I’m intrigued by the following report in the Lichfield Mercury, from November 15th 1940. I found it whilst searching the newspaper archives for reports of wartime evacuees in the area, and I had no idea adults were evacuated at all.
It seems 120 miners came to Brownhills in in the first year of the Second World War, moved by ‘The Ministry of Labour’. This raises more questions than it answers.
- Where did the miners come from?
- Why were they not needed where they were?
- Which pits did they work at?
- Did any remain here after the war?
- Was this widespread?
Coal was obviously the lifeblood of the war effort – it moved trains, melted metal and produced gas. It heated homes and powered a lot of canal transport, so it was vital to maintain production – but since mining was a protected profession, where did the ‘spare’ workers come from?
I welcome anyone who can shed light on this for me. Please comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.
EVACUEES AND THE HOUSING DIFFICULTY
Considerable discussion ensued at Wednesday evening’s meeting of the Brownhlls Urban District Council, concerning the housing of evacuees, when it was pointed out that the authorities had the right to commandeer any house for that purpose.
Councillor L. Sadler said they had now a large number of evacuees, including 120 miners moved by the Ministry of Labour. There was now a housing shortage owing to the influx of those people, and they would have to re-fit some of the houses waiting demolition. The Housing Committee felt that those people who had been sent there were entitled to all the consideration that could be given them. Some of those people should be given priority even over their own people.
Councillor R. A. Jones said there was a motion put before the Health Committee to deal with that part of the business, but he found out that nothing of the kind had arisen from the motion. It was moved that the Health Committee should give their chief Sanitary Inspector instructions to house those people who had become homeless, and in the finish, like many other businesses in that local authority, it came back the Maintenance Subcommittee. It was wrong to state that the matter was settled.
The Chairman (Councillor J. A. Robson): That is what I said. No definite decision was made on the matter. Councillor D. Marklew: Whatever Minute there is, the Sanitary Inspector has power in the matter.
In regard to a letter from the Lichfield Superannuation Joint Committee expressing the hope that the Council would pay both the employer’s and employees contributions of their employees who Joined H.M. Forces, rather than pay subsequently by means of increase in the equal annual charge, it was agreed that both contributions be paid in such cases.
On the recommendation of the Fire Brigade Committee it was agreed that the Surveyor should submit rough plan and estimate of cost of adapting the Fire Station for sleeping by making a room in the roof, and that work bo proceeded with
Councillor Sadler said he was glad they were at last going to get an extension to the Fire Station, and have facilities more in keeping with the service. At the present moment they were under very great difficulties, and the men were sleeping on the floor.