikes of 1969 force him to relocate to South Yorkshire where he meets a young school teacher. who pushes the young man to make a better life for himself.


17. 17

 They all got off the coach where they were met by the works manager. He showed them around the colliery; then they boarded the coaches again; heading towards the new estate in”Scawthorpe.

The houses had all the mod cons installed; a fully modern kitchen, with a cooker, an electric kettle, and toaster; even a fridge freezer. There was a shower and a bath and a toilet downstairs as well as the bathroom. Further down the road there was an entertainments complex which had snooker tables, a bowling alley, dart boards, and a full size swimming pool. They had thought of everything. They spent the full day enjoying that was on offer. The Bentley pit even laid on a special meal for them all in the local club was called “The Collier.”

He had asked how much the wage would be and discovered he would be on £12.00 a week more than Woodhorn Colliery.

There was no pick and shovel to get the coal out either it was all done by machines that cut and drilled out tons of coal faster than any man could.

All going well Ged would move into his new home within a week.


When time to move came; he packed as much furniture as he could onto the wagon that came to help him. Bentley even gave him a day to settle in before starting work.

He had left the keys with the next door neighbour to give to his wife and left a forwarding address.

Ged had already filed for a divorce Catherine had signed and within six weeks he would be a free man.

Ged spent the day walking around “Old Denby and Arksey. He liked the countryside here.

The local people embraced the new arrivals and it wasn’t long before he felt right at home.

He found out that there was even a local fishing club so he joined up.

The money he was earning now meant that he could put a down payment on a car.

Ged took a course of lessons with the British School of motoring. It took him only twelve lessons to pass. His first car was a Morris Minor which he named Betty after his mother.

He drove into the village of Cusworth one weekend to have a look around. He parked the car then strolled around the village where there was a small farm which had a few cows, pigs, and poultry. Further on there was a shop which had a café at the back.

He went in and looked around.

Mornin’ said the old woman behind the shop counter.

Morning said Ged and fine day it is too.

“Lovely up here in the summer said the old woman.”

“I bet it is.”

“You’re not from around these parts then?

I live on the new estate in Scawthorpe but I’m from Ashington in Northumberland.

“Would you like a cup of tea?

“I would love one.”

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