Exhibition Opening : In Our Own Words

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

The official opening of the 'In Our Own Words' exhibition was very much a team effort, with Museum bods & miners sharing the stage with local musicians to create a memorable event to kick off a 3 month celebration of the language of mining.

The day started with invited guests arriving to enjoy, in true Yorkshire style, delicious bacon butties and the chance to meet friends and colleagues. We enjoyed speeches from Museum trustee David Hinchliffe, author George Redmond and new Museum Director Mike Benson.

The programme then moved swiftly onwards to spoken word and music performances.

The guests enjoyed poetry from Chrissy Barker, Cath Smart & a self-penned piece from one of our miner guides Eric. It was quite emotional listening to Eric's words about the end of the mining industry.

Music was enthusiastically delivered by local singers Ali Bullivent with drum & flute accompaniment and from English Folk Society member Bryony who we found out has been working with Featherstone schools on the Full English project, bringing the Museum and school children together to enjoy folk music.

To enjoy music and poetry for yourselves, you can join us in the cafe for Mining, Music & Words Performance Sundays - 6th March, 3rd April & 8th May from 2pm-4pm. Listen to music and words inspired by the lives of coal miners and life in Yorkshire. Take the 'mic' and share your own songs, poems or prose.

Mining, Music and Word Sundays

The special guests and miners were then whisked away for interviews with Daragh Corcoran of Radio Leeds. He was chatting to them about the new exhibition and what it means to the Museum and to visitors to preserve the rich heritage of coalmining in this unique way. Daragh captured some great banter from the miners about different words and what they mean. 

So what's the exhibition all about? Well if you want to find out more about the rich heritage of the coalmining industry or perhaps find out more about an ancestor in your family this is a really interesting exhibition to see.

Listen to miners talking about their work and hear the songs that bring back a different way of life.

Miners have always travelled in search of work or for better pay and conditions. But did you know that this often led to miners learning a whole new language of local words? The familiar pit natter changed as they moved from coalfield to coalfield and from pit to pit. Some words used have survived the centuries, others reflect changing times and work methods.

So, did your grandad use a nadger? Was your uncle a banksman, onsetter or keeker? Find out the everyday words for people and the jobs they did. How coalfield rocks were named and described. And you can join in and tell us the words you know that the Museum might have missed.

The exhibition is open every day until 8th May.

In Our Own Words exhibition

Posted in Heritage


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