1. Samuel 'Vince' Rubie
"I was born in 1940, in Brandon Hill, St Andrews, Jamaica. I came to England in 1961 stayed with my aunt who came to England in 1952. My first job, aged 21, was at Manton Colliery, Nottinghamshire and I lived in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. My cousin, Briscol Asfold, worked at Firbeck Colliery, Nottinghamshire. I later moved on to Firbeck Colliery then to Gedling Colliery, Nottinghamshire from 1965 to 1973. I remember my check number [miner's ID token] was 401.
I remember one bloke, a Jamaican man from St Anns, Nottingham who was working in the stable hole and he was packing stones for the roof and the roof came in on him. He was badly hurt and off work for quite a while. We had to spend a lot of time to dig him out. He was lucky not to have any fractures to the head but had a lot of broken bones. He was alright though and came back to work after a couple of years.
Most of the workers at Gedling pit were Jamaicans as well as Polish and other nationalities. For one shift, there were about 300 or 400 men or more working across different seams. There was well over a thousand men at Gedling. With my generation, we were just labourers and the younger men were fitters, electricians and all sorts of skilled workers. I never liked the pit work. It was dusty and dangerous and really hot down in the mine. It wasn’t my plan to stop in mining - it was a job. As soon as I could leave mining, I moved on."