When trainees prepared for life in a local coliery

NCB trainees. Do you know any of them?
NCB trainees. Do you know any of them?

Before the closure of the collieries, many lads would have spent their lives working as miners down the pit.

Here in the North East, like elsewhere in England, Scotland and Wales, sons followed their dads and grandads underground, to be employed in an industry that, at one time, seemed as if it would go on forever, yet disappeared in such dramatic fashion.

Lads at the NCB training centre in Washington.

Lads at the NCB training centre in Washington.

Today, former National Coal Board worker Norman Dunn takes us back to a time when large numbers of the region’s young men would have seen their future down or attached to the many pits which stretched up and down the coast.

This is what Norman wrote: “I wonder if your readers might like to see these photos of NCB trainees; there will be Shields lads on them.

“They were photographed at the training centre at Dame Margaret’s Hall, in Washington.

“I myself served my engineering apprenticeship with the NCB, but can’t remember photos of my class being taken.

Trainees at Dame Margaret's Hall. Do you recognise anyone?

Trainees at Dame Margaret's Hall. Do you recognise anyone?

“I’ve had the photos on my message board asking if anyone recognises any of the lads and had a couple of replies. You can view the message board HERE.
“Once the lads were trained to work underground they went back to their pits eg Harton, Westoe, Boldon, Wardley, Usworth, Washington.”

Do you recognise any of the trainees?

What are your memories of working in the coal industry over the years?

NCB trainees pictured in 1964. Is anyone familiar?

NCB trainees pictured in 1964. Is anyone familiar?