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At the coal-face - Lightmoor - 1930s

image: at the coal-face

This photo of a Forest of Dean coal miner was taken underground at a coal face. Notice the miner is wearing a cap, not a safety helmet.
Although this scan was taken from an original print, the photo (credited to Arthur Clifford) appears in "Blood on Coal" (Ralph Anstis - 1996 - published by Black Dwarf -ISBN 0 953302849). The caption with the photo is "Bert Bowdler "road ripping" with a pick, after powder shot had been fired at the 20 inch seam to loosen the coal".
If any ex-miners out there would like to ellaborate on what is going on, please click the button below.

Thanks to Dave Tuffley for adding (Feb 2008): "Road ripping was the opening up of the thickness of the seam height to form a roadway for probably bringing the pit carts up nearer to the coal face to be filled. A charge was fired in the roof and the rock brought down. The miner shown was either ripping more out of the roof to the new height required or testing the roof to ensure that it was safe to put supports up to keep the new road safe and open. The new road does not appear to very high - could this be for the hodding boys to travel along?" .

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