My pal, Bute

Duration: 2:29 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.316
This story has been viewed 18085 times

Robert tells us about his pit pony, Bute.

By Robert Metcalf

Other information

This story was inspired by the mining collections at the Regional Resource Centre, Beamish.

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Video transcript

Wait for the cage, go down the cage, go into the stables, put the harness on your pony. Bute, it was white with a bit brown on and it knew every turn to take, when to stop, put the pin in, get in the tubs, tip them into what they called the putters at the time. They used to get the coal out, fill the tubs and when they were full I used to hang my pit pony Bute on the tub and we used to go away and he knew when to stop, when to go and everything. At bait time we never tied him up and I used to take bait for him, my own bait and the pony a sandwich. If I had, for instance, jam sandwiches, I used to have jam sandwiches for him as well. Or I used to take an apple and we used to sit out and have our break. You didn't need to tie him up, he would stand there until you were ready to start again. They had no sense it was dark but he knew where to go, what to do. You never walked in front of him, you always walked behind the tubs. At break time because once you sat down he used to come over and I used to sit on planks of wood and he used to stand next to me, waiting for his. As soon as I opened it I used to give him his first because he did the best part of the work.

Robert tells us about his pit pony, Bute. Posted on 18/02/2010 at 03:40:59

Touching, I know were treated with any care as you seemed to give ButePosted on 01/03/2010 at 05:44:59

Great story, always fantastic to hear of the bond between the miners and their ponies. (Beamish Museum)Posted on 02/08/2010 at 11:40:53

This was very interesting and affecting. Thank you. -- Heather from USAPosted on 21/04/2012 at 20:16:10

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