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Sometimes witty, sometimes cynical, these stories were inspired by people with whom the author came into contact, events of which he became aware and influences which he came under as a boy. They convey the anxieties of the 1930s and '40s and the insecurities of the mining communities. Often raw and earthy, they paint a picture of a society peopled mainly by migrants from the older coalfields, thrown together by ecomic and social forces and t yet secure in their new identities. The author's awareness of British social history helps to place the stories within the context of what was happening in the world beyond the slag heap.