South Yorkshire miner reunited with locker door

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A former miner was reunited with a piece of history from his working years during a demolition project.

George Smith, aged 75, was presented with the door of locker 927 - which he was allocated almost half a century ago when he started toiling at Kiveton Park Colliery.

Workmen made the discovery as they levelled the historic pithead baths following years of debate about the derelict building’s future.

A BBC television crew also filmed the demolition for a programme to be screened later this year.

David Wall, contracts director with Rotherham-based Ron Hull Demolition, said: “We were scheduled to start work some months ago but the demolition was delayed to allow swallows nesting in the building to bring off their young.

“As part of our preparation work we did save everything of historic interest including the huge Royal Doulton troughs that were used when miners filled their water bottles before going underground, as well as various fixtures and fittings.

“They are going to several mining museums and collections.

“We were even able to re-unite former Kiveton miner George Smith with the door of locker 927 which he was allocated almost half a century ago when he started work at the pit.

“George is planning to hang the memento in his shed.”

The baths were built in 1938 and paid for by miners.

At one point the site was given Grade II listed status .

But it was declared unsafe and fenced off after a spate of thefts and vandalism.

Brickwork, concrete and rubble is being crushed on the site while other materials are moved to Ron Hull Group’s recycling centre in Rotherham.