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List Of Pubs And Clubs - Bedlington District

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I reckon Inspector 'Canny Lass' Clouseau may have uncovered a dastardly Victorian plot, namely, there could have been two Institutes.  The one next to the Sun Inn 'explored' by Sym in the 60s and the Miners' one discovered by Canny wielding her magnifying glass.  I have to agree with her that the extension plan I posted earlier does indeed look like the building beside Bedlington A pit.

We need to find some old fella who might have supped in the Institute next to the Sun Inn to give us a clue to when it shut as a drinking establishment.  Remember, my internal examination of the place in the 60s suggests it was in use unti maybe a short time before I got in there. 

More digging required!  

Edited by Symptoms

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4 hours ago, Canny lass said:

I think we might be discussing the wrong Mechanics Institute in relation to the extension plans. I’ve had difficulty locating the Mechanics Institute, as depicted in the drawing, anywhere on the map of Bedlington. The Block Plan shown in the bottom right corner of the drawing doesn’t remotely resemble the area around the old Court House. If so were the case then "Front Row Cottages" would be in the main street and the "lime shed" would be the Sun Inn.

Initially, I thought the plan for the extension may have been intended for the Mechanics Institute in the Market Place but this would have meant that the MI was in Muggers Neuk, rather than the Market Place for any extension to the west to be possible.

Intrigued by the “footpath to station” in the Block Plan, I started looking at Bedlington Colliery A pit rather tha Bedlington Colliery Dr.Pit. The drawing makes no specification as to which Bedlington Colliery it refers. OS maps of the time always refer to both simply as "Bedlington Colliery.

Bedlington Colliery A pit also had an Institute at that time. On this map from 1897 the institute is situated at the end and rear of Front Row (later South Row). It is found behind the gardens and outside toilets of those houses and there is an adjoining building at the rear of the institute - possibly the lime shed. The layout of all these five elements: houses (yellow), toilets (green) and gardens (red), institute (blue) and lime shed (pink) correspond to the block plan in the drawing. It’s also just a short walk to the station. The institute is still there on maps from 1924.

1897 Bed. A pit. Institute, enlarged_LI.jpg

It would appear, comparing the drawing of 1895 and the map of 1897 (revised from 1896) to the block Plan shown on the drawing, that the reading room has been added as two porches are clearly evident on both.

 

I was confused by the  - 'footpath to the Station' but really it should have clicked in my memory but I'm afraid it didn't happen.

I never knew the 'Tute' at the 'A' pit as the Mechanics Institute, to me, from The Oval, who's mates were from the Station (quite a few from South Row) the Tute was just the place we went for a game of snooker or billiards when the six tables in Mascadinii's Billiard Hall were fully booked.

Normally the only reason to go to the Tute was when you didn't have enough money for a five packet of Woodbines. At the Tute they would sell you single fags, think it was either 2d or 3d a fag back in the early 1960's.

There was a path/track from the front of the Tute, going past the East end of South Row, past the B.U.D.C hut, bringing you out onto Station Road,  then turn left to get to the Station railway gates about 40 - 50 yards away.

With what Canny Lass 7 Symptoms have said it reminded me of a photo, can't remember who posted it on-line, of three men outside the Bedlington Colliery Institute. This is going back quite a few years and I recall that when I posted it back on one of the Bedlington groups nobody believed it could be the 'A' pits Tute and that it had to be from the Doctor Pit.

This is the photo, showing the year 1896 above the door, + how I posted it believing it could be the 'A' pit; but as I said above everyone said it wasn't the 'A'  pit and I just filed it away on the PC.

1935288463_APitInstitutec1950s.thumb.jpg.d36560e0784691f5efcf17f27fbca870.jpg

772157783_APitInstitute.thumb.jpg.f4956b9571fd02db8f0e8ba21cf34b47.jpg

 

Then there is this image (looks like newspaper cutting) of the 'A' pit 

499570148_APitfromtheWest.jpg.b30cabd026837fc9dc3f55dcc98481b0.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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On 24/08/2020 at 14:32, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

Can you update the settings so any member could use the Add Images option?

I've updated the album so anyone can add images.

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19 hours ago, Symptoms said:

I reckon Inspector 'Canny Lass' Clouseau may have uncovered a dastardly Victorian plot, namely, there could have been two Institutes.  The one next to the Sun Inn 'explored' by Sym in the 60s and the Miners' one discovered by Canny wielding her magnifying glass.  I have to agree with her that the extension plan I posted earlier does indeed look like the building beside Bedlington A pit.

We need to find some old fella who might have supped in the Institute next to the Sun Inn to give us a clue to when it shut as a drinking establishment.  Remember, my internal examination of the place in the 60s suggests it was in use unti maybe a short time before I got in there. 

More digging required!  

From one researcher to another, it’s always worth looking a second time at the nine tenths of the one percent of what has previously appeared to be absopletely nothing to do with the subject being researched.  Getting someone else to take a second look is pure genius!

Good luck with the research. Keep us informed! The Victorian times in Bedlington are soooooooooo very interesting, judging by the census books.

On the question of Mechanics Institute vs. Institute,  it would appear that many MI:s became simply institutes. I have no facts as such but I’ve wondered if it might reflect:

a)      a widening of the availability of knowledge to other than ‘mechanics’, so to speak.

b)      A linguistic phenomenon of shortening. Language is lazy! It doesn’t want to jump hurdles to get out of the mouth so Mechanics Institute is shortened to Institute. In Netherton, that shortening process went one step further. We simply called it the ‘tute’.

On a more serious note, were the Mechanics Institutes always licensed premises or did that come later?

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I've become a 'dog with a bone' over this Mechanics Institute business ... I've just spent four hours (FOUR HOURS!!!) looking at old issues of the Morpeth Herald reading about it and still more to absorb but as yet nowt concrete.  However, to muddy the waters even further there's a reference to Bedlington Station Mechanics Institute, mind that could be just some lazy/confused junior Victorian journo getting his facts wrong.

More to follow no doubt ....

Perhaps we need a separate thread for this topic?  Maybe it's too important to get mixed-up with pubs and inns.

Edited by Symptoms

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3 hours ago, Symptoms said:

Perhaps we need a separate thread for this topic?  Maybe it's too important to get mixed-up with pubs and inns.

I agree. I've never considered the primary purpose of the Mechanics-, or any other, institute as purveyors of alcoholic beverages (though clearly, this has occurred at some time. For me, it's an educational- rather than a drinking establishment. It's obviously been an important feature of Bedlington life for many years and worth finding out about. Start a topic. There,s loads of questions I could ask.

Edited by Canny lass

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3 hours ago, Symptoms said:

I've become a 'dog with a bone' over this Mechanics Institute business .

I know the feeling! I'm the same about Hollymount. It's killing me not being able to get to a decent library because of the travel restrictions for 'people of a certain age'.

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