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Willow Bridge, Choppington

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an excellent picture. it was taken facing north towards Scotland gate as stated. the signal box is on the right and the station masters house is one the left. on the right side just within view is what was yarrows shop, although I suspect that it was someone else running it at the time of the picture. the actual station and platforms were on the left behind the station masters house. 

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Fabulous information Pilgrim, thanks! And Foxy, you're in this one too, on your bike!

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Fabulous information Pilgrim, thanks! And Foxy, you're in this one too, on your bike!

Cannot be me Merc, I would be playing catch kissy with the girls when that pic was taken   :wub:  

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you are right about the ticket office and the train is heading in the morpeth direction. that building you mention was the station masters house (see my previous posts)

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Foxy, I'm glad you're posting your photos, complete with anti-theft watermarks, but have you considered reducing the percentage of 'opacity' in the text to render them a bit more 'transparent'?  Whilst still protecting your images from theft doing this will allow us to enjoy them a bit more and maybe gleen a bit more info from them.  Thus a thought.

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In the mid-1960's,my mate's Brother,Bob[?] Walker ran the pub on the right side of the picture...was it the Traveller's Rest or the Railway Tavern?

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I seem to think it was the railway tavern - the travellers was at Scotland gate next to tommy Henderson's post office. there is a picture of the railway tavern on here somewhere showing the 'cinema' next to it.

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on a slightly different note --- all that land around Choppington Station was within the Palatinate of Durham.((the church/cathedral - which goes back to the Cuthbert thing) -  (Bedlington is a SHIRE under Durham - in the same way that Newcastle city centre is part of Northumberland but the city per se isn't)) The houses and buildings that people had bought were leasehold and on a 99 yr lease. In those days at the termination of the lease the houses returned to the ownership of the leaseholder with no compensation for the owner - in other words you became a tenant in your own house with no rights to extend the lease or indeed to even live in your own house. This situation led to the leasehold reform act of 1967 and Station Terrace at Choppington station was used in an example in the parliamentary debate leading to the act. this was fought by the church authorities and many other landowners, (obviously). The leases at Choppington station expired in 1968/1969 which might give an indication of when the majority of things were built  - and of course why they were no longer used after the mid 60's as they were basically worthless.(On reflection it was a fine example of Christian charity !!!) it might be interesting to see which land is still within or was within the ownership of Durham Cathedral in view of some of the other threads. I know I might have digressed on this thread but it might give an insight into the demise of small communities within that area.

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Some interesting stuff there Pilgrim! I'm interested in a couple of points:

 

"Bedlington is a SHIRE under Durham...."

 

This subject intrigued me greatly when I first learned about it; however, my research and reading confirmed that Bedlingtonshire ceased to be an exclave of Durham in the 1840's, when it became part of Northumberland. However, this does not mean that land and buildings in the area leased from the church were not still owned by them. I'm yet to confirm it fully, but believe that until relatively recently the house I live in was church property, and indeed the terrace around me. It's not anymore!

 

"Newcastle city centre is part of Northumberland but the city per se isn't..."

 

Really? That's very interesting and the first time I've heard it. Officially, there are no cities in Northumberland, so how does that work?

 

"the leasehold reform act of 1967 and Station Terrace at Choppington station was used in an example in the parliamentary debate leading to the act"

 

Fascinating! Can you clarify - was Station Terrace leased from the Church, or from the Railway company?

 

Keep it coming Pilgrim, especially with relation to Choppington!

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in response to the above;

I am not quite sure how or when Bedlington became a shire, but suspect it dates way back when Bamburgh and Durham were major kingdoms in the north (one political and one religious, although the signs are still on the roads about Durham being the land of the 'Prince Bishops' - in those days Bishops went to war) it my also have been tied up in the dodgy way the Percys became dukes of Northumberland and moved into Alnwick from Warkworth after the rightful D'Veschy heir disappeared whilst a child in the care of the bishop of durham (that's a story in itself!!!), although I suspect it has more to do with the Cuthbert connection. I believe Durham really came into prominence in Norman times. Cuthbert was kept at Chester le Street for many years as the cathedral wasn't finished and Chester le Street was an old roman camp owned by the church and Cuthbert's body was actually a bit of an embarrassment. Perhaps a valid line of research into the old history of Bedlington.

Consider that any village can only have a hinterland of about 2 hrs day walk from its centre (about 6 miles) otherwise land management becomes unviable, and I always wondered if Bedlington was established as a 'glebe' land to support the original church? (this may all be wrong!!)

A city to be recognised as such must have a cathedral - in Newcastle it is St. Nicholas, which is right next to the Norman keep beside the high level bridge and commanding the Tyne. This small area I believe was and may still well be part of Northumberland but so many boundaries changed in the 60's and 70's that might not be the case now. ergo Newcastle (clue in the name!!) outside that area has no cathedral and is not under the old definition a city.

Station Terrace was definitely within the holding of the Bishopric of Durham and not the railway or coal companies.

I was trying to recall anything else relevant last night (with wine assistance) and I was of a mind that the original lease on Station Terrace was for 160 yrs and not the usual 99 for some reason. this would tie in with the houses being built around the 1850's with the advent of coal and railway expansion.

I am quite happy to be proven wrong on any of the above but it seems to fit the few facts that I recall.

hope this helps

(there is a very good jpg on the St Cuthbert and Bedlington churches thread about the Cuthbert connection)

Edited by pilgrim
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Pilgrim,

 

Please don't think I'mpicking holes in your comments, I'm extremely interested in what you have to say as I'm interested in finding out more about where I live. There is, however, one thing I'd like to pick up on, and it's this:

 

"A city to be recognised as such must have a cathedral..."

 

I note you mention later on that this is the 'old' definition, and it certainly is. For pretty much all of the 20th century it has not been necessary for a city to have a cathedral, it is up to the Monarch to apply the title (as it was before Henry VIII) introduced the rule about cities and cathedrals. I'm still not sure why the city centre having a cathedral would necessarily mean it was considered part of Northumberland; as I said, I was of the belief there are no cities in the county.

 

The information about Station Terrace and the Church is interesting; I'm in the middle of the terrace on the same side further up the hill.

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I don't think that the cathedral itself made any difference to that area being part of Northumberland.(as in the county/dukedom) I think it was more to do with a powerbase and not allowing a 'Newcastle' to become too powerful, in that the barony held the castle and the religious focal points (castra/castrum) and therefore had control. the outer area was more likely considered in similar ways as the civilian area outside the roman camps, (vicus) hence the differential. the castle is built to control the main route north and south and the crossing of the river and has a very commanding position which would have promoted the growth of the infrastructure about it.

I tend to look at the geology first, then the geography,(which is dictated by the geology) then the demography, (which is dictated by the geography and land usage to some extent) and the power bases/politics build up from there. eg. Bothal - highest navigable point on the river, but never really made it big, whilst Morpeth became the County town and market. Bamburgh, a powerbase because of the defensible position etc. it might seem a bit obscure - but strip the buildings and history away and start from a 'blank' sheet of the terrain and it tends to indicate the sites and dictate the history. Bedlington for example; we have the site of the church on that high ridge, where would any fortified building have been?? I would have thought the area of the Red Lion would be a good place to start.

I am quite happy to be corrected and am glad that my comments have provoked some thought. (as an aside would Liverpool be a multi city?? I seem to think they have a cathedral or two spare)

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Is that right about Bothal? The things I'm learning from you Pilgrim are quite fascinating. Surely Morpeth's rise to 'fame' came with it being a major coaching stop on the Great North Road?

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Morpeth was a muddy saxon swamp basically but it became major long before the coaching days. The school was established in 1552 by royal Charter of Edward VI (as were many others) but was there many years before that in the Chantry building (still there on the bridge) the chantry was endowed with the income of the toll on the crossing of the river. Where St. Georges church is -directly opposite (URC) was the site of the Lords mill in the remit of the castle (still standing above Carlisle Park) and there are still traces of the 'leet' there. Again location was a major factor in the development in that it was ideally situated on a river crossing and within the trading area of the main productive area and was eventually granted a market charter much to the annoyance of Alnwick which still annoys some folk !! and the main traffic route did play a major part in its development. The oldest houses in Morpeth are the ones with the red pantiles on the roof., but Mitford was a much more important place in the hands of the de mountforts -- hence the priory and castle there.(norman holdings)

the 'great north road' the A1 (as we know and love it when it is single carriageway and full of tractors) follows part of the roman road north (causey park being named after the 'causeway' or raised road, but in early times most traffic was actually done by small coastal traders which was faster and safer than the roads.

sorry to digress from the willow bridge thread

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sorry to keep posting but have just recalled something else about Station Terrace - at no 3 lived Mrs Syrett as I have said before and she had a lodger that had one of those 3 wheeled blue invalid carriages and worked at remploy - I remember he was called John Latimer - if that helps anyone

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fascinating post Pete - the reference to Whinney Hill made me recall my great aunt lived there in the first house on the right - she was called Isabel - a formidable type in tweeds and like a galleon in full sail - her husband had lost an arm and was a draughtsman for the colliery. they moved to a house at Sheepwash on the bank on the left side opposite the anglers but roughly opposite the chapel (I think the Million family had the shop there on the other side)

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Pete and Pilgrim, continued thanks. I'm interested in this, from the link Pete posted:

 

"difficult to find so many places with names of their own all coming under one general name, and all situated within about a straight mile as are seen at Choppington. First of all there is Guide Post, which according to the post office directory, is Choppington proper: Then Whinney Hill, Scotland Gate, Choppington Station, Pace or Peas Bush, Willow Bridge, and Choppington Station. "

 

OK, now I see they have their journey a little convoluted as they appear to have gone to Choppington Station twice; however, I'm trying to picture the different parts of the 'mile'.

 

What confuses me is that my postal address is officially Scotland Gate; However, I believed previously that Scotland Gate was actually further up the road, near to the Traveller's Rest. I know the location of all the other places except the curious 'Pace or Peas Bush';can anyone shed light on this?

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To me Scotland gate was always starting from the post office opposite what was the club (Scotland gate club in fact) to Tates shop and down to the prefabs. peas bush seems vaguely familiar but I just cant place it.

I recall that that on the roadway to the pit which was just after the Travellers was the miners welfare club and institute and opposite it was a showmans guild site. Rices chip shop was opposite Tates shop where the greenlay shop is (I think it is greenlay - or was - it sold mowers etc )

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just looking back over the thread re the chapel at Choppington Station - there is a jpg attachment on the 7th post on here - halfway down the bank on the right side you can see the chapel with the wall and elder tree growing over it (no the pic isn't that good to id the tree - I remember it - same as the lilac tree across the road from the Railway tavern. hope that helps

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