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Old Views Of Gallager Park.....


Malcolm Robinson
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I remember the " pit heap " very well. My brother and i saw it every day when we looked out of our bedroom window at Terrier Close.

A sad, but true, tale about the pit heap. We had relatives living in Rothesay Terrace at the time, and went to visit them quite regularly. However, after the tragic Aberfan disaster, my mother refused to visit them any more for fear of the same thing happening. So sad.

Thanks for the memories and the shots Malcolm

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Bates was to the right of these pics Adam. I'll have a pint of what your drinking.

Ah yes :beer: got mixed up with my left and right, :blush: saying that if it was done before 68 and was a bit to the left you would have got cambois colliery in. Which it looks like, right in the background of the first picture, if im not mistaken.

Edited by Adam Hogg
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No its not Table Top Mountain!

post-23-0-97085300-1340720641_thumb.jpg

post-23-0-71199500-1340720668_thumb.jpg

As viewed from Vulcan Place and Moorland Avenue ( would be about just after the lights were put there I suppose). These photo's confirm my reasons for not backing Adams nostalgic wish for the return of the pits to Bedlington. Who in their right mind would want to go back to the days of that thing dominating the skyline. Yes there were happy memories playing on it, we knew no better at the time. I wouldn't like my kids playing on there now. Bedlington is a far cleaner and healthier place to live without it. When the wind got up Bedlington got covered in crap, sorry Adam but you weren't around to witness it like many of us were.
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As viewed from Vulcan Place and Moorland Avenue ( would be about just after the lights were put there I suppose). These photo's confirm my reasons for not backing Adams nostalgic wish for the return of the pits to Bedlington. Who in their right mind would want to go back to the days of that thing dominating the skyline. Yes there were happy memories playing on it, we knew no better at the time. I wouldn't like my kids playing on there now. Bedlington is a far cleaner and healthier place to live without it. When the wind got up Bedlington got covered in crap, sorry Adam but you weren't around to witness it like many of us were.

My Dad was and he did not mind it and personally i would perfer the old pit heap to any new housing (what is to be built on the church hall) or what is behind netherton hall, but also some pits never had heaps.

Edited by Adam Hogg
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My Dad was and he did not mind it and personally i would perfer the old pit heap to any new housing (what is to be built on the church hall) or what is behind netherton hall, but also some pits never had heaps.

No heaps if they were on the coast , Bates Cambois Lynemouth etc. The spoils whent out to sea. Sea coal washed up. The beaches were dirty. I really cannot understand why anybody would prefer to have that pitheap here. We now have a much cleaner place to live. As far as unemployment is concerned, I was lucky I started as an apprentice at Ashington farm, 2 weeks after leaving school in 1971. A few of my mateswhent down the pit and couldn't wait to get out. I would like to bet that there was just as mny unemployed then than there is now, if not more. Ted Heaths government, the 1st miners strike, the 4 day week, electricity rationing / power cuts. Yep they were the good old days ! Yes the pits did provide work, they kept local businesses and suppliers / fringe trades going etc. (including hospital wards and pulminary units) There was a certain cameraderie among the workers. BUT give me the much cleaner place which we live in now. You really did have to be there Adam!
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No heaps if they were on the coast , Bates Cambois Lynemouth etc. The spoils whent out to sea. Sea coal washed up. The beaches were dirty. I really cannot understand why anybody would prefer to have that pitheap here. We now have a much cleaner place to live. As far as unemployment is concerned, I was lucky I started as an apprentice at Ashington farm, 2 weeks after leaving school in 1971. A few of my mateswhent down the pit and couldn't wait to get out. I would like to bet that there was just as mny unemployed then than there is now, if not more. Ted Heaths government, the 1st miners strike, the 4 day week, electricity rationing / power cuts. Yep they were the good old days ! Yes the pits did provide work, they kept local businesses and suppliers / fringe trades going etc. (including hospital wards and pulminary units) There was a certain cameraderie among the workers. BUT give me the much cleaner place which we live in now. You really did have to be there Adam!

I understand the health of the time, my grandads worked at a lot of pits in the area both have health problems now but they would go back down the pit again if they could and many other people i know have said the same "if the pits had not shut we would still go down them." It is up to the people you talk to but personally as i have said many times before if any pit was open in the north east i would go down it to work, hot, cold, dry, damp, dirty or clean i would not mind at all.

Edited by Adam Hogg
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Hi Malcolm, those photos of the pit heap are awesome. I used to look out at it every day from my bedroom window at Terrier Close but I didn't really think it was that massive - until I saw your photos. Just for the record my father died down the Dr. A two months before I was born. He was a cutter and the machine caught a prop. The roof caved in on him. My family were at Bolam Place at the time then we moved up to Terrier Close. I still remember the pit hooter though! Incredible photos.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I forgot how big that old pile of *earth workings* was.

well i bet you can all remember playing in the marshy bits behind rothsey terrace and going home without your shoes.

well we did have the mining industryto thank for the old ashington hospital,

but then we also had the TB wards at north seaton

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in the streets at night when it was damp you would get covered with black soot that hung in the air both from the heaps and the smoke from the chimneys of the houses, it was not practical to take a bath every night since you may have used the old tin baths that you had to heat up the water in the fireplace, a wet cloth to wipe off with was all we had, every one was exposed to breathing in the smoke, it was just the way it was.

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in the streets at night when it was damp you would get covered with black soot that hung in the air both from the heaps and the smoke from the chimneys of the houses, it was not practical to take a bath every night since you may have used the old tin baths that you had to heat up the water in the fireplace, a wet cloth to wipe off with was all we had, every one was exposed to breathing in the smoke, it was just the way it was.

Ah! the good old days!
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Spare a thought for all the housewives at that time. What a job it must have been keeping your home and children clean.Vacuum-cleaners weren't exactly 2 a penny. Carpet sweepers, at best, were all they had to clean rugs and floors with and they couldn't have been much help in the constant battle against soot. No, it was good old-fashioned elbow grease, carbolic soap and scrubbing brushes that were the order of the day. Keeping children clean and tidy must also have been a nightmare. Washing days were at least 2 days long. Washing machines when I was a child were hand driven and the 'poss-tub' and 'poss-stick' (sometimes called a dolly) were common place. I remember being allowed, as a child to get into the tub and 'poss' with my feet. I thought it was great fun. My mother probably just thought she would save getting the bath out for me later. If washing was a labour of love, then getting the washing dried was even more so! It was almost impossible to dry washing outdoors. Not because of the weather but because of the soot in the air. I remember sitting down to tea in the sitting room/ kitchen and not knowing who I was sharing the table with at times, as there would be a double bed sheet hanging on the line that stretched from one side of the room to the other at all times. The sheet reached down to the table, completely blocking the view. Yet just look at some of the class photos being exhibited here on this site. How well turned out the children were. They were a credit to the hard working mothers of the era. Adam, you say you would like the pits back. You say your grandads would go down the pits again if they could. I'm sure the camaraderie in the pits was second to none and worth returning for but how would your grandmothers like the pits back?

Edited by Canny lass
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i can remember the days of the posstub and poss stick mam used to ask me to do some possing for her i used to try and help her but it never worked very well as i was just able to see into the tub (well i tried but not very good ) she also hung a mat over the washing line and used to hit it with the broom to get the dust out of it . happy days oh to have them days back/

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Spare a thought for all the housewives at that time. What a job it must have been keeping your home and children clean.Vacuum-cleaners weren't exactly 2 a penny. Carpet sweepers, at best, were all they had to clean rugs and floors with and they couldn't have been much help in the constant battle against soot. No, it was good old-fashioned elbow grease, carbolic soap and scrubbing brushes that were the order of the day. Keeping children clean and tidy must also have been a nightmare. Washing days were at least 2 days long. Washing machines when I was a child were hand driven and the 'poss-tub' and 'poss-stick' (sometimes called a dolly) were common place. I remember being allowed, as a child to get into the tub and 'poss' with my feet. I thought it was great fun. My mother probably just thought she would save getting the bath out for me later. If washing was a labour of love, then getting the washing dried was even more so! It was almost impossible to dry washing outdoors. Not because of the weather but because of the soot in the air. I remember sitting down to tea in the sitting room/ kitchen and not knowing who I was sharing the table with at times, as there would be a double bed sheet hanging on the line that stretched from one side of the room to the other at all times. The sheet reached down to the table, completely blocking the view. Yet just look at some of the class photos being exhibited here on this site. How well turned out the children were. They were a credit to the hard working mothers of the era. Adam, you say you would like the pits back. You say your grandads would go down the pits again if they could. I'm sure the camaraderie in the pits was second to none and worth returning for but how would your grandmothers like the pits back?

My grandmothers and my mother would not mind to see the pits return either, as i said depends who you talk to and ask, everyone has different views on different matters.

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