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Hi Eggy! Aav seen this pic amang a set of others. Gud ti see sum of the lads.. brings back memories! Gordon Hickson second left, Billy Smith second right, aav forgotten the other lads names... last days afore Bates closed... if  not THE last day. 

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12 minutes ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

Hi Eggy! Aav seen this pic amang a set of others. Gud ti see sum of the lads.. brings back memories! Gordon Hickson second left, Billy Smith second right, aav forgotten the other lads names... last days afore Bates closed... if  not THE last day. 

I'll see if I can get the names of the other four from Facebook - sixtownships history group.

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As well as the two you named quite a few names been offered up - Andy Wallace - Mick Gainford - Mick Collins - Les Welch - Ted Redford - Gordon Bennet's brother - ? Steele & Phil Clarke.

From the comments i think this is the best I can come up with :-  

41788157 named.jpg

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@HIGH PIT WILMA - Alan Dickson (was from Barrinton  and worked at Bates but would have been living elsewhere when at Bates) reckons Steele & Clarke for Nos 2 & 5. I will close down for tonight and check Facebook tomorrow to see what comments have been added:)

41788157 named.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)

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This was a set of canny lads,of which there were loads of sets in the pit.

Faceworkers were grouped into "Sets",such as the Caunchmen..[stonemen]..The "Bumpers"[who advanced the Armoured Face Conveyor as the Shearer passed through the coalface],Advanced Heading men,Shearer men,Composite men..and so on.

Gordon and Billy,[above] were on the face I worked on in 1971 [84'sFace in the Beaumont Seam],which was my first appointment as a Deputy on that face.

Sadly,lots of men and young lads are no longer with us,so it is fitting that Families and friends can see these pics as mementoes.

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@HIGH PIT WILMA - one of the sixtownship members, Henry Dobson, has posted more of the newspaper article - he got the cutting from Andy Wallace :-  

41673932_2335173143166643_4574780283575861248_o.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)

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Can any of our resident coal-mining experts help me - again!

1. What is a 'scuffler'? I've no idea if it still exists in mining today. This is an 18 year old miner found in the 1939 register.

2. What is a 'rolley way man'? Also 1939.

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Canny lass, I found this in the" Durham mining museum- mining occupations". I'm sure HPW will have a better explanation ! also describe a "scuffler"

A man whose business it is to attend to the rolley-way and keep it in order. It is also his duty to keep away the work, and see that no time is lost in getting the full waggons to the shaft and the empty ones in-bye again. His wages are about 2s. 9d. for 8 hours, or 3s. 4d. if he stands 12 hours (1849).

 

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1 hour ago, Vic Patterson said:

Canny lass, I found this in the" Durham mining museum- mining occupations". I'm sure HPW will have a better explanation ! also describe a "scuffler"

A man whose business it is to attend to the rolley-way and keep it in order. It is also his duty to keep away the work, and see that no time is lost in getting the full waggons to the shaft and the empty ones in-bye again. His wages are about 2s. 9d. for 8 hours, or 3s. 4d. if he stands 12 hours (1849).

 

@Vic Patterson - I copied @Canny lass's question + the info you found on the DMM site to Alan Dickson of the Facebook group  Barrington, Barnt' n  memories and stuff!! and he replied :- Alan , that's a thoosand miles wrong, 
A scuffler followed the old fashioned cutting machine up the coal face and filled away the carvings, that very small cut coal from under the cut to improve the shots that broke the coal up. My very first peace work job at Bed A pit.

 

Naturally I haven't got a clue - just copied and pasted the questions and reply.:)

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15 minutes ago, Vic Patterson said:

Alan, "What is a "rolley way man'? Also 1939". is answering the second question asked by CL, I think the answer Alan gives is for the #1 question scuffler, but I could be wrong! 

Your right Vic - Alan Dickson was replying to the Scuffler question - I just copied and pasted the lot. I will ask him what he thinks a 'rolley way man' was:)

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12 hours ago, Vic Patterson said:

Alan, "What is a "rolley way man'? Also 1939". is answering the second question asked by CL, I think the answer Alan gives is for the #1 question scuffler, but I could be wrong! 

 

Rolley - Coal truck.

Rolley way - Haulage road.

Rolley-Way Man - A man whose business it was to attend to the rolley-way and keep it in order. It was also his duty to see that no time was lost in getting the full waggons to the shaft and the empty ones in-bye again.

The above copied from another site that lists 'Pit Terminology' = http://www.healeyhero.co.uk/rescue/glossary/glossary.htm

And Alan Dickson replied with :-  The team that laid and kept the tracks in order down the pit Alan.
And the head rolley-way-man, placed all the men at the various non peace work jobs.

And Geoff Glass replied with :- Aye he worked behind the coal cutting machine.

 

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Hi Canny Lass,and ye'all! Alan Dixon's right aboot thi Rolleywayman.He had he's cabin at or near the shaft bottom area,where he kept his gear.His main duties were ti maintain the rolleyway..[Railtracks] ...in good order,which was a doddle at dry pits like Bedlington A pit...[the Aad pit],where the sleepers weren't subjected to rot,and the nails and dogs kept the rails tight .

If ye cudda been doon Choppington High Pit,or Bates 3/4 seam,or Hauxley,where Geoff Glass came from..[assuming it's the Geoff that came ti thi Aad pit when Hauxley pit closed..],and ye saw 40 or 50 yards..[or more!],of rolleyway....floating just under the water,where the water cud be three feet [or more!] deep.....then that became a nightmare for the set-lads who had ti travel in with long sets of materials /girders/machinery ..etc....when the "Way" just collapsed and the rails parted company from the sleepers!!

This isn't summik that's ivvor mentioned in books aboot mining by so-called experts....nae disrespect to anybody...it's just that pitmen like Geoff,and Mesell',who came from really wet pits, had ti contend wi these conditions ivry day.

Choppington High Pit had nae rails in the Mothergates,only in the Tailgates,so we had to trail everything inbye on the rough-shot stony ground,and the Rolleywayman had nae work ti dae in them roadways!!

"Scuffling" was , as Alan Dixon says, cleaning oot the undercut coal in order ti provide for better "Shots",when the seam was drilled and fired .[Edit...not primarily though!!see notes further down!!]

The only time in recent years after the war,that a "Scuffler" was needed ti follow the Coalcutter up thi face was if the Cutterman didn't fix a "Gummer" ti thi front-end [Cutting-end] of the cutter...this cud be cos the Gummer was lost in the goaf,or THROWN into  thi goaf after cummin adrift from the cutter and gettin chowed up wi the picks on thi cutter jib...which happened!!

The Gummer's other name was a "Scuffling Bucket",and there were two types.

1] The Worm Gummer

2] The Fling Gummer

The first one was so-named cos it had a large "Worm" shaped blade rotating on a shaft, which was driven by a "Dog"gear system,on the cutting -end,and which was encased in a "Bucket-shaped" housing.The gummer was "hung" onto the cutting end and held by two latches.During cutting operations,the Gummer/worm collected the small coal scufflings,which the cutter picks brought out from the cut, ..["Duff"],and deposited them in a neat continuous heap behind the cutter in the cutting track.The undercut coal was relatively clean,but not perfect!! ..[Each coalfiller had to "Duff" his own "Stretch..or "Stint",by shovelling all thi duff onto the conveyor belt before firing his shots so people could travel the face.]

The second one was equally hung onto the same latching points as the first one,but the orientation of the scuffling cycle was totally different!..The "Fling" Gummer was so-named cos it had a heavy-duty!!..set of three blades ,again housed in a really heavy casing,and again,driven by the same gear "Dog",only this was designed to collect the scufflings from the cutting jib,and literally "fling"them over the face conveyor belt  and into the goaf..[waste area where coal has previously been extracted].This was the best system,cos the fillers had very little duff to clean up before starting to fire and fill off the coal.

I must add that the intention of "Scuffling " the cut,wasn't primarily to give the coalfillers better shots,[though it was a bonus when the cut was clean!],it was to prevent the the coalcutter jib from becoming "Fast"..["Stuck"],in the cut,and potentially throwing the cutter out and making it dance around.

The AB15 coalcutter weighed three and a half ton,and was nine feet long,two feet wide,and fifteen inches high,and with a six-feet long cutting jib attached,was the most viscious machine ever invented by man,grossly overpowered and underweighted.

You had to see a cutter with the picks running, dancing wildly under a low coal face....18 to  20 inches high,or even in a 36 inch- high face, knocking timbers out,picks flying around,throwing the whole machine around,crazily, as if it was made out of balsa wood..trapping a coalcutterman up against a steel Desford chock...[the earliest ones made]...nearly killing the man,to appreciate and respect how viscious these machines were.

It only took a bit of "Brass"..[Pyrites],under the cut to catch the picks and Hoy the cutter oot the cut....so the job of hand scuffling behind the machine, was not only hard work,it was  also really dangerous,only those who have never seen a machine dancing around,would be complacent enough to get too close to the cutter when it was on "Full-ratch"!...[Fullspeed].

Accidents to one side,the dread of the cutterman was when the face started laying on,[or "Weighting on..],and the roof starts to lower in front of your eyes,the danger here is of the cutter jib becoming "Fast as a kna..er!"....nipped tight by the weight of the lowering seam closing the cut and rendering further cutting advance to a standstill.When this happened we had to drill holes around the jib area,put a wee bit Pooda..[explosives] into the holes,and fire them,so as to release the cutting jib and commence cutting.

Aye,it wasn't aal plain sailing was it Alan [or Geoff]!

Canny  Lass,a hope me lang draan oot explinashin has helped yi oot wi yor qwestyins!

Sorry a didn't respond straight away,aav had a lot of stress at yem,and just got back inti thi fold!!

Edited by HIGH PIT WILMA
text correction
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Just as an afterthought,and before I stand corrected...[!]....on a face which was prone to "Laying -on",the cutterman following behind  the machine,that is where the cutter has just passed,would push a prop under the cut so far,and wedge it up by inserting another prop crossways-on underneath the first one,and in doing so,would serve to support the coal seam,and prevent the jib becoming fast.

At Choppington High Pit,we called these "Judd-Stays"....and don't ask me why!..it was just a term carried on through generations of cuttermen and coalfillers at the pit.I never heard that term used anywhere else at any other pit.

These stays were placed under the cut at intervals throughout the face ..usually a few yards apart,or wherever the cutterman's marra ahent the machine thowt it was nessissarry.......

Cheers!

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9 hours ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

 "Scuffler" 

The Gummer's other name was a "Scuffling Bucket",and there were two types.

1] The Worm Gummer

2] The Fling Gummer

If I leave this world tomorrow I will be go contented knowing my life had been enhanced by the Rolley-Way man Scuffling alang wi the Worm & fling Gummer = magic HPW:)

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10 hours ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

If ye cudda been doon Choppington High Pit,or Bates 3/4 seam,or Hauxley,where Geoff Glass came from..[assuming it's the Geoff that came ti thi Aad pit when Hauxley pit closed..]

That's the one HPW - I posted your reply on the Barrington Facebook site and Geoff replied - 'Oh right -  yes I remember him Say hello to him for me please'

Project2.png

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Heh heh! The power of the net again! ....bringing auld pit marra's tigitha again! Thanks Alan,please pass my regards ti Geoff,haven't seen Geoff for a canny few years...last time was when he was at the Chapel at the Half Moon,Stakeford,and he was in the chapel with the organisers of the Russian[?] Butter Mountain distribution team,handing out the free ration of butter to the old and needy folks in the community,and I was seeking the rations for the old neighbours of mine at that time.It might have been in the '80's...I can't remember exactly,but Geoff probably does.When Geoff came to the Aad Pit at Bedlington,from Hauxley Pit,He described the conditions there,and I can vividly remember him being met with scorn from the Aad Pit old-timers,who hadn't seen water get owa the bootlaces...and the reason I remember it well,was because me and my Marra's from Choppington High Pit had met with the same scorn just before Geoff came..so Geoff and me exchanged stories of how rough our pits were!!

"SCORN"= Comments such as....."oh Aye ....heor wi gaan.....wiv hord it aal before...clivvor bugga's...working in three foot o' waata..in a two-foot seam..."...said very sarcastically,from a gathering of the aad pit coalfillers....in answer to THEIR question as "was Choppington as rough as this then?"...as we rested for five minutes on the way inbye..sitting on a wood chock,wi wa byeuts pressed into stone dust four inches deep....the dust was a killer mind,even waaking inbye ye were choking on it in the High MAIN seam.

We just telt them it was a thoosand times rougher at Choppington,cos A] The water teemed in from the roof,there were very few pumps,the water just filled long swalleys,until it overflowed and ran down the inclined roadways ti fill the next swalley...and so on.....!

Some swalley's were 50-100 yards long,and up to your waist...we transport lads travelled through up to a dozen times a shift,in the different roadways in the pit.

B] Because the seam went doon ti less than two feet high,the cuttermen had ti cut thi bottom oot,throughout the face ti mek height for the cutter ti pass through..so ye had airborne dust filling the roadways alang wi roof droppers of waata and ground water aal tigitha...!

C] The Shaft was sunk through sandbanks and musselbeds[fossilised!],and the whole of the seams were driven through nests of geological faults...["Faaalts"..!]..making roof and sides very difficult to control...men got killed or injured every other few weeks and my Father told me it was like that in 1929 when he was a young putter down there!!..[as you know...aged 14 years!]...and the changes for the better came only with rails laid in the Mothergates as well as the Tailgates,when the new Drift doon ti thi Top Busty opened up not lang afore thi pit closed...the waata and bad roof conditions remained the same as the other seams!!

A wonder if Geoff cud relate sum stories from his time doon thi black hole!!A wud luv ti hear from him on wor site,cos aam not on Facebook.

Thanks for posting his pics Alan,he's nivvor changed..just a bit mair matured in the oak..so ti speak!

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Alan,hae yi checked oot anywhere ti see if thi pit dictionaries mention the Gummers?...a once saw one come adrift from the latches when we were cutting the face and it fell inti thi picks...wat a mangled mess it was..solid steel casings ripped like a piece of old rag ...seeing that made me respect this machine's power even more!...many a time a saw lads who were at the jib,scuffling wi a big filler's shuul,as we were jibbing in ready ti cut thi face,and they wud get a wee bit too close  ti thi picks...and the shuul wud be snatched oot their hands and taken up inside the cut by the back picks,only ti be thrown oot a tangled mess wi nea resemblance to the shuul that was!

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Hi alan,aav been on the last hoor,reading an article in the Durham mining museum....ye'd think aa had written it!!..except for one variation on the description of the controls on a coalcutter.

They say that the speed handle is raised for high speed..["Flitting" the cutter]...and dropped down for slow speed..["Cutting" speed].

AAL thi machines aa ever worked on,ye dropped the handle down and pulled it out past a detent,then dropped it further..that put the machine inti FLIT MODE.[OR.....to run the rope on or off the haulage drum at a higher speed than that used for cutting.]

A think it's a slight mistake on the drawings,cos an AB 15 OR AM 16[LATER YEARS]..were aal the same.

Check it out..it's a really gud article!

Edited by HIGH PIT WILMA
Insert missing bracket
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11 hours ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

Heh heh! The power of the net again! ....bringing auld pit marra's tigitha again! Thanks Alan,please pass my regards ti Geoff,haven't seen Geoff for a canny few years...last time was when he was at the Chapel at the Half Moon,Stakeford,and he was in the chapel with the organisers of the Russian[?] Butter Mountain distribution team,handing out the free ration of butter to the old and needy folks in the community,and I was seeking the rations for the old neighbours of mine at that time.It might have been in the '80's...I can't remember exactly,but Geoff probably does.When Geoff came to the Aad Pit at Bedlington,from Hauxley Pit,He described the conditions there,and I can vividly remember him being met with scorn from the Aad Pit old-timers,who hadn't seen water get owa the bootlaces...and the reason I remember it well,was because me and my Marra's from Choppington High Pit had met with the same scorn just before Geoff came..so Geoff and me exchanged stories of how rough our pits were!!

"SCORN"= Comments such as....."oh Aye ....heor wi gaan.....wiv hord it aal before...clivvor bugga's...working in three foot o' waata..in a two-foot seam..."...said very sarcastically,from a gathering of the aad pit coalfillers....in answer to THEIR question as "was Choppington as rough as this then?"...as we rested for five minutes on the way inbye..sitting on a wood chock,wi wa byeuts pressed into stone dust four inches deep....the dust was a killer mind,even waaking inbye ye were choking on it in the High MAIN seam.

We just telt them it was a thoosand times rougher at Choppington,cos A] The water teemed in from the roof,there were very few pumps,the water just filled long swalleys,until it overflowed and ran down the inclined roadways ti fill the next swalley...and so on.....!

Some swalley's were 50-100 yards long,and up to your waist...we transport lads travelled through up to a dozen times a shift,in the different roadways in the pit.

B] Because the seam went doon ti less than two feet high,the cuttermen had ti cut thi bottom oot,throughout the face ti mek height for the cutter ti pass through..so ye had airborne dust filling the roadways alang wi roof droppers of waata and ground water aal tigitha...!

C] The Shaft was sunk through sandbanks and musselbeds[fossilised!],and the whole of the seams were driven through nests of geological faults...["Faaalts"..!]..making roof and sides very difficult to control...men got killed or injured every other few weeks and my Father told me it was like that in 1929 when he was a young putter down there!!..[as you know...aged 14 years!]...and the changes for the better came only with rails laid in the Mothergates as well as the Tailgates,when the new Drift doon ti thi Top Busty opened up not lang afore thi pit closed...the waata and bad roof conditions remained the same as the other seams!!

A wonder if Geoff cud relate sum stories from his time doon thi black hole!!A wud luv ti hear from him on wor site,cos aam not on Facebook.

Thanks for posting his pics Alan,he's nivvor changed..just a bit mair matured in the oak..so ti speak!

Passed the above to Geoff - waiting to see what his response is:) 

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Great Alan! Hope Geoff has a gud memory of the aad days! Watcheor Geoff!! 

 

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Thanks Vic, HPW, Eggy! I've got a glowing picture of the work now.

Your next starter for 10 is:

What is/was a 'rope boy' (14 years old, 1851).

Just shout out if I'm being a nuisance with all these questions.

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9 hours ago, Canny lass said:

Thanks Vic, HPW, Eggy! I've got a glowing picture of the work now.

Your next starter for 10 is:

What is/was a 'rope boy' (14 years old, 1851).

Just shout out if I'm being a nuisance with all these questions.

Can't find 'Rope boy' - just 'Rope mam' =  A man employed to maintain and extend, splice or install haulage ropes.

Other than HPW -  Geoff Glass & Alan Dickson (Barnton Facebook group) two of the web sites I have  used for pit terms are :-

https://www.healeyhero.co.uk/rescue/glossary/glossary.htm

&

http://www.dmm.org.uk/books/terms_a.htm

Nothing about Rope man or boy in the dmm list.  

NB. the healeyhero site  http://www.healeyhero.co.uk/rescue/glossary/glossary.htm t says :- his site is Glossary of words that are generally specific to the mining industry: Some have a two or three fold meaning, some have gone out of use, some are local to Derbyshire, Leicestershire, South Yorkshire and to Nottinghamshire, and others are general to the British Coalfields.

As there wasn't a reference to Rope boy I looked at Haulage (from the Rope man definition) and it has this :-

Haulage Boy, (1) aged 13 to 18 usually employed lashing or clipping and un-clipping tubs on an engine driven (moving) haulage rope on main roads or pit bottom area.

Haulage boy (2) could also be one say 15 years plus employed getting tubs or jotties of supplies to a face and empties back in panel gates by engine driven haulage rope, or ganging same by a pony. The age of starting work was 13 from 1880s up to 1913, then 14 from 1930s to 1948, 15 up to 1960s, thereafter 16 plus.

Haulage boy (3) generally a young boy 13 to 15 assisting an experienced person doing the above jobs (description sometimes varied pit by pit).

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