What does anybody know about the pit ponies? Up and down the country there must have been hundreds and thousands of them, i work at an old lead mining centre (Nenthead)and i ride and i got to thinking about what breeds may have been used, how people treated or thought of them, how long the poor sods lasted or if there are any books or stories about them? What do ya reckon?
Started: 9th Nov 2006 at 16:17
Poor pit ponies. I get the feeling that they would have been Shetlands because they'd have to have been quite small to go through the tunnels. In those days, I believe, men could walk through them upright but the poor creatures (and indeed men) would have to pull very heavy carts of coal. I don't imagine they would have been treated particularly well, but not badly either. Nicola, I'm sure you could find out reems of information on the internet. I use the search engine Dogpile so if you type Dogpile.co.uk and then type the words Pit Ponies in I feel quite sure you'll have all the information you need. It's a brilliant search engine which, quite honestly, I prefer to Google.
Replied: 9th Nov 2006 at 16:31
Thinking about it, Tonker may know something about this. I seem to recall that he had something to do with mining a while back. Sorry Tonker. Not that he's old enough to remember there being pit ponies in the collieries then but I'm sure he'll have some information, unless I'm disremembering summat.
Replied: 9th Nov 2006 at 16:37
Most of the ponies were Welsh Cobs,Dales and Shetlands.They were used to replace the thousands of women who originally transported the coal by pushing coal tubs.The miners took very good care of them and treated them as pets when underground.
Replied: 9th Nov 2006 at 17:23
Just type "Pit ponies" into Google. You'll get enough websites to keep you happy for a day or two
Replied: 9th Nov 2006 at 17:28
The last pit ponny only retired last week , i think it was in Wales,
Replied: 9th Nov 2006 at 19:29
In the 60's, I used to deliver to the NCB area pool at Ashington, in Northumberland. There was a "saddlers dept" for harnesses, a "Farriers" obviously for shoeing. Not far away, was a R & R farm type thingy, where they brought the ponies up-pit, for fresh air holidays. Some ponies worked as long as 25 years down't pit..
Replied: 9th Nov 2006 at 23:18