Hugh Mclelland

Water Haigh in the 1960s. Photo by Fred Wormald.

A homesick wife and a mystery woman on a West Riding bus were responsible for Hugh McClelland getting a job as a miner at Water Haigh. He was born at Hamilton in Lanarkshire but he moved with his family when his father went to work in the mines at Dalmellington in Ayrshire.

Hugh in his turn went down the pit but his wife Barbara, who grew up in Leeds, wasn’t happy in Scotland. So on impulse one day he jumped on a train and went looking for a job in her native Yorkshire. 

It was only by chance he ended up at Water Haigh after falling into conversation with a woman at Leeds bus station. In due course he became a face worker in the Beeston seam and stayed at the pit for many years. 

Hugh Mclelland

Hugh McClelland in retirement at home in Swillington.
The newly built pit head baths in the 1930s.