At the Coalface: The memoir of a pit nurse

  • by Joan Hart, Veronica Clark
  • Narrated by Maggie Ollerenshaw
  • 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A heartwarming story of a woman who devoted her life to helping others. This is the memoir of Joan, who started nursing in the 1940s and whose experiences took her into the Yorkshire mining pits and through the tumult of the 1984-85 miners' strike.
Joan Hart always knew what she wanted to do with her life. Born in South Yorkshire in 1932, she started her nursing training when she was 16, the youngest age girls could do so at the time. She continued working after she married, and her work took her to London and Doncaster, caring for children and miners.
When she took a job as a pit nurse in Doncaster in 1974, she found that in order to be accepted by the men under her care, she would have to become one of them. Most of the time rejecting a traditional nurse's uniform and donning a baggy miner's suit, pit boots, a hardhat and a headlamp, Joan resolved always to go down to injured miners and bring them out of the pit herself.
Over 15 years Joan grew to know the miners not only as a nurse but as a confidante and friend. She tended to injured miners underground, rescued men trapped in the pits, and provided support for them and their families during the bitter miners' strike which stretched from March 1984 to 1985.
Moving and uplifting, this is a story of one woman's life, marriage and work; it is guaranteed to make readers laugh, cry, and smile.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


this story had me listening from start to finish with great anticipation a real working lady God bless her
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- Kev Duncalf

What a multi facted profession nursing is.

I have always wondered what it would be like being an industrial nurse. Well now I kind of know. Still this book talks about all aspects of nursing and that's what I liked about it. However the reading of it left a lot to be desired since it read more like a news report than a book. I found the language weak and gushing at times but overall I didn't mind it as a book. I think she might have written it better though.
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- Rose

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-07-2015
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited