July Miner of the Month : Alan Chalkley

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This month we've been talking to Alan Chalkley AKA Chalkie.

 Alan recalls some of his memories..

"In August 1972 I started as an apprentice fitter at Nostell Colliery, working both above and below ground. After a while (6 yrs) I went underground in the development, chasing more money as I had just bought my first house. A couple of years later I was made up to Chargehand Mechanic of the Mine (In the absence of the Engineer). When Nostell shut in 1987 I transferred to Park Mill Colliery working underground in the development, On the Face, and In Salvage. I left the Mining industry in 1989 when Parkmill shut."

"The mining years were some of the best years of my working life. It didn’t seem like work more like a way of life. The Mates you made are mates for life. The memories you have stay with you, when you drop on someone you haven’t seen for years you find yourself talking as it was yesterday and when you look at the time ages have just flashed in the blink of an eye."

So how did he come to work at the Museum?

"I know a few of the lads here and I put it about I was looking to come here. It took a while but now I’m here to stay."

And what does Alan think is the best part of his job?

"Every day is different, talking to the public, the banter in the lamproom, team spirit, keeping the memory of mining alive for the future in our community."

If you fancy getting kitted out and embarking on a journey 140m beneath the surface, book one of our special underground tours today!

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Gerard Betteridge

I attended whitwood college with Alan as young apprentices,we all had really long hair back then including Alan.I regularly attend the mining museum with my Grandchildren.

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