Hours and minutes

This was the beginnings of unionisation of the coalfields, and a better life for colliers. Booklet generously supplied by Sean Coughlan. Click to download your copy.

I’ve had a really interesting donation this week from an unexpected source who has longstanding connections to the mining history of North Walsall – Sean Coughlan, the leader of Walsall Council!

Sean has sent images of the above publication, the Minutes of Conferences of the Cannock Chase and Pelsall District Joint Minimum Wage Board, which is a real piece of local union and working local history.

You can download a copy in PDF form here – (PDF file, 13 megabytes in size).

I believe we’re missing pages two and three, otherwise the book is complete: If Sean is tuned in and could send along the missing pages if he has them I’ll add them to the PDF.

Sean also posted this interesting Pelsall Millennium postcard – which has raised the question of what the image is bottom left? Click for a larger version. Image courtesy of Sean Coughlan.

Sean has previously donated much material relating to local mining history to the Local History Centre in Walsall, providing an invaluable contribution to the historical record of the industry locally.

Thanks to Sean for a great contribution – I know that David Evans is in conversation with him about the history of Albert Stanley MP, the Miners Champion we’ve heard about before, and I’m sure this will be of interest to Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler and others interested in the social history of mining in the area.

If you have anything to add, please do: comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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9 Responses to Hours and minutes

  1. I have a wage packet of my father’s from 1936 for six and nine pence for a days work down one of the chase pits for six shillings and nine pence, in today’s money about thirty five pence. Then they got a bit of dole money, on this you were expected to keep a family, a wife and three children for a week. That’s what you call living in poverty.

    • andkindred says:

      A piitance, indeed!

    • Pedro says:

      On the other hand WE Harrison (the Colonel) coal owner, who could not attend the third meeting described in the document due to military duties, would die in 1937 and leave effects of over £1,400,000.

      Of course we have seen that it was unfortunate for the Colonel that he developed a heart condition just before the War stated and could not go with the REs to the continent. However he must have done stirling work in training and would be awarded an OBE for special services.

      • David Evans says:

        I was unable to find any campaign medals for the DIY Colonel or any military records to show overseas deployment at all. I think the medical inspection did record a Harley St specialist report. I wonder if his health ever allowed him to visit the Menin Gate at Ypres.

        • Pedro says:

          The date of the final meeting covered by the document is 7 July 1916.

          It was reported on the 6th July 1916 that LCol William Burnett (36) died of wounds received in the Allied advance. For 17 years he had been manager at the Cannock and Rugeley Colliery.

    • It is indeed, and that’s why any attempt to take us back to the conditions of those days, particularly by the oddly modern trend of venerating them, must be strenuously resisted.

      best wishes

  2. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    the picture postcard has two very interesting images..Top right is the Wesleyan Methodist chapel which stood opposite the present one and in a way had a connection with the iron works!….I wonder what the building bottom right was….please can readers help..
    kind regards

  3. mikeclaridge says:

    The image bottom left is Pelsall Ironworks which was considerable size stretched along the north bank of the canal from Wood Lane to ‘The Stop’ on the Cannock Extension branch. The image on bottom right is of the old church in Paradise Lane, where the grassed area is now that gravestones can still be sen on. It was demolished in the early 19th Century when past of The Common was used to build the current St Michael’s Church. I think the top right is indeed the Chapel in Chapel Street however there were two other Methodist buildings in Pelsall centre; the Central Hall (where Athelney Court is now opposite the war memorial) and Paradise Chapel in Paradise Lane (opposite the church mentioned above).

  4. Laurence Thacker says:

    “I wonder what the building bottom right was….please can readers help..”
    Is it the School, opposite the Methodist Chapel, in Chapel St ?

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