March Miner of the Month : Taz

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

This month we've been chatting to miner guide Graham Lee AKA Taz.

Taz started mining in 1982.

"I was interested in mining & found out there was an opening at Hay Royds Colliery. To work there you needed determination due to the hard work involved in respect of the low ceiling height of the mine and the fact that most of the work was done by hand (hand filling)."

So where does the nickname Taz come from we wondered?

"Taz comes from the Tasmanian devil as when I was hand filling you couldn't see me for dust! I was also called Tazzy 'two tins' because I carried two more tins than anyone else"

Taz recalls some of his memories..

"The best memories are of friendship, workmates becoming life long friends through working closely together as a team and looking out for each other in difficult and sometimes trying conditions."

So how did he come to work at the Museum?

"A few years ago someone I knew who worked here told me there was a part time job helping out in the Summer holidays. I applied and began working there as & when needed."

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

"I enjoy meeting the public and talking to them about the mining industry and raising their awareness to the working conditions throughout the history of mining."

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

Posted in Heritage


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Jo lockwood

Taz was our guide when friends came up from Bournemouth for a visit to ncm. They loved the visit. Taz was absolutely brilliant and gave our guests a real Yorkshire experience. I think they thought we were mad when we said we were taking them 'down t'pit' but what a fun day we had. 9 of us ageing from 13 to 58. And every single one of us had fun. Taz and all the team you have were superb and we laughed but also had the shock of working conditions. Well done all of you. I was a proud Yorkshire woman.


I worked with Taz at Hay Royds about 10 years ago. I rocked up in town with a suitcase of clothes and nowhere to live or go (Just wanted the job). Taz and his wife put me up for a while and found an old caravan for me while I got on my feet. You never forget the kindness of (then) strangers. First class people and I owe them a great deal.

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