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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

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At the Coalface: The Memoir of a Pit Nurse

by Joan Hart - £7.99  HarperCollins Publishers (2015)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780007596164 | ISBN 10: 0007596162

Joan Hart always knew what she wanted to do with her life. Born in South Yorkshire in 1932, she started her nursing training when she was 16, the youngest age girls could do so at the time. She continued working after she married and her work took her to London and Doncaster, caring for children and miners.
 
When she took a job as a pit nurse in Doncaster in 1974, she found that in order to be accepted by the men under her care, she would have to become one of them. Most of the time rejecting a traditional nurseís uniform and donning a baggy minerís suit, pit boots, a hardhat and a headlamp, Joan resolved always to go down to injured miners and bring them out of the pit herself.
 
Over 15 years Joan grew to know the miners not only as a nurse, but as a confidante and friend. She tended to injured miners underground, rescued men trapped in the pits, and provided support for them and their families during the bitter minersí strike which stretched from March 1984 to 1985.
 
Moving and uplifting, this is a story of one womanís life, marriage and work; it is guaranteed to make readers laugh, cry, and smile.

(Price & availability last checked: August 2015)

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In booklists: Doctors, Nurses and Midwives, Miners and Miners' Strikes,
In categories: Health & Wellbeing, Politics & Philosophy, History & Biography, Work & Workers Rights,

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