My mother Violet Collier, had received very little education. She was one of three children and was born in 1911.
At fifteen she went into service in Bristol to a 'Posh' house. So many young girls did in those days.
She was poorly fed and badly treated. When she fell ill, she was discharged and sent home. She nearly didn't recover. Her experience was certainly not reminiscent of an episode of 'Downton Abbey'.
In her later life she was always writing bits of verse. One day, about eight years before her death she gave me a poem, written in her 'best' writing as she called it.
I was stunned and moved by it and took this photograph to accompany it.
THE MINERS CAGE Violet Collier
It looms up high, no longer used,
A silhouette against the sky.
No sound of winding cages,
Just an effigy of days gone by.
No hooters blow now for men,
A warning that it is time to go
To the bowels of the earth, far below,
Their proud faces, weary and black with dust.
Once more they pray for safety
And in the Lord they trust.
While on bended knee they dig, silently they pray.
How lovely is their lightness Oh Lord.
Their voices rich and clear, echo through the seam.
And miners working half a mile away,
Join in Myfannwy, Oh Myfannwy, singing as a team,
Their lungs full of dust, but not a care,
Until tragedy strikes, and sorrow they share.