Housing conditions in Wigan terrible. Mrs H. tells me that at her brother’s house (he is only 25, so I think he must be her half brother, but he has already a child of 8), 11 people, 5 of them adults, belonging to 3 different families, live in 4 rooms, “2 up 2 down.”

All the miners I meet have either had serious accidents themselves or have friends or relatives who have. Mrs Hornby’s cousin had his back broken by a fall of rock – “And he lingered seven year afore he died and it were a-punishing of him all the while” – and her brother in law fell 1200 feet down the shaft of a new pit. Apparently he bounced from side to side, so was presumably dead before he got to the bottom. Mrs H. adds: “They wouldn’t never have collected t’pieces only he were wearing a new suit of oilskins.”

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