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Arkle- Choppington

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Hello, just stumbled upon this wonderful site!

Anyhow, wonder if anyone knows anything about my family. Grandparents lived in Choppington, next to the first school. I'd also be interested to find out about the family when they owned Paddock Hall, on the Morpeth Road. I'm freinds with the present owners and know they'd love to see photo's if anyone has any. thanks

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Hello, just stumbled upon this wonderful site!

Anyhow, wonder if anyone knows anything about my family. Grandparents lived in Choppington, next to the first school. I'd also be interested to find out about the family when they owned Paddock Hall, on the Morpeth Road. I'm freinds with the present owners and know they'd love to see photo's if anyone has any. thanks

Paddock Hall? is that the over priced riding school? I know of quite a few Arkles in the Bedlington area but you have not done yourself any favours by leaving your profile blank, or by not introducing yourself to the members. A little background information would be a great help

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Paddock Hall? is that the over priced riding school? I know of quite a few Arkles in the Bedlington area but you have not done yourself any favours by leaving your profile blank, or by not introducing yourself to the members. A little background information would be a great help

sorry, just stumbled across the site today so wasn't aware of any site ettiquette

as for the riding school, you get what you pay for

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I went to school, Guide Post County Secondary Modern, with Tony Arkle who lived in Choppington; somewhere opposite the old social club (can`t remember the street).

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I went to school, Guide Post County Secondary Modern, with Tony Arkle who lived in Choppington; somewhere opposite the old social club (can`t remember the street).

ialso went to guide post school 1948 till 1952 i new of chris arkle he was fore overman at choppington colliery and his brother john was day shift overman till it closed in 1966 .they both lived at choppinton.

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I went to school with David and Alan Arkle who lived at the top of Bedlington bank, we went from Infants to Whitley and then to Westridge, they were both very nice guys, I think their Dad was a spsrky at the Doctor pit, I lost touch after we moved to Newbiggin,Stuart Young ( market Club ) would still know them

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Thanks everyone for leaving info. I don't recognise any names - but then I'm only just starting looking at family history. anyway, a few details that i do know -

my mam, Lucy Arkle was born in c1934, and married Colin Smith, from I think, the Stakeford area. she had 2 older brothers Ted & Wilf.

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ialso went to guide post school 1948 till 1952 i new of chris arkle he was fore overman at choppington colliery and his brother john was day shift overman till it closed in 1966 .they both lived at choppinton.

Chris Arkle was trapped in the High Pit shaft on a Cup Final Day.

He was found several hours later.

He was soaking with wet and very cold, but made a full recovery.

Tony Arkle went to Guide Post Secondary Modern School with me. He is now a bus inspector for Ariva i believe and lives at Bedlington Bower Grange area.

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i was working at choppington colliery when chris arkle was left in the shaft . nobody can under stand how he was left in the shaft as it wasnt the main shaft it was the upcast shaft that was used only for venterlation and emergencies if needed

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i was working at choppington colliery when chris arkle was left in the shaft . nobody can under stand how he was left in the shaft as it wasnt the main shaft it was the upcast shaft that was used only for venterlation and emergencies if needed

He was a very ;uck fellow. I believe he had tickets to go. When he didnt arrive from work a full search was done and thats how they found him.

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For what it matters,and only for correctness,John Arkle wasn't the backoverman,he was mastershifter,that is,the overman in the nightshift.

He kept this shift permanently,starting at 5-0pm till 12-15 am.

He was a lovely bloke,as was Chris,but Chris took some getting used to,with his dry sense of humour,which could be slightly sarcastic,with no ill-intent whatsoever...they were both very fair,well-liked blokes,and that's a well-known fact among anybody who really knew them.

Chris once caught me dozing off at bait-time,at 3-0am,in foreshift,when i was only about 18 years old,and staying up during the day,with the novelty of shift work,dog tired,having had no sleep,and he knocked me on the top of my pit hat with a prop-end,[ a "heed-tree"],shouting .."Wilma..wake up...yi sleepy-heeded c....!!!!!!!!

He should have had me to the managers office to be fined,possibly sacked,as sleeping was a serious offence....but he laughed at my weak excuses

and warned me....next time....yi young bugger.......!!

Mind,i was always under the impression,from hearsay at the pit,that it was John who was left halfway up the shaft in the cage,not trapped,just "rapped clear" by the onsetter....unless he rapped himself away,and he's two raps of three ["men riding"],to the brakesman,and the banksmen,could have been mistaken by the brakesman as a "six"...which meant .."shaft clear"..in which case the procedure was always to take both cages to the middle of the shaft to equalise the strain on the ropes.

It was common knowledge at the pit that he was given the officials job to keep him quiet,but as it was hearsay,i always doubted the validity of the rumour....cause he was in the shaft for fourteen hours,and that shaft had a bend in it when it was sunk.

Consequently,all the water that teemed constantly down the shaft,poured into the cages,as they were made out of perforated steel sheet,with inch-diameter holes throughout,for lightness.....four feet square,only room for four men to squeeze in...pretty claustrophobic,cold and soaking wet...he should never have needed to work again..he should have been financially rewarded.

It really was a TETTY-PIT...!

The other brother was called Ernie,and he was one of the "Fivers men"...a team led by Eddie Halliday,with marra's Harry Undeldorf,[Polish],

and Ernie Clough.

These lads drove all the new roads,and won all the new coalfaces out,plus any other specialist work such as re-modelling roads,etc.....this is what i did

but it was called composite work at other pits.

The reason they were called "fivers" was cos they got paid £5 a shift,when the coalfillers only got £4-and five shillings a shift.[ or 85 bob a shift]

At one time , i knew every man at the pit,when there was only 300 men worked there.

I worked with Pat Purcell in the timber yard,from school,then Ned Cushing,the training officer,took me down once i was 16 yrs,to work with John Wardlow,and John Dickinson..great lads to train under..hard work,on heavy transport.

I worked with Dor Dryer,and he's Father,old Dor,and he's uncles Freddie,and Jackie...it was a proper little family pit..with canny blokes,and stinking conditions!

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Why not visit Flickr and type in "HIGH PIT WILMA'S PHOTOSTREAM"...or Google "BATES PIT PHOTOS"...my pics are on Flickr.and i reserve all

copyrights.There's some interesting shots on there ,taken before the pit closed in 1986.

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Now there was a family of different Arkles,at Hollymount Square,in the 60's,they worked at Bedlington A pit,and had a Daughter who was a beauty queen.

The census should show all these people to helpyou with your quest!

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Why not visit Flickr and type in "HIGH PIT WILMA'S PHOTOSTREAM"...or Google "BATES PIT PHOTOS"...my pics are on Flickr.and i reserve all

copyrights.There's some interesting shots on there ,taken before the pit closed in 1986.

Adam,

You need to take a look that these........your old man's on one of the shots!

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Just looked at those pics, fascinating. My wifes father -- Tom (Tomma) Elliott -- was killed in a stonefall at Bates pit (after going back in to get someone else out) somewhere around 66 /'68. My brother in law (Lol Dun) worked there for 40 years or so till it closed. My uncle ( Dougie Scantlebury) whent to Bates after the Station pit closed, he stayed there till he retired but never liked that pit, he said that he never felt safe there.

Edited by keith

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Adam,

You need to take a look that these........your old man's on one of the shots!

He is in two of them Malcolm and also has Two of him at Ashington Colliery on Flickr.

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For what it matters,and only for correctness,John Arkle wasn't the backoverman,he was mastershifter,that is,the overman in the nightshift.

He kept this shift permanently,starting at 5-0pm till 12-15 am.

He was a lovely bloke,as was Chris,but Chris took some getting used to,with his dry sense of humour,which could be slightly sarcastic,with no ill-intent whatsoever...they were both very fair,well-liked blokes,and that's a well-known fact among anybody who really knew them.

Chris once caught me dozing off at bait-time,at 3-0am,in foreshift,when i was only about 18 years old,and staying up during the day,with the novelty of shift work,dog tired,having had no sleep,and he knocked me on the top of my pit hat with a prop-end,[ a "heed-tree"],shouting .."Wilma..wake up...yi sleepy-heeded c....!!!!!!!!

He should have had me to the managers office to be fined,possibly sacked,as sleeping was a serious offence....but he laughed at my weak excuses

and warned me....next time....yi young bugger.......!!

Mind,i was always under the impression,from hearsay at the pit,that it was John who was left halfway up the shaft in the cage,not trapped,just "rapped clear" by the onsetter....unless he rapped himself away,and he's two raps of three ["men riding"],to the brakesman,and the banksmen,could have been mistaken by the brakesman as a "six"...which meant .."shaft clear"..in which case the procedure was always to take both cages to the middle of the shaft to equalise the strain on the ropes.

It was common knowledge at the pit that he was given the officials job to keep him quiet,but as it was hearsay,i always doubted the validity of the rumour....cause he was in the shaft for fourteen hours,and that shaft had a bend in it when it was sunk.

Consequently,all the water that teemed constantly down the shaft,poured into the cages,as they were made out of perforated steel sheet,with inch-diameter holes throughout,for lightness.....four feet square,only room for four men to squeeze in...pretty claustrophobic,cold and soaking wet...he should never have needed to work again..he should have been financially rewarded.

It really was a TETTY-PIT...!

The other brother was called Ernie,and he was one of the "Fivers men"...a team led by Eddie Halliday,with marra's Harry Undeldorf,[Polish],

and Ernie Clough.

These lads drove all the new roads,and won all the new coalfaces out,plus any other specialist work such as re-modelling roads,etc.....this is what i did

but it was called composite work at other pits.

The reason they were called "fivers" was cos they got paid £5 a shift,when the coalfillers only got £4-and five shillings a shift.[ or 85 bob a shift]

At one time , i knew every man at the pit,when there was only 300 men worked there.

I worked with Pat Purcell in the timber yard,from school,then Ned Cushing,the training officer,took me down once i was 16 yrs,to work with John Wardlow,and John Dickinson..great lads to train under..hard work,on heavy transport.

I worked with Dor Dryer,and he's Father,old Dor,and he's uncles Freddie,and Jackie...it was a proper little family pit..with canny blokes,and stinking conditions!

No them all.

You must have know me dad, John Dawson. There was Tom (Tucker) and Bart Dawson, Geordie Wharton, sammy neal, and many more. Got some cracking pics too from underground and the lads who lived at the High Pit.

John W SNRG. Hi John, we were at school together, Tony Arkle lived in Francis Villas. As you state, just opposite the old club. The club premises were originally a butchers shop. Mind you John, that was long before were thought of :)

John. i don't see many of our old school mates these days with living in Newbiggin now. Can you remember Ernie Arkle ? He was 2 years older than us. A lovely lad, just like the Arkles we are talking about on here.

He married John Brown's sister, Heather. They lived at Number 1 Woodhorn Drive, just on the corner as we approached the reaer of the school. It was a council house. There was no private ones built at that time, just the four council ones. 1.2.3.and 4. In number two, Waklter Bridgewater the probation officer moved into it in the early 1990s. He had moved from 46 Ashington Drive to there when his wife died.

Anyway i will hunt some pics out and scan them in and i will find that story about the shaft as it covers the incident well. I got it from the old Blyth News, i think.

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Hi John,i mentioned Ernie Arkle in that long posting above....mind,i was only 16 years of age,and they were all old men to me then,even though they might have only been in their 30's or 40's.I used to trail all of their girders and conveyor belt pans and coalcutters etc,on the bare ground cos there was no rails laid in the maingates at high pit...it was cruelty for the horses and for us too.Her Majesty;s mines inspectors turned a blind eye to the way roadways were driven so low that horses scraped their backs to the flesh but would fine you for throwing your bait papers down in the goaf.....crazy justice!I knew everybody at the pit before they started transferring men from other pits,they doubled the workforce from 300 men in 1959 to 600 men in 1965...but the output per manshift dropped so they deemed it to be uneconomical...just like all the other pits that followed!

Lots of men only had nicknames at the pit,John...there Les..."fingers " Dawson,DaaDaa [Alan Dawson]"Salt" Dawson,Harper

[Harry]Dawson,..he came from the low pit when it closed ,there were loads of father's and Sons like the Nicholson brothers,the Dryer family,the Barrats,etc,,,,it sure was a close knit community pit like i never saw ever again.

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John,i'd love to see the high pit underground pics,you might have the original of my Father at 14 years old,as a young putter,at bait-time wi he;s pony,i uploaded it on flickr,its a rarity taken around 1929-30-ish...

I don't know how to even put a pic up here for my avater nivvor mind post them on the site!

Get cracking John please!

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HPW,

Click on your blank avatar,

That opens your home page.

With the cursor on your avatar there is a black box opens titled 'change', click on that.

It already picks custom for you so just click on the file box and go through your files until you get the one you want and click that.

Should automatically load as your new avatar.

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Hi John,i mentioned Ernie Arkle in that long posting above....mind,i was only 16 years of age,and they were all old men to me then,even though they might have only been in their 30's or 40's.I used to trail all of their girders and conveyor belt pans and coalcutters etc,on the bare ground cos there was no rails laid in the maingates at high pit...it was cruelty for the horses and for us too.Her Majesty;s mines inspectors turned a blind eye to the way roadways were driven so low that horses scraped their backs to the flesh but would fine you for throwing your bait papers down in the goaf.....crazy justice!I knew everybody at the pit before they started transferring men from other pits,they doubled the workforce from 300 men in 1959 to 600 men in 1965...but the output per manshift dropped so they deemed it to be uneconomical...just like all the other pits that followed!

Lots of men only had nicknames at the pit,John...there Les..."fingers " Dawson,DaaDaa [Alan Dawson]"Salt" Dawson,Harper

[Harry]Dawson,..he came from the low pit when it closed ,there were loads of father's and Sons like the Nicholson brothers,the Dryer family,the Barrats,etc,,,,it sure was a close knit community pit like i never saw ever again.

Yes knew them all. Daa Daa (Alan) also worked at Whittle Colliery when i was there.

Hard graft too it was, all hand filling, old fashioned bumping, you name it.

Heres a new one, and true. The third panal started from the bottom side of Whittle and we had a wheelbarrow to fill the coal and stone into, then wheeled it to the main conveyor to unload. Now that was mechanisation wern't it.

Horrible pit, but good crack and always fit when working there. :)

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Heh heh!

Thanks Malcolm,aam a bit late o' catching up!...better late than never,as aad Nicky,[Headmaster at Whitley School in my childhood]..used ti say....

before he terrorised you,then thrashed you over both hands!!

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I was at Choppington High Pit for six years,1959-1965...and was transferred ti Bedlington A pit,a few months afore thi high pit closed.

Just ti re-cap,John Arkle was always in night-shift..[5-0pm]..["Mastershifter"],Chris Arkle,[John's Brother],kept the 12-0 midnight shift..[" Fore-Overman"...or.........."Fore-Owaman"],and Joe Barratt kept the "Back-shift"..[which was 8-30am start.]...and he was thi "Back-Overman"...[or ...

.."Back-Owaman"]

Noo,when yi luk at these three Senior officials,ya lukking at the best of british miners,that could ivvor have come oot o' mining.

An awkward sod of an elder miner,at Bates Pit,once said ti me,[when aa was a young Deputy],"Ye fella's ownly gaan onti Deputy-wark,cos ye canna manage piecewark..".......!!

Whey,as it happened,after seven years, a chucked Deputy-work in,and was accepted back inti the N.U.M.,at Bates,summik which had nivvor been done before,cos ya regarded as "Poacher-turned-Gamekeeper".

And as it also happened,the awkward sods who made these remarks ti me,pulling me doon,had ti come up the coalface,and work with me,and it turned oot,they couldn't tie tha own shoe-laces next ti me!!

See,they were taken from their push handles -on-the-mechanised-coalface,back to old-fashioned coalcutting,drilling and firing the coal,and hand-filling

24 tons of coal,a shift,onto a rubber conveyor belt,which was a few yards away from ye,so ye had ti really hoy ivry shuul-full hard,ti reach the conveyor belt.

After one hour,some of these so-called.."miners",were literally buggaad!!

Nae mair sarcastic remarks made ti Wilma after these episodes!! 

Ivry dog has he's day,they say,and mind,it's a grand feeling!!

Right!,...hoo a got on aboot aal that,was,these blokes would have said the same thing ti these three Officials,and wat a big mistake they would hae made!!

Oh,a forgot,another Deputy,who a knew,at Bedlington A pit,came under thi syem category as these three.....a fella caaled Joe Craddock.

Noo,John,research this one,if ye can,please!

During,or just after the War,[ww2],there was a big drive on for coal,so inter-pit contests were held,ti find the best and fastest coal-fillers.

In Northumberland,as I understand it,the final two were Joe Barratt,from Choppington High Pit,against Joe Craddock,from Bedlington A Pit.

Both big fellas,and both strong as an Ox.

It was widely known that Joe Craddock won the contest,after filling 72 pit-tubs of coal,in a single shift,with Joe Barratt very,very,close behind.

....beaten by half a tub,or summick daft like that.

In fairness ti Joe Barratt,he was in stinking bad conditions,as was usual,at thi High Pit,and Joe Craddock had gud conditions,as was usual at Bedlington

A pit.

So they were probably equal in their amazing ability,and,in later life,as officials of the mine,MORE than qualified,ti tell a man hoo ti dae any job in thi pit!

If Lone Ranger is knocking around,he will maybe confirm these facts,or maybe John will help out.

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HI THERE I'M NEW TO THE SITE SO PLEASE BARE WITH ME. REALLY INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT MORE ABOUT MY DAD'S FAMILY. JOHN (JACK) SMITH ARKLE AND JANE (JAMESON) ARKLE. MY GRANDAD AND GRANDMA. THEY livED AT 26 ALEXANDRA ROW BARNTON. 11 CHILDREN. WOULD BE GREAT TO FIND SOMEONE WHO KNEW THEM PERSONALY AS I NEVER MET GRANDAD AND GRANDAD. MUCH APPRECIATED

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