He was to become the day shift overman at Savile Pit supervising day shift operations until the later arrival of the colliery manager. He applied himself to the task with some ease having worked his way up through the ranks, and with that experience having all of the answers at his fingertips. He could be stern and when necessary, unforgiving to those who displayed disinterest in the work including those in supervisory positions. Woe betide the deputy who failed to carry out his requests to his own high standards, likewise workmen showing lack of effort or attendance would hear the full blast of the displeasure of the day shift overman.
Mind he wasn’t always too keen on paperwork, when it came to working out the contract earnings in the early hours of the Saturday shift he would often say ‘thee see to that lad and I’ll go over it when tha’s finished’ to make sure its been done right.’
But lets go back a piece – born in Methley in 1898 he followed his father to Savile pit on leaving school (he completed 52 years there) with the exception of his service in the Coldstream Guards an achievement of which he was rightly proud.
His father James Arthur (was known at the pit as ‘Captain’) who in addition played the big drum in the Methley Silver Prize Band. No doubt that’s were Harry got his interest because he became a cornet player in the Altofts and Normanton Prize Band.
Harry and Edith on retirement moved into a bungalow in Woodhall Grove which is on the the old Dennison Square site where the young Harry was brought up.
His granddaughter Carole who provided me with some background information reports that she holds his certificate of 52 years service signed by Lord Robens the then Chairman of the National Coal Board. Carole tells me he was a dedicated and trustworthy man – I knew all that Carole, but she was also pleased to say how good a Granddad he was. I’m pleased to report that whilst making these enquiries and reading up on the web site Family History page, Carole was able to locate a distant relative who had made contact seeking family connections. This is one of eight electronic connections to my knowledge made through the web site.