Some older people were very superstitious, and many pitmen were also. Some sayings were like bits of poetry.

See a pin and pick it up, All the day, you'll have good luck. See a pin and let it lie, Before the night, you'll have a cry.

Bad luck follows if you cut your finger nails on a Friday

Two people washing hands together in the same bowl, made a cross in the water to prevent a quarrel.

Red and White flowers together in a vase, depicts a death.

If the feet of a corpse are flabby, it means there will be another death in the family.

If a sheet, tablecloth or hanky shows a diamond pattern in the fold, it meant a death, regardless of it being an untidy fold.

If a picture fell from the wall it was a sign of tragedy even if the cord or string was old and badly worn.

Death in the village always seemed to come in three's

Crossed knives on the table depicts a quarrel, as also boots and shoes placed on the table.

A knife dropped accidentally, heralded a male visitor, if a fork, it would mean a woman would visit.

What falls on the floor comes to the door.

Bringing May (Hawthorn) blossom into the house brings bad luck with it, but a few folk considered it safe if it was placed in a green glass vase.

Bread baked on a Good Friday (every housewife baked their own) never went mouldy.

A new baby could not go visiting until the mother had been "churched" neither could the mother go visiting till she had been "churched" (Cleansed).

When a new baby first visited a house, the householder always gave it it's "3 things", silver, usually a three penny piece for wealth, salt and an egg for health and good luck.

When a baby was carried from its christening at church or chapel, there was always a little parcel to be given to the first child that was met. The child had to be the opposite sex of the baby, and the gift was a piece of Christening cake and a silver coin.

Never cast a clout till May is out. This may perhaps apply to the month of May, as the May Blossom is very rarely out until June.

If a person breaks something, they immediately and purposely break two or more articles, perhaps a match stick or some cracked china. This act then drove away the bad luck.

When a person was given a present of scissors, a knife or any sharp object, they always had to give a coin, maybe a farthing or halfpenny in exchange, otherwise their friendship would be cut.

When your ears get hot, it is a sign someone is talking about you.

If feet itch it means there will be a walk on strange ground.

If a piece of coal ash flew out of the fire, it was examined to see if it resembled a purse, a cradle or a coffin. Whatever it looked like it was an omen of things to come.


After a sudden death, some folk, as a memorial stopped their clock for a year and a day.

If a miner going to work, found that he had to return home for something he would not attempt to work that day. Also, if he met a woman while travelling to work during the night, it would be a bad omen, and he would not work that shift.

The day the pitmen drew the caribs, the wives did all unusual things to ensure their men got a lucky draw day lot in the pit, such as turning the fender upside down.

Woe betide anyone who breaks a mirror, for that would mean seven years bad luck. Some folk thought that it was lucky for the owner if another person broke it.

Bad luck could be the result if an umbrella was opened up in the house.

Drop a glove and pick it up was another sad tale, but if someone else picked it up, they would get a pleasant surprise.

A person spilling salt had to throw a pinch over the left shoulder to keep the devil away.

Bad luck to those who first see the new moon through a window, but if outside it would be good luck to turn your money over.

No-one should poke another person's fire unless they'd known each other for seven years.

A visitor must depart from the same door as the one she entered by, unless she sat on a chair for a few minutes.

Two spoons accidentally placed in a saucer meant the sign of a wedding.

A flake of soot on the fire bars means a visit from a stranger.

A cure for a child's bad cough was to take them a walk to the Hill Howly (now Wingate Road, Council House Estate) or if possible to take them to the seaside so the cough would be taken with the tide when it went back.

To prevent children taking colds in the winter, a piece of camphor was placed in a little flannel bag, and hung around the childs neck, worn night and day.

For gardeners, the time for setting potatoes was Good Friday and not before.

Some folk would not wear a certain colour if that colour had been associated with a tragedy.

Many folk said that a black cat crossing their path brought good luck.

A right hand itching meant money to pay out, left hand meant the opposite.

Sneezing - Once a wish, twice a kiss, three times a letter, four times something better.

Teatime - Milk before sugar , you're sure to loose your lover.

Two teaspoons together in the saucer denotes a wedding.

Pride goes before a fall.

Superstitions all originated from something in the past.

For instance - unlucky to seat 13 people at a dining table, was because 13 was the number of people at the Last Supper.