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3 Generations Of Miners

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As this post has connections to 3 current topics (miners killed in Bedlington pits, Netherton, people who lived in the pit rows)I thought I'd start a new one off rather than trying to spread the stuff out.

My Dad who's now 84 years old comes from a mining family and has lived in Bedlington all his life. I was asking him about Netherton and the Dr Pit and he told me about my Grandfather and Great Grandfather who worked in the pits.

My Great Grandfather was called George Reed and was a deputy at Netherton Colliery. He was killed in a mining accident before my Dad was born. He walked to work every day from Bedlington to Netherton and used to carry my Grandfather with him as he also worked at Netherton starting there aged 10 years old. George lived with his family (total of 10 people) in a 2 bedroomed house. No requirement to move if a bedroom tax had been introduced back then.

He was killed when a stone or large pebble struck him in the head following blasting when water caused the stones to shoot away from the wall surfaces - a common occurrence at that time.

My Grandfather was called Thomas Reed and eventually moved from Netherton to the Dr Pit. He lived at 1 Telephone Row and contracted rheumatic fever from working underground which made him unable to work. In about 1935, with no notice given, he was evicted from his colliery house by the colliery officials who simply removed all the family furniture into the street. He didn't have anyone in the house of working age which would have protected the tenancy. The next tenants were already waiting at the bottom of the street to move in with all their belongings. The family and furniture were split up to temporarily move in with other relatives(including 4 young children).

He eventually bought a house in Stead Lane and returned to the Dr Pit as a checkweighman.

My Dad worked at the Dr Pit as an apprentice until he was badly injured in an accident underground aged 19 years. He was with some others fitting a new clutch onto a coal cutter when the supports gave way and the cutter came down onto his ankles. He was freed and bandaged up where he lay before being carried out about 3 miles on a stretcher by 8 men to the surface. Dr Brown gave him further attention before he was taken to Newcastle RVI by colliery ambulance.

When he recovered he worked a plumber in the colliery and also in all the colliery houses in Bedlington. He later left when the threat of pit closures loomed to work for the contractors building Blyth Power Station. He's also been a milkman for Jackie Abbs and a Postman in Bedlington.

My Grandfather Thomas was the North East 'Bools' champion where you threw a metal ball underarm for distance. He was taken all over the area by Johnnie Barnes the fruiterer who used to make side bets on him winning at Newbiggin, Morpeth and other local villages.

His drinking mates included John McGlen who was the area Quoits champion and John Carly who was the pitmans bare knuckle boxing champion. I've attached a picture with him in which was taken at the annual Top Club v Market Place Club football match to raise money for the elderly in the town. The football is painted with "Old Folks Treat Fund 1938 - 1939". Thomas is the tall fella on the far right in the goalkeepers top. My Dad is going to add some names to the faces which I'll post once their done.

My Dad was also a goalkeeper and was the original keeper for 'Bedlington Mechanics' until his accident. He later went on to do some organisational work for the club. The second picture was taken before the Mechanics first ever match which was a friendly against West Lea played at West Lea. He thinks he also has a picture of the West Lea team from that match too plus some later Mechanics teams so I'll add them if he finds them.

The Mechanics team which were all Dr Pit lads is listed below but sadly Dad believes he's the only one still alive. Their home matches were played on what is now Tescos car park and the team were supported by Jimmy Milne.

Back Row left to right - Thomas Guilfoyle, George Hetherington, Alan Stafford, John Reed, Owen Turner, Robert Napier.

Front Row left to right - Bill Ward, Bill Clark, Alan Jobson, Ossie Davison, Harry Docherty.

post-3028-0-52588400-1375533289_thumb.jp

post-3028-0-31484300-1375533306_thumb.jp

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List of names for the Old Folks Treat Fund 1938 - 1939 Market Place Club v Top Club football match.

Seated L-R

jimmy Jarrett, Tommy Fox, Reg Gill, unknown, Referee (holding match ball), unknown, Archie Maughan (Top Club Manager), unknown, Luke Muldoon, Bradley, Bill Docherty.

Standing L-R

Percy, Joe Curley, unknown, McSherry, unknown (goalkeeper in cap), Matty Hall, Jenkins, Alec Burns, unknown (in suit and tie), Sanderson, John Walton (Manager Mkt Place Club in shirt and tie), 2 behind unknown, Finlayson, George Campbell, Jim Miller, unknown, Tait (leaning on post), Jim Parr, 2 x unknown, Thomas Reed (goalkeeper), unknown in cap, Billy Wales, unknown, unknown in trilby hat, children unknown.

Hopefully some ancestors will be on here. Any additions welcome.

post-3028-0-82249800-1376237805_thumb.jp

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Hi Reedy,was Fred Reed ,[the cobbler opposite thi Black Bull pub doon Bedltn street],any relation?

When I was born,in 1944,My Mother was very ill,and was taken to thi Tommy [or Mona?] Taylor,hospital,up at Stannington.She had a nervous breakdown due to having no money to keep her family surviving during the war.

My Father worked at Choppington High Pit,and took very ill also,being taken to thi old Ashington Hospital.

With Mother having a nervous breakdown,the nurses took me,newly-born,away from my Mother,and put me into a different part of the hospital.

Mother's condition was worsened,naturally with losing sight and holding,of her new baby.

Choppington coal company didn't care two hoots about anybody's circumstances,and they sent in the big boys,who literally threw all my Mothers little bits of furniture and possessions........into the street,in thi middle of the night,naturally,when they knew they would meet the least resistance from anybody.

My oldest Sister stayed with my Aunt,[Mother's Sister],and my second oldest Sister,along with my elder Brother,were put into a victorian regime home,in North Shields.[aged about 6yrs, 4 1/2 yrs,and 3 yrs respectively.]

So the whole of my family were split up for a period of time,till Mother and Father recovered.

All because of ruthless coal-owner's rules about tied houses...there was no-one else in thi property working down their pit,so out you all go....into a dark gas-lamplit street,with a clarty road outside....in war-time!

As you rightly said ,Reedy,without any notice to move whatsoever....ruthless isn't thi word for those people.

They have a lot to answer for..and I have a bitter feeling toward these rich land owners,who never did a day's work to earn what they have.

Favours of grace?

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I made a comment about this on gallery j.curley was my grandfather billy Hoolison give my mum away as my granda got killed in 1949 @ the doctor pit April ......

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Hi Reedy!

Just noticed a sentence in your post,there,about the cutter coming down onto your Dad's ankles....he'd have known aboot that one,aa bet!

The bit that puzzles me is why did they have the cutter on supports?

Do you know what sort of cutter it was,?,cos I'm an old ex-coalcutterman/machineman/composite worker,and every cutter I worked with,had the same procedure,to re-fit the friction clutch.

Cutter lying on thi bottom,lid off,both arms inside ,up ti thi eyes of oil and grease!!

Maybe they were using a prototype in those days,which would be a common thing,trying oot aal sorts of machines.

I'm just interested in machines,that's hoo aam puzzled!

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HPW- re an earlier post, Fred Reed is not related to us.

Dads accident- He was repairing an Anderson Boyes Arc Shearer by replacing plates on the clutch as opposed to fitting a new one. The jib and revolving head which were supported on 6inch chocs, came off onto his left leg crushing his foot. Luckily his right foot ended up under the track and was untouched.

One of the men working with him was called Hetherington who may have ended up as an area manager covering several pits.

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Hetherington ... I went to school with a couple of Hetheringtons, John and Peter and they lived in Windsor Gardens.  I'm sure their Dad was pit manager in the mid- Sixties.  John would be 63 now and Peter 61/62.  I think Peter might be a journalist.

Edited by Symptoms

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John and Peters Dad was George Hetherington, He was Colliery Manager at the Dr. Pit till it closed and then Ashington Colliery until he retired.

Sadly George passed away a few weeks back.

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On ‎03‎/‎08‎/‎2013 at 13:35, Reedy said:

As this post has connections to 3 current topics (miners killed in Bedlington pits, Netherton, people who lived in the pit rows)I thought I'd start a new one off rather than trying to spread the stuff out.

My Dad who's now 84 years old comes from a mining family and has lived in Bedlington all his life. I was asking him about Netherton and the Dr Pit and he told me about my Grandfather and Great Grandfather who worked in the pits.

My Great Grandfather was called George Reed and was a deputy at Netherton Colliery. He was killed in a mining accident before my Dad was born. He walked to work every day from Bedlington to Netherton and used to carry my Grandfather with him as he also worked at Netherton starting there aged 10 years old. George lived with his family (total of 10 people) in a 2 bedroomed house. No requirement to move if a bedroom tax had been introduced back then.

He was killed when a stone or large pebble struck him in the head following blasting when water caused the stones to shoot away from the wall surfaces - a common occurrence at that time.

My Grandfather was called Thomas Reed and eventually moved from Netherton to the Dr Pit. He lived at 1 Telephone Row and contracted rheumatic fever from working underground which made him unable to work. In about 1935, with no notice given, he was evicted from his colliery house by the colliery officials who simply removed all the family furniture into the street. He didn't have anyone in the house of working age which would have protected the tenancy. The next tenants were already waiting at the bottom of the street to move in with all their belongings. The family and furniture were split up to temporarily move in with other relatives(including 4 young children).

He eventually bought a house in Stead Lane and returned to the Dr Pit as a checkweighman.

My Dad worked at the Dr Pit as an apprentice until he was badly injured in an accident underground aged 19 years. He was with some others fitting a new clutch onto a coal cutter when the supports gave way and the cutter came down onto his ankles. He was freed and bandaged up where he lay before being carried out about 3 miles on a stretcher by 8 men to the surface. Dr Brown gave him further attention before he was taken to Newcastle RVI by colliery ambulance.

When he recovered he worked a plumber in the colliery and also in all the colliery houses in Bedlington. He later left when the threat of pit closures loomed to work for the contractors building Blyth Power Station. He's also been a milkman for Jackie Abbs and a Postman in Bedlington.

My Grandfather Thomas was the North East 'Bools' champion where you threw a metal ball underarm for distance. He was taken all over the area by Johnnie Barnes the fruiterer who used to make side bets on him winning at Newbiggin, Morpeth and other local villages.

His drinking mates included John McGlen who was the area Quoits champion and John Carly who was the pitmans bare knuckle boxing champion. I've attached a picture with him in which was taken at the annual Top Club v Market Place Club football match to raise money for the elderly in the town. The football is painted with "Old Folks Treat Fund 1938 - 1939". Thomas is the tall fella on the far right in the goalkeepers top. My Dad is going to add some names to the faces which I'll post once their done.

My Dad was also a goalkeeper and was the original keeper for 'Bedlington Mechanics' until his accident. He later went on to do some organisational work for the club. The second picture was taken before the Mechanics first ever match which was a friendly against West Lea played at West Lea. He thinks he also has a picture of the West Lea team from that match too plus some later Mechanics teams so I'll add them if he finds them.

The Mechanics team which were all Dr Pit lads is listed below but sadly Dad believes he's the only one still alive. Their home matches were played on what is now Tescos car park and the team were supported by Jimmy Milne.

Back Row left to right - Thomas Guilfoyle, George Hetherington, Alan Stafford, John Reed, Owen Turner, Robert Napier.

Front Row left to right - Bill Ward, Bill Clark, Alan Jobson, Ossie Davison, Harry Docherty.

post-3028-0-52588400-1375533289_thumb.jp

post-3028-0-31484300-1375533306_thumb.jp

2019 is the 70th anniversary of  the founding of Bedlington Mechanics.

I am editing the programme and would like to use the photograph of the first ever team (as shown above) on the programme cover.

Can anyone confirm who the image belongs to and if it is ok to use it?

We are trying to capture memories of the club. If you are willing to spare an hour to talk, please could you email [email protected]   Thanks.

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6 hours ago, Richard Bloomfield said:

2019 is the 70th anniversary of  the founding of Bedlington Mechanics.

I am editing the programme and would like to use the photograph of the first ever team (as shown above) on the programme cover.

Can anyone confirm who the image belongs to and if it is ok to use it?

We are trying to capture memories of the club. If you are willing to spare an hour to talk, please could you email [email protected]   Thanks.

@Richard Bloomfield - the photos belong to @Reedy = Paul Reed. Although I have 'tagged' him in this comment I am not sure if Paul still receives messages from this group. The last time Paul visited/Logged onto this site was 22nd November 2017.

In one of the photos Paul's dad, John reed, is named and that's where Paul gets his info and photos. John Reed was involved with the Mechanics from when they first formed. If you enter "Mechanics" in the Search box (top right) many Topics about the Mechanics will be displayed. 

I will send Paul a Message (via the Bedlington Facebook groups) and let you know what he says.

On this group there is also Stan Kidd' grandson ( Ovalteeny) and no doubt your research has thrown up the name Stan Kidd.  @Ovalteeny has researched the full history of the Mechanics and I am sure he would supply you with some info. Ovalteeny is still active on this group.

 

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Just one correction, my dad was Stan Kidd, however it was my Grandad who was one of the founding Committee men of Bedlington mechanics. His name was Christopher Septimus Kidd (known to everyone was Sepp). He was the Colliery Engineer at the Dr. Pit and as such lived, with his family, in one of the houses on the Pit Head (I guess he would have been on call 24/7 in case of emergencies or mechanical issues). He had also been a prominent Councillor for BUDC throughout the 1930's / 40's.

From what I've learnt from researching old copies of The Blyth News and Morpeth Herald at Woodhorn Archives and seen in articles on this site (mostly from Reedy and his Dad) Bedlington Mechanics FC were formed in 1948/49 season where they played friendlies (mostly at West Lea, I believe). They then joined the Miners Welfare League for season 1949/50. I have the final league tables for the 3 seasons they played in the Miners Welfare League, prior to then joining the Northern Combination League for another 3 seasons to then join the Northern Alliance in the 1955/56 season.

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Thanks for your responses. It has been a great help. 

I began to research the club history in the programme and found a lot needed correcting, especially the early years. 

The club was founded in 1949 (May I believe). It started on the Northern Section of the Northumberland Aged Miners League (not the Northern Combination as the programme said). That league was won in 1951/2 and the club promoted to the Northern Combination. There were three cups along the way which did not feature in the programme. 

Home games were played at Millne Park until the end of the 1960/61 season (there is a press cutting confirming that date) when the club appears to have moved to Bedlington Station Welfare. Can anyone confirm this? 

The club appears to have moved to Welfare Park in 1967. Again can anyone confirm this? 

We are aware that there a lot of people who can contribute to the early history of the club but we need to get a move on. 

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Richard, i did attempt to re-write the history for Ronnan, but the info that I sent him has never been used to update the history on the web-site. See attached, 2 files which contain some of the info you are searching for.

Bedlington Mechanics.pages

Mechanics history re-write.pages

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Richard, a couple of more facts that you might wish to use, league tables from the 3 years in the Miners welfare League and then 2 of the 3 years that the mechanics were in the Northern Combination. Apologies, but I haven't, as yet managed to complete the full information.

Screenshot 2019-01-07 at 22.30.51.png

Screenshot 2019-01-07 at 22.31.16.png

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That is incredible and amazingly helpful. 

This is all the sort of material that needs recording. Anyone who was 10 emwhen the club started will now be 80 so it needs capturing. 

Over the course of the season I have researched football in Bedlington. 

The first ever competitive game was on 1 December 1883 when Bedlington Burdon FC beat Rothbury in the first ever round of the first ever Northumberland Senior Cup. Burdon never progressed further than the Blyth & District League and folded in about 1909.

The most successful team was Bedlington United who joined the East Northumberland League in 1898 before progressing to the Northern Alliance and the North Eastern League before dropping back to the Alliance and then going bust in 1938.

United played at Hollymount until 1920 when they moved to Church Lane. 

There is 135 years of football there. Even if it is limited to a page and a half per season with the league table and a small commentary about the season it gives a 200+ page history of our local towns clubs. 

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Originally, I was simply interested in Bedlington Mechanics FC, but as I trawled through the old Blyth News/Morpeth Heralds I could see that football was so popular in Bedlingtonshire, after WW2 that I started to log details of other clubs and players. See the images below for a snapshot.

Screenshot 2019-01-08 at 08.49.45.png

Screenshot 2019-01-08 at 08.50.02.png

Screenshot 2019-01-08 at 08.50.18.png

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There were a few before the War as well. Bedlington Royal Oak springs to mind and I am sure Bedlington YMCA was pre war. 

I have the Welfare back to about 1926/7 and thought that they had left the Miners Welfare League at the end of 1951/2 to go to the East Northumberland League but will recheck that. 

It is a sad indictment of modern day youth that they appear to have little interest in actually playing football which is why so many teams have folded. 

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@Richard Bloomfield :- whilst Ovalteeny was researching the Mechanics history etc. we never created an Album in the Gallery as we expected the info to change, constantly. 

There is a Sports section in the Gallery where there are a few photos of local teams :- https://www.bedlington.co.uk/gallery/category/4-sports/

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I acquired this photo from my aunt who is in her nineties now.  Does anyone know about the history of this team?  or who is in the photo?  Bedlington Terriers Football Team

Bedlington Terriers Football Team.jpg

Edited by Rigger
Missed a fact

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Superb photo Rigger, difficult to say which team it could be. Looks very much like early 20th. Century, so could be Bedlington United, maybe Richard Bloomfield can show some light on the puzzle?

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Not sure what colours United played in. 

It looks like a "proper" ground which I am not sure that Millne Park was. 

United built a covered stand at Holly Mount in about 1912 and then had a ground at Church Lane suitable to host professional club reserve teams. 

I would put money on Bedlington United. 

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Like I said the photo was sent to me a few years ago by my aunt Margaret Peggy Hall who was born in 1925 and last I heard she was still alive.  Just checked the back of original photo to see if there are any clues, alas not.

 

 

 

 

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The grandstand at Hollymount was officially opened in March 1914.

Millne Park was little more than a field. Welfare Park is never shown on the grand scale depicted in the background. 

In 1920 a new ground was built at Church Lane known as Burdon Park with a stand costing £1,000.

It has to be United. 

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Looking at the hairstyles, at the strip and the attire of the non players, I'd say it was 1920's wish, which would possibly be Bedlington United.  

Millne Park didn't become a football field/ground until Bedlington Mechanics were formed in 1949. The Pavilion / Changing Rooms were behind the goal (nearest the Dr. Pit) and there was banked standing areas along each side-line, but never any covered structure.

My understanding, and confirmed by John Reed (Reedy's Dad) was that there was a very amicable agreement regards rent of the field, between Jimmy Millne and my Grandad. However, once my Grandad had died then there was a deterioration in the relationship between Jimmy Millne and the Football Club's new Committee, not long after they were forced to relocate to the Station Park (the A Pit Recreation Ground). 

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