About Uncle Bill’s Book

This blog is based on a booked passed down in my family. It was last in the possession of my Uncle Bill, well my Great Uncle Bill to be precise. He has now died.

The majority of the book was actually written by James Moss a relative of his by marriage. He started the book in 1910 when he was 24 years of age and had been married to Elizabeth for a year. He continued it until close to his death in 1949 at the age of 63. James was a miner, the toughest and most dangerous occupation possible. He worked as a hewer, which means he worked literally at the coal face hacking out the coal.

The book records events he thought were significant. We can never know why he chose the subjects he did. Many were family events, other were events which were important in the village, pit deaths, disasters, Court cases, bad weather, wartime events.

They were a chronicle or prototype blog, though I am sure he had no idea of publication.

I am putting the contents of Uncle Bill’s Book into this blog. Each entry in the book will be a post in the blog. His entries are what he saw or heard, they may not always be accurate. I will put the original entry and then some context or comment around them. I found many fascinating things reading the book. I hope people find it interesting; it may be an insight into a life which is long gone in the UK and so different from our consumer and celebrity-dominated world.

James Moss' signature

James Moss' signature

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