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Let’s Hear It For Colin Looker

February 18, 2012 1 comment

Book Review: The Last Miner in Sherburn. A true story of life underground. Colin Looker. Durham, England. Isbn 9780953767618. Book price one penny short of eight pounds.

Colin Looker gives an authoritative, entertaining and sometimes poignant account of coal mining. For the price of something like two and a half pints of beer it’s a real bargain.

He explains the typical career cycle and social life of a coal miner in a clear and entertaining way with a glossary of pit terms supplied for southern softies, uninitiated northerners and those in between.

His illustrations and photographs are generous and pleasing. His writing style and expressions are lucid and ease the reader into an understanding of the miners’ lot. Having said that he seems not to have had the benefit of a sub editor – but having such a ‘benefit’ might  have  diluted the impact of his book just a little!

There are several references to Ushaw Moor including  school life and family life and they may attract Ushaw Moorites.

I’m not sure that the main aim of the book – to counteract the ‘garbage’ written about coal mining in Durham is valid. What garbage? Which writers? Nevertheless it’s a gem of a book and well worth reading.

Wilf Bell.

Categories: Memories