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The escape route

Down many of the coalmines in Yorkshire , Safety dictated that an alternative means of escape
had to be found just in case anything ever happened to the shafts that raised and lowered miners to their work.
This usually involved keeping a single route open underground to the next nearest colliery .

Old George waiting by the mineshaft 
Spitting his chewing tobacco juice 
Today with his apprentice 
They must survey the mines escape route . 

1000 yards underground  
In darkness as black as pitch 
They reach up to their helmets
Turning on the headlamp switch.

George prodding at the timbers 
That support the roof and sides
His apprentice grows more nervous
With every single stride .

A mile down the escape route 
The roof is seven feet high
They see a little fallen rock
but manage to squeeze by .

The roof is getting lower
George hears the scurrying of mice 
Brought down the mine in bales of hay
When pit ponies and the miners destiny were spliced.

The apprentice is visibly shaking 
but only one more mile to go 
When a piece of falling timber 
Dealt his torch battery a glancing blow.

George could see the boys panic
and as the leader of his team 
He reassured his apprentice
Then they shared the single beam .

Suddenly they hear a crack like thunder
Then the splintering of wood 
George pushes his apprentice 
but a fall of rock stands where George stood.

Young boy on his hands and knee's
Screaming Georges name
More terrified by the second 
When no answers came.

Now in total blackness 
He inhabits the world of the blind 
If he is to help his leader
The boy must use his senses and his mind .

The faintest hint of breezes
He feels on his face 
Air sucked down the mineshaft
Just might be his saving grace 

He crawls along the jagged floor 
Using his sense of touch 
Soon in the distance he hears machinery
A sound he has never loved so much .

He tastes the ever freshening air
Hope inside him grows
Then the tiniest speck of flickering light
His tears overflow. 

Help,  Help,  he's calling 
As the miners come into view
Two men want to hep him to the surface 
Burt he awaits his friends rescue.

Old George didn't make it 
He sacrificed himself to save the boy
Broken hearted the boy had a breakdown 
and had to leave the mines employ.

The boy became a father 
Then a wonderful granddad 
but he never tired of telling the story
of the best friend he ever had.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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Date: 2/27/2014 8:08:00 AM
Dear Darren, Goose bumps have overcome me. I was claustrophobic and terrified reading this. I can't image the life of these miners. A story well told and heroic. love, Kathy
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Date: 2/27/2014 9:38:00 AM
Thank you Kathy I have been down a coalmine myself but only for a visit , Saw coal seams how they used to be and how they evolved , No amount of money would get me doing that job.
Date: 2/26/2014 8:14:00 PM
Write this in narrative, its a great story. BG
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Date: 2/26/2014 8:25:00 PM
Thank you BG . Your suggestion is noted.
Date: 2/26/2014 4:23:00 PM
This a great story Darren
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Date: 2/26/2014 5:16:00 PM
Thank you Tim