Steeplejack Fred

hypnogogia

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There is the <"Big Pit"> in S. Wales, and you can go in
Yes, have been to visit that when I lived in Wales. Very interesting and really brings home the difficult conditions the miners worked in. What was great was at the time the guys showing you around had been minders themselves. Those cages that they went down into the pit in used to just be dropped. They used to say that their breakfast almost ended back up in their mouths.
 

zozo

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It's that that created that amazing level of camaraderie and community that the miners I met in Wales talked about. I think the conditions were much the same in British mines as they were in the Netherlands @zozo .

I guess so too... :) I see the same structural build in the miner communities in UK as in my country. Same style neighbourhoods and such...

I remember back in the day that the entire street in a miners community had 1 key that fitted all doors called a runner key. And never ever something went missing... Was absolutely normal and accepted. Everybody knew each other and helped each other. All held together... Funny was, at least as a kid it wasn't really safe to walk alone and uninvited through the other neighbourhood next to you. That was no go zone, chances to get whooped if you did.

The way everything was set up is still visible in the building style in each town today, south from the railroad tracks was for the working class elite nicer build bigger houses, and north side smaller and cramped up for the working class commoners.
I grew up in the later, 6 kids 2 parent in a small 3 bedroom house.
 

Tim Harrison

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I guess so too... :) I see the same structural build in the miner communities in UK as in my country. Same style neighbourhoods and such...

I remember back in the day that the entire street in a miners community had 1 key that fitted all doors called a runner key. And never ever something went missing... Was absolutely normal and accepted. Everybody knew each other and helped each other. All held together... Funny was, at least as a kid it wasn't really safe to walk alone and uninvited through the other neighbourhood next to you. That was no go zone, chances to get whooped if you did.

The way everything was set up is still visible in the building style in each town today, south from the railroad tracks was for the working class elite nicer build bigger houses, and north side smaller and cramped up for the working class commoners.
I grew up in the later, 6 kids 2 parent in a small 3 bedroom house.
It's the same in the UK, especially the northern counties, where the legacy of the Industrial Revolution is still very much in evidence. The housing stock of many towns and cities is dominated by row after row of miners or labourers terrace cottages, or Two Up Two Downs as they're also called. The suburbs of Leeds still has back to back terraces.

But like you mentioned, there was something to be said for the community spirit in these neighbourhoods. Often extended families lived in the same street, it's how folk got by; with help from great aunt etc. They would often share the burden of bringing up their siblings kids. It was a great support network, and massively underrated by the state.

The so called slum clearances after the Housing Act 1930 put paid to that. Families where split up, and I think it was the beginning of the end for social cohesion and the start of many of the problems we face today.. The slum clearances removed the slum, but it didn't remove the causes that created and maintained the slum in the first place. We now have sprawling local authority developments where in some cities anonymity, lack of social responsibility and accountability have given rise to a whole range of problems.
 
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