DAMHA resident Linda Davidson has paid a touching tribute to her late coal-mining father.
Linda, who lives in the aged miners’ homes in Greenside decided she wanted to do something to remember her dad Joe Parkinson, who was the former Pit Deputy at Greenside and Westoe and a member of the Mine Rescue Team for many years.
She enlisted the help of her husband Jackie who got to work making a life-sized pit tub using wood.
Jackie completed the job in just a few days and the couple filled the tub with real coal, flowers and an inscription reading ‘In memory of Joe Parkinson, 1910-1981, Former Pit Deputy of Greenside Pit.
The tub now takes pride of place outside their home and has already garnered lots of attention from passers-by.
Linda says Joe worked as miner his entire life.
She adds: “As children we never thought that our fathers or other relatives were doing something so dangerous; it’s just what everyone did back then.
“Dad never really talked about it and especially not the rescue side of things, because I am sure he witnessed lots of unpleasant things.
“He did say they regularly has to crawl in seams which were only a foot tall which was difficult for him as he measured over six feet.”
Joe was part of a mine rescue team which was involved in an incident at Easington Colliery in 1951 in which 83 miners and two members of the rescue team tragically lost their lives.
Linda says Joe, who was married to Mary and had two daughters (the other being Brenda) was also a keen cricketer.
She says: “He was a fast bowler and nearly got picked to play for Durham, but he loved the game and played for Greenside and went on to become the Chairman and President of the club.
“It’s nice to have been able to do this in his memory and Jackie and I are delighted that other people in the community are getting pleasure from seeing it too.”