September Miner of the Month : Gerry Starkey
This month we've been talking to Gerry Starkey the Museum's Safety Engineer.
Gerry recalls his years as a miner..
"I started as a mining craft apprentice at Rothwell Colliery working alongside my father and 2 uncles, later joined by my brother Dave. I attended Whitwood Mining College and later Doncaster. In 1983 I took up the challenge of 'a job for life' at Selby (Stillingfleet). 21 years later I transferred to Welbeck, North Notts. I finally left the industry in 2010."
Can you describe some of your memories?..
"You made friends and comrades with the people in the industry for life. I met people at College who I am still in contact with on a regular basis.
Starting at Rothwell was strange. It was dark and wet, but I still enjoyed it. At Stillingfleet it was big, dark but dry so no more wellies I was told, how wrong could a man be!"
So how did he come to work at the Museum?
"I knew some of the workforce and I was approached when they knew I had been made redundant. The opportunity came along and I gladly accepted. I started at the Museum in August 2011 as a guide never thinking I could talk to the public but enjoyed it. In 2014 I was promoted to Saefty Engineer."
And what does Gerry think is the best part of his job?
"Talking to members of the public about my experiences and knowledge of the industry. I have never worked with a greater and more knowledgeable bunch of guys. We all pass on our experiences to the public with humour and vigour. Such a great place to work and visit."
If you fancy getting kitted out and embarking on a journey 140m beneath the surface, book one of our special underground tours today!