Always on the look out for new sketch sites, I found a lovely one called Sassy Lil' Sketches. I used their November 28th sketch to do this page.
When we went on our jaunt around the country, we headed out to Coalville, not far from Mark's parents, to visit the Snibston Discovery Museum. It is housed on the site of what was one of the largest coal mines in the Leicestershire Coalfield, right in the centre of Coalville. It was an emotional journey for me, as Coalville is where my Mum's family come from. I am sure there are miners in my past, although my great grandmother was adamant that her son (my Grandad) was never going down the pit. He ended working at Palitoy, Coalville's other main employer, a huge toy factory that made Action Man and Sindy dolls! The Museum had lots of exhibits depicting life in the town, and a mock up of a fish and chip shop that was in Whitwick, the village where my Grandad lived - I am sure that he must have visited it!
We took a guided tour of the disused pit buildings, with Chris, a former miner. He was brilliant. He gave real insight as to what life working down the pit would have been like. He showed us the main offices, the pit head, the wheel house, the control room, the infirmary, and even took us into the explosives store. He got the kids to try on his Grandfather's pit helmet. These are the photos that are on the page. Chris is the man dressed in orange at the back. The man's passion and pride in being a miner was obvious. As a history nut, I loved all aspects of the tour and the museum, and the fact that some of it related to my own family made it even more relevant somehow.
So when I see this page, I don't just see the kids wearing a old hat. I also see the collection of toys, the fish and chip shop, the old vehicles. I see my family heritage.