Allerton Bywater miner's collection of memorabilia spans 40 years

A former miner who first went down Allerton Bywater colliery as a 15-year-old boy is mounting an exhibition in his home village of Kippax.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 9:23 am
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 9:24 am
Roger Monks has a 40-year collection of mining memorabilia

A former miner who first went down Allerton Bywater colliery as a 15-year-old boy is mounting an exhibition in his home village of Kippax.

Roger Monks, aged 83, worked at the pit until it closed in 1992 and has amassed an impressive 40-year collection of mining memorabilia which takes up a whole room in his house.

He said: “I have oil lamps, plates, jugs, photographs and pieces of equipment and have made extensive notes on the history of mining and Kippax.

Some of the beautifully cared for miners' lamps in Roger Monks' collection of mining memorabilia.

“I’ve even got a tailor’s dummy that I’ve dressed up as a 10-year-old boy miner, complete with candles in his pocket.”

Mr Monks, who retired to Bridlington when the pit closed, said: “ I was brought up in Kippax and I love it dearly. It was founded on coal and corn.

“My long-held ambition has been to put together a coalmining exhibition to show its history.”

The exhibition takes place on Tuesday November 30 from 10am-2.30pm at the British Legion Club on Church Lane, Kippax.

Roger Monks when he worked at Allertyon Bywater pit

Speakers include Helen Pratt who worked at Temple Newsam House.

She was responsible for curating an award-winning exhibition at the stately home in 2019 which unearthed the history of mining at Temple Newsam and which Mr Monks contributed to.

Mr Monks said: “There will be eight or nine displays put together by miners who have worked at the pit all their lives.

“We’ll have paintings from local artists, members of the Kippax Women’s Institute will be selling cakes for St Gemma’s hospice, there will be a film and a schools’ painting competition.”

Mr Monks will be taking along items from his extensive collection including some of the models he made during lockdown including a one-up-one-down miners’ cottage, and a pit pony coming out of the pit on its last day - all made with ‘‘bits and bobs” he’s collected.