Today, if an old colleague asked “What would you like to be remembered by?” It would be a difficult decision, particularly today. Would it be for something that we had achieved in our career, or where we are now compared to where we started?
Reading today’s news about the Public Enquiry in Whitehaven and opening a coal mine again has a major impact on the answer. Our grandfather worked all his life in the same coal mine in Whitehaven. He died through silicosis and lost his brother and uncle in 1910 mine explosion across the harbour from his pit. He was mentioned in dispatches during the 1st World War. He was that sort of man. He did his duty, and he provided for his family. He also, incidentally, always drank his tea by first pouring it into his saucer to cool it.
So why do we support the opening of the coal mine again in Whitehaven?
Because it meant that we were brought up the way we are now. It is what sons and grandsons want. To see their fathers working hard, and earning to provide perhaps a better life for their family. Although in those days fathers’ duty required them to train their sons their trade. To pass on experiences and how to enjoy life as they have it.
How will the children of Whitehaven be impacted if there is no work available locally for their fathers? The men of the town want, and need to work.
Obviously this is from a man’s perspective. The opposition arguments are by Professors and Green campaigners concerned about climate change and the possible affect on our children’s children.
Whitehaven children are more urgent in our minds, surely. And besides, the other thing that the people of Whitehaven would like is a couple of degrees better weather.
These are the views of the author and not necessarily representative of Channel Rotary