I have just read with great interest Barry Stewart’s book Bilton Banks, The Pit and Its People, which you also reviewed in the Gazette.
It evoked many happy childhood memories of living at 14, Bilton Banks during the war years, with rationing and hard times, but we survived.
I knew many of the people who have contributed to the book and recognise them in the photographs.
I also agree wholeheartedly with Barry’s portrayal of the way we lived in that era.
We went on to live at 27, Collier’s Close, Shilbottle, and I worked down The Grange mine for six years.
After a three-year spell in the Coldstream Guards, I came out as a single man to Australia on the £10 assisted passage scheme in 1967, settling in Adelaide where I have lived for 45 years.
Now with a family and retired, I’m enjoying the good life, but still look forward to bridging the 12,000-mile distance through monthly phone conversations with sister Edith and family in Shilbottle and my brother Tom and his wife Judy in Lesbury.
Well done, Barry. Thanks for the time, effort and expertise you put into this wonderful book. It reflects so well the Bilton Banks I knew.
Bill Pattinson (a £10 Pom)