Miners helped keep our country going during war, show them some respect

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I find Keith Harrow’s letter last week regarding the miners’ convalescent home in Skegness closing highly insulting.

This home was paid for out of union subscriptions by every miner in the Nottinghamshire coalfield. It wasn’t a free service: a miner still had to pay for a holiday there even though he’d paid into it during their working life underground.

I fail to understand his statement that miners’ wage demands contributed to his ‘cost of living’ rising.

Has he not been into the local council offices and noticed the money that is being wasted on wages with people walking around seemingly doing nothing while commanding wages in excess of £70,000?

I think Mr Harrow’s vitriol stems from something more deep than the miners’ home and their ‘inflated wages’ claims, I feel he is suffering from some sort of jealousy towards ex-miners who gave their lives to keep the lights on while putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their family’s head.

I question whether Mr Harrow has visited a miners’ welfare on a Friday or Saturday night when all the miners were there with their wives enjoying a rare night out.

I think Mr Harrow is missing something. The miners kept the lights on during the two world wars, their wage demands weren’t excessive back in the day.

I remember my mother going out to work to make ends meet while my father was underground earning money to feed and clothe me and my two sisters while keeping a roof over our heads and having one holiday a year at Butlins or the Derbyshire Miners’ Holiday Camp in Skegness, all ‘paid for’ by my mother and father.

Mr Harrow fails to mention the brave miners who went out to work in the morning but never came home to their loved ones.

Mr Harrow fails to mention the horrific illnesses miners suffered due to their working underground breathing in the coal dust while keeping the lights burning at night. I watched my own father, a miner of 35 years, suffer horrific breathing difficulties then losing his life at 68 due to inhaling coal dust.

Watching someone suffer with an industrial illness is something I wouldn’t want to go through again, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

I think Mr Harrow needs to re-evaluate his comments and apologise to the ex-miners and families for the upset he caused with his ill informed comments.

Nigel Marchant

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