Eyup everyone. There has been a little gap because of a technical hitch with my blog site but it appears it’s sorted itself.
My lovely wife is in Ireland as I write this. She’s gone over for her niece’s wedding. I couldn’t go because finances won’t allow. I don’t like weddings anyway so I’m not heart-broken.
Our trip to see an old (there’s that word again) or perhaps I should say ex-work-colleague on Sunday went well. We went the long way round (following instructions) but came back a more direct and picturesque route. In this sense – “picturesque” means bumpy and twisty albeit very quiet with pleasant scenery.
I promised my young pal Don a few pit tales so here’s the last one for a while…
Not many years ago there was an explosion at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. This pit was known by everyone locally as Ponte Prince.
For the benefit of those amongst you who are not familiar with the workings of a coal mine I will briefly explain. Basically a mine is just a series of tunnels where the ventilation is caused by a giant fan located on the surface. Methane gas leaks from the strata surrounding these tunnels but it is quickly whisked away and diluted to a safe concentration by the ventilation. Sometimes however things can and do go wrong. Anyway, not wanting to over-complicate things I will progress with the story…
One day all the necessary ingredients for an explosion occurred at Ponte Prince – i.e. the right percentage of Methane (CH4 for the chemical buffs) plus a source of ignition.
The nearest person to this explosion was the Deputy who is like a sort of Foreman/Safety Officer for an area or District of the mine. There is a shock-wave given off an explosion and this particular one blew the Deputy several feet into the air and he landed at the far-side of the conveyor belt. The conveyor belt conveys the coal out of the pit – hence the name.
The guy was not seriously injured and managed to walk out of the pit safely and was dutifully back at work the next day.
Three days later at the Manager’s Morning meeting where everybody of any importance attends and gives a brief report, it was the turn of the Personnel Manager. One of the things the PM reports about is attendance – particularly amongst the officials. The morning in question, the PM reported that the Deputy who had been blown up had not attended for work. “What’s up wi’ ‘im?” enquired the Manager. “Diarrhoea and sickness” replied the PM who then added “Yes – he’s finally shit hisself…”. For some reason the Manager didn’t find it funny – I know I did.