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My great great grandmother was brought up at Bedlington Colliery in one of the miners' rows.  I found this 1858 map of the area and I wondered if anyone could tell me about the houses - were they single storey, how many rooms were there in each one, were the long gardens for growing vegetables and were the toilets indoors?  I also wondered what became of the Railway Inn?

Bedlington Colliery 1858.PNG

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33 minutes ago, Diana said:

My great great grandmother was brought up at Bedlington Colliery in one of the miners' rows.  I found this 1858 map of the area and I wondered if anyone could tell me about the houses - were they single storey, how many rooms were there in each one, were the long gardens for growing vegetables and were the toilets indoors?  I also wondered what became of the Railway Inn?

 

@Diana - there are a few photos of the 'A' pit and houses but I can't remember seeing a photo of the gardens, you will have to rely on our memories for most of the info.

Do you know what row your great grandmother lived in - South Row - North row or Shop Row? 

Closing down my PC for tonight - I will dig out some photos and post them for you tomorrow.

This is a 1924 aerial shot of the area :-

 

A Pit aerial shot 1924 with names (2).jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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Many thanks for the splendid photo.  The miners' rows, at least in 1924, were clearly two storey.  My great grandmother (Lizzie Green) was born in 1862 but the 1861 census shows her mother, Mary Green, living at No. 9, 1st Colliery Row, Bedlington Colliery, with her parents Lewis and Margaret Green.  It was a crowded household, at least to modern eyes, with 3 children and 7 adults.  I therefore wondered where the family went for social get-togethers and if the Railway Inn was the community's hub.  Also, did they grow a lot of their own food since shopping must have involved a walk into Bedlington or Blyth?

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49 minutes ago, Diana said:

Many thanks for the splendid photo.  The miners' rows, at least in 1924, were clearly two storey.  My great grandmother (Lizzie Green) was born in 1862 but the 1861 census shows her mother, Mary Green, living at No. 9, 1st Colliery Row, Bedlington Colliery, with her parents Lewis and Margaret Green.  It was a crowded household, at least to modern eyes, with 3 children and 7 adults.  I therefore wondered where the family went for social get-togethers and if the Railway Inn was the community's hub.  Also, did they grow a lot of their own food since shopping must have involved a walk into Bedlington or Blyth?

Morning Diana. If it had of been Bedlington 'A' colliery (previously known as Sleekburn Colliery) that your relative(s) worked at then I would be able to add some info for you this morning.

However your info - ' .... 1st Colliery Row......, ' from the 1861 census makes me think it could be the other Bedlington pit we should be looking at. According to the Durham Mining Museum site (holds info on all the Durham & Northumberland collieries) The Bedlington 'A' pit was opened in 1838 and the other Bedlington colliery, The Doctor Pit, was opened in 1855.

Bedlington is divided into two parts - Bedlington Station, where the 'A' pit was, and the Top End of Bedlington, where the Doctor pit was. When researching the area @Canny lass found 'Old Colliery Row' on an old map and that row was at the Top End. What I don't know is if there was a row name Colliery Row at Bedlington station. 

I will put together some old map images of the area containing the two collieries and post them into further comments. 

Just recently we created an album, in the gallery section, for The Doctor Pit and Rows and canny lass and @James added photo and info for Old Colliery Row. This is a link to the entry in the album :-  

@Canny lass - did we once find something referencing a Colliery Row around the Clayton area of Bed Stn?

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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Many thanks - my ancestor, Lewis Green, died in an accident in 1864 and the newspaper mentioned that he worked at Sleekburn Colliery.  I've checked the 1861 census for clarification of 1st Colliery Row, and I think the enumerator was travelling roughly west to east, taking in 1st & 2nd Colliery Row at Bedlington Colliery, followed by Tile Shades Cottages, Sleekburn Cottages and then 1st-3rd Colliery Row, Barrington Colliery.  I look forward to your map images - I have another query to follow about the location where Lewis met his end.

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@Diana - I suppose it's possible that the 4 rows of houses on the map, published 1866, you posted that the unnamed rows on the map were simply known as 'nxx Collier Row'.

The names that we all new them by were , South Row (2 rows), North Row & Shop Row as named on the map published in 1924. 

1924.jpg.14f63d52a65b60f0cc08f12f8a4817ec.jpg

You probably have looked already but this is the Bedlington - Station & Top End area now.

Bedlington.thumb.jpg.038d3b8f21b8367f56b64baaf464f7c5.jpg

This shows where the two pits were :- 

Bedlington2.thumb.jpg.445fa852cd823bfe1f5aa92842a11c48.jpg

I checked on the DMM site just to see if Lewis had died in a mining accident but he dose not get a mention on the site. The DMM site lists the mines that were killed whilst working for the pit. The Info for the two Bedlington pits is listed under 'Bedlington Colliery' and ' D/Doctor Pit'  but you will see that the info overlaps.   

http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/index_a.htm

I will post the few images that I have of the 'A' pit rows this evening. 

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I'm afraid Lewis Green drowned after falling off the bridge at Bedlington Iron Works, after spending the evening in the "Rose and Crown".  The accident was written up in the Newcastle Courant 6 May 1864.  I suspect it was a railway bridge either associated with the colliery or the iron works and may not have had a parapet.  Or he may have been crossing via the stepping stones which were there at the time.

Green_Lewis_map of bridge.png

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@Diana - I will add each posting as a separate comment and if you have any questions then you can select the 'Quote' at the bottom left corner of each posting and that action will include the previous comment you are asking about.

This image of the 'A' pit will be late 1940's as the street named Waverley Drive (like many other council houses in this area) were built after the end of the II world war.

A Pit aerial shot c1950b.jpg

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My memory of the two parts to South Row is that the row of houses to the West of the pit were demolished in the mid to late 1950's. I only have a very vague memory of that row as during my junior school days = Barrington CP, that can be seen on the aerial shot of the pit, we were taught to walk down the back lane of Pioneer Terrace (opposite side of the road to the South Row) and then cross the road to the entrance to the pit and the other houses of South Row  would be on our right- East. We would walk throu the pit up to Shop Row, turn right and walk the length of Shop Row to the railway crossing onto the Barrington Road and turn left onto that road along to school.

This is the entrance to the 'A' pit that we used :-

 

A pit entrance from South Row names.jpg

Where the men are standing on the right of the photo is where the pit bus to take them home would arrive and the brick wall one of them is leaning against is the boundry wall for the last house in  South Row. 

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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20 minutes ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

My memory of the two parts to South Row is that the row of houses to the West of the pit were demolished in the mid to late 1950's.

I think they were still there in the very early sixties. I remmeber attending the funeral of a YMCA member - young lad by the name of Routledge (Pete would probably know better). He lived there.

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The Rose and Crown was between the two bridges on the river Blyth . The Furnace bridge and the railway bridge. 

The Furnace bridge, at the bottom of the Furnace bank , was a small road bridge :-  

1708595676_BebsidepartofFurnacearea3clarting.jpg.483edd4a07365c3f6b30f04bb720e6e5.jpg

The railway bridge was originally a wooden structure and the replaced by the existing iron bridge :- 1201397121_IronWoodenbridgeinfo.thumb.jpg.8704d9c333e2d80489ccd55ebf68c76f.jpg

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Hello Diana, welcome to the forum!

I’m quite certain that 1st Colliery Row, Bedlington Colliery is undoubtedly one of the rows belonging to Bedlington A pit, that is the pit at Sleekburn and not the pit at the top end of Bedlington. I had a look at the 1861 census and it covers only that area. To be really sure, I’ve compared it with the 1851 census which covers the same area and your relatives are still there. However, in 1851 the streets have no names. The rows are simply called ‘Bedlington Colliery’. This was quite common practice and the rows changed their names several times throughout history – presumably as the postal system developed. First-, Second- and Third Row, etc were extremely common names all over the area. Even the neighbouring Barrington Colliery had these names.

Following the census through the years you can see that 1st Colliery Row became North Row (it has much fewer houses than the seemingly later 2nd Colliery Row with double so many). 2nd Colliery Row seems to have  later became South Row.

Here is a map from 1896 where you can see the rows in more detail and I can use it to answer your question about sanitation and gardens. I’m not as good as Eggy when it comes to making additions to these maps but I hope you’ll be able to see what I mean.

 

Sleekburn 1898_LI.jpg

 

The houses would undoubtedly have had outside toilets of earth closet type and across the road (dirt track) from the back door of the house (yellow) and these can be seen on the map marked in red. I’ve marked the gardens in blue. Because of the close proximity of the railway sidings there wasn’t room for a garden behind the toilet which was the usual in this type of housing. The contents were emptied, by the owner, through a small door at the rear of the toilet and used as fertilizer in the gardens. Gardens were generally speaking large and bursting with vegetables but with some flowers. I have seen this in reality in other mining communities as late as the 1950s. This can be seen in 2nd Colliery Row on the map. If you look closely at 1st Row there is some sort of building adjoining the garden. The garden and the building may be a later addition to bring the houses up to the standard of the later 2nd Row.

If you zoom in on the first photo posted by Eggy in reply to your query you can just make out the roofs of these toilets (built two by two) in both South Row and North Row.

As for ‘night-life’ in Sleekburn there was no shortage of pubs in the immediate vicinity.

 

Sleekburn 1898_LI (2).jpg

 

Here you can see the Percy Arms (red), The Clayton Arms (Blue) and the Railway Tavern in Green. I don’t know if these are the original names. You’d need to search the census for that side of the road. And, of course, the Rose and Crown was only a five minute walk away.

Edited by Canny lass
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The Rose and Crown gets a mention in a local historian's books on Bedlington. The Martin fafily = Stephen B. Martin and Evan Martin have this info in a couple of their books :- 

1386594839_RoseandCrown.thumb.jpg.b6602c7132f4dd8958ee8bf3bf0f21d6.jpg

 

 

 

401949154_RoseandCrownwithtext2.thumb.jpg.e8dc09c111639112e3716bd0d2817077.jpg

I made this image to show approximately where the Rose and Crown was :- 1151081499_RoseandCrownwithtext.thumb.jpg.0b04bf58723cae740de68f91b4bcac83.jpg

Edited by Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)
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Ooops meant to post this one along with the photo showing the entrance to the 'A' pit.

This one shows the back lane of South Row in 1966. You can see the house are stone built. across the back lane are the 'netties'  and the crees = coal sheds/bunkers and the entrance to the gardens.

796770850_SouthRowc1966.jpg.d68d19c4a98c57ce789d18be4b26a7c2.jpg

This is the front of South Row with the brick walls so I assume the rows were originally stone and then whatever extension work was carried out to the row bricks were used to face the building - but that's just me guessing :- 

1928258231_SouthRowoccupied.thumb.JPG.e39261d8ef1bc8ad5e5ad9f3b7c24b60.JPG

 

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Many thanks to everyone who has replied to my topic - you have all really helped to set my ancestors in context.  Because I have seen miners' rows in the west of Scotland, where the houses were single storey, I had assumed they would be similar in Northumberland, but that is clearly not the case.  The accommodation looks well designed and the generous gardens a good feature.  The outside toilets I am not so sure about!

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17 hours ago, Canny lass said:

I think they were still there in the very early sixties. I remmeber attending the funeral of a YMCA member - young lad by the name of Routledge (Pete would probably know better). He lived there.

Your correct CL it was Jimmy Routledge and the family did live in those houses, South Row I think.

 

My great grand parents on my grandmothers side lived in Shop Row and the gardens were detached from the houses. If you follow Allan's directions to Barrington school (turn right when you get through the Auld pit) you would be walking down Shop Row. The houses were on your left but the road was just a dirt track and the gardens were on your right and they were quite long. That's how I remember it anyway. 

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50 minutes ago, Pete said:

My great grand parents on my grandmothers side lived in Shop Row and the gardens were detached from the houses. If you follow Allan's directions to Barrington school (turn right when you get through the Auld pit) you would be walking down Shop Row. The houses were on your left but the road was just a dirt track and the gardens were on your right and they were quite long. That's how I remember it anyway. 

And me - you can see the Shop Row gardens in the aerial photo of the pit. I've seen a photo, on Facebook group, of the Cowell family playing on the track between the row and the gardens - but I can't find it :mellow: 

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