Miners’ nurse recalls going down the pit

A new book tells the story of former Yorkshire pit nurse Joan Hart, who earned the respect of miners by going underground to witness their working conditions and treat the injured. There were sad times, such as the miners’ strike of 1984-5, but she loved her job.

When Joan Hart joined Hatfield Colliery in Yorkshire in 1974 as nursing officer, one of her first acts was to have the medical centre repainted from a depressing navy blue to daffodil yellow. The move signalled the difference she hoped to make to the health of the 2,000 or so men who worked there.

But she knew if she were ever to make her mark, she would have to convince the miners to take her seriously. So Ms Hart made a pledge that she would go underground to tend to the injured.

‘Once the men realised that I was prepared to see the conditions they worked in, they began to accept me.’

Now aged 83, Ms Hart’s recollections of her 50-year nursing career have become a book. She met her co-writer, Veronica Clark, at a local writing group. ‘It’s just snowballed since then, with several publishers vying


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