Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sheffield's underground history

There are things in life that test a person’s view in life and the coal mine we visited did that for me. What shocked me was the idea of children working in total darkness. It must have been a cruel life for them. I have children and there is no way I would let them do that, however it really comes down to the need to survive. The parents did not have a choice.

While doing some research in the city library, I decided to see what life was like in Sheffield, so I looked up the local newspapers on microfilm and see what was news back then. I came across some articles in the “Sheffield and Rotherham Independent” dated June the 3rd 1854 wanting “Lads” for stable boys and apprenticeship to a Pawn Broker and another wanted 15 year olds for apprenticeships to Manufactures. I guess there was not such thing as an easy job.
I did not like the confined space of the mine, it felt like the walls were getting closer and it was hard to breath, yet the tour guide was really helpful and it was not long before I could relax. It was not till that we got back that the fear that I felt in the mine revisited me. It was the longest night that I can remember and the light was not turned off. I guess sometimes it is not the best to face a fear.
- Marie Hopton (Bachelor of Arts)

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