Friday, September 22, 2017

Bert Wynn and the Derbyshire Miners.

The meeting advertised below will focus on Bert Wynn who was Secretary of the Derbyshire Miners from 1947 to 1966. I never met him, but my very first visit to Chesterfield in 1966 was to his funeral at Brimington Cemetery. I had just been appointed to the staff of the Extramural Department at Sheffield University, but had not by then taken up the post. Soon afterwards I was to be involved in teaching politics to Derbyshire Miners attending day-release classes at their offices at Saltergate in Chesterfield. As Bert Wynn had played a key role in establishing these classes it was suggested that I should attend his funeral.

It was a most telling occasion. I was initially appointed to the Department to cover for the late Royden Harrison who was starting on two years leave of absence to undertake his research into the Webbs. His talk at Brimington in memory of Bert was as telling, informative and heartfelt as any I have ever heard.  It also showed me the strengths, significance and relevance of my new post and the depth of the abilities and sympathies of Royden as the person whose footsteps I was being asked to walk in. No-one could ever match up to Royden; but without the examples of himself and Bert we would all have been much weaker in our efforts.

Malcolm Ball who is the speaker at the following event, was a student on the Derbyshire Miners' Day Release classes from 1963 to 1966, just before I joined the staff of the Extramural Department. Click here for further details about him, which show the relevance to him of his topic.

The photograph below shows the former miners offices where day release classes were held in that period.

Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Momentum
Invites you to a public discussion at Chesterfield Library on Saturday 14th October 1pm-2.30pm led by
Dr Malcolm Ball
on aspects of his book

Related image

With the death of Bert Wynn in early 1966 a long chapter in the history of Derbyshire Miners came to an end. His stewardship from 1947 to 1966 coincided with considerable changes in the Derbyshire coal mining industry. Over the later years of his stewardship the Area union had become smaller and with a younger leadership. These changes are the focus of this talk.

All Welcome