The Cracket was created down the pit and then made its way in to the miner’s cottage. Crackets were an essential bit of gear below ground, especially when pitmen hewed coal in narrow seams. They sat on them if the seam was high enough, rested their heads and/or shoulders on them when lying down to work, and could put them below their thighs when crouched working ‘on their hunkers’.
When a pitman moved on, he carried his pick in one hand and his Cracket in the other (with one or more fingers through the hole or slit in the seat). The Cracket was also used to sit on when a pitman stopped to have his bait (snack), and have a bit ‘crack’ to his marras (mates) at the same time. It was a lot more comfortable than sitting on your backside on hard lumps of coal! When a pitman got home from work, he sat on a Cracket to remove his dirty pit clothes
before getting into the bath set in front of the fire by his wife. He wasn’t allowed to sit on a chair and cover it in coal dust.
Recycling old wood Miner’s Crackets were made from any old
timber down the pit or lying around the pithead. There were boxes that held explosives, the flat bits of wood that sat on top of props to keep the roof up, and the sawn off ends of pit props.