The Gater family migrated to Yorkshire from Staffordshire at the time of the 1926 miners’ strike. Frank Gater and three of his sons were taken on as miners at Water Haigh colliery and a fourth son went to work for Bentley’s Yorkshire Breweries.
George Gater married Sarah Anne Tooley, the daughter of another local miner, and their son, also called George, was born in 1928. He grew up at 8 Kitchener Street living with his grandparents and left school at the age of 14 to work for Kitson’s engineering firm in Hunslet.
From the age of 18 he served for two years with the West Yorkshire Regiment in Italy and Malta and later gravitated to the pit in 1958 where he was employed as a surface fitter. When Water Haigh closed in 1970 he moved to Fanny Pit at Rothwell from where he took redundancy when it too was shut down in 1983.
Click on the links below to hear George talking about his family and working life in a recording made shortly before his death in August 2011.