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Interview with Robert ('Bobby') Joseph Kelly about his time as a miner in Laxey

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Date(s): 8 September 1980

Scope & Content: Track 1: Robert Joseph Kelly (known as 'Bobby Kelly') talks to Andy Gillings about his time as a miner in Laxey. He talks about starting aged 15, working there until he was 22; working hours, breaks and conditions; work on washing floors and processing ore for lead zinc and copper; shipping ore in boats; machinery, tools and equipment driven by the water wheel (the Laxey Wheel); moving on to working on the engines 'Ant' and 'Bee' to haul ore from underground in 1910; recalls there were about 200 men working underground; working on a 'pitch' (team) as a blaster; accidents; 1918-1919 strike and how he was sacked; wages and expenses (£4 per week) and bargaining with Mine Captain; how mine closed after strike until 1922 when purchased by Williamson the grocer who owned Laxey Glen Gardens; man named Brew who worked at the mines; working clothes; how men came from all over island to work at Laxey.

Track 2: Bobby talks about how after the mines closed he worked for Manx Electric Railway; Mines Captain's Redcliffe, Roberts and Bateman; supervisor Ned Christian; tells story of an accident he suffered, breaking his leg; mutual welfare club payments providing money after accidents; ('Norman' sometimes chips in to conversation); mine closure and fate of workers; how main industries of island were farming and mining but some miners also fished; shaft called 'Ann Jane's Hole' near Ballaragh; story of a man who committed suicide in the mines; railway wagons and weighing machine on quay; engines 'Ant' and 'Bee' and staff working them; ventilation by compressed air used by machines.

Language: English

Extent: 57 min. 33 sec.

Item name: cassette tape

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 0206

Access conditions: All reasonable attempt has been made by Manx National Heritage to trace and request permission (where needed) from the copyright holder(s) in this sound recording. If however you think you are a rights holder then please contact Manx National Heritage.

Subject tags : #UOSH


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