Message from the Chairman
Update by The Chairman
4th August 2009
It seems some time since I updated this web-page so I will start at the beginning of the year. We were all very busy in the office in the run up to April and the 25th Celebration, but it was certainly worth all that effort culminating in a fabulous weekend of celebration. It started with Friday 17th April and the dinner for invited guest at the Towers Restaurant in Mansfield, it was a very enjoyable night with speakers from the Trade Union and Labour Movement.
Saturday morning we had the Memorial in St John Church Mansfield for all miners who have died through accidents, disasters and diseases throughout the Nottinghamshire Area, it was a very moving ceremony with readings by the General Secretary for the Notts Area and Alan Meale MP for Mansfield, Alan has been a loyal supporter of the Union and has helped the Ex and Retired above and beyond what we would normally expect from someone in his position and I hope people remember what a stalwart of the Union Alan has been, he was delighted to be asked to give the reading at our very special memorial on the 18th April. On the evening of the 18th April WHAT A NIGHT over five hundred people flocked into the Leisure Centre in Hucknall, unfortunately the celebration was made all ticket because of the restrictions on numbers allowed in the venue because of safety and health and the police, we could have sold another five hundred and more if the really draconian restriction had not been in place, but anyway it didnt stop the people on the night having a great night. Keith Stanley did the job of master of ceremonies and he introduced three of the finest speakers the Labour movement have produced in my lifetime, first up was Tony Benn, what can you say about Tony, he is, and always has supported the miners in their struggles you couldnt find a more loyal friend of the Labour and Trade Union movement, and as always gave a tremendous speech. Next up was Ian Lavery the current NUM President what a rebel rousing speech Ian gave I never tire of hearing Ian, in my view one of the finest speaker and Trade Union leaders his generation has produced, I know Ian has a soft spot for the Nottinghamshire Area as he always attends anything asked of him, at the 20th Anniversary in 2004 Ian told me our celebrations were the best he had attended he didnt disappoint on the 25th either, again he said it was the best 25th celebrations he had attended, Ian is a good friend of the Notts Area and it is a pleasure and a privilege to see him in Nottinghamshire. Next speaker was our great leader from the 84/85 strike period Arthur Scargill, Arthur was in fine form and raised the roof in his barnstorming speech which was very well received by the audience, who gave him a standing ovation, the Chad newspaper were after an exclusive interview with Arthur, he said he would give them an exclusive as long as they printed it verbatim what he had to say, to give the Chad their due the week after, Arthurs piece appeared and it was printed as Arthur had dictated it, wished we had had that kind of journalism in 84/85.
The Association is going from strength to strength we have over the last seven months attended the lamp collectors fair at Pleasley, the Cadeby and Denaby 25th anniversary celebrations in Yorkshire, the Chesterfield Mayday, the Durham Gala, Baldsley reunion, Blackpool National 25th Celebrations all these the Association attended with the stall, we had an exceptional day at the 125th Durham Gala and what a great day all in, estimated numbers attending were in excess of 1000,000.
We have been out with the Road-show only once this year up to now to Rainworth, not a very successful day so we are looking at other avenues to go out and meet members.
The Bowls competition is scheduled for Saturday 26th September, we are looking at the bowls challenge with the North East for the Wednesday 23rd September, the Golf competition is scheduled for the 11th September so a very busy month. If you wish to take part in any of the competitions then would you please phone the Office on 01623 621611, come along and have enjoyable days out and Oh!! We do talk a bit of pit when we are out enjoying ourselves.
The Pleasley Headstocks Open Weekend is on the 12th and 13th September, it is a good day out come and see us on the stall.
Eric Eaton Chairman.
Report by the Chairman,
2008, where did it go, I dont know about you but it seemed to fly by. Perhaps being very busy all year was one of the reasons, anyway thats how we like it. It started off with the stall which seems to get more people asking if we can attend their events, the problem that arises is we sell more mining related goods the more events we attend, I would like to appeal to anyone if you have any mining related goods that are no longer of any use to you then maybe you would consider donating them to the Association so that we may sell them on the stall. (Just one thing no plates please we have quite a number and they are heavy to carry about and store, our storing space is very limited, I will let you know when and if we require any more).We attended the Durham Miners Gala again in 2008 and what was very pleasing was the fact that people were coming to us and congratulating us on the stall, several people were saying it was the best stall at the event, what a compliment, the volunteers were on a high for months after. The stall was also taken to the Ashfield Show, not such a success this year as it started raining about 10am and never stopped all day, by about 3pm the volunteers had had enough and I think if I hadnt decided to pack up when we did I would have had a strike on my hands as everyone was wet through, some of the stall items also got wet, although we have managed to rescue most of the items one or two were beyond repair. Next we attended the Pleasley Headstocks Open Weekend, not as successful as 2007 again because of the weather, when I say not as successful I mean in monetary terms, we do meet a lot of people at these events some just want to talk, some are looking for a contact, some just take our journal and get in touch later on through our e-mail address, our web-site also brings questions and request for different things such as interviews, requests from schools for various things and of cause we are making our presence felt throughout the length and breadth of the country.Membership continues to grow with the road-shows and word of mouth both playing their part, the excise we did with osteoarthritis of the knee EDM, which was sent out to all members and to the mail-out we did for the Rufford and Blidworth road-show proved very successful, quit a few MPs will have to answer their constituents on this matter lets hope it does the trick and the bill is bought forward.
The Association has just posted out the Christmas journal, you should have received your copy now if you are a member, I always send Merv Mahon the Chairman of the Australian Retired Miners Association a few copies, who in return also sends me a few copies of their journal if anyone would like a copy ring in and we will send you one it is good reading and it certainly gives you a feel of Australia although a miner is a miner all over the world.
The Association took the road-show to Durban House Museum in Eastwood for two days on the 15th and 22nd of October to teach junior school children all about coalmining, about one hundred children attended over the two day period it was an enjoyable experience for committee men and others who took part and of cause the children learnt a little about coalmining, we had about a dozen letters from the children thanking us for the road-show, all in all a very satisfying experience.
As we look forward to 2009, I would ask that we spare a moment to remember our colleagues who have sadly passed away in the past year.
Eric Eaton Chairman.
Update by the Chairman.
It seems sometime time now since my last update and things have calmed down a little since Isabel the office administrator has retuned from maternity leave, the time just seems to fly by we are already into March and things are really starting to happen. The first thing I must inform you of is the David Jones/Joe Green memorial lecture which takes place on the 15th March at 10am at the Barnsley offices, this year the
lecture will be given by Denis Murphy MP for Wansbeck in the North East it is well worth a visit and an extremely moving ceremony.
I am in the process of sorting the next journal; hopefully it will be out by the 19th March at the latest so look out for that coming through the door.
On March 28th from 10am to 3pm the Association committee will be visiting Bolsover with the mining artefacts we have accumulated, to put on a show for the examiners in Bolsover and to sign any who havent yet joined the Association, I have the help of a Bolsover District Councillor who is sorting out a venue, there will be more information on this in the next journal.
A very important meeting is taking place at the John Godber Centre in Hucknall on the 5th April from 10am to 4pm, the United Campaign is visiting Nottingham with some very high profile Union leaders and MPs, after ten years of a Labour Government we are still trying to get them to repeal the anti trades Union laws the Thatcher government introduced in the eighties. We are appealing for as many people to attend as possible as this is the first time the campaign has held a meeting outside London.
Also on the 5th April a social to remember the closure of Linby colliery 20 years ago, all friends welcome, it takes place again in the John Godber Centre in Hucknal. 7-11pm.
I am in the process of organising a day out at Southwell races, it will be sometime in April, again hopefully I will have more information for the journal.
I have asked Ron Cluro to organise the golf competition again this year it will take place in the second week of September, Ron is already looking for a new venue, more on this as time passes. If there are any fisher-men out there who would like a days fishing let us know and this could be arranged, I would like to run a fishing competition on the same lines as the golf but we dont seem to have many fisher men out there.
We attended the TUC Midlands Regional Conference in Chesterfield on the 23rd February with some of the mining artefacts and a little of the stall items, there was great interest and we sold over one hundred pounds of merchandise not a bad day out.
Hear are a few dates for your diaries; David Jones/Joe Green memorial Saturday 15th March, Bolsover 28th March, United Campaign Saturday 5th April, Launch Notts LRC Mansfield library Saturday 26th April, Race Day sometime in April, Nottingham May Day Saturday 3rd May taking stall, guided tours of Pleasley pit 24th May taking stall, Pleasley pit mini open weekend Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June, taking stall, Saturday 12th July Durham Gala taking stall, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20th July NUM Conference Blackpool, I sure there will be many more I will let you know when I have confirmation.
Eric Eaton Chairman.
2007!!!!! Nottinghamshire Ex and Retired Miners Association Gaining Strength.
I am absolutely delighted that the Notts NUM Ex and Retired Miners Association has joined the world wide web, we can now keep members right up to date on all the things that are happening in the Association.
The first thing I should tell members and non-members is a bit of background of how we were formed and why.
It all started at the NUM arranged 20th anniversary celebrations we held in the Mansfield Leisure Centre, people were asking Keith Stanley the General Secretary of the Notts NUM, why has it taken 20 years to have a celebration (it was an enormous success with over a thousand people there) and why do we only meet at Funerals, well this started Keith and myself thinking, (at that time I was the Area President of the Notts Area NUM, I officially retired in September of this year).
The NUM set up a committee, comprised of prominent people in the strike, to run and oversee the 20th anniversary celebrations, we recalled this committee and put to them the idea of organising an Ex and Retired Miners Association, to a man they agreed we should go ahead, that was the start of what we have today, we held other meetings some in the Mansfield library to write a constitution and to set up a new Officials and Committee to run the Association.
The Association was launched on the 12th November 2005 and the NUM Notts Area kindly donated £1000 to kick start the Association, we have had some changes to the committee and I believe we now have a dedicated bunch of volunteers who are willing to work their socks off to make this work and to carry it forward. I work in the Notts Area office (the Notts Area NUM have kindly allowed us to use their building for the Association) two or three days a week (Mon/Tues/Wed) on Association business, other officials and committee men come in one or two days a week as required.
We have been successful in gaining benefits from various sources such as OH Parsons solicitors who provide cover for accidents and a 24-hour phone line for members who need the help of a solicitor in an emergency. The Association also provides through Martin Lee & Co, a Mansfield based firm of solicitors, Free wills, Conveyancing at a cheap rate, advice on Pension Miss-Selling, Probate advice in the event of the death of a member and advice on landlord/tenant disputes. The Association has also been able to gain for its members a good deal from leading Opticians D.I.Blow. We are also actively seeking other benefits for members.
Benefits are not the only thing we aim to provide, the Association is looking at trips out, social evenings, seminars, a museum for mining memorabilia, resurrecting the Miners Gala all manner of things we can do, there is nothing we cant do, there are some great ideas coming from the committee, so much so we are having to prioritise what we are doing, some things we have put on the back burner but given time the intention is to carry the Association forward, it is a very exciting time.
At the moment our concentration is on the next issue of The Ex Miner which will be sent out to members before the end of October. The Ex Miner is printed by outside firms which is a drain on our funds, the photocopier fund is a fund set up to buy our own copier, we have already had donations from some of our County Council friends, I will be writing out to other friends in the Labour and Trade Union movement asking if they will support our aim to buy a copier for the Association. It would make it possible for us to produce The Ex Miner in house, thereby saving on costs. Members receive a copy of The Ex Miner free, the cost to others is £1.00
If you are an ex-miner who left the mining industry as an NUM member, you should consider joining the Association, I have outlined the benefits to members that are provided. The committee at a very early meeting agonised over whether to charge a subscription for membership, the decision of the committee was to keep this charge as low as possible and agreed on, just 50p per week, or £2.17 per month, or £26 per year. If you take into account what a new member told me that prior to joining the Association he had paid a solicitor the sum of £175 for a will, then our free wills service is a very good deal indeed.
If you need any more information on any subject then we would be please to hear from you, contact us on 01623 621611.
Nottinghamshire NUM Ex & Retired
St Peters Retail Park,
01623 416895 - 01623 621 611