Life wasn’t all hardship for mining families. In the winter hunting with hounds was a popular pastime. Guiding shooting parties around the moors in season was always an easy and popular way for miners to earn some extra money.
Local games included 'Knur and Spell' and 'Quoits' and remain popular village games in the Dales today (see the links below for more information about these games).
Music was an important part of life. Singing was popular in
the home and the public house and there were, as now, strong connections with
miners' brass bands. There are still local bands in Swaledale and Wensleydale (Hawes) as well as in other dales in the area. There is a link at the bottom of this page to Swaledale's Muker Silver Band.
There were produce shows and fairs in the villages run by the mining families as a way of both socialising and also making a little extra money.
Probably the most popular pastime for the men was in the public houses where they could gather to tell tales, sing and enjoy a beer. Miners were highly superstitious, believing in horrors such as gnomes, boggles and boggarts and doubtless many tall tales were told after a few drinks.