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Small building at the end of Furnace Bridge?


Joe Ridley
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On 04/02/2022 at 07:35, Canny lass said:

Wood Cottage (2 rooms), in 1861 called ’Woodmans Cottage', lies on the parish boundary and as such is the last dwelling before Rose Cottage, Bebside Furnace. The name has changed many times: Bebside Woods Cottage (1871), Bedlington Cottage (1881) and Bedlington Woods Cottage in 1891 before becoming Wood Cottage in 1901. For more than 30 years, from 1861 to and including 1891, Wood Cottage was the home of Mathew Cairns and his family. He was a woodsman by occupation until 1881, possibly looking after the Halfpenny Woods. In 1891, aged 54 years, Mathew was still in residence but now living alone and his occupation is given as ’gardener’. In 1901, even Wood Cottage is occupied by a miner Thomas Aisbitt but in 1911 it has been taken over by his son, Richard, former ”pit heap lad” now market gardener.

 

Wood Cottage is, I believe, the so-called ’Toll House’. It seems appropriate, because of its location at the boundary and that Mathew, being a woodsman, should have included in his duties the collection of toll money for the landowner – perhaps his employer. Why his occupation changes to gardener may be due to a change of land ownership or he may be working at Bebside gardens by the old Iron Works or at Cowpen gardens at the top of the hill. It could be interesting to know when the toll was abolished.

 

But, is Wood Cottage the building in the previous photos?

@Canny lass - thanks for that. I think the images above could be the Toll Cottage but unless someone comes up with more photos that would enable a full comparison with Jennifer Ward's photos I guess we will never know:unsure:.

On 03/02/2022 at 12:45, Canny lass said:

It's OK. A very kind non-member but avid reader contacted me with birth details for both Edith Godsmark and her father which solved the problem. Thank you LAB!

Would you be able to send me a copy of the details for me to pass them on to Jennifer Ward?

 

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7 hours ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

@Canny lass - thanks for that. I think the images above could be the Toll Cottage but unless someone comes up with more photos that would enable a full comparison with Jennifer Ward's photos I guess we will never know

With the exception of one photo, I'm sure it's Toll Cottage. I'll get around to writing up my findings in the next few days.

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On the Bygone Bedlington Facebook group Heather Dougal has posted the following four photos but unfortunately, cos I asked, there was no documentation with the photos. 

The two along the top of this compilation are easy to identify but can't be positive about the two along the bottom. 

As the photo, top right, has the gentleman standing on the Free side of the woods the two photos along the bottom could also be from the Free side but they are not what I remember from the buildings that were next to the 'Black Path' that led from the entrance to the Free Woods from the Furnace Bridge up to Beatty Road where me granny lived and we often went to her house via the Black Path. I can only remember one cottage that was close to the Black Path, probably half way between Furnace end and Beatty Road end, and that was the one that had pear and apple trees. Naturally we often used to visit the garden with the fruit trees:D.     

Comp from Heather Dougal.jpg

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19 hours ago, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

As the photo, top right, has the gentleman standing on the Free side of the woods the two photos along the bottom could also be from the Free side but they are not what I remember from the buildings that were next to the 'Black Path' that led from the entrance to the Free Woods from the Furnace Bridge up to Beatty Road where me granny lived and we often went to her house via the Black Path. I can only remember one cottage that was close to the Black Path, probably half way between Furnace end and Beatty Road end

Heather’s photos are great – is it possible she could have them properly scanned? I cannot work out where the last 2 were taken. I can remember two cottages down the black path and walking from Beatty Road down to the furnace bank, the first one was on the right hand side of the road and the second on the left hand side. Probably the first of these cottages is the one in the photo that was taken from Bedlington bank with the Ha’Penny woods on the right.  The photo was taken before Beatty Road was built and the farm house at the top is Mill Bank.

214686749_HaPennyWoods8.thumb.jpg.86bb197cff52b25d8bc4c9be3506d2d7.jpg

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3 hours ago, James said:

Heather’s photos are great – is it possible she could have them properly scanned? I cannot work out where the last 2 were taken. I can remember two cottages down the black path and walking from Beatty Road down to the furnace bank, the first one was on the right hand side of the road and the second on the left hand side...........

@James - Heather got a lot of interest from her posting of the four photos, and especially on the last two, so she posted the last two again asking if anyone new exactly where the cottage might have been.

This is he posting :- 

Cottage.jpg.6b5248900335b26d280331ae5810b088.jpg

And these are some of the responses :- 

1697025422_Cottagecomments1.jpg.00ef0ddf5d0318244a59785207862f7e.jpg

940822927_Cottagecomments2.jpg.74683a8aad1b64c0b1edb8456d99b820.jpg

468983326_Cottagecomments3.jpg.6e3c2a0a0d6ddc2ec213925e279b18df.jpg

Unfortunately she can't scan the photos. This is what she said about the photos :- 

967499766_Transparenciescomment.jpg.c34fb95e125e3b65b8773cef398a2e2f.jpg

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Sorry for the delay in getting back to this topic! My wanderings through Bebside Woods revealed that the 1901 occupant of Wood Cottage, Thomas Aisbett, was the father of Edward Aisbett who married my grandfather’s sister - my Grandaunt Mary Ann. Naturally, my research into Toll Cottage went off at a tangent for a few days but now I’m back on track and hoping that the man in the framed photo posted earlier may be Edward’s brother, Richard Aisbett, market gardener (the 1911 occupant of Wood Cottage). Perhaps even the woman and children in Jennifer Ward’s photo are relatives. If anybody can help to date these photos, maybe from the clothing, I’d be forever grateful.

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bild.thumb.png.31f388c34da2fa1e06e125a7af1ba6ff.png

Back to business! The collage above, kindly made for me by @Eggy1948, shows four photos posted earlier in this topic. Thank you Alan.

Thanks also to @James for the newspaper cutting showing that the old toll cottage was situated ”near Bebside Furnace Bank”. The photo in the cutting is a reproduction of John Dawson's photo (2). Thanks also James for your observations on the 1939 Register showing Toll Cottage, by name, located between Mill Cottage and Rose Cottage. Thanks to that we can now say with certainty that Toll Cottage is the building, earlier named Wood Cottage, situated immediately to the west of the parish boundary and neighbouring Rose Cottage, Bebside Furnace.

Yet to be answered, however, is the question raised by Jennifer Ward as to whether or not the cottage in her photos (3 & 4 in the collage above) is the same cottage shown in John Dawson’s photos (1 & 2 in the collage) and the follow on question as to whether or not any of the above photos does in fact show Toll Cottage.

Looking first at Jennifer’s question, I’ve compared details from the two photos supplied by John Dawson with details on the two photos supplied by Jennifer Ward and I’m satisfied that it is the same cottage in all photos. All four photos have been taken from the mill side of the boundary looking towards Bebside Furnace and apart from some obvious common details: the alignment with the road infront of the cottage, the cottage’s rectangular footprint and double front, the paved footpath and brick built lean-to on the right of the cottage (probably a wash house with a pot-boiler, judging by the separate chimney), there are a number of more specific details worth looking at.

 

First, there is a wooden built lean-to with a square opening/window on the left of the cottage which appears in both of Jennifer’s photos and in one of John’s (2). It’s not possible to see that area on John’s other photo - the framed picture titled ”Bebside Woods” (1).

 

Second, in Jennifer’s close-up photo (3), there are three ’discs’ clearly visible at roof level: one to the immediate right of the left-hand window, one to the immediate right of the door and one to the immediate left of the right-hand window. These discs are also visible in one of John’s photos (2). Would I be right in thinking these were connected to a bar running across the width of the cottage to similar disks on the other side and used to prevent the walls 'bulging' outwards)

 

Third, there are a couple of strong, common features in the stonework between the door and the window on the right. In Jennifer’s photo (3) there is a V-shaped crack (or mortar joint) under the disc and this appears again in John’s photo (2). Jennifer’s photo also shows, to the right of the door lintel, and set slightly higher, a short row of very narrow stones supporting one large stone and bringing it into alignment with the lintel over the window on its right. This is also clearly evident in John’s photo.

 

My only reservation about details in this area of stonework would be the amount of stone used between door and right-hand window. The much clearer detail in Jennifer’s photo (3) shows a 2½ stone width while John’s photo (2) shows only 1½. This can possibly be explained by the angle at which the photo has been taken as even the windows reflect the same change in proportions.

 

Having said all that. I think the most reliable details lie not with the cottage itself but with its surroundings. There are a number of landscape details common to several photos. Most obvious is the tree, which is leaning steeply to the left, located on a curve to the right of the cottage in John’s photos (1 & 2). This appears again in Jennifer’s photo (4). Even the layout of the land, sloping away to the left of and behind the cottage is evident in all four photos as is the garden wall to the left of the cottage. That garden wall is interesting in its own right, showing the same, almost Z-shaped, area of a much lighter coloured stone in photos 2, 3 and 4. For me there is no doubt that all four photos show the same cottage.

Edited by Canny lass
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3 J D Toll House, sign.jpg

Having established that all photos show the same cottage it remains to decide if it is in fact ’the’ Toll Cottage recorded in the 1939 register or any of the other ”cottages in the woods”. John Dawson has previously named the cottage in photo (2) as Toll Cottage (02 Jan 2013) and the newspaper cutting gives the use of the same cottage as a toll cottage.

 

The toll sign in this photo, also originally posted by John Dawson, would, if common sense prevails, be located at Toll Cottage. Comparing my observations of the photos discussed in the previous post with details on the photo of the toll sign, I’m satisfied that the cottage in the photos is Toll Cottage.

 

First, it’s easy to see that the toll sign photo is taken from the Bebside Furnace side of the boundary. Two things are immediately obvious. First, the leaning tree located on a curve to the right of the building appears to be the same tree as in all four photos. and second the garden wall would appear to be built of stones, seemingly of the same dimensions, as in the four cottage photos. The toll sign photo shows, behind the wall, a tree stump to which the sign is fixed. In John’s photo of the cottage (2) that tree stump can be seen in the same position. Zoom in far enough and you can see what I believe to be the reverse side of that sign still on the tree stump and just above the wall. A similar feature can be seen in both of Jennifer’s photos, particularly well in photo 4. The tree stump is, however gone and the sign now appears to be on top of the wall.

 

5 J W Toll Cottage sign.jpg

Looking again at the toll sign photo, a white rectangle appears above the garden wall and against the front wall of the house. This may be the surface of the garden chair seen in that position on photo 2.

If anything further is needed to determine that this is in fact Toll Cottage, I suggest another look at the 1897 map posted above (Jan. 28) by me. There you can see the footprint of Toll Cottage (marked in green). That footprint is rectangular with small extensions at either end and its frontage is aligned with the path which passes it. It is also next to the boundary – an ideal place for a toll house – all of which agrees with the cottage in the photos. There is no other footprint of that shape in the woods. Mill Cottage, apart from being at the other end of the woods, has a square footprint and does not have any extensions.

Toll Cottage.docx

Edited by Canny lass
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55 minutes ago, Canny lass said:

Just for clarity, when you talk about the "black path" do you mean the path through the woods on the Bedlington side of the river?

I do. We always called it that and I assume because it was the only one, on eithrr side of the river, that was tarmacked. 

It still exists :- 

Black Path.jpg

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1 hour ago, Canny lass said:

I've never heard it referred to by any name before. Did the path through Bebside Woods have a name?

Can't remember one. All I remember is that we always referred to it as the path on the Ha'penny side. 

I can't even remember me ever venturing very far along the path on the Ha'penny side. My memory says - narrow track and heavily wooded. I must have obeyed me mam - divn't get lost, stick to black path:whistle:

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On 19/02/2022 at 14:26, Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) said:

Can't remember one. All I remember is that we always referred to it as the path on the Ha'penny side. 

I can't even remember me ever venturing very far along the path on the Ha'penny side. My memory says - narrow track and heavily wooded. I must have obeyed me mam - divn't get lost, stick to black path:whistle:

In the 1950's, below Beatty Road there was a bathing area in the river called “The Flaggies” where the river was deepened by damming the water with rocks. The clearing in the woods where everyone would gather was on the Ha’penny Woods side of the river and in the summer during school holidays and weekends a fire would usually be lit and kids would hang around all day until occasionally someone’s mother would call out across the river telling us it was getting late and time to go home. There was a similar bathing area half way along the Piper Woods called the ‘Big Bather’ and this was mainly used by kids from Millfield and the bottom end of Bedlington. The Piper Woods are the woods between Bedlington Bridge and Humford on the Blyth side of the river that are no longer open to the public.

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31 minutes ago, James said:

In the 1950's, below Beatty Road there was a bathing area in the river called “The Flaggies” where the river was deepened by damming the water with rocks. The clearing in the woods where everyone would gather was on the Ha’penny Woods side of the river and in the summer during school holidays and weekends a fire would usually be lit and kids would hang around all day until occasionally someone’s mother would call out across the river telling us it was getting late and time to go home. There was a similar bathing area half way along the Piper Woods called the ‘Big Bather’ and this was mainly used by kids from Millfield and the bottom end of Bedlington. The Piper Woods are the woods between Bedlington Bridge and Humford on the Blyth side of the river that are no longer open to the public.

Can't remember our lot ever using 'The Flaggies'. We had a similar system just behind the Bandstand at the Furnace bridge end. Just like your diving areas ours was on the Ha'penny side. There was a flat rock, about 6 x 3 feet, stuck out from the Ha'penny side and we built a dam, with the rocks out the river, just a couple of feet past the flat rock.

I can't remember there being access to the flat rock from the Ha'penny side so our clothes, towel and bait were always left of the Free side next to the Bandstand. 

I think we spent more time having to repair the dam.:(

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I don't suppose anybody knows when that bandstand was built? Could it have been there in the 1930s when my family lived there?

Eggy, in that last picture, is it the roofs of Rose Cottage and Clock House that can be seen between the road and the seven sisters? If so, have you any idea when the picture was taken?

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2 hours ago, Canny lass said:

I don't suppose anybody knows when that bandstand was built? Could it have been there in the 1930s when my family lived there?

Eggy, in that last picture, is it the roofs of Rose Cottage and Clock House that can be seen between the road and the seven sisters? If so, have you any idea when the picture was taken?

Don't know when the bandstand was built and can't find an image of the bandstand that we might be able to work out the date from any other buildings in that image:(.

Can't make out what the objects between the edge of the Hairpin Bend and the seven sisters are. My eyes think they are various shaped stones at the side of the road not the roof tops of any buildings.:iiam:

The poem - The Poplars was posted on the Facebook group Bygone Bedlington but I can't find the posting to see if the person who posted it gave any info - I'll keep searching:pc:  

 

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Evan Martin, in his book on the Ironworks states the bandstand was built in 1959 when the buildings around furnace bank were demolished, the site cleared and Dene Park formed. The stone from the institute engraved with the works motto ‘Vivitur Igne et Aqua et Ferro Deo Favente (‘We Live by Fire, Water, Iron and the Grace of God’) was set into the newly built bandstand and this can be seen in the photo. The bandstand was demolished in the 1970’s.

At around the same time a bandstand was built near Spring View at the bottom end of Bedlington. The Salvation Army band and local Colliery bands used to give concerts at these two bandstands and they were quite popular for a while then along came TV and people lost interest in that sort of entertainment.

Bandstand0002.thumb.jpg.d6c2cfe6c7c46f99606ded9c89aaf3a3.jpg

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18 hours ago, James said:

Evan Martin, in his book on the Ironworks states the bandstand was built in 1959 when the buildings around furnace bank were demolished, the site cleared and Dene Park formed. The stone from the institute engraved with the works motto ‘Vivitur Igne et Aqua et Ferro Deo Favente (‘We Live by Fire, Water, Iron and the Grace of God’) was set into the newly built bandstand and this can be seen in the photo. The bandstand was demolished in the 1970’s.

At around the same time a bandstand was built near Spring View at the bottom end of Bedlington. The Salvation Army band and local Colliery bands used to give concerts at these two bandstands and they were quite popular for a while then along came TV and people lost interest in that sort of entertainment.

 

Cheers @James - so I wonder if the Netherton Colliery Brass Band were playing in the Bandstand for the opening?

The year for this photo of the band was estimated at c1959 :-   

 

Netherton Coliery band c1959 Free Woods with names.jpg

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19 hours ago, James said:

 The stone from the institute engraved with the works motto ‘Vivitur Igne et Aqua et Ferro Deo Favente (‘We Live by Fire, Water, Iron and the Grace of God’) was set into the newly built bandstand and this can be seen in the photo. The bandstand was demolished in the 1970’s.

Bandstand0002.thumb.jpg.d6c2cfe6c7c46f99606ded9c89aaf3a3.jpg

@James - can't remember having seen this photo before, but I do forget quite easily these days:). Is this one from one of Evan Martin's books on Bedlington?

 

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