Percy Blunt was born near Chesterfield in 1922 and at the age of 16 started as an apprentice with Staveley Iron & Coal Co at Markham Colliery. At Markham and later at Oxcroft Colliery, near Bolsover, and Grassmoor Colliery at Hasland, he worked as a shot firer and deputy then overman at Glapwell No.3 Mine, near Hucknall – all these are in North Derbyshire. Later he was Undermanager at Glapwell No.1 and at Bramley Vale Drift Mine. He was then Manager at Whitwell and Langwith Collieries.
In 1962 he was awarded the MBE for gallantry for assisting in the rescue of a trapped miner the previous December when he was Acting Manager at Whitwell. A roof fall had buried a machinery operator, trapping him in a confined space. Over a period of hours – and at great risk to himself – Blunt laboriously cleared debris from this and later falls to enable the miner to breathe and to encourage him, while also instructing the rescue squad. The man was rescued after 13 hours and only after many tons of rock were removed.
Blunt joined the Mines Inspectorate in Durham in 1964. He became a member of NEIMME, contributing to its activities, and was President in 1979-80.
He had long service with the St John Ambulance Brigade in both Derbyshire and Durham.
Blunt died in 1987.
Blunt, P. The joint effort to combat mining health problems [Presidential Address NEIMME] Mining Engineer 139, 1979-80, 837-839