Former Mansfield Colliery workmates are reunited after 25 years

Some of the former Mansfield Colliery Miners who attended a reunion to mark the 25th anniversery of the closure of 'Crownie' at Forest Town Miners Welfare on Friday. Pictured from the left are; Bernard Coulton, Robert Martin, Graham Hewitt, Mick Holmes, John Liffen, Stan Alison, Dave Randall and Geoff Proud.
Some of the former Mansfield Colliery Miners who attended a reunion to mark the 25th anniversery of the closure of 'Crownie' at Forest Town Miners Welfare on Friday. Pictured from the left are; Bernard Coulton, Robert Martin, Graham Hewitt, Mick Holmes, John Liffen, Stan Alison, Dave Randall and Geoff Proud.

IT is now 25 years since Mansfield Colliery closed and many of its ex-miners were re-united at a special event at Forest Town Welfare.

The re-union was organised by former miner Dennis Bonner and attracted more than 175 coal workers - including management, face workers and engineers.

They spent the evening catching up on old times and reminiscing about tales from the underground.

“It was a great night,” said Dennis. “I do not think anybody who attended did not enjoy it. There were some people there I had not seen for 25 years.

“We had one fellow who came back from the Philippines.”

The mine was affectionately known as ‘Crownie Pit’ to locals and was sunk in the early 1900s on the site of the old Crown Farm.

At the height of its production, it produced one million tonnes of coal each year and employed 2,600 men.

Dennis (65) remembers how he and his colleagues were only given the news of the pit’s demise just 10 minutes before it happened on 26th March 1988.

“We were breathless,” said Dennis. “It was like someone had hit us on the head with a 40-pound hammer. We had all gone prepared for the closure of Calverton to be announced.

“It was a great place to work - everybody was friendly and we had a lot of imported people from the north-east. It was a real family pit.