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Miners Killed In Bedlington Pits

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An update about a miner's memorial for Bedlington:

West Bedlington Town council support a miner's memorial however due to other commitments and precept the town council will not organize or supply/pay for one.

So what happens now?

If anyone would like to start a working group to look at providing a miners memorial, please PM me and we can look at starting one up and getting things going.

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Shame a Memorial like that can't be for Bedlingtonshire Miners, but nobody seems interested in starting a working group and trying to get a memorial for Bedlingtonshire Miners except me and I can't do it all myself.

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Adam - trouble is that many of us here would love to get involved but we aren't Bedders based ... quite a few of us aren't even in Blighty.

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It might also be worth considering a chapel of rest in St Cuthbert Church. There is an existing chapel of rest at present for people killed during the world wars. Maybe this chapel could be refurbished to include miners killed and maimed in our pits. The chapel would also include a remembrance book, similar idea to what is used at the Cowpen crematorium. I am not sure how practical it would be to compile such a book !!!

There was a flower display at St Cuthbert several months ago, and I seem to recall someone had dedicated a flower arrangement to the miners, oddly enough in the chapel of rest,

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It might also be worth considering a chapel of rest in St Cuthbert Church. There is an existing chapel of rest at present for people killed during the world wars. Maybe this chapel could be refurbished to include miners killed and maimed in our pits. The chapel would also include a remembrance book, similar idea to what is used at the Cowpen crematorium. I am not sure how practical it would be to compile such a book !!!

There was a flower display at St Cuthbert several months ago, and I seem to recall someone had dedicated a flower arrangement to the miners, oddly enough in the chapel of rest,

As I said before Barton Rafie that could be looked at, but we don't have a group and I can't do it all myself.

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My granda was killed at the Doctor Pit in April 1949 his name was Joe Curley he's photograph is on one

of your members photo album. The one with the market club football team who were about to play the top club

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A relative of mine Kilgour Reavley worked at the Isabella Pit at the age of 9 years! (1861)

Hi Vic, I'm trying hard not to get wound up here!

When we talk of kids as young as six years,[no mistakes!...six years old!],and Women,some pregnant,dragging sledges on on their hands and knees,laden with coal,working up to eighteen hour shifts,underground,in the mines,to keep the so-called "gentry" [coal-owners],in a life of luxury,with servants...and massive houses.....etc........i'm starting to boil up.........!!

Those people were slave-masters,in ........."great britain",at a time when slavery in other lands was being criticised by democratic countries.

My Grandfather was 11 years old,my Father was 14 years old [in 1929],when he started down Choppington High Pit,and I was 15 years old when I

started working at the High Pit.

Point is,not much progress made from 1929,to 1959.....was there?...[raising the age limit by one year,over a 30 year period!]

Mind,when I started telling my Father what I was doing,each day,and which district I was working in,and with whom.....he told me stories about the same men,and the same places,....etc.....not much had changed at the pit from him working there!

It was STILL a Tetty-pit!

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I would say every area should have a memorial to miners who worked and died down the pits not just places in South East Northumberland but those in Yorkshire, Scotland, Wales, etc. As coal miners deserve the same recognition and thanks as members of the armed forces get every year on the 11th November, because if it had not been thanks to coal miners we would never have had the industrial revolution we would have also lost either or both World War's as they provided the fuel for the county in it times of need.

Well said, Adam!

When I left the pits,and re-trained in furniture-making,I made very good friends wherever I worked.

One lad,[lives in Germany,now,born at Middleton,in Wooler],still tries to wind me up,after nearly 25 years of friendship,by calling the miners "cowards"and says we only went down the mines to escape fighting Hitler,in the armed forces.!

His Father was in the R.A.F.,AFTER the war......and,while I have the utmost respect and appreciation,for ALL our forces,I always reply to him that ,if it hadn't been for coalminers,[women and very young children,included],the Industrial Revolution wouldn't have happened,and his father wouldn't have been in the AIR force,he would still have probably been going to sea in wooden sailing ships with bows and arrows!!

Not a fair comment really,but only said in good-natured banter,with a slight ring of truth!!

Now,Miners are Miners,the world over,with Wives,and families,and my heart goes out,still,today,when I hear about Russian,Chinese,or wherever,miners being killed or injured in big explosions,as has happened a few days ago,with news coverage which was secondary to Rolf Harris,or One Direction smoking a joint,in a private car,minding his own business......

By comparison,I don't think a boy band smoking a joint is anywhere near as serious as 500 miners being killed underground....the Media reporting in this country should be well-shaken up,as it was supposed to have been after the "News of the World" scandal......but it hasn't been!

Rant over.........sorry,but Vic and Adam set me away,like a red rag to a bull!!!!!!

Edited by HIGH PIT WILMA

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is it not sick posting about miners being killed in the collierys the time i worked under ground there was 4 killed .it is not a nice thing to talk about

Ranger,democracy rules,and we all have our opinions,and you are right to voice yours.

Myself,[having known you very well all my pit working life],I tend to have the opposite view,and,like our war heroes,I think all of our marra's who lost theirlives for the benefit of the nation,as a whole,should,like Vic says,have a National Memorial day,in rememberance of those who died.

I was only 15 years old,and working up on the screens,temporarily,[my job was working in the timber yard as a  laddie],when a smashing old fella,called Jimmy,who was the "Oiler",went on his rounds,oiling,and greasing all the moving machinery,[tipplers,conveyors,creepers,shakers,etc],which were all driven by one big electric motor,and which drove a steel shaft,about 20 feet long,with loads of pulley wheels along it's length.

Each pulley drove a separate piece of machinery,via a flat "webbing"drive-belt.

Imagine it,around the rear of the screen belts,there were these flat drive belts flapping up and down and rotating at speed,all over the place.

Ranger,you should remember this!!

Well,old Jimmy went in this day,and after not coming into the cabin for his bait,one of the lads,[who John will/might have known],went in search ,and found him trapped in the moving drive belt and pulleys.

Poor Jimmy died that day,and it was a helluva shock to be told the news,especially knowing that we were picking stones off the belts,and Jimmy was trapped unknown to us.

15 years old,and i had to tell my Mother and Father,why I had come home early.

My Father went mad at me,telling me how he knew that the High Pit was all "rough and ready,and men were killed or injured every other week",when he worked there as a laddie.[ he worked at Linton pit by this time]

Now that was even before I went down the pit...I soon got my eyes opened when I did go down...it WAS all rough and ready.

Should we forget fella's like old Jimmy?,[who always gave me the impression,that he would be a great Granda,going off his nature and appearance!]

I certainly haven't,and never will.

Edited by HIGH PIT WILMA

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Well said, Adam!

When I left the pits,and re-trained in furniture-making,I made very good friends wherever I worked.

One lad,[lives in Germany,now,born at Middleton,in Wooler],still tries to wind me up,after nearly 25 years of friendship,by calling the miners "cowards"and says we only went down the mines to escape fighting Hitler,in the armed forces.!

His Father was in the R.A.F.,AFTER the war......and,while I have the utmost respect and appreciation,for ALL our forces,I always reply to him that ,if it hadn't been for coalminers,[women and very young children,included],the Industrial Revolution wouldn't have happened,and his father wouldn't have been in the AIR force,he would still have probably been going to sea in wooden sailing ships with bows and arrows!!

Not a fair comment really,but only said in good-natured banter,with a slight ring of truth!!

Now,Miners are Miners,the world over,with Wives,and families,and my heart goes out,still,today,when I hear about Russian,Chinese,or wherever,miners being killed or injured in big explosions,as has happened a few days ago,with news coverage which was secondary to Rolf Harris,or One Direction smoking a joint,in a private car,minding his own business......

By comparison,I don't think a boy band smoking a joint is anywhere near as serious as 500 miners being killed underground....the Media reporting in this country should be well-shaken up,as it was supposed to have been after the "News of the World" scandal......but it hasn't been!

Rant over.........sorry,but Vic and Adam set me away,like a red rag to a bull!!!!!!

We all love your rants Bill :thumbsup:  But I still believe there should be a memorial to miners who died down Bedlingtonshire pits, but i can't get anyone to help me with it so I have had to drop the idea.

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Adam,when you look at what the council spent on painting the Rostrum,in the Picnic field,and refurbishing it,[and it's lovely!!],you would have thought a

memorial to the Miners,[upon which all of our towns were built],would have been no problem at all!

Look at the giant rail sculpture down the Furnace bank,the Queen Mary couldn't pull that one down,so the yobbo's don't stand a chance!

Look at the keep-fit equipment along Cambois beach,and the 18,000 quid shelter,that has to have glass replaced every other month.....

It's almost as if the Council were ashamed of their heritage,not proud of it,as we all should be.

Let's see if a letter to the free press Editor ,["The Leader"],can shame a councillor into helping out!

Thanks for your kind comment also,Adam.

I'm starting to pile Z's over the keys here,Adam,

Gudneet marra!

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HPW,

 

First of all let's just say I support and sympathise with a call for a miner's memorial in Bedlington but why something like the NUM can't do it bemuses me! 

 

Anyway your posting contains a number of popular inaccuracies and no doubt I will be seen as one of the poor excuses for councillors we have but this really needs to be put right.

 

You mention council, "the council spent on painting the Rostrum” and "Look at the keep-fit equipment along Cambois beach”.   You are actually referring to two councils one West Bedders the other East Bedders.  It might be popular to pilloried "Council” but the basic inaccuracy doesn't help the argument. 

 

Secondly no council spent anything on "painting the Rostrum” that was funded by a SITA grant.  Likewise the gym equipment at Cambois and the Rail sculpture, both were funded by grants not ratepayers! 

 

The point about trying to "shame a councillor into helping out” is a moot point too because Adam is a councillor and has championed the idea at council meetings only to be told that while council would support a community initiative they didn't feel spending ratepayers money and leading on this sort of project was justified.

 

The ball is quite firmly in the community's court, if you want to organise a group to lead on a project like this then do it, I can almost guarantee it would get support from all over.  Holding up "Council” as a generic panacea to everything or the root cause of all evil is as unworkable and outdated as it sounds.

 

And before everyone has a go at me I have asked about the likelihood of the NUM funding or part funding a memorial only to be told it's not something they would consider!   

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HPW,

 

First of all let's just say I support and sympathise with a call for a miner's memorial in Bedlington but why something like the NUM can't do it bemuses me! 

 

Anyway your posting contains a number of popular inaccuracies and no doubt I will be seen as one of the poor excuses for councillors we have but this really needs to be put right.

 

You mention council, "the council spent on painting the Rostrum†and "Look at the keep-fit equipment along Cambois beachâ€.   You are actually referring to two councils one West Bedders the other East Bedders.  It might be popular to pilloried "Council†but the basic inaccuracy doesn't help the argument. 

 

Secondly no council spent anything on "painting the Rostrum†that was funded by a SITA grant.  Likewise the gym equipment at Cambois and the Rail sculpture, both were funded by grants not ratepayers! 

 

The point about trying to "shame a councillor into helping out†is a moot point too because Adam is a councillor and has championed the idea at council meetings only to be told that while council would support a community initiative they didn't feel spending ratepayers money and leading on this sort of project was justified.

 

The ball is quite firmly in the community's court, if you want to organise a group to lead on a project like this then do it, I can almost guarantee it would get support from all over.  Holding up "Council†as a generic panacea to everything or the root cause of all evil is as unworkable and outdated as it sounds.

 

And before everyone has a go at me I have asked about the likelihood of the NUM funding or part funding a memorial only to be told it's not something they would consider!   

Hi Malcolm!

Many thanks for clearing those points up,and as I have always said in my posts.."Ignorance is bliss"!!

Full apologies from me,if I have gotten it wrong,and I fully agree with you about the N.U.M.,but I am thinking now that the defunct National Coal Board

or it's equivalent,could possibly have made a massive contribution,seeing as a lot of fatalities were due to lack of safety measures and procedures.

Now,this point I know,from experience,to be fact!

If you check out the list of fatalities,on the Durham Mining Museum site,and also Court cases at the old Bailey,in the late 1800s-on,you will invariably find the causes of death as "Accidental",or "misadventure",and the statements always say that the miner was doing something illegal,like working without timber in,etc....never the Coal-owner's fault!!

Sorry if I got your back up,Malcolm,think I better stick to my best topic..[mining],and keep oot o' politics!!

Adam,my comments apply to you also,marra,full apologies for getting it wrong this time!!

Keep Ahauld,Marra's!

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HPW,

 

Don't worry about getting it wrong or whatever we can still have a mature discussion.  You are not saying anything 90% of the population don't say and believe.  The problem for me is that there is plenty of properly apportioned blame to go around councils for stuff they have and are doing, so much in fact no wonder it's a popular myth they are to blame for everything!

 

 

If only we could hold people to account for past indiscretions, I am afraid that's a privilege only us the proletariat are allowed to endure! 

 

 

You know the people of Bedlington chipped in once before to buy a monument, its standing at the Top End next to the roundabout, and they had nowt by comparison (certainly a far as disposable incomes go) in those days.    

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Debate is essential to the whole thread.

From the dark into the light.

Well done HPW for saying what was on your mind and well done Malcolm for enlightenment.

The trouble, maybe, is a lack of trust in politicians and authority.

Not to mention the old coal owners.

'Close the Coal House Door'

The miners who died should be remembered by all of us.

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Hi Malcolm,many thanks for your understanding,sometimes we all get things wrong,and you are right,sometimes we go by what we hear,and that reminds me of an old saying that I was taught when I started the pits as a laddie..."Believe nowt what ye read,and ownly haaf,what ye hear".Heh heh!

For a few minutes,while spouting off,I fell into the trap which lots of miners at all the pits I worked at fell into.....

Monday mornings came....."Watcheor Wilma,whaat happened at the union meeting on Saturday morning.........?"

"Did ye not gaan like?"

"Ner,aa was doon at the ducket aal day..."[pidgeons]

"Whey,divvent ask me what happened if ye canna be bothered ti gaan ti thi meetin' yasel.."!

A wud wind them a bit,and,of course,a WUD taak aboot the agenda,cos they were my marra's,but you see my point.

Anywheh..!,when a gaan on other forums ,like motorbikes, or guitars,you always get  young,[sometimes older!] folks getting abusive,cos someone disagrees with thier opinions,and that's the one thing I like about this forum,everybody is the same!.......mind, a divvent knaa whaat the big words mean

Malcolm!....."prelatoriumat"! [or summik like that!!!]

Aye,Dr Trotter did a lot for Bedlington folks,especially bringing proper sanitation into the village,as it was then,when diseases were rampant.

He must have been very well thought of,for the hard-up folks to raise the amount for his everlasting memorial.

I'm not in a position to be organising a fund for a miner's memorial,due to being a full-time [24hours] carer for my disabled Wife,but I would certainly

donate to the fund.

You kind folks might have noticed,that,apart from this one,usually ALL my comments are posted,usually around midnight,up to 2-0 am,sometimes a bit earlier,if I have my laptop on while cooking dinner for us both,and that is because my commitments and chores are just about done,including walking my little darlin' Jess,usually around midnight also,so by the time I actually sit down to relax,I fall asleep at the keyboard!!![see my last post to Adam  above!!]

I got round to thinking about thatcher,when she sequestrated millions of pounds from the N.U.M,now that money was never returned,and was money which we miners had contributed to the union,and which we had already paid tax on.[1984 strike]

She even stopped the child family allowance,to Wives of striking miners,literally took the bread out of our childrens mouths.

What our children had to do with the strike still defeats me after all these years.

The best thing the N.U.M could do,[if they haven't already tried...i.e.],would be to take legal action,to have that money returned,and ,while I am no longer a member of the N.U.M,I would support them all the way,and would suggest it could be put into charitable funds somehow,such as regenerative funds,for every Union branch area.[where degeneration took place as a result of the pit closures.][or whatever charity was more deserving!]

Now,while I supported Arthur Scargill right to the end,in our fight to keep our pits open,[and failed..],I didn't know at the time that the N.U.M at national level,agreed to pay for his house in London,in an exclusive area,[from what I have read!!!!!],for as long as he wishes to reside there.

He is no longer N.U.M president,but still has this perk!,and only recently the union took the matter to court to have the agreement sqashed,but I don't know the outcome of the case.

Arthur's council tax for one week,would pay for a fitting memorial to all the miners,past and present.

Dinner done,time to wesh me dishes,tek little Jess oot,and a might get back for a bit mair natter afore ZZZ-time!

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Hi Maggie!

Thanks for your reassuring and supportive comments!

Much appreciated!

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On 19/05/2014 at 17:18, Tonyp said:

My granda was killed at the Doctor Pit in April 1949 his name was Joe Curley he's photograph is on one

of your members photo album. The one with the market club football team who were about to play the top club

@Tonyp I saw your comment (on the other topic - New coal mine in Cumberland) and as I am often on the Durham Mining Museum (DMM) site I checked the list of Names of those killed at this colliery and your granda, Joe Curley, is not in the list. I know the DMM is ran by volunteers and although I would expect they have access to the old colliery records it does appear that they also rely on updates from the general public.

I don't think anyone who was killed in that industry whilst doing their job should be forgotten. You should get in touch with them to update their records.

This is the link to the 'D' index of pits :- http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/index_d.htm

And this is the link to the DMM Contact Details page :- http://www.dmm.org.uk/misc/contact.htm

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Hi. I'm researching my family tree and it's full of miners, I'm very proud to say, on both sides of my paternal family. I have come across my grandmother's side of Walker's and Lake's and a Joseph William Lake who lived at Foster's buildings in Choppington, in 1901. He, too was a miner (hewer) yet died aged 45 in 1909. I'm not sure if he was involved in a pit accident but it seems a young age for a man to go! Do you have any record of any accidents etc at that time? Not sure which pit either, maybe Barrington? Assuming those buildings were like pit rows so he'd likely work at the closest pit? Was there one in Choppington? Barrington?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks 

Ingrid Atkinson

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9 hours ago, Ingrid said:

Hi. I'm researching my family tree and it's full of miners, I'm very proud to say, on both sides of my paternal family. I have come across my grandmother's side of Walker's and Lake's and a Joseph William Lake who lived at Foster's buildings in Choppington, in 1901. He, too was a miner (hewer) yet died aged 45 in 1909. I'm not sure if he was involved in a pit accident but it seems a young age for a man to go! Do you have any record of any accidents etc at that time? Not sure which pit either, maybe Barrington? Assuming those buildings were like pit rows so he'd likely work at the closest pit? Was there one in Choppington? Barrington?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks 

Ingrid Atkinson

@Ingrid - I would expect for the era you are researching the miners were living in the pit village and there was a pit in Chopington.. 

Checking the Durham Mining Museum (DMM) site it shows the Choppinton pit  opened in 1857, closing in July 1966.

There is no record of anyone with the surname Lake in the list of names of those killed at Choppington pit.

This is a link to the Choppington colliery info on the DMM site :- http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/c011.htm

When I have a bit more time I will have a look on the old maps so you can see where the pit was.

 

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@Ingrid - old maps showing the location of Foster's Buildings, Choppington & Double Row, Barrington + the areas today with the old maps added and the approximate location of some of the other local pits that existed  :- 

1938 Choppington pit.jpg

Barrington Colliery 1947.jpg

local pits.jpg

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