Arthur J Hale

Arthur John Fredrick Hale, my late father, penned these poems and short stories over many years.

He stopped writing after the death of May, his wife, in 1991 and despite many requests from me to start writing seriously again, loosing mum had a greater impact on him than we realised at the time. But through writing he found ways of expressing his loss and grief when he stated in one of his diary entries nine years later ‘I went through 3 years of hell.’

Dad was born in Staffordshire 17th of November 1923, one of four children, Guy and Creighton being his brothers and his sister Barbara. The family moved to the Barnsley area where they ran a pub in Worsbrough for a few years. Dad met Mum on a blind date and they married in December 1946.

Always a miner after leaving school when he was just fourteen, Dad  went to work for the NCB at the Barnsley Main Colliery. Over the years he held various positions ending his working life as a deputy/shotfirer despite being asked on a number of occasions to take on a management role. However, he liked being underground, at the coal-face, and I well remember all the fossils he used to bring home – I had the best collection in my school bar none!

During WW2 he could not join up as mining was a restricted occupation. Therefore he joined the home guard and spent most of this service on an anti-aircraft battery guarding the railway viaduct over the River Dove.

Dad loved being outside and fishing was his lifelong passion. I have often wondered if, whilst sitting on the bank waiting for a bite, listening and watching the wildlife was it this that inspired him to start writing?

So Dad, after all these years, I finally have you in print and hope we have done justice to your writing and that your family and friends have a few laughs and perhaps the odd tear or two reading through Another Barnsley Poet.

Written by his son David

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