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The Old Broadway House Farm

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There is a super DVD called The Giant Steps Out on the Ace of Spades at Stobswood. Can't put my hands on it. However mu uncle alfie worked at the big geordie site, i will see if he hasa anything on it for us , fingers crossed.

Hope i find that Ace of Spades, its bugging me now, wonder if i borrowed it out to someone and never got it back ?

Edited by johndawsonjune1955

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As a point of interest the new Broadway House had no electric connected when it was first built.

I saw my first dead body there, with the aid of a hurricane lamp.

I guess we can survive without those Turbines after all.

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Whilst trawling the sixtownships history group site the Big Geordie debate came up again starting, again, with the photo (that Maggie posted on this site) of Broadway House Farm- c1960 - and the comment 'Big Geordie at Bedlington'. Photo posted on the 21st and 73 comments of fiction; hand me down stories, hazy memories and some facts and technical info posted by the 22nd. 

Naturally this was followed by many comments like - "me dad worked that" ; "I remember that crossing the road" !!!!!! & " was never at Bedlington......".

What I consider to be the most conclusive that it never worked Bedlington, or the the base was never built at Bedlington from all the comments and photos posted are :-  

Paul Thoburn Big Geordie or Bucyrus Erie 1550 W, was built at the Radar O.C.C.S Widdrington in the late 60's.

Paul Thoburn The machine in the photo was one of two Bucyrus Erie 1150B draglines brought over from America, to work the Acorn Bank Site in the 1950's. For more pictures go to Durham Mining Museum Website and follow the links.

 

Davey McCraith Big Geordie never worked acorn bank he wasn't built till 1969.

 

Janis Lowery hubby says they were called marion or 1150 at bedlington.

post-3031-0-75551400-1437832981_thumb.jp

The Bucyrus Erie 1550-W walking dragline excavator was dubbed Big Geordie at Radar Opencast site in Widdrington, near Morpeth, where it worked from 1968 until Butterwell Opencast Site nearby was opened a few years later and eventually moved to Stobswood Opencast, where it ended its working days in 1993.

Edited by Eggy1948

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Just re-read this thread and Magg's photo in post 25 above of the farmer reminded me of the nickname he had ... Pugwash.  Obviously, he was given it by us lads from the Captain Pugwash cartoon on the telly ... the Captain also had an eyepatch.  He used to chase us off his land.

Edited by Symptoms

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I have very happy memories of this couple Symptoms.

The farmers sister was my friend.

She lost her fiancée in the First World War and always said she wished she was in heaven with the angels!

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Hi folks!..and to add my tuppenceworth,I used to go over after school,with my schoolmates and the Hollymoonta gang,and watch Bucyrus Erie [as we called him ,cos his name was on a huge plate up on the side of the machine,mounted on the first gantry],we didn't know,at 10 years old,that it was the firm's name!] [that was in 1954-ish].

These two Draglines were reported in the press,[Evening Chronicle etc],as being the two largest walking draglines in the whole of Europe,as was the Acorn Bank Site cut.

At night,in the dark,we used to snipe almost on top of the gang who were building it,and it's a wonder we weren't blinded by the welding arc's,cos to us,it was a bonny bright blue light!!...we just used to lie on the ground and snipe ever closer,and watch the arc,fascinated!

It had a 50-ton bucket.

Now,Alan,when it comes to disputes..[silly disputes an aal!],aa had an argument wi one of me pit marra's,now deceased,[R.I.P. TOM],one day when we were sitting getting wor baits,amang aal the waata and clarts,doon the Three-Quarter drift,at Bates.

We somehow got on aboot the Acorn Bank site,and Tom said he worked there,before gaan doon the pit.

 Aa just remarked hoo we kids used to watch the Euclids bouncing like they were toys,when Bucyrus Erie dropped his bucketfull of stones into the back of the truck,and big stones used to smash doon onto the canopy above the Driver's cab.

That was like a red rag to Tom..he adamantly argued and started getting real ratty,saying the Draglines never filled the Euclids,it was done by the face shovels.

Whey naturally,a argued back saying a used ti watch them man....

Tom shouted ....Aa used ti work there man Bill..ya getting mixed up....so a backed off,cos a hate arguments and ill-feeling...[this was in the 1980's]

Whey,Tom passed away a few years ago,and then at Christmas,a year or two back,I got a DVD which had been transferred from old Cine-film,and it was amateur footage of the Acorn Bank site..[a Sixtownship DVD a think].

Then a started researching aboot the site,and guess what,it explains hoo the Dragline bucket was overloading the Euclids,and damaging the bodies ,so a special hopper was designed and erected,so the bucket emptied it's load into the hopper,and a guy loaded the Euclids safely..and I remembered the name of the hopper,cos aam a guitarist!!

It was called a .....HENDRIX  ...hopper!!

It seems that Tom must have worked at the far end of the cut,where Bucyrus Erie [1] ,was working,and that was a thousand yards away from Bucyrus Erie [2]..and they only had the one hopper.

Trivial story,but Tom was starting to get violent in his attempt to convince me I was wrong.

At the end of the day,it didn't matter who was right ,cos it was history long gone!,but this is hoo misinformation spreads.

My friend's Dad was one of the Dragline operators,a fella caaled  Mr Humble,Bob and Les were his two Sons,who were my mates.

There was no security in them days,no watchman or owt like that,no fences or barriers of any kind,on Sundays we kids used to either walk or ride wor bikes,doon inti the cut,and play on the Draglines feet,which were 44 feet long and 8 feet wide.

We played in the Euclids seats,mekking on we were driving....whey,ye dae when ya ownly aboot ten or elivin yeors aad ...divvent ye?!

One thing I read,recently,which really interested me,was the footprint pressure of the central hub which the crane sat on when in operation....2500 tons weight,[if I remember rightly!]..and the pressure on the ground was ....5pounds per square inch!!

Incredible engineering..like an elephant,s gentle footsteps from such a heavy animal!

I sat one day,for fun,and calculated it out in my head,and it was spot-on..even with simple Maths!

[another trivial story!]

Maggie,thanks for posting the pics,brought back many happy memories..that place was part of my childhood!

  • Like 1

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Heh heh,slip of the mind,CORRECTION!..the weight of the Bucyrus Erie 1150-b draglines were 1200 tons,but nevertheless the calculations were correct!

I have just opened the link above,regarding Big Geordie,and also found an excellent link to an article with excerpts from a seemingly excellent book called "British Opencast Coal- a Photographic History 1942-1985",written by Keith Haddock.

Both are extremely fascinating!

I am gonna see if I can get a hold of the book.

Is it possible or  even legal to copy the Big Geordie documentary to a disc for showing family members who aren't computer literate Alan?

I don't know how to Burn discs..

Cheers!

Bill.

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16 hours ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

Is it possible or  even legal to copy the Big Geordie documentary to a disc for showing family members who aren't computer literate Alan?

I don't know how to Burn discs..

Cheers!

Bill.

Bill - not that I am aware of:(. Looks like BFI only do rentals = it's lucky the  Big Geordie video is free to tempt customers to subscribe.

I had a scroll through the 'Rentals' page but couldn't find anything that suggested you could purchase DVDs etc. But as I am not a member of the BFI site I can't be 100% on my thoughts:unsure:

BFI.png

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)

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