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Coal Miner's Daughter


By May Fisher

The birth of May Fisher took place on August 15th, 1919. She became one of nine children to poverty stricken parents. They lived in the coal mining town of Mansfield, England. In 1926 - 1927 the coal miners had been on strike for one year pleading for better working conditions and pay. The conditions in the mines had been deplorable for a very long time. Because of the poverty caused by low income, the national papers advertised for families to take in the poorer children to build them up and create a good Christmas and winter months. Lucky me - I was invited by a married couple to live with them. They had no children and never did have.

The time came to return to Mansfield but these people applied for and got permission to adopt me. I then became Peggy Hoodless. Over the next few years I was taken to visit my biological family. On a day visit we took clothing, food, gifts, etc. and found that their living conditions had improved somewhat as did the working conditions of the mines.

In 1942 the marriage took place between me and Ken McLeod. Guess who was invited to attend - my biological parents, my two sisters and one brother. We had two sons, the eldest immigrating to Canada and in 1980 we came to Canada after my husband had a stroke. We joined John in Grande Prairie. 1985 saw us in Whitecourt, John having received a promotion and a transfer. Ken suffered a second stroke in 1985 and we moved to Woodland Villa. A wheel chair was necessary. In 1991 a third stroke took Ken's life.

1993 took me to Calgary where I lived and married Ray Doty. I experienced nine and a half years of love, happiness and travel until Ray's unfortunate death in 2002. An apartment became vacant at Woodland Villa in May, 2003 and I am again enjoying a comfortable but lonely life among some enjoyable seniors.