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Clippie Shop At Choppington Station

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yes MOE -  it was Harry Dobson and he was a great teacher - took an interest - he was at king Edwards at Morpeth as a pupil and when I got a place there he took me for extra french and he used to organise trips out.

You are right about the surgery being in the front room! and it was opposite the police house.

Mr Dawes - a man with a liking to give out a dose of the 'strap' -- pmsl - the days of corporal punishment in schools - now long gone. I recall the chapel it was along from the shop owned by Christopher Million? father? I went to Sunday school there!

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I recall that Harry Dobson did indeed pass over a few years back - a great loss

http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/former-morpeth-headmaster-harry-dobson-4480568

Was thinking of those times and think that the matriarch of the Rice family of the chip shop at Scotland Gate was known as 'Teeny' and her son was George?

There was another teacher at Choppington primary, but can't recall his name - short, balding, quite rotund fellow and I think he may have taken history and English - he was also a lay-preacher and often was at he chapel at Choppington Station. 

 

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Just now, pilgrim said:

I recall that Harry Dobson did indeed pass over a few years back - a great loss

http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/former-morpeth-headmaster-harry-dobson-4480568

 

Thanks for that link pilgrim, I never knew that Harry had become a headmaster or that he was an Author.

I heard he had passed away but did not know it was under such tragic circumstances.

He was a lovely man who loved his work and was well liked and respected by  the children he taught.

May he rest in peace.  

 

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6 minutes ago, pilgrim said:

 

Was thinking of those times and think that the matriarch of the Rice family of the chip shop at Scotland Gate was known as 'Teeny' and her son was George?

 

 

Thats correct George married Kitty and they ran the shop for many years,

I can remember the shop well it was very traditional with bottles of Villa pop on display along the shelves at the back of the counter, the range that cooked the fish and chips was coal fired, goodness knows how George controlled the temperature of the fat, I think it was latter replaced by an electric or gas range.

It has a little sitting in area to the side  and I can remember having chips and a glass of pop, also behind the counter was a door leading to a kind of parlour  big open range fire.

It was always busy when the Gate club closed and when the last bus came in, Kitty was a lovely woman and George cooked great tasting fish and chips..        

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yep = the door behind the counter went into the back room for 'sit down food' and of course it had the oilcloth table cover!!

I seem to think Tommy Williams was the steward of the club about then?

Edited by pilgrim

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I'm not sure about facts and figures but I lived at the "Gate" around about the era you're talking about, I used  Teeny's and Rhoda's fish shop and also knew Syd very well. My mother worked as  barmaid at the Gate Club and I thought at the time someone called Lockey was Steward but I couldn't argue, maybe someone on here can confirm?

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11 hours ago, pilgrim said:

 

I seem to think Tommy Williams was the steward of the club about then?

You are correct Tommy Williams was steward of the Gate Club for many years he lived in the club house and had a son called Tom and a daughter who name I cant recall at the moment, Tommys wife was the Stewardess I think she was called Iris she sadly passed away when the children were young and Tommy ran the club by himself .

Young Tom worked at one of the mines possibly Ellington. Tommy his father passed away a few years ago.

 

The gate club was only a singe story building but towards the end of its life the top story concert room was added it closed not long afterwards. Josie Routledge   (married to Jacky) worked as a barmaid at the Club for for many years, when it closed she ended her time behind the bar working at Guidepost Club. 

   

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I visited my mother today - she was 88 yesterday- she can recall some things but many things are now lost due to the stroke. we did speak about Choppington station and she confirmed that Tommy Williams was the club steward, tommy Henderson had the post office etc. Station Terrace at that time - no 1 had been owned by Fenwick Redpath, no2 a woman called Olive, no 3 Mrs Syrett who had golden retrievers and a lodger  called John Latimer - who was disabled and worked at remploy and had one of those blue 3 wheel cars. no 4 was George Barnfather, and no 5 was Teeny and George Rice. The station masters house was occupied by a man called Clifford who may have been Welsh  - and seems to recall his wife was not in the best of mental health. there was a house behind the station masters house which I recall was occupied by an old gent, who I only knew as 'old army'. the access to the upstairs was via a ladder and he had paintings of his time in what I think must have been the Boer Wars due to the uniforms (white helmets and scarlet tunics) 

She did recall Phill Joiscies father who had the house behind the masonic hall aside the red lion and was an engineer and invented the 'Joystripper' - a simple hand tool for stripping the outer from the metal sheathed and powder? filled fireproof pit cables (HPW- can you enlighten us?) he moved to widdrington and made his workshop and house out of the widdrington drift buildings. I recall having great fun thrashing around the pit yard with Phil in a bond bug - --kick start under the bonnet and no reverse!!! Phil is now a lawyer down south. and of course Mr Hall with the Pyrenean mountain dog! my mother was manageress of Carrick's in the Market Place for many a year, so most of you prob know her.

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further to all the above ..

this site has been a great help when speaking to my mother, but she does get frustrated when she cant recall things but quite a few names and places have triggered memories, for which I thank you all.

ref the police house at Guide Post, I remember that they had a Francis Barnett issued (very Heartbeat!) but the radio was useless as it drained the battery in minutes!

Many years ago I bought a Royal Enfield 250 which was an ex police bike and had been lying in the workshops for many years- the workshops at Morpeth still had the full service records of it and it had been allocated to both Morpeth and Bedlington, although I can't recall ever seeing it.

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tried to put this above..

beside the Willow Bridge lived one of the Barnfather sons and the other lived opposite the church towards Scotland Gate. Also living there was a family called Ankle and a chap with a horse and cart - Billy Dixon.

I recall that Tait from the ice cream shop was buried at the door of the church so he must have some standing in the community.

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7 hours ago, pilgrim said:

a woman called Olive

That would be Olive Rochester, sister of Bob Rochester who was married to Esther who ran the 'shop' in the small green hut at Netherton Colliery. Olive helped out in the shop at odd times when Esther needed a day off. Nice woman but not as generous as Esther when weighing up sweets. Threepence went a lot further with Esther at the scales. 

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Canny Lass - I seem to remember that Olive had a niece?? who would be in her 50's now, but I cant recall her name but she was a regular visitor and often stayed at Olive's at Choppington Station, I presume she might have been the daughter of Esther?

 

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23 hours ago, pilgrim said:

Canny Lass - I seem to remember that Olive had a niece?? who would be in her 50's now, but I cant recall her name but she was a regular visitor and often stayed at Olive's at Choppington Station, I presume she might have been the daughter of Esther?

 

If she'd be in her fifties now then she couldn't have been very old at the time i have in mind - the fifties. I know Olive lived at number 2 then, because I visited with a relative a couple of times. Bob and Esther didn't have any children then. I don't think they ever had any and I think that's why they loved the colliery 'bairns' as much as they did. They werea really nice couple. Bob had several brothers and sisters. It may have been one of their children who visited Olive. I don't think Olive ever married and she had no children of her own. Not 100% certain on that though.

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1 hour ago, pilgrim said:

ref the joystripper

this is it;

http://www.discountfireextinguishers.co.uk/products/MICC-Pyrotenax-Cable-Joistripper-Tool.html

I recall it was about £200 cheaper than the German equivalent! and far simpler to use

Read about those but never saw one! We used a L shaped 1/4" rod with a split in the end... 

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When my family lived in Storey's Buildings,next to the Willow Bridge,Doctor Hickey's surgery was hardly a hundred yards away up the bank towards Scotland Gate,and

all three of the Doctor's,[ie Hickey, Robertson, and Ivory..],would call in noo and again ti see me Parents,and ask if the kids were all right,and we aalwis got a sweetie!!

[only sweeties we ever got cos me Mother used ti swap her sweet rations for tea and sugar and bread,etc..].

Even when we moved ti Hollymount Square,they still called in if they were in the vicinity on their rounds.

In those days,all these Doctors had to get their caplamps and pit byeuts on and go doon thi pit,ti attend accidents where a doctor was called for,usually an amputation,or a morphia injection,[until the pit Deputies and Overman were trained and authorised in the administration of Morphia,when requested by an accident victim.]

Dr Carr,at Blyth,was one of the most respected Docs,being a Miners Compensation Advisor,in disputes between the Coal authority's and the Miner's Union..and also

a member of the Blyth Lifeboat crew.[I stand to be corrected on the use of the word "member",at least he frequently went out on rescue missions with the crews].

I forget which Doc it was who had to go down the Bedlingon A pit shaft,to treat a shaftsman who was trapped between the cage and the shaft side,[halfway down the shaft!...a heroic effort...if ye have ever been in a cage half way doon a shaft,at a standstill,ye wud understand,bad enough hanging there,but ti be on TOP of thi cage.....shiver me timbers!!]

Aye,thi Docs in them days browt many a bairn inti thi world!

 

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Er.....a mistakenly posted this,not realising I was on the previous page,and the topic was about the Doctor's  at Choppington!

Nivvor mind,as regards the Joystripper,I never heard of it,and can't see how it would have been used on cables underground.

All the electricians and fitters I knew,used to carry a heavy duty knife made from a power-hacksaw blade,which WAS heavy-duty!

............ah .....aah,LBJ biting me leg,will continue later!

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Heh heh!....LBJ,when she looks at me wi them soft brown gorgeous eyes....i'm her slave!!

Noo,where was I?....right!,considering that aam just a youngin,this tool might have been afore my time,cos every cable used doon thi pits,were armoured...that right Vic?

The abbreviation..."P.I.L.S.D.W.A" ,comes ti mind from my Deputy's training course,[Electrical Engineering ],which stood for .."Paper-insulated,lead-sheathed,double-wire-armoured..",and is a fitting description of the main feed power cables,which used to be covered with pitch-impregnated braided fibre's,loosely referred to as "tarry-toot".[owt wi pitch in was called tarry-toot!This covering was a sod ti peel off,then it was a hacksaw job ti cut through the two layers of wire armour,which was tough stuff!....hacksaw again,ti cut through the lead sheath,then the knife ti cut back the waxed paper insulation which covered each of the three phase conductors.

It was more than a two-hour job,underground,for the electrician to cut a Pummel-end,[plug] off the H.T. cable,and put a new one on,inluding the cold-pour pitch which had to be poured into the plug itself,to provide waterproofing capabilities.

A can still see aal this,clear as a bell,the sparky,mebbe Eddie Hagerty,or ? Cadwallendar..,or Jimmy Haley,peeling aal thi wire armouring back,aal neatly spaced apart,ti put the gland washers and nuts on,before putting the copper pins in,and boxing the job up....and aam harking back ti when aa was 16 yrs aad![1960]

Obviously,the smaller the cable,the armour was appropriately chosen for that cable.

The first time a ever heard of Pyrotenax cable,was maybe in the early 1970's,[maybe a bit earlier],when my Brother was helping his good friend,Jimmy Nicholson,who ran the telly/radio shop in the Market place,alang from Carricks,when Jimmy got the contract to re-wire St. Cuthbert's Church,in Bedlington.

Me Brother brought a small piece doon ti my hoose ti show me,cos he had nivvor seen any either,and he is three years aulder than me,and worked at the auld pit in Bedlington.

 A somehoo divvent think it would have complied with the Mines and Quarries act 1954,for underground use,in the presence of a potentially explosive gaseous atmosphere,but that's checkable.

Aal aam saying is,in a pit like Choppington High Pit,where they still had machines,conveyor belts,haulers,which were so ancient,they were there in 1929 when my Father was a 14 year old kid!,aal the aad cabling was still in place,including huge variable resistors,to start the big overhead main and tail hauler,and which used to glow red hot,inside the cage they were enclosed in!This was at the shaft-bottom area,and in freezing cold conditions,so the shaft lads and onsetters used to put pies on top of the resistor pack,keep the brakes on the hauler,and switch the hauler onto low start speed..the motor used to hum like hell,and everybody stood aroond the resistor pack ti feel a bit of heat!!!...nea overload safety interlock!![the pack stood aboot 3feet high,and aboot four feet lang,each resistor being aboot as thick as an average thermos flask.]

Aam really intrigued aboot the Joystripper,cos it was obviously used for thi job it was invented for,but a can honestly say,never in the four pits that aa worked at,ti

my knowledge,mind,that's my disclaimer for being an ignorant aad sod........!...not to my knowledge.!

Somebody please enlighten me,maybe they were used in the workshops,at the pit  on bank?

I used ti trail 100 yard lengths of H.T. cable through rough,wet conditions,using two ponies hung on in front of one another,by hanging their tracing chain hooks into the spaces where the gland bolts secured the pummel-end plug onto the cable,and trailing the cable uphill,undulating,around right-angle bends from one roadway into another,and the armouring and tarry-toot covering used ti hold fast,and never pull the plug off the cable-end,they were  so securely fitted in place.

Noo flexible rubber armoured coalcutter cables had a different type of armour,which was flexible twisted thin steel wires,surrounding the cores.

Aav got a pair of car jump-leads,which a made in 1972-ish[aroond that time...give a year or two!],from the cores of a buggered cutter cable,and mind...ye couldn't buy a set like them!!...Vic will remember how thick and strong they were!!

In the latter years,from the '70's,at Bates,we had a main feed of 6'600 volts,knocked doon ti 1100 volts ti run thi shearers,and they used ti shear coal at 200 amps continuous!

Noo,if ye saw the cables for the main feeds,we called them "the elephants trunk's",cos they were flexible pvc covered,and aboot six inches thick,and weighed an absoloute TON!!

It was every man a yard apart when it came to carrying any of that cable in to the face,periodically,as the face advanced.

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HPW, MICC Pyrotenax, Mineral (chalk) Insulated copper cable. Most commonly used for fire alarms systems and explosive atmospheres , (usually orange plastic covered) It wasn't very flexible so only used in permanent installations, never heard of it being used underground but used extensively in industrial and commercial applications where fire may damage and cause the equipment to fail, the copper sheath was stripped (using the said stripping tool) to expose the copper conductors, a pot was then screwed onto the sheath then filled with an insulating putty (thermocouples would be filled with a melted glass) a seal would then be crimped sealing it. After both ends were sealed a 500v-1000v meggar was used for testing and identifying the conductors, I haven't seen any over here so the last terminations I did would be over 40 years ago! I remember doing thousands on the soot blowers at the (late) power station and at Alcan Smelter. The largest size I ever used was at the WOOLCO Kilingworth on the roof mounted AC units. 

 

Right on with the P.I.L.S.D.W.A. wrestled with that a few times.. now you have me rambling on...

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11 hours ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

Dr Carr,at Blyth,was one of the most respected Docs,being a Miners Compensation Advisor,in disputes between the Coal authority's and the Miner's Union..and also

a member of the Blyth Lifeboat crew.[I stand to be corrected on the use of the word "member",at least he frequently went out on rescue missions with the crews].

Reg Carr was the lifeboat doctor and often went out on missions. His surgery was beside the junction south of the theatre at Blyth and he did quite a lot of private work. I believe he lost his son in a climbing accident abroad. Tommy Moss was the Cox of the lifeboat at that time - a huge man who worked a coble and hauled his nets and pots by hand, both his sons still work the cobles, but Tommy died about 6 years ago.

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I am still in touch with Phil Joisce and will ask about the joistripper, his father held the patent for it and made all the parts himself in a workshop attached to the house on the lane leading between the police station and the masonic hall towards the reservoir. (that included casting the parts in alloy) I saw it being used - you selected the correct size for the cable on the barrel part and moved the barrel round to the cutter - the cable went in and you held it with a pair of pliers and wound the cutter down to the pliers and it cut the outer and trimmed it off. They bought the pit head buildings and yard at Widdrington drift and converted them into a house and workshop, it is interesting to see that the stripper is still being made and sold!

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I live in Choppington, a few yards up from the speed camera, and am fascinated to find out there was so much more here, and not that long ago, Thanks for the ongoing conversation, it's taught me a lot!

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HPW - do you recall an electrician called John Dixon (known as Jack) who worked at the Doctor Pit in the 60s until it shut?  He went to Costain's opencast as boss spark when the Doctor shut.  He lived next door to us in East Riggs.  

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some of you might recall my uncle - jack white - he lived in - I think Windsor terrace - east side of the road from Choppington station towards Scotland gate and the second street in from the main road just south of the church (that's not far from you mercury) - daft bugger shot himself pulling a loaded 12 bore over a style after he had climbed over and still has pellets in him yet. worked at the b pit I think. He had a 6T thunderbird - very odd but I recall being given a ride on the tank as I was too small for the seat and many years later I actually used a 6T with a sidecar. He lives above furnace bank now.

now here's a question - I seem to recall a man at Bedlington station aside the cross roads (not the railway lines) that had a swallow sidecar and a bessmarr double adult sidecar in his back garden and a few m/bikes?

I had a panther 650 single (phelan and moore) at the time and got a sidecar for nowt off the motorcycle shop at Newsham who had a wicker Wilkinson sidecar in the loft above the shop as well as many other wonders!

The panther sidecar frame seemed to be made of scaffy poles and had a braked wheel - which made for interesting cornering.

the panther was - er - interesting - it had a valve lifter to kick it over and I still have the scars from it throwing me over the bars when you kicked it over, but it would run on paraffin at a push and only fired every other lamppost!

Edited by pilgrim
other recall

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as an aside - I noticed summat on the chronicle website re Cathy Secker - news broadcaster etc - I seem to recall and I may be well wrong - that she was Catherine Barnfather of the Choppington clan and was a model but had a road accident which left her with legs scars and that put an end to the modelling so she went to broadcasting - nice lass

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