A FORMER pitman has been inspired to create a book by the generations who went down the mines before him.
Bob Brown began working at Vane Tempest Colliery in Seaham after leaving school, and spent 24 years at the mine.
Now the 60-year-old grandfather, from Dalton-le-Dale, has published The Servile Penitent, a story he has based on the strife and suffering of the Piper family at the hands of the despotic pit owner.
Bob said: “As a young lad of 16, I found myself working in one of the most testing and inhospitable places on God’s earth – a British coal mine – among men with the hearts of lions and the mettle of Trojans. I often thought how much worse it must have been for those in the early 1800s, not protected by any statute that enhanced their safety or prevented women and children as young as six being employed below ground. I was lucky, after 24 years at Vane Tempest Colliery, I came out unscathed.”
The book, which has been published as an ebook via Amazon, has attracted 11 five-star reviews.
Its front cover features Bob’s friends Andrew Temple and Richard Woolford.