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.


24. 24

After Elizabeth and Ged had shared a shower together Elizabeth turned and said; “Gerald Hopkins you are insatiable.”

He dried her with a giant bath towel then she ran into the bedroom.

“Gerald I must go, I have work to prepare for the children tomorrow, she dressed quickly fixed her hair and make up before waiting for Gerald to take her back.

“See you tomorrow night she said and kissed him.”

“What time?

“Soon as I can okay I don’t want to waste a minute with you.”

“I finish at four thirty but by time I shower and get home it will be around five fifteen.”

“I will be here waiting Gerald.”

“I’m going to make you something scrummy to eat tomorrow.”

“Great, I can’t wait.”


Gerald dropped her off at about four thirty she leaned in the car and kissed him once more before he drove off.

Gerald drove back to his house he replayed every moment that he had spent with Elizabeth.

 When he got in he picked up the newspaper that he had delivered to read the headline on the front page-Craghead Pit Closure.

Ged read the article about the coal mine in County Durham that had closed after 150 years. According to the News of the World it was closing because power stations that normally used coal were now making their own electricity by water power, ships were now using oil instead of coal; others were buying coal cheaper from Poland.

Even though the quality of the coal was inferior it made little difference to businesses. The Woodhorn Colliery was mentioned as another coal mining institution down for closure within the month. There were comments from Harold Wilson, Barbera Castle and Manny Shinwell defending the mine workers. There were marches being organised by the NUM all over the country asking workers to come out on strike.


At work the next day there were rumblings from other workers from Yorkshire who agreed that everyone should stick together on this one because if they didn’t the  Bentley pit could be the next to go. The national union of mine workers called a meeting on Friday night to discuss the dispute.

 Twenty Collieries in South Yorkshire were asked to come together and march as a show of solidarity on the 5th of May 1969 every pit in the united kingdom marched in protest against businesses who were buying cheap coal from abroad thus killing off the coal industry. Ged was glad when the shift was over so he could see Elizabeth. She was sitting in her car when Ged arrived. She came out to meet him and gave him a quick peck on the lips.


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