Sunday, October 10, 2010

Guss and Crook

Picture is of Foxcote Carting Boys in 1904 - I wonder if my Grandfather Jack Mitchard is one of them? He was a carting boy at Foxcote at that time. Started aged 12. Got taken to the Co-op to join the society and buy his pit boots after his first day. The lads in the photo (from 'History of the Somerset Coalfield' by Down and Warrington) are protesting about the Guss and Crook - a horrible device that went around the waist and below the groin that turned boys into beasts of burden and always resulted in blue scarring around the mid region. Only Somerset miners used this device because of the narrow seams.