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Dr Pit

Steel Bridge Over River At Attlee Park

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On behalf of a friend I am looking for a photo of the old steel bridge that crossed the river Blyth at the atlee park. I think it was connected to the open cast work of that era. He has pics of the bridge under construction but not a one of the bridge in its finished state.

Hope some one can help.

Thanks

Dr Pit

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Dr Pit - Adam there is a Durham Mining Museam site http://www.dmm.org.uk/collnear/b022.htm that has a page on 'Bedlington Colliery' and lists all the pits etc within the area. Each one, the first being Acorn Bank Opencast  and when selected takes you to a gallery and a group of pictures of the site are displayed. In this case a couple of the headings are :- Sep 1956 - The new road crossing the River Blyth and the A.189 Hartford-Bedlington road & Sep 1957 - Drawing showing the layout of the site

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Dr ... do a search of this Forum.  We've discussed the opencast, its bridges, vehicles, draglines, and so on, so you may find stuff of interest.  Also try searching for Costains.

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On behalf of a friend I am looking for a photo of the old steel bridge that crossed the river Blyth at the atlee park. I think it was connected to the open cast work of that era. He has pics of the bridge under construction but not a one of the bridge in its finished state.

Hope some one can help.

Thanks

Dr Pit

 

My brother asked a similar question on this forum a few years ago. He said he had seen a photo of it (I think at Woodhorn Museum) and wanted to know whereabouts it had stood at Atlee Park.

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There is a large picture of atlee Park at Woodhorn and you can see the bridge in the background, Iv often wondered about it as well Keith, couldnt figure out where it came out on the bebside side of the river. (I mean the road connected to it on the bebside side)

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This Bailey bridge formed a road (not rail) crossing for euclids (huge lorries) to allow them to shift coal from Acorn Bank opencast* to the sorting/screening site at Bebside.  The Bebside site also housed a big railhead which allowed onward transportation of coal across the UK rail network.  There was also a Bailey bridge into the screening site, over the main road at Bebside (next to Jackie Reed's garage for his coach company, Service Coaches).  The euclid way was paved for it whole length with compacted grey spoil (a bit like modern day 'scalping's) taken from the mine hole;  this surface had to be continuously rolled by a massive towed roller and sprayed to keep the dust down. 

 

*the opencast site was operated by the civil engineering company Costain and so the whole operation was know locally as 'Costain's'.

Edited by Symptoms

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There are two other images I've seen before. One shows the bridge over the A193 on the way down to Atlee Park from front street :-

http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/attlee-park-bedlington-set-new-5774964

and following over that bridge you came to the River Blyth where a photo showing Atlee Park on Picnic Day shows the next bridge that goes over the river and the road would lead up to join  the A193 where it turned along the Bebside Rd :-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6837128082/

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There are two other images I've seen before. One shows the bridge over the A193 on the way down to Atlee Park from front street :-

http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/attlee-park-bedlington-set-new-5774964

and following over that bridge you came to the River Blyth where a photo showing Atlee Park on Picnic Day shows the next bridge that goes over the river and the road would lead up to join  the A193 where it turned along the Bebside Rd :-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6837128082/

Brilliant photos.

The exact position of the bridge where it crossed the river can still be identified..The supporting columns of the bridge stood on concrete bases and a few of these bases can still be seen. If you follow the riverside footpath from Atlee park, pass under the bridge and walk downriver for about 100 yards (?) they can be seen on each side of the river.

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Haven't got a photograph of the Costain bridge but we came across this picture whilst searching.

It might be of the opencast workers and someone might recognise some of them. Must be connected to Bedlington somehow.

post-3028-0-84460800-1393176404_thumb.jp

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Haven't got a photograph of the Costain bridge but we came across this picture whilst searching.

It might be of the opencast workers and someone might recognise some of them. Must be connected to Bedlington somehow.

No joy sir, can't find anyone who worked for, or knew anyone from, the Costain's work force.

Symptom posted an entry in the  - The Old Broadway House Farm  -  topic

"A 2009 post:

Brilliant! Just to get some sense of scale of the drag-line buckets the Dad of a pal of mine (he was the top spark at the site in the mid to late 60s)took a few of us 'down the hole' in a Land Rover which he parked in the bucket ..."

You never know he might still have a contact.

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A great photo.  Interesting that there's one black guy in a sea of white faces.  Trying to date the snap is difficult but a couple of the guys are wearing berets which were quite common in the late 50s early 60s ... lots of military surplus was used for work clothing at the time;  I also have a clear memory of working blokes with 'turned-over' wellies ... safety boots weren't mandatory then.

 

I'm still in contact with the 'top spark' so will email the snap to him this weekend to see if he knows anything ... he's over 80 now.

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The concrete bases are hardly 50 yards from the stone river bridge,if that! When we were kids,about 13 years old,we used to ride the Costains road all the way to Bebside pit,from the Bedlington side,there was never any security on in those days....why would they need any?..we weren't going to destroy the road or the bridges..........!!

It was truly an amazing thing to watch the 42-ton coal haulers bouncing their way across the river bridge,we used to watch,and say one day,it will collapse...

shows how much us kids knew about Bailey engineering!!

Check out Six-townships DVD about Acorn Bank Opencast site,and there is a short clip..[only about five seconds],of a coal hauler going over.

Because I just lived up at Hollymount Square,My friends and me watched the laying of the foundations of both the road and river bridges,the cutting through the Blackberry hill and the construction of all the roads connecting the project,the building,and ,years later,demolition,and re-instating of the land to it's former self......minus all the masses of blackberry bushes,on the Blyth side,which provided us with a bit of hard-earned pocket money,when the blackies were in season![picking them and selling them to our neighbours for thruppence a pund!]

It was fascinating to watch a Bailey bridge going up over the river at Rothbury,last year,as I knew every part,every pin ,washer and split-pin that held the frame sections together......never changed in sixty years since the Costain bridges!!

I took pics of every stage of that project,building it,then inconveniently took seriously ill,near-death,so I missed the demolition stages when it was completed!!![talk about bad luck spoiling things!]

Wish I could have had pics of the Costain ones....but I was only about ten years old at the start of the project!

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Hi everyone. I'm Paul - the person who posted some of the Acorn Bank images onto Flickr.

 

They were skimmed from the microfiche records of The Blyth News in Blyth Library. I was given full permission to photograph and use but not for financial gain. That bit's important!

I took many of the photographs in the book titled 'We're the Famous Blyth Spartans...' by Ken Sproat. During that time I soon realised that the other images would be of great interest..

The images I've shared on Flickr are only a small percentage of what can be found in the microfiche records. If anyone has the time I recommend a visit to that library to see the thousands of news pages they have.

 

Somewhere on the internet (my old PC took bookmarks with it upon death!) there's a promotional film that has a lot of footage of Acorn Bank Opencast. It also shows haulers crossing the bridge in question.

I need to find it..

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Hi everyone. I'm Paul - the person who posted some of the Acorn Bank images onto Flickr.

 

They were skimmed from the microfiche records of The Blyth News in Blyth Library. I was given full permission to photograph and use but not for financial gain. That bit's important!

I took many of the photographs in the book titled 'We're the Famous Blyth Spartans...' by Ken Sproat. During that time I soon realised that the other images would be of great interest..

The images I've shared on Flickr are only a small percentage of what can be found in the microfiche records. If anyone has the time I recommend a visit to that library to see the thousands of news pages they have.

 

Somewhere on the internet (my old PC took bookmarks with it upon death!) there's a promotional film that has a lot of footage of Acorn Bank Opencast. It also shows haulers crossing the bridge in question.

I need to find it..

Welcome to the site Paul - If I come across the promotional film I will try and remember to book-mark and let you know.

I had a quick look on Flickr and saw the picture of the 66 ton coal hauler -  http://www.flickr.com/photos/flyeye/6130678964/in/photostream/

Noticed there was a posting on that page, from 'Bigloda', that mentions 'High Pit Wilma' might be interested. High Pit Wilma is on this site so you never know he might just have details of the info you are after.

 

Whilst looking at some of your pics I came across the one of the remains of the windmill at Plessey. The stories in my family are that a relative of my grandfather was the stonemason that assisted in the building of that and the Hartford bridge. Never been able to get to the windmill site or the east side of the bridge to see if the stonemason left any evidence of the builder.  

Do you have any info on the windmill and bridge?

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Hi!

 

Yes I'm hoping Wilma will get onto 'Bigloada' to find that film. It's a very good short film. Incidentally - I believe Bigloada got his name because he liked the big loadas in the nearby opencasts. Wilma will tell us more I'm sure!

 

The old windmill..

I've taken over a thousand photos of that one but have never actually had a good look at it! I was doing more of the artistic stuff in my images..

The old windmill gets a lot of visitors mind. They leave a terrible mess and even light fires inside it - there's obvious damage to the stonework.

I fear those visitors may have left chiseled marks too - it would make hunting more difficult.

 

I strongly advise that you visit the old windmill. Take a coat though because it's there for a reason - it gets very windy (and cold) up there!

 

The bridge? I have no idea! Sorry.

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Hi!

 

Yes I'm hoping Wilma will get onto 'Bigloada' to find that film. It's a very good short film. Incidentally - I believe Bigloada got his name because he liked the big loadas in the nearby opencasts. Wilma will tell us more I'm sure!

 

The old windmill..

I've taken over a thousand photos of that one but have never actually had a good look at it! I was doing more of the artistic stuff in my images..

The old windmill gets a lot of visitors mind. They leave a terrible mess and even light fires inside it - there's obvious damage to the stonework.

I fear those visitors may have left chiseled marks too - it would make hunting more difficult.

 

I strongly advise that you visit the old windmill. Take a coat though because it's there for a reason - it gets very windy (and cold) up there!

 

The bridge? I have no idea! Sorry.

Thanks Brillo. The grand kids, with scarf and balaclava, will be sent to explore. 

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Heh heh ! Nice to see you joined the happy clan Paul.

The dvd was one of the Six townships set, which was originally done on 8mm film,and found dumped in a builder's skip,rescued,then transferred to dvd,so the quality has suffered,but still gave the buzzes  when I watched it!

The coal-haulers were 42-ton,[not 66-ton...for correctness!],and they are seen bouncing over the bridge for a few seconds.

If you google "Acorn bank Opencast coal site",there  are lots of info facts and figures,such as there were only four coal haulers operating,with eight

42-ton trailers,running at 15-minute intervals,the time it took to fill each trailer,using "Butters" skip-winders at the edge of the cut.

To us kids lying on the grass watching them go over the river bridge,it seemed as if there were dozens of them!!

You will probably still get it at Al's videos at Ashington,or directly from John Dawson,of the "Six-Townships" .

You are right about Big Loada,Paul!

Noo,just looking at the pic of the workers at Costain's,the black guy with the beaming grin,reminds me of the ONLY black guy I had ever seen in my life,up to the age of about 16 years,and that guy was a star turn comedian,doing the working men's club circuit in the north-east.

His name was "ASTOR",and anybody entering the "go-as-you-please" at the club,on a Saturday night,knew beforehand that they had backed a losser,cos Astor always took the biscuit hands down,he was that good.

You know why he was a great success?,cos he pulled himself,and his colour,to shreds,in front of predominently old coalminer's,who were also

prone to a bit of racist banter,purely banter,which,nowadays,would cause a lot of grief!

Can anybody remember this great guy,and I wouldn't mind betting that he is the guy in the pic,cos I am talking about 1960-ish when I saw Astor on stage at Netherton club..[i wasn't drinking,cos firstly i was only 16-ish,and secondly I can't stand the smell,never mind the taste of beer,..except in weak shandy on a hot day...!...hypocrite!]

No,a relative of my Brother's girl-friend borrowed my guitar and amplifier,to enter the go-as-you-please,expecting to win,cos he had he's own rock group in Leicester ,and he was good........but not as good a puller as Astor!![and I was there to set the guitar amp up on stage beforehand,so that's how I saw this really funny guy!]

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