Miners lives / Pit boys Children sometimes started working at an early age of five or six in the mine. They were employed as 'trappers' to open and close the ventilation doors to allow wagons to pass along the pit bottom. These children might sit in the dark for 10-12 hours per day.
After working as a trapper children were promoted to sweeping the roads in the mines. They were used as pony drivers, but when ponies could not be used in mine passages as they were too low, children called ‘hurriers’ used to push tubs which weighed 8cwts (400kg) when full or 2cwts (100kg) when empty.
The 1842 Mines and Collieries Act forbade employment of boys under ten, until the later Act of 1911 raised it to 14 years.
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