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Some of these stories were told when the machinery broke down and the coal face lapsed into an eerie silence. Miners would crawl into small groups of five or six and listen to some wonderful stories. They were all based on factual events, but embellished by imaginative minds. I heard other tales sitting in a Bulwell pub where I was invited to join a group of humorous men who loved telling and listening to stories and who made some memorable remarks such as, ‘He just used the word million, Gren. Do you know how many a million is?’ 

My expression answered his question.

‘We have not yet had one million days on our calendar,’ Merrin said. This fact astonished me in the 1960s and it remains true today in 2017.

I wanted to do what I could to help these stories survive and this book is written for that purpose. Perhaps there are people still alive in north Nottinghamshire who will recognise something in these characters and will smile at their own memories.

Tales from the Golden Bull

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