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I just realised that there is one thing of interest in my Bates' pic,which Eggy has kindly posted here for us all to refer to,and that is the machine on the right of the pic,where hoses lead from the machine and actually into the coal seam.

For those who might not know,the machine is a "Cementation" pump.

Holes were drilled into the coal seam,and liquid cement slurry,which was quick-setting,was pumped under very high pressure,into the holes in the coal,therefore grouting and sealing any breaks in the strata which would cause inrushes of Methane,or other noxious gases,or water,which could be lethal to us,as we were very near to breaking through a 36-feet thick Blue Whinstone Dyke,[Igneous Intrusion].

By virtue of the fact that the Whinstone was molten rock,200 million years ago,when it first forced it's way through the strata,by brute force,and extreme temperatures and pressures,it figures that a lot of damage to the surrounding strata occurred,including burning of the coal seam,to cinder coal,on either side of the seam.

So that was the purpose of the grouting pump.

Last year,My Wife and Myself were walking LBJ,[well my Wife was driving her mobility scooter!],along the riverside walk at Rothbury.

Heading along the path,away from the town centre,towards Thropton,about a quarter of  a mile,I heard a very familiar sound.

Wndy drillers?....out here?....as we got up the source of the noises,it became clear that they were impact percussive drill-rigs,only they were hydraulic,and not compressed-air[windy] drills.

Apparently,the substrate beneath the road had began showing signs of movement,and so these contractors were drilling hundreds of very long holes into the strata all the way from the level of the road,down to the level of the path,maybe  a difference in height of about 40 feet or so.

They had huge "Cementation" pumps similar to that on my pic,and one lad had the sole responsibility of keeping the pump tanks filled with the cement slurry mix.

He was constantly humping big bags of cement powder,from the stack,across to the pumps,and then filling the tanks with water.Upon requests from his Marra's,he switched the pumps supply hoses on and off as each hole was filled up.

I had a quick chat with him,had a laugh when I told him I was doing this over thirty years ago,and left him to his job.

A few weeks went by,and when we walked along again,there was no trace of them ever having been there!...ground landscaped,trees planted,all so-so!!

It was the first time I had witnessed Cementation being used anywhere other than down a mine!!....Ignorance is bliss!!

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Sorry to read you have been ill HPW.

My best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

As we get older that toast 

Health Wealth and Happiness makes more sense .

The happiness you get from your pets is a great way to live and an inspiration for us all.

Gan Canny

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HPW - I've made a start with your Bates Pit album :- 

As well as the photos I have copied & pasted some of the comments made by you and the Flickr members - I couldn't leave them out but if you want anything removed just say and I will arrange it. 

 

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Hi Maggie! Many thanks for your kind greetings!Aam aboot getting back ti normal again,been a rough ride,but aam a fighter when it comes ti illnesses!!

Cheers!

Hi Eggy!....Can a just say yi are daeing a magnificent job wi me Bates Album!

A just hope a lot of folk will appreciate your efforts and see how bad a job we miners had..,and also learn about mining by referencing them.

A divven't knaa hoo me story above has been crossed through as many lines,aa haven't done owt wrang!!![it happened once before!].

Adam,if ye are in there,show your aad chep wat Eggy's tasking owa!!

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HPW - there is just the one photo left from your bates Colliery Flickr set to add to the album on this site.

That's the photo of your dad. I have left this one till last as if it wasn't for him, and your mam of course, your BATES pit stories and photos would not have have been posted.

I know there are comments on the Flickr site that I will copy across and add as comments when I upload this last photo.

The first comment you have on the Flickr site is :-   

MY FATHER AGED 14 OR15 YRS OLD [COAL PUTTER] AND HE'S MARRA [COAL-HEWER] [CHOPPINGTON HIGH PIT] CIRCA 1929-30 [ SAVED 15-7-08]

My father aged about 15 yrs old,with his pony,at bait time,and his marra,a coal filler,taken down Choppington high pit, in an unusually dry place!!

The pit was the wettest in the northeast coalfield,and the roughest conditions,according to the influx of men from other collieries in the area,during the 1960's closure programme!![ they all said the same thing when they went down the first day....."this is just a tetty pit"....!]

Before I post this photo, and the other Flickr comments, is there anything you would like to add that will be the initial comment with this photo. 

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Hi Eggy,would "Unsung Heroes of the Industrial Revolution" ,be out of place?

These guys were "Hewing" solid coal,down,from the seam,using only a pick,sheer brute strength,and stamina,and a shovel to load the pit tubs....no drills or explosives,or coal-cutting machines!...it was a soul-destroying job which they faced  with no other option,to enable warships,aeroplanes,tanks etc to be built,and to provide power,gas,and not least,warm fires at home,which everybody took for granted.

They should be remembered nationally,as thier efforts shaped our world and society.

A canna think of owt mair fitting,Eggy,that's from the bottom of me heart,hoo a feel aboot me ancestors and the early coal industry,we had it bad,they had it

as legal slavery.

Many thanks again!

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On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 22:53, Eggy1948 said:

HPW - I've made a start with your Bates Pit album :- 

As well as the photos I have copied & pasted some of the comments made by you and the Flickr members - I couldn't leave them out but if you want anything removed just say and I will arrange it. 

 

I've attached a photo of a "man riding set" at Bates Colliery taken around 1955 before the modernisation of the colliery.

Bates.jpg

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13 hours ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

Hi Eggy, would "Unsung Heroes of the Industrial Revolution" ,be out of place?

 

All done HPW - Unsung Heroes.......................... it is.

 

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On 2/5/2017 at 22:30, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

 

Last year,My Wife and Myself were walking LBJ,[well my Wife was driving her mobility scooter!],along the riverside walk at Rothbury.

Heading along the path,away from the town centre, towards Thropton, about a quarter of  a mile, I heard a very familiar sound.

 

Pity they had to 'pebble-dash' (cos a don't know the right term for adding non-slip material onto the tarmac) that riverside walk. On a mobility scooter even those small chippings make you feel as if your riding over cobble stones and if you haven't got ya teeth glued in it's murder!

I see they took the the one disabled bay away from outside the Newcastle Hotel so if tour wanting to eat then The Three Wheat Heads, in Thropton is worth a visit and normally lunch time through the week ample parking. Through the main door and turn right for the bar and left for the restaurant with a pleasing view. Bar meals served in both areas.   

Three Wheat Heads Thropton.jpg

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Hi James!

Great pic of old Bates..."Before Modernisation"!

I know what you mean!,but I canna help but think how modern this was,compared to other pits where investment was virtually nil,other than a wagon load of wood pit props and planks,a tramload of relatively small section arched girders,and a roll or two of rubber conveyor belting noo and again!

At Choppington High Pit,the men on the screens had to lift all the props off the belt that came out with the coal,[they were only 2'-3" or less in length!....very low seam]

They were sent down to the timber yard to dry out,cos they were water-logged and clarty,and heavy!,then they were sent back down to be re-used![re-cycling before the term was coined!]

Even severely twisted and bent arched girders were straightened as best as the 'Smithy cud!

One day,as a 15 year-old timberyard laddie,new to the pit from the training gallery,my supervisory timber yard man took me over to the Blacksmith's Shops,with a

handfull of arched girder plates each..[about a dozen in total.]

We watched the 'Smithy put the plates one at a time,into the jaws of a steam press,without heating them...stone cold steel.

As he piled the pressure on,up to 75 tons,the plates bent like tin,a fraction of an inch each time,till he restored the slight curvature,which would allow the plates to be re-used in an arched girder,to hold two legs together..

All went well the first half dozen times,then the next one seemed to require a bit more steam!

Nearly 100 tons,then with no warning,there was a crack like a cannon shot,and the plate broke in two,sending the remains flying at the speed of a gun bullet,bouncing and ricocheting all over the huge workshops.

Sparks were flying for a second or two as the bits struck the girder-framed structure of the building,and men dived for cover,while I was mesmerised by this activity!

Miraculously,no -one was hit at all,but only by the Grace of God,so to speak.

Noo,looking at this manset,it reminds me of the lack of health and safety of the early days!![inspectors in latter years would have a fit seeing this!!]

It looks like this was the carriage for the deputies,obviously a posed pic,going off the abundance of walking,and shotfiring stemming sticks.

Great to have this added to the site!

Cheers James! [nice one about the B.u.d.c also!]

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Hi Eggy!

Thanks for yor advice on the Three Wheats,it's a lovely little place.

Seems like ye have had experience of that footpath,which was great when they laid it for Princess Sophie's visit, a year or two back,it was as smooth as a babby's bum!

But it seems like they hoyed a pailfull of tar here and there and rolled it oot ti a quarter of an inch before gritting it!![the frost soon discovered that aan aal!]

 AA got me Wife a new Scooter for her  Birthday,last year,with sprung suspension aal aroond,[still a car boot scooter..not a big road one..],and even wi thi springs...it shudders through her spine,resulting in severe pain in her back,and more drugs to try and relieve it.

But ye hae ti get oot and aboot,regardless!!

A canna thank ye enough for wat ye achieved wi me pics!!

Cheers Eggy!

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HPW - posted by John Dawson on the Facebook sixtownships group site was this photo with the comment :-  Group of Miners about to clock-off at Bates Colliery.

Do you know 2nd and 3rd from the left or is it before your time?

 

15578030_1490305837647034_7033659054255900546_o.jpg

Edited by Eggy1948

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Hi Eggy! The lad with thi donkey jacket on,third from the left is Derek Burt. In the 1970's a was in charge of him,when a was a deputy,then when a came back  into the N.U.M. ,HE went onto Deputy work,and was often in charge of ME!  Smashing natured lad and a bit wildly,likeable,hot-headed! A knew  most of the lads but 30 years have passed since a left mining.........!

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Another one from John Dawson @HIGH PIT WILMA - 

Bates Colliery, Blyth. Miners leave the pit as the final underground shift leaves 1986
Denise Hodgson Jen Black is that work Ken xxx
Jen Black
Jen Black Yes it is x

Henry Dobson
Henry Dobson Davy Robinson left of photo
Alan Dickson
 
Alan Dickson John Bird, the lad with the beard, good worker.
Alan Dickson
Alan Dickson Wally the lad with the tash.
Alan Dickson
Alan Dickson Andy Wallace my friend behind Wallys right shoulder in middle.
ve
John McKenna
John McKenna Geordie Trench behind Wally.
Michael Collins
Michael Collins Worked with some of these guys. Good memories.
 
 

Bates last shift 1986.jpg

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Geordie Burt in the front smiling away as usual! A reet canny fella,when I was in charge as a Deputy, he would dae owt that ye asked willingly. Nae relation ti Derek Burt in thi pic further up.

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