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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.

Right!

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!

Edited by HIGH PIT WILMA

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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.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOO,YI BUGGER,WAT WAAS AA ON ABOOT AFORE AAL THIS YAKKIN' ON ABOOT SLAAVARIN........!!!!!!!!HEH HEH!!

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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  • Latest News

    • A big-hearted donation by one of South East Northumberland’s largest employers has enabled local football club, Bedlington Terriers FC, to provide its players, staff and visitors with rapid emergency response should it ever be needed.
      Lynemouth Power Station has gifted the community club with a life-saving heart defibrillator which will now be installed at the Welfare Park ground. If deployed within three to five minutes of a cardiac arrest, such equipment could potentially increase the chances of someone surviving a heart attack from six to 74 per cent. Each minute without CPR and defibrillation also reduces a patient’s survival rate by between seven and ten per cent.*
      The Northern League Division Two club is home to seven teams and over 80 footballers from senior players to an under 6 ‘tots’ team. Along with daily training sessions and match attendances, the club sees hundreds of people visiting the ground on a weekly basis therefore the defibrillator has been very well received by all.
      Rowan Edwards, Commercial Director of Bedlington Terriers FC, commented, “This is a vital piece of first aid equipment and we are extremely grateful to Lynemouth Power Station for their kind donation. Given the number of on-site staff, players training each week and visitors to the ground, it is essential that our trained staff have instant access to life-saving equipment in case of emergencies. It will mean a lot to everyone here at the club as well as the local community, so we’re very grateful for the power station’s support.”
      Janet Mole from Lynemouth Power Station added, “Having these devices installed in popular public places and venues is so important, so rather than just donate to the fundraising effort, we decided to purchase the equipment outright on behalf of the club. As a local employer, it is important that community initiatives like this are well supported so we’re delighted to hand over the defibrillator to all at the club.”

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    • By johndawsonjune1955
      This is a story of an interesting coincidence. The other day we were discussing World War II. In the bitter struggle of 1914-18 and in wars long before that, the men of Bedlington did their part in the bitter battles. To see if we could find anything which might throw some light on this reference to the wars beyond 1914-18, I looked into the groups records and there was the interesting coincidence facing me - an account of four soldier sons of Mr. Will Corby, a sexton, of Bedlington. Anyone related to this family ? Just thought the forum members would find this interesting and post it.
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      George Corby took part in most of the Spanish campaigns without injury. After peace he went with his regiment to the West Indies, where he remained his appointed time, but on his passage home he fell ill and died.
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    • By johndawsonjune1955
      Here is a brilliant story for the forum members. Enjoy
      137 years ago two young East Northumberland brothers, worried because of the declining number of jobs in the coal mining industry, decided to start a new life in Australia.
      Nowadays, the journey is comparatively safe and a comfortable one, but not so then. For they set out knowing that they were almost certainly leaving the land of their birth for-ever and heading to a country still largely unknown. Their trip was by sailing ship, horse and cab, train and foot. Diesels buses and cars were still inventions of the future. But they made it.
      The two brothers were Isaac and Thomas Hetherington, who were to become two of the first to emigrate "Down-under,†from East Northumberland.
      To tell his family back in Bedlington just what the journey was like, one of the brothers, Thomas, kept a diary of the passage from London to the thriving coalfield of New South Wales. It is an enthralling tale, written by the hand of a man with virtually no schooling and whose only way of putting across what he had to say was to write what he saw and felt in plain and simple language.
      He sent the diary home where it lay forgotten for many years, but it has eventually turned up for the Sixtownships to digest how hard it was for them in tackling this journey and the group has given permission for me to share it with the forum members of Bedlington.co.uk Here are extracts from the diary of this young pitman.
      London, January 5th, 1886.
      Dear brothers and sisters. I write to let you know that we landed at King's Cross safely but very cold and they told us we would have to wait a good bit before we could get a train for Aldgate Street, so we took one of the Company cabs. After that we had our dinners then we down the main street from our lodgings at White Chapel Street to try to get to the end of it, but we had to turn back after about walking about two hours and a half. When we were coming back we met more funerals than there is coal sets goes past besides when they are all at work. It is astonishing how many people you see here and not know anyone.
      January 6th:
      We left Fenchurch at half past nine and reached Gravesend at eleven o'clock. Then we went straight on to the Austral. It snowed all the time till we got our luggage out. We had a cold time of it.
      January 7th.
      We sailed from Gravesend about ten o'clock. It was very thick with fog. We had to drop our anchor after we went a short distance. Then it cleared away a bit. We tried again but we did not go very far till we had to stop again for all night.
      January 8th:
      We drew our anchor and set off again. When we were passing Dover there was a man along with us belonging Shields, the name of Dixon. He comes to me and says he had a good mind to get out and take the train to Cardiff. After that he said he had lost his bunk and we had to take him to it. Then he picked up all his clothes and came on deck and came right along and said he must not lose the train and he was just going to jump overboard with them when they stopped him. The doctor got hold of him and took him away.
      We had a grand concert in our cabin last night. There was a good few passengers sick after she started to rock a little. You can very nigh throw a stone into Dover you go that nigh to it.
      January 9th:
      We left Plymouth after staying about one hour. J. Todd had to go before the doctor and tell them about Dixon. When he was coming out Dixon asked him if he was not going to pack his luggage up and catch the train. They say on board that he is right off his chump. There is a lot of passengers sick today. Isaac and J. Todd had to go to bed. We entered the Bay of Biscay about seven o'clock.
      January 10th:
      We had sailed 331 miles from Plymouth by half past twelve o'clock. They say she is going about 14 or 15 miles an hour. We had a birth on board today, but it was dead. We have had a good passage through the Bay of Biscay. We got through about ten o'clock at night. We sighted the lights of Cape Finisterre, that is just after you pass out of the Bay.
      January 11th:
      We are in the Atlantic Ocean now, we have run about 350 miles since yesterday. They buried the child today.
      January 12th:
      We saw a shoal of porpoise pigs today. They were still diving about in the water. We have gone 320 miles today. We passed Gibraltar Rock about two o'clock. There is some very high mountains just after you pass by it. We are going through the Mediterranean now.
      January 13th:
      We have gone 342 miles and there is a good many passengers sick today.
      January 14th:
      We have run 332 miles. We are going past a place they call Sardinia.
      January 15th:
      Today we ran 320 miles and got to Naples about one o'clock. It is a nice place to look at. As you are coming into it we stopped close by the burning mountain of Mount Vesuvius. The smoke was coming right out the top of it. The flames were coming right out of the mountain at night when we were leaving.
      January 16th:
      Morning we are passing through the Straits of Messina. Italy is on one side and Sicily on the other. I think it is better scenery than Naples. There is a great high mountain right along and houses right along the bottom of them.
      January 17th:
      The sea is running very high and she is pitching up and down just like a sailing vessel. There is one young lad belonging to the ship got washed down on the deck and was hurt a little. We have gone 200 miles since yesterday, but we have just been going half speed for a good few hours/ Three parts of the passengers is sick. The times I am writing this the water is coming over the fore-end and some of it is coming down our cabin steps. Isaac and the other two were all sick today and it was very rough right up till about two or three o'clock in the morning. It was as good as a play in our cabin, the boxes and tins were rolling about in all directions.
      January 18th:
      It is a good deal calmer today but she is rolling from one side to the other, but we are going a great deal faster. It is a grand sight to see the water running so high but it makes you feel rather queer.
      January 19th:
      We have had a good run today, 352 miles. We arrived at Port Said about ten o'clock at night. We are there. It is a nice little place to look at but I think it is about as bad a place as anybody could go into. The public houses is all like concert halls. There was two fiddle bands there half of them were women.
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      January 20th:
      It is just like a summer day here. I hardly know that I have been born till now. We left Port Said about one o'clock but we did not get very far up the canal till we had to stop and let two ships past.
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      January 21st:
      We passed through the Ismailia Lakes this morning. We had a lot of little Arabs running alongside of us. We were throwing them biscuits. It is a pleasant sail up the canal. We reached Suez about five o'clock at night. We left about one o'clock in the morning again. I have heard often about the sandy deserts but I have seen none of them till now.
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      January 23rd:
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      January 26th:
      We passed through the Straits into the Gulf of Aden sometime in the night. We reached Aden about half past nine in the morning.
      January 27th:
      They were trying what depth of water there was. They got to 80 fathoms and they were not at the bottom. We passed Cape Guardaful at night. They say it is about 300 miles from Aden then you enter the Indian Ocean.
      January 29th:
      We saw a lot of flying fish this morning. They are very small but some of them fly 30 or 40 yards. We get boiled rice and condensed milk twice in a week now. Anyone coming out should fetch a sheet with them the blankets are too warm and the straw beds are beginning to smell.
      January 30th:
      We had a bit of a disturbance in our cabin today. There was a few not satisfied with the meat we are getting and they are trying to get a paper signed to send to the chief steward but they failed. Taken on the whole I think it is very fair and they try to keep you as clean as possible. You can eat your meat off the boards.
      You have got to alter your language a good deal or they cannot make out what you say. There is about eight of us from Northumberland.
      January 31st:
      We crossed the line today.
      February 1st:
      We had to sleep on deck last night. You could not stop down below it was that hot but they waken you at four o'clock on deck to get them washed. There was two or three men saying that they dare not leave the
      port holes open in the fine weather that she was not fit to carry passengers.
      February 2nd:
      We passed five island this morning. They were all full of coconut trees. We arrived at Diego Garica aboot two o'clock.
      February 5th:
      We had another death onboard last night. An old woman about 70. It would have been something fearful if it had been hot this time because you cannot get them to keep the port holes open.
      February 6th:
      We are beginning to get rather weary of it now. You think it is a long time before you get across the Indian Ocean because you cannot see anything but water on all sides.
      February 7th:
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      February 8th:
      I was up in the morning soon on and I saw the seven stars - what we call Charlie and his waggon. I had a dream one night and thought the ship was coming down the Hathery Lane and we got into Swan's field and was going sailing about it. It has been a good deal cooler this past day or two. We passed a sailing vessel today, the first we have seen in the Indian Ocean. The heat was too much for brother Isaac's fiddle, it made the tail piece give way.
      February 11th:
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      February 12th:
      We sighted the shores of Australia today. Everyone was looking out. You would well nigh say we had never seen land before and everybody seemed that pleased.
      February 13th:
      We are out of sight of land again today. We have made a mistake in not bringing a few books to read on our journey.
      February 16th:
      We passed the Kangaroo Islands in the morning. They say it is about 108 miles from the starting of them to Adelaide. We reached Adelaide about 12' o'clock. I saw in the papers here that there had been some rioting in London and that there was going to be a meeting with the Socialists. I hear that Gladstone got into Parliament again.
      February 17th:
      All along the coast here you can see the smoke rising. You should have seen me and J. Todd on patching his trousers. We made a grand job of them. There was a shirt hung on deck today after it had been washed and you could see the great big lice running on it.
      February 18th:
      We put into Melbourne Bay.
      February 19th:
      We were up at Melbourne. It is something like Newcastle in England but the streets are a great deal wider.
      February 20th:
      We left Williamstown Pier at two o'clock in the afternoon. This is nothing like the same country here today it is that much colder.
      February 21st:
      The sea is rather roughish today but we are going very well. With her pitching many a time when we are eating our meals our plates would be sliding up and down and you just had to get a bite when they were going past.
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    • By johndawsonjune1955
      Hundreds, maybe thousands of miners, including young boys, have lost their lives while working in the pits, not only in Northumberland, but the whole of the country. Now, painstaking research by the Six Townships Community History Group is helping to keep their memory alive. We are currently putting together accounts of how these miners died in the Bedlingtonshire, Wansbeck, Blyth and Morpeth areas. Tyneside Collieries is online too.
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      http://www.sixtownships.org.uk
      Latest update to the sixtownships website is now online.
      It is all about coal mining fatalities in our area and Tyneside
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