My great-grandfather, Bill, told me this story and tonight I want to tell you it.
In his time, the mines were all over Cornwall and almost all the men worked in one. They did long hard shifts, digging underground in small, dimly light tunnels. The sounds of pickaxes, shovels and carts filled the air so loudly they could hardly hear each other. And the coal dust! It got everywhere and clogged the air right up. They said if you cut a miner up the only thing inside of him would be black coal dust.
Now one day, great-grandfather Bill was down in a new tunnel having a quick walk through to make sure the wooden support beams had been put in place before any real digging started. He had with him an old friend called Tom and as they stood in the middle of the tunnel, they heard a loud sharp knock.
Puzzled they listened harder. They were far from the other miners and the noise couldn’t have travelled that long and clear as it had been. They looked at each other and listened again. There was another knock then no more.
‘It’s the Knockers,’ Tom whispered.
Bill shot Tom a look and replied, ‘it’s just the echos of someone digging. This beam is fine. On to the next.’
The moved on and inspected a few more beams before they heard another knock. The sound travelled through the tunnel and it was much like heavy knuckles rapping at a wooden door. No way could that have been the sound of someone mining coal.
‘Hello!’ Bill shouted.
Continue reading here: Knock #writephoto