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Hello - new to this - not sure I'm doing it right as just tried to send a post and lost it ..grew up in Bedlington and great to find this forum - and find mention about my own dear mam and dad. High Pit Wilma - about your photo - its my dad in the pic and the only reason I can think that someone might have thrown it out is that maybe someone died and its been thrown out during a house clearing .. I would love to see it in the gallery if possible

I was born at 5 Cambo Avenue ..many moons ago .. so very strange to read that reply to the photo mention and hello to the person whose mam used to help my mam ..!!!

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Torwood 13, I gather that your Dad was a lorry owner/driver. If so it was my Mam, Doreen that used to clean for your Mam and slurp endless cups of tea when your Mam came up to our house to catch up on scandal probably. Hello to you by the way! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Torwood,aal try and find that pic,and post it if a can.Welcome by thi way!!

Aa used ti gaan doon ti Cambo Ave.,ti seek me friend,Terry O' Neil,and as the years went by,Tom Richardson,whose Brother Jimmy,played bass-guitar in the "Night-hawks" group in the 60's.

Jimmy was on the bins around Bedlington/Stakeford for donkey's years,a reet canny lad![wondered if ye knew them..]

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  • 4 weeks later...

High pit willma,Margaret.my brother has informed me my mums cousin Frank Heron passed away he was 86 he was a miner at Dr Pit I believe.ll am sure the elder members of the forum would know him especially from the hollymount area I did post a photo of him in the gallery.

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Hi Tony!

             Frankie Heron,and he's Brother Jackie,lived with their Parents,directly opposite my Family home in Hollymount Square,in Bedlington,from

the first dozen houses built not long after the war.[somewhere around 1947-8 ish]

They were two big smart fella's,Frankie being the extrovert,always shouting over a loud hello to my family,out in the street,taking photo's of life in the

street,all of the bairns playing,sitting us on the wall for group shots,etc.

I have got Frankie to thank forever,for taking the only shot in existence of my little Spaniel/lakeland terrier dog,sitting on the wall, like an ornament,posing for him!

I would have been roughly 12 yrs old,and my little dog got killed on the road beside the "store"..[Co-op],by a speeding opencast coal lorry,not long after the pic was taken.

This would have been about 1956,when Bedlington  suddenly went from being a quiet,traffic-free road,[the main street],to Tulip's coal lorries thundering down the street overladen with coal,speeding down Bedlington bank,spewing smoke-screens of exhaust fumes,on the way to Bebside Pit to be unloaded at the washery plant.

Jackie was very reserved,but still very sociable,in a more quieter way.

Old..[to us kids!] Mr and Mrs Heron,were a lovely couple,and Mrs Heron and My Mother were very close friends for years.

Frankie had the nickname of "Spanky",at the Doctor Pit,probably cos when he went out,he always went dressed to the knocker,immaculate,his ginger top always vaselined doon!!

When we talk aboot thi gud aad days,THEY WERE gud aad days,in a proper aad-fashioned pit community.

Thinking back,a suppose everybody got dressed in "Sunday best",when they went anywhere special,cos most folks had nowt except work clothes,

and "best" clothes.....nae big wardrobes full of designer-wear in them days!

Sorry to hear of Frankie's passing ,Tony,thanks for the info.

R.I.P. Frankie.

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Tony,you got me thinking here noo!

You mentioned Margaret,your Brother......Typo?

A bonny young lassie called Margaret used to come to see Mr and Mrs Heron,and she started the Bedlington village infants school,[which is now dilapidated!..opposite St Cuthbert's Church..],the same time as when I did,and was in my class.

This would have been 1949.,and her surname then was Thackeray....is She any relation,and if so,would you know if she is still alive?

We all played together in our street,laddie's and lassie's!....skippy,bays,tennis,rounders,kicky-baal,cricket,[as we got older],cannon,tiggy-in-thi-bay..

...hidey-seek....crusts -and-crumbs.....

I was gonna post a press cutting from the "Leader",[from a few years back],of our School class 2 at the village infants,[aged 6 yrs old],but don't know how to!! [Margaret is on the pic..she was always a lovely natured lassie!]

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HPW wrote: "Thinking back,a suppose everybody got dressed in "Sunday best",when they went anywhere special,cos most folks had nowt except work clothes,

and "best" clothes.....nae big wardrobes full of designer-wear in them days!"


And not just anywhere special, like weddings and funerals.  My Uncle with the one arm who I've posted about before, would ALWAYS get dressed up in a black/dark grey suit, white shirt, tie, tiepin, and a single cufflnk (one arm) just to go to the West Allotment club on a Friday or Saturday night.  He'd pop into 'Hillses' (the local name for the Northumberland Arms) for a quick pint before going to the Club.  His 'empty' shirt sleeve was always folder up inside his jacket sleeve and held in place by a decorative silver pin - a bit like a shortish hat pin.  He looked really dapper.  As you say HPW, most of the guys took an effort to look good ... maybe it was because they were always covered in muck and dust during their shifts.

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Spot on Sym!

                       The word was PRIDE!

Pitmen's wives had it rough and tough,wi poss-tubs,seeking waata from thi tap at thi end of thi street,etc,boiling terry towelling nappies by the dozen,

but they kept the house spick and span,wi cloods of smoke aal aroond from millions of smoky chimley-pots...[spell-ckecker disnae work on Wilma's posts!!..it crashes!!]

A can mind a fella who aalwis went up thi street,wi his jacket sleeve smartly folded and tucked,and pinned up,and aa was just a bairn,but a can mind the fella,clear as day![it might not have been your Uncle,cos there were a few miners in my locality with one arm.]

A fella who lived across from us at Hollymount Square,only had one arm,and he wore a hook attached to his bad arm stub-end.

He had one of the best gardens in the square,he used to put the spade shank in the hook,and turn the spade with his good hand...THAT was spirit!

Then old Bob Reed,he was the Co-op dairyman,he had his arm off at the shoulder and he drove his little store van aal owa Bedltn ,delivering milk,for donkey's years![he used to throw the old wooden crates with 20 bottles of milk in,like they were cardboard boxes!!...stacking them in the dairy,loading his van etc!

Another neighbour on the corner of the square had a nasty accident at the Doctor pit,when his arm got pulled into the conveyor belt rollers,and literally pulled his arm out of its socket.

It was amazing to see people like this recover and just get on with life......no phone calls to "No-win....no-fee"!

There was also a fella,[an old coal-cutterman],who used to hobble up the street to the club,on old-fashioned heavy wooden crutches,with one leg.

This sort of sight was common in those days,when the mining industry was still hand filling,cutting etc.

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Foxy,thanks for posting Frankie,rare for him not to have seen the camera,and be waving like hell ti the cameram....er.....camera-person...[PC!!]

Aav got vivid memories of him riding aroond the corner in Hollymoont Square,and up his garden path,on he's motor bike,Jacket flying open in the wind...as we aal did in them days...nae helmets...nae gloves...!![used ti dae a "Saint",after dismounting,straighten his jacket and swish back he's buttered hair!...

...lukkin' like he had just waaked yem from thi dance!]

He was a great character,was canny young Frankie Heron.

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HPW Margaret Thackery wrote about you in previous correspondence she was curious of what your name was she did say my mum pierced her ears @ Frank & Peggy's house I'm not sure on the forum were she made the comment about you wheather it was on the gallery photos I submitted or elsewhere on the forum I do recollect she was curious about you I know she said she went to see Frank on his birthday hope it's some help marrow

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Hi Tony,thanks for confirming my memory is still there!

On my class photo,[when we were 6 yrs old],I am sure I have marked Margaret in correctly,she was such a bonny,unforgettable little lassie.

I still haven't found out how to post a pic on here yet,when I do,I will post the class 2 pic of all 43 pupils !

Cheers Marra!

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Heh heh! Margaret,I have found you!

Margyjane,come in please!....you have a caller waiting!!!!

P.S.check out Tonyp's gallery...re Frank and Peg Heron.

Thanks Tony!..I got there and checked it out.

The internet is great!

I am finding old friends all over the place!

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  • 5 weeks later...

For those who might be interested the Beeb have a short film about 100 years of coal mining in Blighty;  Auntie also has some other mining films available on the same page.  All the usual stuff is there but it might be of some use to the whippersnappers on here who haven't a clue what some of us 'old timers' are on about.  I liked the bit showing a 10 pin bowling alley in a miners welfare club.


It's here:


Edited by Symptoms
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I am just waiting for Columbia and Russia to realise  that all of our mines are closed, then the subsidies that the aforementioned governments applied to the price of their coal will be removed, and the price will soar. The same goes for steel. The Tories can't see further than their noses, unless it is to put more money into the rail network than it cost us to run when we owned it! But then again, quite a lot of Tory members have shares in the various rail companies, and the shareholders must of course be considered!!!   

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An interesting article from The Guardian today about how a pit closure affects the local town ... in this case Easington (Co.Durham).




As to Orloff's take on foreign coal subsides ... if the same level of subsidy applied to Blighty's nuke stations was offered to UK deep coal then they could dig the stuff up and GIVE IT AWAY.  Oh, and included in the calculation is covering the cost of developing 'clean coal' technology, installing it, and providing carbon capture.  A side benefit would be loads of jobs.

Edited by Symptoms
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Grande Cache Coal laid off half its employees last summer, the rest get laid off on Thurdsday!

We're told it's because Australia flooded the market to get rid of the competition, it's working, the mine will stay closed until the price of coal rises.

Our newly elected Provincial government is closing all coal fired generating plants.

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Worth considering how much coal is being produced / dug up from opencast sites.

Shotton, Widdrington and many others.

When you consider the 60/70 s in Bedlington : we know the argument.

We do not need the coal, then suddenly opencast appears.

People thrown on the scrap head :

Do the figures ever consider how many people will be unemployed and claiming benefits.

Sometimes for a lifetime.

Consider how many many industrial jobs are no longer available.

We are a small island , imports may not always be an option.

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Vic it doesn't make sense because they are sacking coal miners everywhere here in Qld

I believe it Brian, I think our most recent owners are Chinese and they have their own agenda, there is a lot more to the price of oil, gas and coal than we know! The middle east continue to over produce oil ( and we just say "oh wellâ€) and the U.S. become self sufficient yet continue to buy Arab oil, while overlooking their human rights record!
The world is turning its back on coal even though there is more than we can ever use, instead of developing it to be cleaner. I find it so hard to believe that educated adults buy into the humans input to the global warming threat, when compared to the natural evolvement that has taken place since time began. Sorry, my rant for the day.
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The Indians are our latest buyers of mines where i worked in the mines south of Sydney

the curry munchers are reopening old mines.Up here in Qld they are trying to open the

Biggest ? mine in the world i think its called the Adami project

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