Hard Times At Colliery

A Memory of Bearpark

My grandad, James Turnbull Smith, lived with his family on Dodds Street on the 1911 census, Bearpark. John Edgar Smith, was his father, brother Walter was a miner like his dad and his brothers and sisters were all at school. He told me that times were tough around then and problems were always brewing with the coal owners and several disputes broke out. He and other mining families had to dig in and bring their families up as best they could. One of the sons, Edgar Smith, served in WW2 in Burma but was taken prisoner and released at the end; he returned to mining at Langley Park but got killed in 1947 by runaway tubs. Does anyone know the Smith family? Derick Smith

A memory shared by Derick Smith , on May 26th, 2013.

Comments & feedback

Thu Nov 19th 2015, at 11:45 am

Derick Smith commented:

Hi, my grandad james turnbull smith was 3 years old on the 1901 census and lived at 2 catherine street bearpark,as above on the 1911 census his father was john edgar smith.I visited my grandad at langley park he told me of his early years at bearpark and having to move to dodds street as the family grew,he told me about the tin bath that his brothers and sisters used in turn the workers first and it was black by the time it was your turn,has he grew up he would go round putting coals in for other miners in the street, and playing games with the other children times were tough but they got by, they also had their grandfather living with them from bressingham Norfolk who told him about his family who were farmers and linen weavers a far cry from mining he said he liked Bearpark and had good memories of same.

Add your comment

You must be signed-in to your Frith account to post a comment.

Sign-in or Register now

Tips & Ideas

Not sure what to write? It's easy - just think of an important place in your life and ask yourself:

  • How does it feature in your personal history?
  • What are your best memories of this place?
  • How has it changed over the years?
  • How does it feel, seeing these places again?
  • Do you remember stories about the community, its history & people?