Jim commenced employment at Hem Heath Colliery in the mangers clerks’ office on 19/08/1957. In mid 1961 was transferred to the area headquarters of the no 1 North Staffordshire Area of the National Coal board at 72, Leek Road Stoke. He worked in the production department for Wilmot Wilcox, area production manager, formally manager of Chatterley Whitfield colliery.
After a spell from 1963 until May 1965 he worked in the group manager’s offices at Sneyd and Stafford collieries. He transferred back to 72, Leek Road to a post in the secretaries department. Shortly afterwards the office moved to the new Area Headquarters at Staffordshire House on the site of Berryhill Colliery. This office subsequently became the area headquarters of the Staffordshire area (1967) and the Western Area in 1974.
In 1967 Jim was appointed to a post in Secretariat and when he “retired” in April 1989 he was senior Administrative Officer and office manager.
Jim first became involved in Chatterley Whitfield in 1965 when he started to have weekly contact with all collieries in the area. He was responsible for many administrative functions as well as arranging all colliery visits. He frequently visited Chatterley Whitfield colliery including the area laboratory which was also on the site.
When Brian Burton first conceived the idea of an underground museum at Chatterley Whitfield he involved Jim from the onset and on occasions due to the absence of Brian, he accompanied many visitors, (government departments, local authorities, the media and arts) to the proposed museum.
When the museum opened in 1979 Jim was the main link between it and the National Coal Board and he donated a lot of his own artefacts and documents. He frequently visited the museum as part as part of his visits to Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, and became very involved with all members of staff as well as accompanying many visitors on behalf of the National Coal Board.
On taking “retirement” in 1989 Jim was appointed curator at the Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum, a post he held until it closed on 9/08/1993. During this period he was actively involved in all aspects of the museum and on many occasions visited Lound Hall in Nottingham to oversee the transfer of the National Coal Boards “National Collection” to the museum.
There then followed a period when he was not involved with the site, but from February 2001 when he became a member of the Chatterley Whitfield group, he, along with many others are now currently involved in the regeneration of the site.
As well as being an “active” granddad, Jim is also involved in:
- Apedale Heritage Centre.
- Foxfield Railway.
- Churnet Valley Railway.
- Newcastle Under Lyme Museum User Group.
- Newcastle Under Lyme Civic Society.
- Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation.
- British Coal Retired Staff Association.
Jim’s ethos in life is to actively fill each day to the full, and enjoy doing it. He was elected Chair of the Friends in November 2006.