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Carole

Netherton Colliery - People And Places

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Inspired by Cympil's post of Netherton Pitmen, I have scanned some of old family photographs taken at Netherton Colliery. There are a lot of people I can't identify, but someone else might recognise them.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me helpful and encouraging messages. I don't know if I'm going to get my photos in properly but I'll give it a go ...

The first photo was taken in about 1911. The man 3rd right (with his ‘bait' under his arm) is my grandfather, Edward Rochester, known as Ned. He became a winding engineman at Netherton, and worked until he was 69. He died only 2 years later. I was 6 when he died but I remember him well. He was a lovely man, very kind to me when I was a child.

The young lad on the left is Tommy Harrison, also called Percy by some (his middle name). His older sister later married my grandfather, so Tommy was my great uncle. When the First World War broke out he ran away and joined the army and he was sent to France. His parents contacted the army authorities because Tommy was only 16 and he was sent home. He did it again the next year and this time his parents decided to let him go. He served with the Scottish Regiment of Horse, surviving the Western Front and Battle of the Somme. After the War he worked as an engine fitter at Netherton Colliery.

The slightly older lad second left is Joe Swann, Tommy's cousin. Joe also became a winding engineman. He worked at the Hall Pit (near Nedderton village) while my grandfather worked at the Howard Pit. I don't know who any of the others are.

The second photo was taken at Netherton Colliery in about 1915, I think, but I'm not sure of the exact year. The man on the far left is Michael Harrison who was my great grandfather. He was the colliery engineer.

The 3rd photo is of French Flag Day in 1915, a fundraising event for The Great War held in the grounds of Howard House at Netherton. My great aunt Kitty Harrison is 3rdleft but I can't identify anyone else.

4th is a photo of a Netherton Chapel outing in about 1917. I can only identify 3 people, Joe Rochester back row right, my grandfather's older brother, and Joe's 2 children Billy and Kitty front right and 3rd right.

5th photo is of the Pecketts engines at Netherton Colliery. The Office Row houses are behind. My great grandparents Michael and Thomasine Harrison and their 8 children lived in the house on the end of the row.

6th is Netherton football team in 1921. My grandfather Ned Rochester is 3rd left in the back row, but I don't know who any of the others were, and I don't know what the trophy was.

7th is a photo of some of the children at Netherton School in 1924. My Dad is front left (with his front teeth missing at the time) but I can't identify any of the others.

8th photo is Michael Harrison, my great uncle, and brother of Tommy in my first photo. He worked at Netherton as an engine fitter. He was a member of the underground rescue team even though he was a surface worker (perhaps because he was exceptionally strong). This photo was taken just before he was lowered down a disused shaft to look for a man who had gone missing, I think in the 1930s. Michael put on extra layers of jackets to try to give him some protection in the shaft. He told the family about the eerie experience of finding wooden coal tubs fully loaded and still in good condition, as if waiting to be raised up the shaft. He though he might be crushed when crawling under rotting bratishes to search for the missing man, but he wasn't there.

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I have now put these photos and others into the 'Places' section of the Photo Gallery.

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Great photos. I'd like to see more, but of a later time if anyone has any out there, willing to upload.

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What wonderful photographs.

They are especially poignant for me as my Grandma was born at Netherton Colliery in 1914 and some of these people could have been her family.

In fact in photo three, the young girl third from the left (standing) is the image of my Great Aunty Jean (born 1905). I don't know if it is her. But facially it really reminds me of later photographs I saw of her, and she seems to have red hair, which my Aunt had. It would be lovely to find out if it really is her.

Thank you for sharing these photographs. :D

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Inspired by Cympil's post of Netherton Pitmen, I have scanned some of old family photographs taken at Netherton Colliery. There are a lot of people I can't identify, but someone else might recognise them.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me helpful and encouraging messages. I don't know if I'm going to get my photos in properly but I'll give it a go ...

The first photo was taken in about 1911. The man 3rd right (with his ‘bait' under his arm) is my grandfather, Edward Rochester, known as Ned. He became a winding engineman at Netherton, and worked until he was 69. He died only 2 years later. I was 6 when he died but I remember him well. He was a lovely man, very kind to me when I was a child.

The young lad on the left is Tommy Harrison, also called Percy by some (his middle name). His older sister later married my grandfather, so Tommy was my great uncle. When the First World War broke out he ran away and joined the army and he was sent to France. His parents contacted the army authorities because Tommy was only 16 and he was sent home. He did it again the next year and this time his parents decided to let him go. He served with the Scottish Regiment of Horse, surviving the Western Front and Battle of the Somme. After the War he worked as an engine fitter at Netherton Colliery.

The slightly older lad second left is Joe Swann, Tommy's cousin. Joe also became a winding engineman. He worked at the Hall Pit (near Nedderton village) while my grandfather worked at the Howard Pit. I don't know who any of the others are.

The second photo was taken at Netherton Colliery in about 1915, I think, but I'm not sure of the exact year. The man on the far left is Michael Harrison who was my great grandfather. He was the colliery engineer.

The 3rd photo is of French Flag Day in 1915, a fundraising event for The Great War held in the grounds of Howard House at Netherton. My great aunt Kitty Harrison is 3rdleft but I can't identify anyone else.

4th is a photo of a Netherton Chapel outing in about 1917. I can only identify 3 people, Joe Rochester back row right, my grandfather's older brother, and Joe's 2 children Billy and Kitty front right and 3rd right.

5th photo is of the Pecketts engines at Netherton Colliery. The Office Row houses are behind. My great grandparents Michael and Thomasine Harrison and their 8 children lived in the house on the end of the row.

6th is Netherton football team in 1921. My grandfather Ned Rochester is 3rd left in the back row, but I don't know who any of the others were, and I don't know what the trophy was.

7th is a photo of some of the children at Netherton School in 1924. My Dad is front left (with his front teeth missing at the time) but I can't identify any of the others.

8th photo is Michael Harrison, my great uncle, and brother of Tommy in my first photo. He worked at Netherton as an engine fitter. He was a member of the underground rescue team even though he was a surface worker (perhaps because he was exceptionally strong). This photo was taken just before he was lowered down a disused shaft to look for a man who had gone missing, I think in the 1930s. Michael put on extra layers of jackets to try to give him some protection in the shaft. He told the family about the eerie experience of finding wooden coal tubs fully loaded and still in good condition, as if waiting to be raised up the shaft. He though he might be crushed when crawling under rotting bratishes to search for the missing man, but he wasn't there.

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What wonderful photographs.

They are especially poignant for me as my Grandma was born at Netherton Colliery in 1914 and some of these people could have been her family.

In fact in photo three, the young girl third from the left (standing) is the image of my Great Aunty Jean (born 1905). I don't know if it is her. But facially it really reminds me of later photographs I saw of her, and she seems to have red hair, which my Aunt had. It would be lovely to find out if it really is her.

Thank you for sharing these photographs. :D

Hi Poldweia

I'm glad the photos are interesting for you. It does seem quite possible that some people in your Grandma's family could be in the photos that I have got.

I have put about a dozen more photos into the Galleries section (click on ‘Galleries' at the top of the screen, then on 'Places Gallery' and then scroll across to the right and click on ‘Old Photos of Netherton'). There is one taken during the Second World War of a large group of people dressed up for a fancy dress pageant - maybe you might spot family members in that one.

I'm not sure if we are counting people in the same way in the photo you mention - the people in it are not all standing side by side in a tidy line. There are two girls toward the left of the photo standing side by side carrying trays of flags and medallions, both wearing white caps (a bit like old fashioned nurses caps), and they both have coloured ‘bibs' with a medallion pinned to them. The girl on the left of the pair has a roughly centre parting, the other has a side parting with her hair swept across.

The girl on the left of those two (the one with a roughly centre parting) was my Great Aunt Kitty Harrison. I'm afraid I don't know who the other is, in fact I can't identify anyone else in that photo. If you can't be sure about which one is Kitty there's another photo of four of the girls in the Gallery section and it's easy to spot Kitty in that one - she's the only one sitting down.

I've noticed your post seeking information about the Tweddle family and I wish I could help but I don't remember ever hearing the name mentioned by my relatives at Netherton. I hope you do get some replies from people who can help you.

Carole

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Great photos. I'd like to see more, but of a later time if anyone has any out there, willing to upload.

Hello Jojo

I've had a look through my collection of family photos and I'm sorry but I can't find anything later which could be of interest. I've just got a few very ordinary family snaps which no-one else could possibly want.

It's sad that there seem to be so few photos of Netherton, and now there's hardly a trace of it left. Like you, I would love to see any others that people may have if they would be happy to upload them.

Carole

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Great photos. I'd like to see more, but of a later time if anyone has any out there, willing to upload.

Hello again Jojo,

I forgot to mention that I came across some more photos and other information about Netherton and other towns and villages on the Northumberland Communities website. You probably know all this, but just in case here's a link to the photo entries for Netherton:

http://communities.northumberland.gov.uk/Nedderton_C4.htm

Carole

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Thanks for that link, Carole. Some towns don't look to have changed all that much in the past 100 years. B)

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Thanks for that link, Carole. Some towns don't look to have changed all that much in the past 100 years. B)

Well Bedlington hasn`t changed much, apart from more derelict shops and houses that is :mellow:

The front street is starting to look like Choppington with all the boarded up windows..more and more shops are shuttered, what a waste eh?

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Guest mrsvic
Well Bedlington hasn`t changed much, apart from more derelict shops and houses that is :mellow:

The front street is starting to look like Choppington with all the boarded up windows..more and more shops are shuttered, what a waste eh?

Hey, there's a new computer shop this week! Next door to the video shop. It could be the start of better things!

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Hey, there's a new computer shop this week! Next door to the video shop. It could be the start of better things!

That`s what i thought about Tesco`s..

And i see that Donna`s Allsorts seems to be going in the direction of another hair-dressers, just what Bedlington needs <_<

Still, as long as the council get their over-priced rent that`s the end of the matter i suppose..

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That`s what i thought about Tesco`s..

And i see that Donna`s Allsorts seems to be going in the direction of another hair-dressers, just what Bedlington needs <_<

Still, as long as the council get their over-priced rent that`s the end of the matter i suppose..

Is there anywhere that I can buy my tab's as I am coming up there tomorrow?

:D

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I've added another batch of photos to my gallery 'Old photos of Netherton'. The new photos date from 1901 to the 1930s and they include pupils at Nedderton School, the Colliery Engineer and Colliery Secretary, some of the staff who worked for the Colliery Manager at Howard House, and one of some pitmen with their motorbikes.

I am hoping to get more photos from family sources and I think there will be some taken at the colliery itself. I will scan and upload anything which might be of interest.

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Thanks for that link, Carole. Some towns don't look to have changed all that much in the past 100 years. B)

Apologies for not responding earlier but I've been away.

Carole. I believe my Great Aunt is one of the young ladies dressed as flower girls. I wish I had a photograph to show you of her but sadly it's all in my head now as she died in 1982 and I've no one to get a photo from. But she was red haired and pale skinned in a family of dark haired, swarthy skinned people (much as I am). Although funnily enough, I now know she came from a gypsy family (on her mothers side) called Blythe from Kirk Yetholm in the Borders. And reading up on them they were known for being 'ungypsy' like in their looks. And were known for their reddish hair and fair skin. Once again thank you so much for sharing.

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Apologies for not responding earlier but I've been away.

Carole. I believe my Great Aunt is one of the young ladies dressed as flower girls. I wish I had a photograph to show you of her but sadly it's all in my head now as she died in 1982 and I've no one to get a photo from. But she was red haired and pale skinned in a family of dark haired, swarthy skinned people (much as I am). Although funnily enough, I now know she came from a gypsy family (on her mothers side) called Blythe from Kirk Yetholm in the Borders. And reading up on them they were known for being 'ungypsy' like in their looks. And were known for their reddish hair and fair skin. Once again thank you so much for sharing.

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Hi,

I have just managed to send a second photo of the girls at Franch Flag Day which might include your Great Aunty Jean without a message (I don't really know what I'm doing!) My Great Aunt Kitty is the girl sitting down in the second photo. Kitty lived at Netherton all her life, and she died in 1999. We have lost all the people who could have answered all the questions we now have.

It sounds as if you have a really interesting family to investigate, I do hope you hear from people who can help you.

Carole

Apologies for not responding earlier but I've been away.

Carole. I believe my Great Aunt is one of the young ladies dressed as flower girls. I wish I had a photograph to show you of her but sadly it's all in my head now as she died in 1982 and I've no one to get a photo from. But she was red haired and pale skinned in a family of dark haired, swarthy skinned people (much as I am). Although funnily enough, I now know she came from a gypsy family (on her mothers side) called Blythe from Kirk Yetholm in the Borders. And reading up on them they were known for being 'ungypsy' like in their looks. And were known for their reddish hair and fair skin. Once again thank you so much for sharing.

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I've just been given another box of old photos of Netherton. They're from the same source as the ones I have already had, so I'm re-uniting the family collection. I will scan any which might be of interest and add them to the gallery.

Looking through, I'm having trouble identifying one of them (attached). Can anyone help me identify what it is? I thought it might be the winding engine because my grandfather and great uncle were Winding Enginemen, and there's another photo of the controls in the Winding House. However, isn't it a bit small to be a Winding Engine? Maybe it's a pump to provide ventilation underground. I'm just guessing.

Are any of you experts? Any help you can give would be gratefully received, otherwise I'll have to give it a very vague label in the Gallery.

Carole

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I have just added about 30 more photos to my gallery of old photos of Netherton and Nedderton. All the photos in my gallery are from the same family collection and date from around 1900 to the 1960s. I can't find any more recent ones which is a shame. The new photos include:

Photos of the Hall Pit and Howard Pit

Pupils at Nedderton School

Another photograph of Netherton pitmen

Office Row

Electrification of the colliery

Snow at Netherton

Training a pit pony

Nedderton village

The Winding House controls

An engine and a motor at the colliery

Children at a Wartime fancy dress pageant

Netherton residents on a Wartime day trip to the Kyles of Bute

Howard House

Various other photos around Netherton

I'm having trouble with identifying some of the photos and would be glad of any help if anyone has more information about them.

Carole

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Just been browsing through your pics, Carole. As fascinating as ever. I remember a school group photo from Netherton school taken in the mid 1930's - featured the class dressed up as Robin Hood and his merry men. My dad was one of participents, but the pic has now been lost. It was in a shop window in bedlington if I remember correctly about 10 or so years ago - much to my late dad's delight! He had a copy made there and then. Unsure about the name of the shop, but it was a photographer's shop on Front Street East - opposite the church if I recall.

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Just been browsing through your pics, Carole. As fascinating as ever. I remember a school group photo from Netherton school taken in the mid 1930's - featured the class dressed up as Robin Hood and his merry men. My dad was one of participents, but the pic has now been lost. It was in a shop window in bedlington if I remember correctly about 10 or so years ago - much to my late dad's delight! He had a copy made there and then. Unsure about the name of the shop, but it was a photographer's shop on Front Street East - opposite the church if I recall.

Think the shop was "Wards" what is now a music teachers shop I think.

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I've added a new album called ‘End of an Era' in the Places section of the Gallery. It contains newspaper cuttings dating from the 1970s about the end of the colliery. There are some photos and quite a lot of cuttings mentioning people who lived at Netherton at the time.

The cuttings make me remember what a strong community it was. Quite a lot of people really wanted to stay but the Council wouldn't improve the houses.

Carole

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Fred Gibbon my uncle worked at Netherton colliery at lived in the pit rows there,Fred left the pits and went into the hospitality industry he had the Banktop and the Black Bull .............top bloke and a great uncle

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My father-in-law, Denis Charlton worked there too.

My wife, his daughter, Janette, would go to the colliery with him on pay day and take his pay home.

She has good recollections of this.

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