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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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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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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! 

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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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