NUM stalwart and proud family man

Martin Gaughan
Martin Gaughan

A funeral service will be held next week for a long-serving NUM secretary.

Martin Gaughan, 92, lived in the Blyth area all his life.

He started work at Horton Grange pit, Bebside, at the age 14. He joined the RAF towards the end of the war, based at Doncaster with the air training crew.

After Horton Grange closed, he worked at Blyth power station and then as a teemer at Blyth Staithes.

In 1972, he went to Bates Colliery as a stoneman. After a short time, he was elected full-time NUM secretary there and led the the 1972 and 1974 pit strikes.

He ended his career at the training centre in Ashington, teaching youngsters how to be miners. He retired at 65.

Mr Gaughan married Peggy in 1951 at St Cuthbert’s Church, Cowpen Road. They had four children Martin, John, who died last year, Maureen and Margaret.

A long-time NUFC fan, he used to say he was the only member of the family who had seen Newcastle win the FA Cup.

A Labour Party member, he used to campaign with former Blyth MP Eddie Milne and enjoyed talking politics with current Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell.

Mr Campbell said he always received good advice from Mr Maughan, who he described as a good secretary and a nice man.

Daughter Margaret said he was proud as punch to walk behind the banners in Bedlington on miners’ picnic day.

A funeral service will be held at Cowpen Crematorium on Tuesday, May 22, at 1pm, followed by a wake at the Seahorse pub, Plessey Road, Blyth.