Thornley Aged Miners Home Committee, May 1931

This is the Thornley Aged Miners’ Homes Committee, on 23rd May1931, on the occasion of the foundation stone laying ceremony for the ‘Greenwood Homes’ Aged Miners’ Cottages. The Committee symbolises the kind of enlightened self-help which drove so many improvements in the village during the pre-Nationalisation era. Unfortunately, since the 1940s decisions about the village (‘What else can we knock down?’ seems to have been the abiding policy of the last 67 years) have predominantly been taken by people who don’t live here and don’t have to live with the consequences of their, usually idiotic, decisions. By contrast, these Thornley folk were literally building a better future for themselves. Photo via Billy Middleton.

The 1931 committee were, back row left to right: J Craggs, T Bullock, J Ovington, J Shearer, M Longsdale, J Dodds, J Adamson, J Luke.

Front row, left to right: J Carey, R Gott, J Henderson (Co-Treasurer), J Rivers (Chairman and the Manager of Thornley Colliery), Hubert Tunney (Secretary and the Chairman of Thornley MIners’ Lodge), T H Holder (Co-Treasurer), W Atkin, J Amos.

A few of the men featured here, including my grandfather, had a cottage foundation stone named after them. The 1931 Greenwood Homes, which are forever celebrated on the Thornley Miners’ Lodge Banner were senselessly demolished by the local council in late 2009. As with so much else in Thornley, there’s now a large, ugly grassed over open space where they used to be. So much for history, heritage and conservation!

The cottage with the Hubert Tunney foundation stone was the last to be occupied. His foundation stone is pictured right below, in place on the abandoned cottage and left below, after its ‘rescue’by F Bromilow from the rubble.

The stone laid by Mrs Lee, the wife of Peter Lee, is currently on display at the Wheatley Hill Heritage Centre. The others are in store in the Thornley Welfare Hall--which is itself now scheduled for demolition! Click on the images below for larger versions and more information.
Greenwood Homes 1