Wednesday, 28 March 2018



Beneath the earth of Nottingham

Lies our future, to be claimed,
The hole is sunk, the men are drawn
towards a dark and deadly flame


Nine men fall down the hungry shaft

and come back up without their breath
just nine more on the tally chart
of all the men who met their death

In Gedling's pit, where thousands worked

the rich, deep sedimentary seam
from all the world the miners came -
Jamaican beach to Sherwood's dream


The Pit of Nations is no more.

Struck down; an easy callous swipe
of the blue-edged capital sword,
ignoring what remained behind.

Was it worth it? Those six years?

Working on while others starved?
The end was coming sure enough
when unity was rent in half

Ninety years and more of toil

torn to a pile of dust and scrap
leaving a silent open grave
mighty holes filled in and capped


The pounding of 700 feet

on the crushed and stony tracks
give birth to yet another year
as the distant, lonely sun 
washes gently on our backs

We climb the hills, embrace the dips

accept the cold upon our face
we pass the embryonic homes
as an uncertain future looms
behind our gathering pace

(c) Tim Fellows 2018

Gedling Colliery, which was the life-blood of Gedling and many of the surrounding villages, opened in 1899 and was closed in 1991. 128 men died at the colliery, which produced over a million tonnes of coal per year in the 1960sIt developed a reputation as the "pit of all nations" because of the diversity of foreign miners who worked there: in the 1960s, ten per cent of the colliery's workforce of 1,400 were originally from the Caribbean.
The site was opened as Gedling Country Park on 28 March 2015 and is the location of 
Gedling parkrun

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The Terror

There is a terror lurking deep, deep down,
Cold and crawling, slithering close behind
Through potholes, caves or where coal has been mined.
When and where was it hatched? Why has it grown?
How did that fearful seed come to be sown?
No matter, it’s there, as its victims find,
Thriving in darkness, this terror is blind:
Whomever suffers must face it alone.
Going underground, where there is no light,
The terror is waiting down in its lair,
Waiting for the sort of victim it likes:
Those who can’t reason why they take fright
At thoughts of the pit, of being caught down there,
Of becoming trapped. Then the terror strikes!

                                                                                                                                                                Dave Alton