Until the mid 1970’s there were many coalmines in this part of the Netherlands.
My father worked in the mine during WW 2 and he hated every minute of it. He started working there before the war started to escape the Arbeitseinsatz. For the Arbeitseinsatz men and boys were transported to Germany to work for the Germans, forced labor. Men and boys who worked in the mines were left alone, as coal was important too. My father stopped working there as soon as the war was over.
Both my grandfather’s worked there almost all their lives. In the beginning of the 20th century children went to school a few years and then went to work. My mother’s father paid for that work with his life, as he died of silicosis at the the age 60. My father’s father worked in the mine and also had a little farm to help support his growing family (13 children). I never heard any stories of health problems caused by coal mining. He died at the age 74.
I found these photo’s amongst my mother’s belongings. The color photo is of the mine that once was in my home town. It has been torn down a long time ago. I am not sure who the photo’s below belonged to. I can’t find any familiar face. But then again it is hard as it is only a small photo and all the men’s faces are black because of the coal dust.
I hope that you will have a nice weekend! The weather man promised good weather, so I hope I will be able to sit in the garden and enjoy the sun a bit.