Cold, darkness and fear down the mines

Jacqueline Bellew
Jacqueline Bellew

An author has published her tale of children working down Victorian mines.

The Strange Story of the Skry Pit Kids is Jacqueline Bellew’s debut children’s book.

It follows the stories of five children working down the deepest mine in England, The Skry Pit.

The tale begins on Tim’s first day down the mine. It describes his first terrible shift at the mine and the chain of events that force the children to run from the mine, their village and families and everything they know.

Taking to the road, they run for their lives and head to London. But the road presents its own dangers.

Jacqueline, of Willington Road in Cople, said: “I come from the north east of England, from a place near to where one of the biggest mine disasters in England happened, The Hartley Pit Disaster, which resulted in the deaths of 204 people, so I had always been interested in mining.

“I visited a mine in Skinningrove in Yorkshire and the minor that showed us around turned off the lights. It can only have been for about a minute but it really brought home the darkness, coldness and damp that children had to suffer for 13 hours a day.”

The book is on sale on Amazon for £7 and it will soon be stocked in Waterstones. It is the first of a trilogy.