Frederick Grice wrote this tale of a mining town set near Durham, England, in the early 1900’s.

This is a very readable account of a boy and his family, and the mining community they lived in.  A worker’s strike is detailed and the consequences for the families are well portrayed.

It was usual practice for boys to enter the mine at around 12 years of age, and Dick Ullathorne followed the path of his grandfather, father and elder brother down the pit, to work with the ponies.

A serious accident at the mine forces Dick to rethink his vocation, and to seek a way to further his education.

This book provides an insight into life in a small mining community, with many incidental references to historical objects and practices of the day.

Suitable for children 10 years and over, as although younger children will no doubt find it interesting, they may not enjoy the tension of the mining disaster, or the thought of the ponies dying.