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Gordon’s fight to the finish

The life and times of a miner who was fond of writing have been recalled in a book written by his daughter.

Fight to the Finish tells the story of Easington man Gordon MacPherson, who worked down the mine for most of his adult life. Gordon died in 1999 aged from emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

During his life Gordon, whose wife Myrtle lives in a DAMHA home, was a keen writer and had a particular love of poetry, which were mostly about mining and his beloved wife.

After his death, Gordon’s daughter, Heather Wood, gathered together his work and family photographs and wrote a book, which has now been published by Northern Voices Community Projects.

Heather said: “My dad had an amazing life and the stories he used to tell have always remained in my head.

“However, although the book is about him, really it could be about any miner, miner’s family or mining community, and I felt it was important to capture my dad’s memories as tribute to everyone connected with the industry.”

Myrtle, who lives in a leasehold property in Gray Court, Easington Colliery, said: “Gordon was not one for fuss but he would have been very proud of what Heather has done.”

Gordon Gray, DAMHA Chief Executive, said: “It is fantastic that Gordon’s family have been able to publish a book about such a remarkable man.”

Around 700 copies of the book have been produced and it was officially launched at an event in Oldfield’s Restaurant in Durham in January.

The book costs £5, plus £2.50 postage, and is available from Northern Voices Community Projects on 0191-252 9531, or from Heather Wood on 0191-527 0371.

The following poem is just one of many of Gordon’s work included in the book:

Christmas 1986
To my wife Myrtle
When I go to bed on a cold winter’s night,
I try to be very quiet and don’t turn on the light.
But I listen for your breathing and I know you are there,
So no matter what my faults are, and there may be quite a few,
There is no one else who can deny that I love you.