THE Cumnock Chronicle is looking back at iconic community members who worked in local coal mines.

Donald L Reid’s astonishing flashback book the Last Miners of Ayrshire’s Doon Valley includes countless stories of men who worked in the pits.

It includes the highs and lows of the industry with the real sense of community and life threatening scares that erupted for the mines.

The compelling and humbling journeys ‘remind the reader of the not to distant past’.

One man, Tom McKnight, recalled how he worked on a private coal mine called Broomhill after being offered the job in the street.

One time in the pit a loaded hutch hit the roof of the mine and the force took off his safety helmet and ‘ripped his trousers off’.

Another miner, James McPhail, grew up ‘very, very, poor’ but also happy ‘despite the hardship. He started working at the Chalmerston pithead when WW2 was declared. By the time he retired at the Barony, all Dalmellington pits had closed.

Malcolm Graham actually had his leg amputated after a carriage ran over his right foot. He thanked himself lucky he didn’t loose both legs or die.

Pick up the book to find out about other miners journeys and fascinating stories.

See more pictures and find out more in this weeks Cumnock Chronicle.