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Thanks John for clearing up my confusion aboot "Piss-pot raa",so it wasn't the slang name for Puddler's raa!

Eggy,the street to thi right of this picture ,sloping doon a slight gradient,was called "South row",or,as we used ti say,in the old days...."Sooth raa".

I worked with all the Hills family at different times,and different pits,as thi years rolled by.

Bobby Hills,and his Brother Billy were Coalcuttermen at thi "Aad pit",in this picture,and Norman,[cousin..i think...],worked at Bates Pit..as well as thi Aad pit.

They were all good workers,and nice blokes to work with.

For all i have vivid memories of my pit experiences,i'm snookered trying ti think where the Aad pit canteen was!!...a just canna picture it in me mind.

A can mind loads of blokes who worked there,when aa was transferred there in 1965,after Choppington high pit closed,aal the way doon from the bath's attendants,time office,lamp cabin,heapstead,shaft bottom,and aal the way inbye,and onto the faces!

And that's a lot of names in me heed!

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Reedy,it's 1-30am,on the 4th of june..[already!!...],and you just made my night!!

My Wife was born in the Puddler's raa,and she is gonna be pleased as hell when i show her this list,in the morning!

This is gonna bring back a lot of memories for her,so many thanks for taking the time and trouble to post the lists,and also thanks to your Father for his assistance!!

I worked with some of these people at the Aad pit in the 1960's.

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Thanks John for clearing up my confusion aboot "Piss-pot raa",so it wasn't the slang name for Puddler's raa!

Eggy,the street to thi right of this picture ,sloping doon a slight gradient,was called "South row",or,as we used ti say,in the old days...."Sooth raa".

I worked with all the Hills family at different times,and different pits,as thi years rolled by.

Bobby Hills,and his Brother Billy were Coalcuttermen at thi "Aad pit",in this picture,and Norman,[cousin..i think...],worked at Bates Pit..as well as thi Aad pit.

They were all good workers,and nice blokes to work with.

For all i have vivid memories of my pit experiences,i'm snookered trying ti think where the Aad pit canteen was!!...a just canna picture it in me mind.

A can mind loads of blokes who worked there,when aa was transferred there in 1965,after Choppington high pit closed,aal the way doon from the bath's attendants,time office,lamp cabin,heapstead,shaft bottom,and aal the way inbye,and onto the faces!

And that's a lot of names in me heed!

As I will have passed that canteen every school day for six years on the way to Barrington CP you would think I could not forget where it was, but there is that very small doubut. I believe it was just to the left of this picture, a single story sandy coloured brick building. I am 99% sure. Doubt if we will ever find a picture, unless the canteen staff had an xmas party and invited The Management!post-3031-0-96328200-1370336110_thumb.jp Edited by Eggy1948

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Aye Eggy,it's queer hoo sum things just dinna cum ti mind when yi want thim tae!

Aam writing me life story,from as far back as a can remember,aboot two years aad,noo ivry detail aav put in me story is fact and as accurate as me vivid memories allow,yet a canna mind sum simple details!

Book one is finished,which charts me life up ti starting the pits from school aged 15 years.

Aav covered aal the things we did as laddies growing up,like playing owa thi opencast,at Bedlington,in 1954,gaan doon thi free woods at Bedltn,pinchin' apples,catapults,peashooters,paper aeroplanes,yi naa thi stuff laddies did post-war!

Aam just at the start of book two,which is charting me whole 28 years mining experiences,and aam just up ti thi age of 17 years,with aalriddy owa 200 pages!!

Tha'al be nae bugga alive on earth ti read me byeuk,by thi time aam finished it,so aal caal it Doomsday No 2!!!!!

Will anybody be interested in reading wat an aad bugga like me did in an 18" coal seam,soaking wet,and at risk of being crushed by roof falls of stone,evry day??!!

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I worked at that pit for six years,and knew most of the 900 men that also worked there,some only by nickname....as lots of the men only knew me by Wilma,i remember all the workings,especially the latter years,cos i was on composite work,[or development work as it was also known as....],and i was on winning out all the new coal faces.

Jimmy Gallagher,[sadly Deceased..R.I.P.Jim..],was the fastest winderman at the pit,and when you worked at the shaft bottom,as i did,at times when our cavil was off,you knew without being told!!The cages came down as if the rope had snapped...so fast!

This meant that in his shift,he would wind more scores of coal than other windermen,with no disrespect to any of those other lads,cos they knew it was true!....and he only had one eye....smashing lad was Jimmy,also my Neighbour for a lot of years.

Sadly missed by all who knew him.

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Having worked in the most atrocious conditions,at Choppington High Pit,for six years,from age 15years,straight from my school desk,it was a pleasure to find that,generally speaking,conditions weren't too bad at Bedltn Aad pit.

The first day doon,we[me high pit marra's and me..6 of us in sets of two's],went in ti thi Harvey Seam,

it was a bit damp roond the edges of wor byeut soles,and hellish thick wi dust on the groond in some places.

We stopped haaf way in forra blaa,[ a rest..]cos it was very warm,with poor ventilation,making breathing difficult,as the dust was kicked up into the air,by the boots of all the men in front.

As we got our breath back,and cooled doon a bit,one of the aad pit men turned to us Choppington men,and said...."Was it as rough as this doon thi High Pit?...!"

Me and my marra's all started laughing,and thought he was just winding us up!......He wasn't!!

Those men at the aad pit hadn't seen any other pit from them leaving school,so they thought they had bad conditions......

Of course when we said this pit was like a palace,[a weel -used pit term!],compared ti High Pit,we

were met with loads of abuse instantly,as you would expect,but it was true.

When all thi other pits like North Seaton,Hartford,Hartley,Seaton Delaval,Choppington Low pit,Seghill,

closed,the Coal Board transferred small pockets of men from each pit to Choppington High Pit,and every man from every pit said the same!..."They closed thi wrang bliddy pit...this is just a tetty pit,a pig-cree would be better than this......"

There were men being hurt or fatally injured very frequently,like i never saw at any other pit i worked at since.....it was so bad.

My Father started the High Pit aged 14 years,from school,in 1929,and he told me when i started,that

"Ye'll get bliddy killed doon that bugga,it's aal rough and ready.....ya not gaan doon theor,aal see ti that...!"

Whey,he didn't see ti that,cos a did gaan doon that bugga,and yes,i did get injured many a time,but fortunately,aam still here ti tell the tales aboot thi pit!

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Anybody noticed hoo once a get wound up,a tek sum stopping!!

A write like a taak.....!Sorry if aav hogged the channel....[C.B.-speak...circa 1981!]

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My dad and my brother worked at the old pit at the station they were Deputies' when i left school in 1959 my dad would not let me go down the pit;

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Anybody noticed hoo once a get wound up,a tek sum stopping!!

A write like a taak.....!Sorry if aav hogged the channel....[C.B.-speak...circa 1981!]

Now just listen here Wilma, just keeping getting wound up. There are loads, like 'tonyg' and me, that were turned away from the pits by parents that enjoy the stories. You should move off this Puddlers Raw topic and start a Pit Story page. I have one uncle left alive, born 1937, that worked at the pits, ended up at Bates, but has always lived in Choppington since getting married. Must be loads of good reading. I had a mate at the 'A' pit that they us to say - who's that little lad lad on the end of that cxxk?

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Couple of shots of South Row (colour one was taken in 2004).

Also 2 pics of the CO-OP on the opposite side of the road.

post-3028-0-86286600-1370437998_thumb.jp

post-3028-0-49027700-1370438020_thumb.jp

post-3028-0-59009300-1370438045_thumb.jp

post-3028-0-97024900-1370438066_thumb.jp

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Couple of shots of South Row (colour one was taken in 2004).

Also 2 pics of the CO-OP on the opposite side of the road.

The old picture of the Co-op must be a good age I notice there is no bus stop sign on the telephone (telegraph) post. Spent many a time in the door ways after getting fixed up in the Rae Hall! But also spent many hours sheltering in the door ways whilst waiting for the Morpeth bus.

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HPW's tale of blokes being shifted when pits closed reminded me of my Uncle.

When he was four (1916 I think) he had his arm chopped-off when a coal train went over it. Him and his mates were trying to flatten pennies on the track (penny on rail, train wheel squashes it) when it slipped off and he attempted to retrieve it from below the sleeper but the weight of the approaching loco pressed the sleeper into the ballast trapping his hand, off came his arm above the elbow. Anyway, when he left school he got a job down the Algernon pit at West Allotment as a 'pumpman' ... a job he had his entire working life. When the Algernon closed he was shifted to Backworth, when that closed he went to High Pit, then onto Wheatslade. I remember him saying that most of his workmates went with him, although some of the younger ones moved down to the Midlands to work in some of their new 'superpits'. He was an amazing bloke who could do just about anything one-handed; roll a snout, open a box of matches and strike the match all in one movement, fasten shoelaces, knot a tie, peel tatties, etc. He had a false arm in a drawer but never used it preferring 'an empty sleeve'.

Oh, and he always gave me 'half a dollar' pocket money each week.

Edited by Symptoms

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HPW's tale of blokes being shifted when pits closed reminded me of my Uncle.

When he was four (1916 I think) he had his arm chopped-off when a coal train went over it. Him and his mates were trying to flatten pennies on the track (penny on rail, train wheel squashes it) when it slipped off and he attempted to retrieve it from below the sleeper but the weight of the approaching loco pressed the sleeper into the ballast trapping his hand, off came his arm above the elbow. Anyway, when he left school he got a job down the Algernon pit at West Allotment as a 'pumpman' ... a job he had his entire working life. When the Algernon closed he was shifted to Backworth, when that closed he went to High Pit, then onto Wheatslade. I remember him saying that most of his workmates went with him, although some of the younger ones moved down to the Midlands to work in some of their new 'superpits'. He was an amazing bloke who could do just about anything one-handed; roll a snout, open a box of matches and strike the match all in one movement, fasten shoelaces, knot a tie, peel tatties, etc. He had a false arm in a drawer but never used it preferring 'an empty sleeve'.

Oh, and he always gave me 'half a dollar' pocket money each week.

Wilma should definitely open a new topic on Pit Stories/Tales. The flattening of pennies on the track reminds me of when they showed us school kids how to make a knife, to play Split The Kipper, by placing a six inch nail on the rail track and it would be flattened like a knife blade when the next train went over it.

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Tony G - re your earlier question about the Green families in Stead Lane.

65 Stead lane was occuppied by brothers Billy Green and Rufus (Buster) Green.

Billy possibly ran a boot repair business next to the clock tower in Oldgate, Morpeth. Rufus was believe it or not a roofer who worked at the A pit.

63 Stead Lane was occuppied by Daniel Green and his daughter Blanche. Daniel worked at West Sleekburn colliery.

'A' Pit Canteen - I've attached an ariel shot which may have been taken from the top of the heaps which shows most of the 'A' Pit and possibly the baths and canteen. My Dad reckons when the Clayton Ballroom chucked out loads of folk made their way to the canteen for pies and peas.

post-3028-0-90431400-1370544244_thumb.jp

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Cobbler Green repaired all of my dads shoes and boots, he even did some old work boots for a friend of mine who was still wearing tackety boots for work in 1985 (ish) he actually said it was a pleasure to repair them instead of gluing things back together. He got a chance to use his equipment again. Personally, I would have chucked them in the bin !!

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Hi folks,i'm back!!

Been very ill in Hospital with multiple blood clots on both lungs,and bad pleurisy,now recovering,so

gotta bit o' catching up ti do!

Thanks folks,like Eggy and other's who appreciate my late-nite ramblings!![i know i tend to wander off-topic

but i write like i talk,so i always go aroond Edinburgh ti get thi toon!]

Anyway,i enlarged thi pic of Bedlington A Pit taken from up the heap.

When you came out of the"DIRTY END" of the pit baths,to go over the railway lines,[or "sidings" as they were properly referred to..],the pay offices were over to your left,across the sidings,and the pit ponds

were adjacent and slightly behind the offices.

Further over the sidings and beyond the ponds were the "fitting and blacksmiths shops".

Carrying on over the sidings,you walked past the "heapstead" and "screens",and reached the time office,where you picked up your tally from the "timekeeper",and walked through into the lampcabin,where you took your lamp from it's numbered rack space and charger,and your "Glennie"..[Flame safety lamp],if you were authorised to carry one.[As i was.]

When the "Buzzer" went off,to signify the start of your shift,you had to climb a steep metal stairway,up to the "Heapstead,which led you over to the shaft top and gates,where the Banksman would search you for "Contraband" [cigarettes matches lighters or any contrivance or device which could ignite Methane gas

and cause an explosion underground.]

Then he would signal to the Brakesman,[winderman],and also to the Onsetter,[at the shaft bottom..]

that men were about to descend the shaft in the cage.

Noo!A just said all this,to try and present a mental picture of what the open "Quadrangle" of space

looked like.

The sidings you walked over,were constantly full of 21-ton or 16-ton coal trucks,in sets of maybe a dozen or more,being shunted up the line,over sets of points,by shunting loco's,[one of which was called "Richard"],and then lowered under the screens by the "shunters",a team of men with skills at handling these huge trucks,who went unrespected,undeservedly,as it was a very dangerous job.

[One young shunter slipped on ice ,at the High Pit,in the 1960's,and went under the wheels of a 21-tonner

which cut him in half,sadly,fatally injuring him.]

Great to see a pic like this,brings memories flooding back!

Edited by HIGH PIT WILMA

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Aal try and think on to start a "Wilma's pit blog",if a think on,but aam warning ye's aal.....ye'll gaan back ti watching aad fashioned videos

on yer ancient vhs machines...cos aal send ye's aal ti sleep.......!!!

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Did anybody sit at the rail sidings,getting handfuls of fine coal dust,and spend ages polishing aad pennies ,and constantly looking to find the elusive 1933 penny,which would have made us rich,if we found it!!![talk about being in cuckoo-land!!...well....we were only aboot 10 years aad![aye,we flattened thruppeny-bits,and made bracelets and aal sorts o things,as wel as flattening 6-inch nails ti mek spear-heads with!!]

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Welcome back HPW, sorry to hear you've been poorly. you take care now! I for one look forward to your stories, it takes me back to when I was little and used to hear stories from my family members. I think I can speak for most on hear that we could never get bored with your tales.

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If me dad was alive he would know as he worked at the Choppington High Pit for many many years. I will ask me Uncle Bart (Dawson) if he knows anything about the accident.

Oh, yes, welcome back HPW

Can you remember Frankie Barratt the cutter man at the High Pit ?

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Hi folks,i'm back!!

Been very ill in Hospital with multiple blood clots on both lungs,and bad pleurisy,now recovering,so

gotta bit o' catching up ti do!

Thanks folks,like Eggy and other's who appreciate my late-nite ramblings!![i know i tend to wander off-topic

but i write like i talk,so i always go aroond Edinburgh ti get thi toon!]

Anyway,i enlarged thi pic of Bedlington A Pit taken from up the heap.

When you came out of the"DIRTY END" of the pit baths,to go over the railway lines,[or "sidings" as they were properly referred to..],the pay offices were over to your left,across the sidings,and the pit ponds

were adjacent and slightly behind the offices.

Further over the sidings and beyond the ponds were the "fitting and blacksmiths shops".

Carrying on over the sidings,you walked past the "heapstead" and "screens",and reached the time office,where you picked up your tally from the "timekeeper",and walked through into the lampcabin,where you took your lamp from it's numbered rack space and charger,and your "Glennie"..[Flame safety lamp],if you were authorised to carry one.[As i was.]

When the "Buzzer" went off,to signify the start of your shift,you had to climb a steep metal stairway,up to the "Heapstead,which led you over to the shaft top and gates,where the Banksman would search you for "Contraband" [cigarettes matches lighters or any contrivance or device which could ignite Methane gas

and cause an explosion underground.]

Then he would signal to the Brakesman,[winderman],and also to the Onsetter,[at the shaft bottom..]

that men were about to descend the shaft in the cage.

Noo!A just said all this,to try and present a mental picture of what the open "Quadrangle" of space

looked like.

The sidings you walked over,were constantly full of 21-ton or 16-ton coal trucks,in sets of maybe a dozen or more,being shunted up the line,over sets of points,by shunting loco's,[one of which was called "Richard"],and then lowered under the screens by the "shunters",a team of men with skills at handling these huge trucks,who went unrespected,undeservedly,as it was a very dangerous job.

[One young shunter slipped on ice ,at the High Pit,in the 1960's,and went under the wheels of a 21-tonner

which cut him in half,sadly,fatally injuring him.]

Great to see a pic like this,brings memories flooding back!

Welcome back Bill, Hope your better now. You should write a few books with all the knowledge you have on coal mining and local collieries.

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Couple of pictures from my Dads collection. I've posted them on here as the Ladies team has a connection to the 'A' Pit Canteen which is mentioned several times in this forum.

Bedlington Doctor Pit Welfare Ladies Bowling Team 1955 - The team captain Mrs Green is being presented with the trophy by Jimmy Milne and looking on is Dr Reid.

The lady at the back left was the cook at the 'A' Pit Canteen. She was called Mrs Purvis but was fondly known as 'Pieola' and was famous for her Rock Buns.

Bedlington Doctor Pit Welfare Mens Bowling Team 1955 - members include Dr Brown (front centre), Mr Green the husband of the ladies captain (front right) and also 2nd from the right were Joe Johnson Junior (back row) and Joe Johnson Senior (front Row).

post-3028-0-03784000-1372934572_thumb.jp

post-3028-0-43015400-1372934594_thumb.jp

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