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School history lessons insult our Black Country ancestors

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 11, 2014

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AFTER reading Ian Henery's excellent article about his Grandfather in The Bugle (March 20 edition) I feel I have to write about the state of history lessons given in our schools nowadays.

To mention "coal" to a few schoolchildren and be asked if he means Cheryl or Ashley is an insult to the memory of our ancestors who spent their entire lives working in coal mines.

I don't blame the children, but the teachers and education system who fail our young people in teaching them the basic history of our region, something that should fill them with regional pride. Newcastle upon Tyne has its shipbuilders, Scotland has its kilts, Cornwall has its pasties.

Our region has coal. The same coal that spawned the Industrial Revolution, that paved the way for all the modern technology that we have today. It would never have happened without coal. My own grandfather and namesake Jack Scott was a miner all his life, as was his father before him.

He was badly injured in a mining accident and spent the rest of his life wearing a built-up shoe due to his one leg being shorter than the other. There was no compensation culture then.

They just got on with it. He had 12 children to look after so as soon as he was able he returned to the mine. My own father spent more than 22 years down "The Pit" as it was affectionately known and he died aged just 62 because of the coal dust.

So you can see it makes me just a little upset when I see more and more of our history slipping away because the people who plan our young children's education feel it is not important to tell them about our region's past.

It is not just my family who suffered, but theirs too, and they have a right to know that.

Maybe then our children can be proud of their ancestors and for just a while forget about the likes of Ashley and Cheryl Cole.

John Scott,



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