It was a frightening place, made much worse when the lights went out, and all he could hear was the rats running round. The pitch black with odd noises, and no one close to for comfort and security.
He spoke about leading a tub of coal to the shaft from the coal face, and then returning with the empty one which could sometimes come off the rails, leading him to get a telling off from the officials.
He then got a pit pony, to help him through the day and this became his friend as a young boy, someone to hang onto when the lights went out.
In some respects it's a little like dementia, because when things go wrong we all need someone to hang on to for security.
I think these things stayed in their memories for life, and although their job, was made easier and safer, the old memories must have stuck with them.
As he said later, these pit ponies which also must have struggled in he darkness, were in many cases a godsend to many people.