Bill Busch, Retired Coal Miner, Chipman

I was born in 1903 in Germany and came to Minto in 1913.

If they could hit about 3 or 4 feet of coal here I wouldn't Kick because I would go back diggin coal tomorrow. Your blessed right! I'd love to know if there is any more coal underneath Minto. This was a prosperous little town at one time. There was over 1000 people just mining and now, my goodness, there is nothing now like it was.

In 1914 we, my mother, my sister and I, used to go down with father at night because he was only working one or two days a week. We would go down at nights and help him shovel the mud back while he was picking off (stripping) the coal and driv┬Čing the lath ahead so on. We'd pile the mud back. I had a little shovel. My sister would be crying and yelling because she was 3 years younger than I was. Mother, she'd help shovel the mud back. Oh boys oh boys! Years ago lot of women used to go down the mines.

How a dragline is a great thing for the moneyman but it's no good as far as labour is concerned because you can run a drag┬Čline with 25 or 30 men and you got 300 or 400 people on the streets and the price of coal is still the same.

As the saying goes: "give me a small cup one day and a large cup the next and we ll all be working steady."