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Reseaching Family History
Bob Burbeck

Photos © Bob Burbec

I stumbled across your site while reseaching family history information and since my father was a miner, it was a 'natural' discovery. I have a photograph which will doubtless interest you. It is a 10" x 8" framed print (still mounted but now minus frame) very similar to the picture you have already published on your website.

Albert Burbeck
Bob's father, Albert Burbec

The picture is titled "Mines Rescue Station, Ilkeston" and
"A Mixed Team",
but not dated.

The front row consists of Superintendent A Syson flanked by 1st Instructor
A Bonsor and 2nd Instructor W Hart. The back row (wearing respirators) consists of
J Stirland, C Page, A James, A Hardy, W Arabin and my father, A Burbeck (Albert).

The background is the rescue tender, but a later coach-worked model, not the open-cab 1920's type in your picture.

Mines Rescue Station, Ilkeston

Attached, you will find the photograph together with the caption on the mount. I also supply a higher resolution detail of Arthur Syson and my father, Albert Burbeck. I'm afraid I don't have much in the way of stories tying my father to the Mines Rescue, but I'll see what I can come up with regardless.
However, you might ask if Arthur Syson had a relative who was a schoolmaster or if anyone knows about this. The reason is that I was taught by a "Mister Syson" at junior school (thin, 6ft and with a grey beard) and my father seemed to have an aquaintanceship with him, but without ever explaining properly - just wondered if it was coincidence or not. He was living on Heanor Road close to the Brick & Tile (The Mallard, as is now) not far from ourselves, at the time. Bob.

Another unnamed face in the cab of the tender could well be Les Calladine. Knowing my father's appearence, I guess the picture to be taken around 1945 to 1950. At that time, my father was presumably still working at Manners Colliery although he moved to Moorgreen after Manners closed (so I guess that limits the picture to 1949 at the latest). He was a shotfirer and later a deputy.

My father retired due to ill health in 1971 and died in 1977. We talked about this picture when I was young and he spoke of the people with affection and comradeship. But it's so long ago that I remember only the tone and non of the detail.

I have no idea of the circumstances of my father's involvement with Rescue - I presume that he was a trained volunteer and not a permanent member of the staff.

Regards, Bob Burbeck (Smalley).

Pit Terminology - Glossary