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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 20:13 GMT
Bevin Boys go back underground
Bevin Boys
Bevin Boys maintained the nation's coal supply
Members of the North Staffordshire Bevin Boys went back underground as they staged their 60th annual reunion.

More than 50 people attended the event at the Apedale Heritage Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

And despite the average age of the group now reaching 80, they took the chance to return to the coalface at the Staffordshire visitor attraction.

Bevin Boys were young men between 18 and 25 who were, during the Second World War, chosen by ballot to serve in the mining industry.

They were named after Ernest Bevin, the wartime Minister of Labour and leader of the Transport and General Workers Union.

There were 44,000 Bevin Boys, but that number has now dwindled to around 2,000.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Midlands Today's John Yates
"They were back down again for the first time since the 1940s"

Click here for more from BBC Stoke & Staffordshire
See also:

09 Apr 01 | Wales
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