A reader with close family links to Hatfield Colliery explains why the campaign to save the ‘headgear’ is a highly emotive one and questions if the money could be better spent elsewhere...
My father worked down Hatfield pit for 47 years, he and my mother raised three sons and, although times were hard, we were always fed and clothed and looked after. The pit gave my father a living, albeit a hard one.
On the other hand, it was Hatfield pit that eventually cost him his life through industrial diseases, so it is a double edged sword for me.
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I believe there will be a massive backlash from the residents of Doncaster purely on the grounds of cost: £1,000,000 to establish, and then £100,000 per year thereafter for security and maintenance of the site. I think all concerned should take a step back and reassess the situation, are we just postponing the inevitable?
What goes up, must come down -we must accept Hatfield pit is gone for good, and that not all Doncaster residents will be as emotionally charged as we that live within the decimated mining communities.
But we must never forget the sacrifices all the brave miners of Great Britain made in building our country, there must be a fitting memorial to the brave men who worked and died down Hatfield Pit.
We must also not lose sight of why the coal industry died in this country - the 1984 pit strike, and our last Labour Government - the only Government in Europe to sign up to clean air and emissions policies that meant our country could not burn our own coal and compete with the rest of the world, most of whom are still expanding their coal industries to use for cheap industrial fuel.
That is why in the last few weeks we have seen the loss of the Scunthorpe steel works (fuel costs), so beware of local Labour politicians and developers, many of whom have never been down Hatfield pit, but who are using the campaign purely for their own political gain.
We should look how better these monies could be spent: on miners’ pension funds, local affordable housing for our own local young people, care homes for the elderly, the list is endless.
We should all be working to a common good - the rebuilding of our local communities,
Hatfield Town Councillor
Doncaster Road Hatfield