Sad Reminders

Fay Slimm.


Sad Reminders

Hinterland littered with shafts,

now covered, old flat lodes

make for summertime pleasure

on Cornish site-seeing strolls.

Paths, hand-stoned make easy

walk-ways but were levelled  

for carts heavy with mine waste

when boys, backs rope-bound 

heaved rock for mere pittance

to topside from below ground.


Pits leave cries of youngsters  

who unfitted for hours  

harness-trapped in forced 

labour met tragic ends by

thoughtless indifference to

vital  child-nourishment.

Heartache dis-colours mining

heritage with much bal-maid 

and pit-lad abuse that grieves 

with sad reminders of ruthless 

shift length when weary to death

young feet stumbled homeward

eyes half-closed and foodless

to fall asleep clothed before 

pit bell's harsh calling again,

Tough on youth when pits grew

richer on misuse of the poor.

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  • Neville

    a sad & telling reminder of those days of yore when young lads grew old in the dark .. if indeed they grew old at all ....... penned perfectly Fay x

    • Fay Slimm.

      There are many relics of mines around here and all are now quiet but steeped in sad history where when lads and lassies left daily for work parents never knew if they would return. Conditions were unbelievably dangerous for young and for grown and I had to pen something of what they all went through. Gratitude for your caring review dear Nev....................x

    • orchidee

      Yes memories there. Good write Fay.

      • Fay Slimm.

        Yes very sad memories dear Orchi. Thanks for your visit and comment.

      • Doggerel Dave

        If it's not tin it was/is gold and sundry other of today's precious metals - in their mining, refining, manufacture, one and all, world wide even today.
        Beautifully descriptive and full of compassion, Fay. Thank you.

        • Fay Slimm.

          Yes Dave - - mining for metals worldwide today must still harbour dangers for child or for adult - - but it makes us shudder that back then ladders were apt to become untied and loose then suddenly sway whether youth or experience was barefootingly careful - - - lots in this Cornish village lost children to falls.

        • Goldfinch60

          Such true words Fay, back in the day nobody cared. (I wonder what has changed?"


        • L. B. Mek

          It's shocking to think back
          to days when losing a child
          was an expected part of life
          this reminds me of Elizabeth browning's, 'the cry of the children'
          a privilege to read
          thanks for sharing dear Fay

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