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Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)

Bates Colliery - Blyth

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Hi This is my father he was a overman down the 3/4drift tally number 453 ..locker row 4 bottom ..All ways seen him on the Golden mile before going down the pit .

I worked with him had the locker above him . All ways looked after the lads that worked for him ..

Great fellow everytime I when to see him at home he give me a job to do then watched me do it .Once an Overman all ways an Overman ..Dad xx

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Hi Duncan,welcome to this excellent forum!

If you are talking about Ju-Jitzu Geordie,then you have come to the right place!

I was transferred to Bates pit in 1971,from Bedlington A pit,when it closed,and the Manager Mr Fenwick,[an old friendly fella who was my Manager at Choppington High Pit,in 1959],asked me and Alan Dixon to go onto the next Deputy's course,which we did.

We were both sent to Bates,and Alan was posted up in the Plessey seam,while I was posted to the Beaumont seam.

As time went by,plans were laid out to drift down to the 3/4 seam.

My first impressions of Geordie,[he was also a Deputy ],was that he was a cocky bugger,always laughing and carrying on,but sometimes a wee bit sarcastic to us two young Deputies...we were still green,dinna forget...I was only 27 yrs old.

Anyway,after 7 years, Alan and me both packed Deputy work in,and Alan went to Ellington,and got set straight on back in the NUM.

Aa waanted ti stay at Bates,and Mr Hindmarsh,and both the NUM,and NACOS,agreed that I could be accepted back into the NUM at Bates..previously unheard of!

Aa went onti Composite work doon thi drift,and by then,aroond 1978-ish,maybe a wee bit later,Geordie became Owaman in charge of me and me Marra's,as we won oot aal the new roadways and coalfaces.

Geordie was the fairest guy you could meet,if ye worked doon theor,then ye shud knaa thi score aboot yardages,and paypoints....nae botha if ye dinna knaa.

When ye settle a bargain wi thi Manager,we'll say 20 yards a week advance,from the start of the bargain..or Cyevil,that is ya starting point for bonus.

Ye got paid for ivry increment of a yard after that.

Noo let's say we got 25 yards advance one week,a gud week,cos the belts were gannin aal shift,and nae delays,like the juice being off or a bust cable.

We wud ask Geordie ti just book 23 yards in for us,and keep two yards back,in case we had a bad start the following week.

The next week might be disastrous..bust cable, waata teeming in,bad stone,slaa progress,ownly 18 yards advance,Geordie wud book 20 yards in,[which included the two yards we held back the week before],and that,at least paid us,we didn't loss owt.

If we were working for wor summer holiday pay for the following week,and even if we had 22 yards advance,we naturally waanted a gud pay for wa holidays,so we wud ask Geordie ti haad the tape back,[his 50-yard cloth tape measure],and put us a couple of extra yards in,on paper,ti pay  us weel!!

Not strictly allowed!..but Geordie trusted us,as we trusted him,and he knew that after the hols were owa,we wud give him the two yards back,even if we put wasell's "in debt",[paid wasell's short],but which we knew we wud mek up thi following week.

We got on really weel wi Geordie,and he was weel-liked,but he wadn't knaa hoo much at the time,cos as ye knaa ,we pitman were witty sods,and ye had ti stand on ya aan two feet or be trodden on!!

Aa got on really weel wi Flo,when she worked at the Garage aroond the Haaf-Moon....many moons ago!!

Aye,Geordie helped us oot that many times,we had a lot ti thank him for!

Cheers Duncan!...ye just crossed swords wi Bill thi gud taaka...and if Geordie was here noo,he'd be saying.."that bugga's toungue nivvor stops..."!!

A canna mind ye being doon the drift,Duncan,or did ye hae a daft nickname like mine...."Wilma"![or HPW..to you,my friend!]

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Duncan,I had just come to this page after switching my laptop on,and after posting the light-hearted bantering comment above,went looking for the photo you seemed to be referring to,in your comment above.

So I went back one page,and saw the photo's of Geordie,and the comment by Alan Edgar,informing us here on the forum,of George's passing.

After reminiscing about him,then seeing this sad news,brought me down,and all I can say is I am sorry for you and your family,and if Florence is still with us,then please pass my condolences to her.

I will private message you if I can Duncan.

R.I.P. Ju-Jitzu Geordie ,a smashing fella.

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Photo from Bob Simmons - don't know what year but according to  Ronnie Mordue on the Bates  Colliery Facebook group :- 


Ronnie Mordue That stretch of the pit road flooded regularly.It still does,thought they would have improved the drainage or something before they built those new rabbit hutches.
Bet the buyers weren’t aware of the flood risk.

Bob Simmons.jpg

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Bates Colliery behind the offices around the wash plant area taken late 1950's


Edited by James
missed out date of photo
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