I knew Matty from Wardley Colliery early 1960s as he trained a lot of us young lads to stay safe on the coal face. Him and Bernard Blundell another Hebburn lad were coal face drillers that drilled 6ft deep holes into the coal face every yard or two in readiness for the shot firer to stem them with explosives. Their shift was the best one to train us at the same time because the coalface had been cleared.
When my late mother was in Bedewell Care Home early 2000s I heard Matty was upstairs with dementia. I went up to see him and we talked about the Pit and his long term memory was perfect. He was reeling off names saying 'can you remember him?'. RIP Matty
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