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Great bit o' work,John,must a tuk a canny bit o' ya time daeing it aal,it teks me a week ti waak a fortneet,once aa start typing!!

Howw,John,yi reminded me o' me aad [deceased] Mother-in -law,who was an utter Angel on earth,to me,and sorely missed noo.

She used ti hae wa family in stitches regularly wi hor aad-fashinned sayin's!

"Mind yi divvent trip owa them lurks in the carpet theor noo..."...["Lurks"..?...nivvor hord that one afore!]

[This one in conversation with a beach seller of spades and pails ,etc,at Skegness,in approx 1970-ish....]............

"Ee yi bugger,tha's croods doon heor,dae yi like stor?..."....["Stor"..?....thi poor bugger just lukked blankly back at her and sed ....."I beg your pardon madam?".......!!]Heh heh!

"Cummeor yi little bugga ,orraal boil yi in oil"...was anotha saying she had.....oh!...and tha was...."Haddaway,yi big stuffa...!"["Go on,you big.......?..what word wud ye use in this situation,in place of "stuffa"?....!!!!]

Malcolm,aam sorry I leave you bemused,it's really not intentional,aa just write like a taak,and a get carried away sumtimes,but wi John's help,yi'll be a proppa Northumbrian taaka yase'll afore lang!

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Heh heh,Malcolm,even me and Lone Ranger are scumfished by some of these terms!!

"Snap" is Yorkshire twang for "Bait"..[lunch].

A "carvinace"[in John's list],was,at the High Pit in Choppington,and other pits also,referred to as "A Caterinarse"

To enlighten this one a bit further we need to learn a wee bit aboot Geology heor,ti understand wat this was,and hoo dangerous they were for miners to contend with.

200 million years ago,Britain was covered in sub-tropical forests,and swamp conditions,like the Amazon.

The trees had bark with patterns similar ti a Pineapple,and other weird-looking variations of this.

As time went by,trees kept dying and falling,some stayed upright,then the sea came flooding in,for a million or two years,then desert conditions,for another million or two...and there we went,laying down vast areas of dead and decaying vegetation,covered by thick layers of sand,more vegetation,more sand.......until,due to intense pressure and heat,the vegetation turned into coal,and the sand and mud deposits turned into various types of stone,such as sandstone,and shale

etc.[Metamorphic rocks!..i.e.formed due to a change of state..]

Noo,"Caterinarse" !!

Remember I said some trees stayed upright?,well,as they became covered in flood water and silt was laid down all around them,they were fossilised,and became what Geologists refer to as "Petrified",because the interior part of the tree turned to stone,still in it's previous shape and form,but the Bark,[the outer layer]turned into coal.


Now we have a forest of stone trees in the solid stone strata,where the roots would have been in what is now the coal seam,and the weakest part of this set-up,is that layer of "coaley" bark.

Visualise driving a roadway through a coal seam,with a stone roof above your head,you have just blasted out the caunch,

and you start "ploating" thi loose stones down,ready to put some supports in,for safety.

You notice a black,roughly circular ring of thin coal straight above your head,[maybe a half-inch thick coal].

These rings could be anything from a few inches diameter,to six feet or more,but usually aboot three feet wud be the norm.

What you are gazing up at,is the base of the tree,as if you were under the roots,looking up the trunk,now if you don't get cracking,and get sum timber in under that ring,["the Caterinarse"],it's gonna drop clean out and flatten you,cos sumtimes these things had a good length of fossilised stone "trunk" above them,and weighed several tons.

Lots of miners were injured or killed by these things over the years,and I have worked in roadways where they were

all over the roof along miles of roadways,and every one had to be timbered securely,to save accidents happening.

Now you all know what a Caterinarse is!!

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In thi early 1980's,I was on one of the development teams,driving new roadways and coalfaces,down the Three-quarter Drift,at Bates pit.

The conditions were atrocious,wet,cold,bad roof conditions,etc.....[Lone Ranger knows wat I mean,he was a pioneer driving this new drift down to the 3/4 seam from the start.]

At bait-times,you had to make the best of a bad job,and try to find a dry spot,to sit and eat your bait,cos seawater droppers from the roof made life miserable enough,without having your bait spoiled also.

One day,I parked myself in a little space between the arched steel girders,supporting the roadway.

I no sooner took a bite oot me jam sammidge,when I felt small bits of stone from the roof hit my hard safety hat.

Miners had a term for this,when the roof was settling,and gave way to very small bits of loose stone,almost like gravel,would fall away,and hit your hat.[when you felt this happening,you instinctively sprang away first,then checked the roof after,in that order!][the term used was a swear word,not really bad,but not suitable for this forum..!]

Well,the second that I felt the small bits hit my hat,[in mid-conversation with my marra's],I leapt like a cat on hot bricks,out of my bait-place,and right over to the other side of the 14feet wide roadway..in one leap!!

My marras were a few feet away from me,and big Bill,laughed at me,and asked what the hell was wrong with me...!!

As he was speaking,a huge stone weighing about a ton,and about three feet long by two feet wide and nearly three feet thick,dropped clean out between the girders,breaking the supporting timber baulks which had held it in place for

months,just waiting for me to sit there,only I was quicker than it,so I can laugh as I relate the story,but that was just one of hundreds of occasions that this sort of thing happened.

The big stone dropped exactly onto my improvised seat,[a piece of flat stone..!],and if I hadn't been so quick,L.R.might

have had me on a stretcher with my coat over my eyes and bait-bag on my chest!


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The Pitmatic dictionary is great, I'd forgotten a lot of the words, but it's funny, whenever I come home i slip back into the dialect as if I'd never been away.

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Hi Willowbear7..!

My oldest Son has lived and worked in London for over 25 years now,and speaks true english,[only to make himself understood to others,as he sometimes works abroad also.]

The minute he starts talking to My Wife and Myself,over the phone,he's back to being a true Northumbrian!

It soonded queeor hearing him taakin' ti folks doon theor,like he's nybors,[when we used ti visit him-afore me Wife became disabled,and cannot travel doon noo..]

We used ti think,"lissen wor Daz,taakin' aal queer-like....snotty-nosed"..!

Looking back,it wud be pitiful watchin' them,if wor Daz taaked like me ti thim!!

John,at Choppington High Pit,in the 1950's-60's,the term.."Chinka-plonka",meant you,or something else,was great,like.."top-of-thi-pops-man.....!

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Stop 'slavering on'

The perfect way to shut someone up if they annoy you.

Obviously I would never be that unpleasant !

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So sorry,my dear Margaret....[?].....my lips will be forever sealed from this second on,never to slarver on ever again,whilst in your presence,to avoid any unnecessary annoyance to oneself,ever again....I will try to be the perfect gentleman from now on.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!


OH....!  HI MAGGIE ....!

Hevn't wi got a grate way o' taakin?.....them buggers doon sooth,thi aal taak funny,when yi gaan doon theor,neabugga taaks ti yi on thi trains a owt!

When me Wife an me used ti gaa doon ti wor Daz's place,and gaa on thi tube trains,ivry bugga stared at yi for yi chatterin on...as if yi wa stupid a summik...!

John,aav just re-capped ya dictionary again,an mind,yi desarve,alang wi ya secrortarry,a pat  a two on thi back,cos mind,aam telling yi summick an aal,fo' nowt,mind,yiv puttin a helluva lot a graft in theor,for thi benefit of them that are forenna's ....an deain't knaa wat wa slavverin on aboot,haaf thi time!

An Maggie,ya a star an aal,fo' being a very wise diplomatic and undastandin lassie!!

Wat a great site this is!

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