I was born in Brook Street, Brown Lees, within the civil parish of Biddulph. The village is situated about half a mile north of the site of the former Biddulph Valley Ironworks and the Brown Lees and Victoria Collieries, where many of the residents would have worked in the past. The Ironworks ceased in the 1920s and coal mining finished in 1982. I went to school in 1938 at Knypersley, walking through the fields by footpaths in local farms. In 1950, I commenced work at Victoria Colliery as a Dust and Air Sampler to monitor ventilation in the pit. Later, I qualified as a mine surveyor and worked at Victoria and Norton Collieries. I recall attending many performances of Handel's Messiah at Brown Lees Chapel which was a few yards from my home. Brown Lees is much enlarged now, and the air is cleaner with the demise of heavy industry, but I remember it well.
A memory shared byon Oct 22nd, 2010.
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