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Showing content with the highest reputation since 19/09/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    September 2019. September started off with a bang! First up was a site meeting up in Berwick. I had to be at County Hall for the bus then up to a pretty chilly Berwick leisure centre to hear what the proposals were. Had a pre- planning meeting today about a possible new large scale development. I did have questions, one of which was about offering apprenticeship schemes within the projects seeing as it would probably last 3 years plus. Strategic planning and a rush to get down into the full council chamber to take my seat. I had to declare an interest in one agenda item so I had to leave the room for that one. First one was the Berwick proposal and I questioned the officer about various aspects but especially pedestrian safety seeing as there are two schools at the other side of the main road and whatever way the kids cross they have to cross a road on quite a steep hill. There was also the question about the roundabout which is actually on quite a slope. Other members echoed my concerns and some asked if we might impose conditions. I said could we not include a suggestion after the planning offer said we shouldn’t really impose conditions. Again after some discussion that was not allowed either! During the course of my interchange with the highways officer it emerged that they could only consider present and historical pedestrian figures in their assessments? Now that sounds crazy to me, here we are proposing to build a new leisure facility with 2 schools opposite and we cant consider any future usage figures in the application. I thanked the officer for giving us an insight into the crazy rules and regulations they had to operate under! The application was passed with only one member abstaining. I had to leave the meeting for the next item and halfway through I was joined by another member who realised he should have declared an interest too. Returning there was another two applications to hear and after some discussion both passed with one member abstaining on one of them. Full council today so I left work early to get home grab a quick shower and change before getting up to County Hall in time. Seems our usual seats have been taken over by the last opposition leader and his cohorts so Russ, Bill and I found seats near the front. Lots of the usual political shenanigans at full council but I am more and more thinking that we could be doing this better, its all too stage managed! I did have a question this one about the report by the standards committee which said anything I said in public, and that is verbally or written, I did so as a member of NCC. I said I believed that subjugated my right to freedom of expression because I have a life outside these walls! That had to go to the solicitor to answer because no one else understood what I was getting at. He did and assured me it wasn’t a policy proposal only a repeat of a central government line which wasn’t even being proposed yet if ever! It did produce reactions from other members one of who supported my warning. Another said he expected conversations he might have in public places to be treated as confidential, but that isn’t what this sentence said! The opposition leader said we were under the guidance of the Nolan Principles anyway which actually backed the point I had made when I said as elected members we operated under strict guidance anyway but as private individuals we were entitled to have personal views as well. If this comes back I will fight it because it curtails my ability to have a personal life. I did say I realised there was a problem with this issue but gagging people wasn’t the way to fix it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqxN2M-_1XU&t=3716s Had a meeting with our highways technical officer today and we walked around the area I wanted him to look at. Pleased to see the interactive speed signs have been fitted and working at Netherton Village and Hartford road. Still more road markings to be done and taking out the 60 MPH sections as we leave/enter the Town on the B1331 and the A1068 in an effort to curtail speeding cars. Had our Classical concert tonight and for once I was able to make it. Absolutely stunning performances with something for everyone. I was pleased to see so many people turning up for this and many messages of congratulates. I passed them onto the organiser who along with the Staff at Plessey did a superb job for us all. Working on more events down there with the next at Halloween. I have to say here that trying to make them free events while putting on real professional entertainers isn’t easy, but if it was everyone would be doing it! STOP PRESS……..STOP PRESS………..STOP PRESS………..STOP PRESS…… Just heard the funding for our next Plessey Woods event has been agreed. Look out for a kiddies spectacular just after the New Year! It will be super…..literally! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Had to go to Blyth today and do training regarding State Aid. Interesting session with lots of legislation to consider. Given some of my ‘hypotheticals’ and the answers which came back I have to wonder how some of the more outlandish historical schemes and the associated funding by Arch was even considered never mind rolled out! Had a meeting with the Advance officer who is in charge of project management and an officer from Active Northumberland. I started off by asking about public loo provision within the Bedlington Town Centre regeneration project. Again I was told it was never considered which seems strange seeing as I now have the planning application which actually lists a public loo! I said he had better get an answer to that because I will be using it at any future public meeting! Discussing a sporting provision then produced some interesting results, none of which I wanted to hear! Only one thing to do now so I’ve put a request into the top echelons of NCC for an immediate meeting. Getting back from Ashington I had a detour to the WBTC office for a meeting there. Pension training today along with North Tyneside Council up in Edinburgh. It was their session really but the Actuary used it to give us a private update on our, NCC, valuations. Everyone is pleased at the valuations because going from a £200M deficit to an above 100% coverage is quite extraordinary and definitely a much better place to be in. It looks like my pleas for trying to protect this position has been listened to as well and we all agreed to some de-risking in the portfolio. LAC meeting tonight at Concordia. With no planning on the agenda its wasn’t the usual mad rush back from work to get ready and the meeting started at 6pm. Didn’t seem to be very much on the agenda but as ever these things change! We had updates off the NCC public safety officer and the police and these turned into quite a long session, firstly with the safety officer. I did have several questions some based off what he told us. Next up was the police update and I think all the Bedlington councillors thought it was great! He said he had just taken over the inspector role and the softer line taken by the police with regard to anti social behaviour (ASB) in Bedlington is now changed and a much harder approach is going to be taken. Previously we had worked hard to stop our youngsters being criminalised but that obviously hadn’t worked given the repeated levels of ASB we have seen so back to old fashioned policing. I nearly gave this new inspector a round of applause! Funding had been acquired to increase on the beat policing and we all thanked him after the meeting and said if we can help with anything just ask. Had the chance to speak to our manager for Local services and again asked him to look at the hedging along the front of the cemetery seeing as I have had more complaints about the fact that pedestrians now have to walk on the road to get by because of the state of the Blackthorn hedging. He promised to look into it straight away and he has because it was cut the very next day! Well done Local services. Good meeting with the new Friends of West Lea Cemetery tonight and a constitution was adopted and officers elected. We now have a formal group to look after public interest in the cemetery. https://www.facebook.com/Thefriendsofwestleacemetery/ Had a meeting with constituents today about some concerns they have and I have forwarded them as I promised to do. Pension Panel today and another huge pile of papers for it. 9.30am – 4.30pm was listed for this meeting. Most of the committee had heard the Actuary report up in Edinburgh so no surprises there but that was just the first 30mins. It was good to get home that night and get sorted for work this weekend! Well the weekend wasn’t the normal because on top of everything else my holiday has disappeared! Thanks Thomas Cook! I had a LAC chairs meeting today and there was two presentations as well as the normal agenda to hear. First one was the Library service. There is a public consultation going to be rolled out soon as we try and increase library usage figures, which at the moment are declining. I have already submitted my ideas for bringing the service into modern day usage and having been assured non library users will be included in this consultation I will be promoting it when it comes out. I think Library provision is important for any conurbation but changing it into something which appeals to a greater amount of users is important to keeping it. Next up was a report and presentation about social care apprentice scheme, which seems to have been a huge success. Knowing first hand some of the problems within this service I asked if these apprentices would be subject to follow ups because I would be very interested in seeing how they interacted within other parts of our service. It seem they will and given that education and increased qualifications are offered to all carers it will be interesting to hear how it all rolls out. One item came as a surprise to some members, the fact that 82% of the workforce in this service was made up of women. I assumed it would be quite high anyway seeing as the vast majority of carers I know are women. Anyway good to see it being presented as a credible career with good prospects for anyone. We then had a presentation about the way some types of anti social behaviour is going to be reported and the figures collated and shared. This was for things like dog fouling. I asked about the way we respond to reports and could we do anything to bring the response more into real time. I had to explain that so I said I have several football pitches in my ward as well as a cemetery and there will be reports going in on say a Saturday when the footballers use the pitches but the ‘offence’ could well have taken place the previous Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and there might well be someone who saw it taking place. I think the answer was no we can’t react immediately which was what I expected to be fair. It was good to hear the chair of this committee saying we really need to make these LAC meetings much more relevant to members of the public and drive up attendance figures. Well its taken a year but at last my message seems to be getting through! Wonder what’s happened to my lists of possible agenda items? Had a follow up meeting with officers about the Bedlington Regeneration meeting we had last month. Bill and Russ were there too and we thrashed out some ideas for potential future strategic projects in Bedlington. It was a pretty positive meeting with follow ups expected! Last meeting this month is the Advance Board meeting. Again dominated by putting new governance policies in place which are all aimed at putting to an end any possibility of malpractice from now on! It was quite an intense meeting lasting nearly 7 hours non stop!
  2. 3 points
    August 2019. Second of August and I have a meeting with WBTC about the Local Transport Plan trying to get some real benefits out of it for all our residents. What a refreshing change to talk to Town councillors and other county councillors about schemes which address concerns residents have raised and the only thing on the agenda was improving the current situation. We went through all the concerns and suggestions which residents had sent in to NCC highways and settled on the ones which hadn’t already been addressed or were in the process of being addressed with a view to support them. Strategic planning today and going into county hall for the meeting I chatted to other members of the committee who all asked me to curtail any objections or suggestions I had. Looks like I’m being blamed for the meetings overrunning, ha ha! I did have to declare interests in two of the agenda items, as did another member, because Ascent Homes were the applicant and they are a division of Advance. First application was about new school facilities within Haydon Bridge High School. This is a maintained school so NCC was the applicant. After the presentation by the planning officer and as there were no speakers we went into members questions. Seems I was the only member to have some questions about this and I could almost hear an audible groan! I said while I had no problem with the school extension I did have a problem with the fact that we were cutting down 44 trees, which to me seemed an inordinate amount, with zero mitigation? I went on and said we have just declared a climate emergency and here we are ripping out the lungs of that area, we can and should be doing better! I pointed out that there was already a condition in the application which specifies “agreed landscaping” and I suggested we insert the need for replacements for the trees lost. To add insult to injury some of the trees are to be cut down to provide more parking spaces! The rest of the members agreed with my comments so at proposal and vote we included this “aimed” condition. The legal officer suggested allowing the exact wording to be delegated to the chair and lead planning officer which I agreed but insisted it had to feature mitigation for the lost trees! The application passed unanimously. Next up was a varyco to a plan for an extension to Kyloe House at Netherton Park. Again this passed unanimously. I then had to leave as did another member while they heard the Ascent applications. I had a meeting with the head of Active Northumberland. We talked about the proposal I made at the last full council meeting about giving our armed forces veterans free access to our leisure centres. I did get a reply and it was quite thorough in explaining what discounts veterans can apply for now. I said I did understand the constraints imposed on Active but made a further proposal that any armed forces veterans injured in the line of duty get free access to our leisure centres. That seemed to fit in with the aims of a charitable company such as Active is. That proposal is going to their next board meeting and would at least be a step in the right direction of recognising service to country! Two steps forward and one back as usual. Phone call today off Bernicia telling me the table I acquired for a group of residents is causing a problem? I was asked for help in tidying up a communal area within a block of flats in my ward and I got them some hanging baskets, thanks Brenda, and paid for the compost and hanging brackets myself. They also wanted a table so they could sit outside in the summer once the area had been cleaned up. So I asked around and one of my contacts within NCC came up with a suitable table with integral seating. I even got them to deliver it and helped get it into place. Seems one of the residents has complained about it and I now had to have a meeting with the Bernicia officer. She did understand what was being attempted and we tried to get it sited in a couple of other places but the resident wouldn’t have it. So it now has to come out! This reminds me of the green at Red House Farm where I worked with a resident group to turn it into a kiddies football pitch and gardens. Again one resident complained and that kicked the whole project into the long grass! Maybe when people complain about things not being done they might like to consider the stuff going on in the background and the real reasons for the associated unrealised projects! Well the Bedlington Regeneration meeting finally took place yesterday after many months of trying to get one sorted. I didn’t like the make up anyway with supposedly 3 members from WBTC and 3 from EBPC which I said would unbalance the group and mean very parochial items were forwarded instead of strategic aspirations for the Town as whole. It was said by one member that NCC should be doing everything but as the officer who lead the meeting explained that isn’t how this would operate the people present would have to do it all but they would get administrative backing off NCC. We did discuss the Town Centre development of course and as the chair of Advance sat next to me and we had the regen officer from Advance too they gave an update on the current position. The 2hr meeting overran by 30 mins and I had a chance to speak to the officers who had led it. I know what I took away from this meeting and told them so. Busy few days as I keep up the pressure for the traffic improvements at Netherton and outside Hartford Home Farm. They have been paid for and I’m wondering why we haven’t seen them installed as yet! Had a meeting with our manager for local services and as usual took him around my ward showing him the problems and concerns residents have contacted me about. I also had a couple of suggestions about improvements at the West Lea cemetery and again they have been well received but I now have to get the rest of NCC departments on board. The problem is most of the people I need to speak to are on holiday at the moment so a couple of weeks before I can progress them. Well all the posts for the new interactive speed signs have been installed, just the signs to be fitted and by the mail I have received off Highways that happens next week, once the concrete has hardened. I have been invited to go up to Hadston today and take a look at their sports centre. This is a smallish centre catering for local need and I have been told there are ideas there which might well translate well into one for Bedlington. Open to all and any ideas so a trip up there is called for. I did go up to Hadston and met with Active Northumberland officers who showed me around and told me how they manage this centre. Few lesson there for making a small sports centre sustainable, something which we have to get right if we are to have any hope of getting one in Bedlington. At last Christine Taylor the chair of West Bedlington Town Council has called a meeting to try get a Friends of group for West Lea cemetery. Lets hope we get a good turn out. Its not about doing what we expect the council to do its about keeping up the pressure so they know what we feel is important and trying to get even more done there than what’s currently being done. Well done Chris. Just had a reply off my question about needing planning permission for one of my projects. Seems its not needed so I can at last progress this one. Just had the first meeting about forming a Friends of West Lea Cemetery. About 20 people turned up and some interesting suggestions, now to get it formalised and see what we can do. There is already a list of actions and more to come by the sound of it. Great start!
  3. 2 points
    For anyone that can't select rosco's link this is an extract from the Advance Northumberland site :- Advance Northumberland is pleased to confirm that contracts have been exchanged with supermarket chain Aldi for the sale of a 1.5 acre site that will deliver a new, 19,000 sq ft anchor food store in the heart of Bedlington Town Centre. Aldi will form an integral part of this exciting scheme, a development that is already attracting a number of other national retailers who are lined up to join them. Working on behalf of Northumberland County Council, Advance Northumberland is leading in the delivery of a major new development that will reposition Bedlington as a retail destination, improving amenities and giving local people greater choice. Further announcements of other retailers joining the scheme will follow over coming months. Aldi have given a clear commitment to start on the site in 2020. Advance Northumberland plan to commence their works to ensure both developments are aligned. Once complete it is estimated the combined schemes will create over 180 new jobs along with 70 construction jobs during the construction phase. Richard Wearmouth, Chair of Advance Northumberland said: “The project is central to the regeneration of Bedlington Town Centre, we are delighted to announce a commitment to the scheme and provide much needed new retail amenities for local people. Aldi will provide a resurgence to the town centre retail offer and will drive footfall to support and attract other retailers. We have put a significant amount of resources and time into this development, demonstrating our commitment to deliver the best possible outcome for Bedlington.”
  4. 2 points
    So i see Aldi are coming to town.....https://www.advancenorthumberland.co.uk/news. I could be wrong but cant see Morrison's being around for too long after they open
  5. 2 points
    Thanks everyone, I did indeed. Enjoyed a great Indian's and cake.
  6. 2 points
    All the best to the both of you.
  7. 2 points
    Having a rough year HPW. Hubby had a brain haemorrhage, just days before Christmas, which was caused by a fall in September. The head injury caused a long slow bleed which was successfully operated on but left him with epilepsi. This has caused loads of problems - not least the loss of his driving licence. Living as we do (in the 'wilds of wanny', as the saying goes) two cars and two drivers are a necessity. This has meant a) lots of time sitting around in hospitals and b) lots of time sitting behind a driving wheel, neither of which are favourite pass-times of mine. There hasn't been much time to sit down at a computer but, be assured, I try to 'pop-in' a couple of times a week on my mobile (usually in a waiting room somewhere!) and read the site. However, I don't find this medium practical for writing so I haven't been able to respond to so many posts. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. The seizures are under control and the last brain scan, 4 weeks ago, shows that his brain is back in the centre of his head where it should be. All good news! Hopefully after a year without seizures he will be able to drive again and life will return to normal for us both.
  8. 2 points
    Heh heh!...a little bit late on catch-up Community chat,as usual,but saw this and HAD ti gie me tuppence - worth! Aa was brought up by a smaal-time hobby gambler Father,who never in his married life,ever went two doors alang ti thi Bookie's runner. [before a was born..he used ti gamble he's pay away every week,at his Family's houses,amang themselves.] But when we moved ti Hollymount square,he used ti send one the bairns ti thi runner,who,in the early 1950's ,had the phone in..I heard that the racecourse paid for it to be installed,but not sure aboot that!..[he was thi only one apart from the doctor and Aad pit Engineers who had the phone in,that we knew of!] Anyway,fast forward till aa was aboot 10 years aad,and it became MY duty ti tek me Faatha's bets alang,and collect he's winnings. 10 YEARS AAD!!...thi runner used ti aalwis try it on wi me faatha,and a bet a lot of others as weel. My Faatha's Faatha,was a bookies runner hese'l,and my Faatha knew ivery trick of thi trade. When thi runner gave me thi winnings ,me Faatha was AALWIS short...sometimes even just a ha'penny. Me Faatha used ti gaan leet wi me..."Hadaway back n' tell thi bugga,a had a three-cross-double on shifting the double,and aam a haapinny short....."...[this is grained inti my brain..cos it was nearly every night] So a wad gaan back ti see Mr S......and he wud reckon up on a bit of paper in front of me,explaining hoo the bet worked,and said me Faatha was wrang!. Me Faatha wud send me back wi it written doon,and the runner aalwis gave in and paid me Faatha..who used ti brag ti me that "thon bugga canna tell me owt aboot gammlin.." Noo,looking back on aal that scenario,which was nightmarish for a bairn ti be thrown between two grown men arguing owa a haapenny,seeing as his Daughter was one of my friends at school and at home,and a luvly family,aa often wonder if he just gave in ti me Faatha,cos he cud see the anguish aa was gaan through,and didn't want ti prolonge thi agony for me. Also,aam thinkin',if he was being accused of robbing me Faatha,why didn't he gaan alang and sort it oot man ti man?...a knaa aa wad o' dun!! So aa grew up totally against gambling of any sort..even raffle tickets...lotteries...owt!! A also grew up ti totally against alcohol,and smoking,cos a lived amang it! Me marra's at thi pit used ti say ...."What DAE yi dae Wilma?...dae ye BREATHE!!!"...Heh heh!
  9. 2 points
    @HIGH PIT WILMA - posted on the Friends of Bates Colliery Facebook group by Trevor Gregg : - ' Here is a photo I took from the top of the No 3 Shaft Headgear on a cold but beautiful winters day' Trevor didn't specify a date.
  10. 2 points
    Hi Alan! It was the coal washery plant tower. All the pit's coal output went through this process,cos no coal was ever just perfectly clean coal! When the coal was brought to "BANK"..[..The surface!],it went first to the screens,which were flat conveyor belts,where, usually,older disabled men,and young boy trainees,stood at each side of the belt,and hand-picked what stones they could,and threw them down a chute which took the stones,plus any other rubbish like pieces of damaged conveyor belt,old steel stranded haulage rope ,etc,into a waiting railway truck underneath the screens,or onto another short conveyor belt which took the waste into the big hopper which you might have seen travelling up the pit heap to be emptied at the top of the heap. The coal was then taken by conveyor belt up and into that big round washery tower,which was full of water,being swirled around to create a vortex,like a big whirlpool,into which was added a product called "Magnatite",the purpose of this being to cause the coal to float like bits of wood,and allowing the heavier material and waste products to sink to the bottom. In a nutshell,it was a separation plant. Noo! ..that's the bit aa knaa,but how they retrieved the coal,and the washed out waste stones etc,without leaking water oot...is still a puzzle to me,and it's something aav nivvor thowt aboot,Alan,since the pits closed doon. A dae remember being curious aboot the process,and asking Russel,the Shaftman/Joiner,who took me and me Son up the heedgear,ti get them excellent shots from the pit wheels,but aav forgotten noo. A think we might find oot on Google,surely somebody has posted info of the process online!..not often HPW is stumped on mining,but I was never up there in the washery,only the plant Attendants,and maintenance men were allowed in there,due to the chemicals being used..probably. This process was used at most "Modern"-ish pits,with the exception of the old Choppington High Pit! Did you notice how,on your posting of the old O.S. maps of Choppington,that the "A" pit,[or "LowPit"],was drawn out with all the buildings around it,whilst the High Pit is shown as just a "dot" saying the word..."Colliery"..of little importance...! All pits in the sight of the public main roads,were fancy girder-framed and brick-built buildings...a sign of modern industry and investment..methinks! On the contrary,the High Pit,was sunk over the fields,out of sight to most passers-by,and was all corrugated sheet-clad,like the old shanty towns you see in the old west in the States of the early days...[ a virtual hillbilly shack type of vibe!]. Now when I started in 1959,the weather had taken it's toll on the wrinkly tin sheets,and they banged and rattled,with loose sheets flapping in the wind...and freezing in the winter,inside! Noo,the washery there,WOULD have been modern,in it's day,and consisted of a massive flat platform,aboot 30 feet long,by aboot 8 feet wide,and which was mounted on a rolling carriage,which in turn,ran on rails. The platform was called a "Shaker",cos it moved back and forth ,driven by a huge connecting rod and crankshaft,which was driven by a webbing belt running on a motor,like the farmers use to drive implements from the tractor auxiliary pulley. The crankshaft throw was only aboot 3-4 feet,at the most,but when it was running,the sheer end-of-stroke,shock,as it changed the direction of the huge platform,was enough to make the whole Heapstead building move in sympathy,so if you were getting your bait,you had to hold your cup of tea in an outstretched hand, at arms-length,or you would be spilling tea over yourself...worse than the old steam tankeys![ the shaker frequency was aboot once per second..and was a violent thump..each time] Noo wat a missed oot was,this platform had rows of various sized holes along its length,the smallest ones being nearest to where the coal was tipped onto from the tipplers above which turned the pit tubs upside doon,and tippped the load down a chute and onto the "Washer"..[which this platform was.] At different places along the washer,the rows of holes got bigger,and bigger,and high pressure water sprays were mounted aboot two feet above the platform,on a separate frame. If you can visualise this,Alan,here you had this huge machine shaking violently,back and forth,aboot three feet each way,and the machine was built with a slight gradient up-over,with a series of steel thin strips welded on the flat platform,running crossways,and aboot a foot apart,aal the way alang it's length,so as the coal was tipped on,it was shaken up the gradient on the bed,washed clean by the sprays,[pure water-no chemicals at all!],the coal "crept" up the washer,with the smaller "Nuts" falling through the smaller holes,into the railway trucks underneath,the "Singles"..[house-hold sized coal],fell through the next rows of larger holes,the "Doubles",.."Trebles",..and "Cobbles",all fell through respective holes,which was an effective way of grading the coal out..and a lot cheaper than the later washery,and environmentally friendly also!! Finally,any larger stones which escaped the grading holes,were shaken over the edge,tipped straight onto a steel flat sheet,hand-loaded into a wheelbarrow,and wheeled around the floor past the screening belts,and tipped down a chute into the "stone " truck below. That was a hard,thankless task for an old miner,and which had been done since the washer was installed in the early 1900's![it was like that in 1929,when my Father started up on the screens as a 14 year old miner..] It all changed as soon as HPW had short spells on the screens as a 15 year old trainee! I watched this little old man every day I was up there,[cos my main job was in the timber yard],and one day,I plucked up the courage to tell the "Keeker",[Chargeman]..Jimmy Framm,a suggestion,which aa thowt he wud tell me ti....yi knaa wat! Whey Jimmy knew,and remembered my Father well,and had taken a liking to me,cos a was a quiet hard worker,so he listened to what a had ti say. Next thing aa knew was ,within a few days,the Blacksmiths were burning a hole in the floor where the all the stones tipped from the washer,constructing a steel chute,with the purpose of directing the tipped stones directly into the stone truck below,saving a man's wasted labour!! Only one of my claims to being an unrecognised inventor at the pits,in my pit life! Somebody else would always get the credit for my inventions,usually a Deputy,or or Overman,cos they were the ones that took my suggestions to the Management,to get things done and put in place...same in the furniture trade...I was robbed of credit there as well! Not that I was going ti be paid anything,just nice to be recognised and appreciation shown! Well Alan,I hope you are a bit wiser now,and you might have found my recollections interesting..if not tiring to read! Cheers Alan! Bill.
  11. 1 point
    Nice to see your coping CL and things are improving, we are having similar problems here in GC, luckily my health is the better of the two of us and hopefully things will improve, like yourself living rather remotely adds another dimension to growing old. Wishing your hubby a full recovery and return to normal ageing! if there is such a thing! Regards, Vic
  12. 1 point
    That's a great 'before and after' photo! Pete, you're the only one I would be able to recognise today!
  13. 1 point
    I use Findmypast and therefore have access to newspapers, and can access all of the years 1900-1949 for the Morpeth Herald
  14. 1 point
    @Ovalteeny i have looked thought the Blyth News and they only really report the Fixtures and results, Now the Morpeth Herald did no match reports for all the teams in that league but the dates i want is when there no Morpeth Herald papers anywhere in the archives. @Alan Edgar (Eggy1948) thank you and i will look for them on facebook now
  15. 1 point
    Waatcheor Alan ,once again,a big thanks for ya untiring work in mekking the world a smaaler place! This is incredible! Another luvly shot in winter..a bet it was caad up there,it was a summer's neet when Russell tuk me Son and Me up. A hope Trevor and Russell hook up through the power of the Net!,young Adam is boond ti see thi pics..if he still comes on the forums that is... Cheers Alan! Bill.
  16. 1 point
    When I did the research into Bedlington Mechanics FC and then widen it to all the local pit village teams in Bedlingtonshire, I focused on after WW2, from 1945-1965. I have some detail regards various Choppington teams that played in either the Miners Welfare League, the Ashington Welfare League or there was one (Choppington High Pit FC)who played in the Coquetdale League. However, on looking at these teams after WW2 there is no mention of a Choppington United FC. You might do better searching old copies of the Morpeth Herald, as well as the Blyth News and/or Ashington Post. I did try and find some details of Bedlington United FC from the very early 1900's - 1930, but really struggled as the newspapers only carried reports etc. direct from the clubs. If no-one bothered to report on the teams and results then there wasn't anything in the papers.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    @HIGH PIT WILMA - passed your comments on to Trevor
  19. 1 point
    Bill, Flight conveyors are usually two parallel driven chains connected with "flights", steel plates that drag / scrape the coal along to a chute that the coal drops into, (this coal is the fine wet coal that has been recovered, (not lumps) if the chute gets blocked or “plugged” the operator would try and unplug it (with his shuul) while it was running rather than stopping the conveyor and bring the whole operation to a halt.(centrifuges ,belts, screens and filters). No not AFC belts or related to the Flygt pump company,( I hated those pumps!) Vic
  20. 1 point
    Whey,me comment posted by itsell afore a was finished,and when a tried ti edit by adding more text,it wadn't save,so me detailed description of the screens and heapstead was wiped..! The last sentence above should read as: " ....before the Government inspectors and Area Director and Safety in Mines People aal came ti the pit" The next night's Evening Chronicle read ..." a safety guard rail has since been erected aound the machinery..." Just came to me,they have the same steel-plated four foot wide flat conveyor belts on the screens at Beamish museum,the only other place where I have seen these deadly peices of machinery,deadly, cos the plates used to get bent up with hard bits of stone becoming trapped in the guides,and sharp, long bits of swarf edge spikes used to rip your hands and arms,as they were concealed under the load of wet coal and stone slurry on the belt. Malcom Mckenna,the washery tower looks like a giant ice cream cornet..whey, a bit like one..! Thanks again Vic for helping me oot! Cheers Alan! Bill.
  21. 1 point
    Well,that was a fine example of pooled education!...We are aal wiser and richer noo!.....thanks Vic for rescueing me here,a remember noo,aboot the drum,thanks to your prompting my grey matter,but aal the rest of the fascinating information aboot thi other processes are completely new to me. A nivvor saw another improvised Washery like the one aa described that was at the High pit..when a say "Improvised" ..it's not be taken lightly!..A lot of engineering,went into thi making of that mechanical monster! The single-throw crankshaft was forged from steel maybe a foot thick,maybe more or a wee bit less,as was the connecting rod. The bearing saddles had to be massive also,to withstand the forward/reverse motion,and inertia which was sufficient to move the whole of the screens and upper heapstead,where all the tipplers and creepers were..and which were all built on heavy girder stilts. The platform weighed a canny few tons,and danced back and forward as if it were a kids toy. Noo! We stood wi wor backs to this moving and rackety deafening monster,with a gangway separating the sreening belts,only aboot four feet wide,so if yi fell backwards,which ye med sure yi didn't,ye wud hae ya arms tekking off by the carriage wheels which ran on rolleyway rails,and which went completely unguarded from installation,until Old Jimmy,the oiler and greaser,got trapped in the moving machinery,sustaining fatal injuries...then within hours of Jimmy's death,the Blacksmiths,engineers,and senior management,were all up there installing guard handrails aal aroond the washer,before
  22. 1 point
    Bill, a very good explanation of the coal preparation, if it was similar to the plants i'm familiar with there was another two important processes, one to recover the expensive magnetite and one to recover the fine coal washed off the screens. The magnetite was recovered using a large drum that was an electromagnet on one side, as it turned the magnetite clung to the upward turning of the drum but dropped off the downward side which wasn't magnetic, and recycled. The fine coal washed off the screens was mixed with more water and an added flocculant, a chemical that created lots of bubbles when injected with compressed air, the bubbles were skimmed off and then flowed through a tank that had large wheels made up of metal mesh screen panels, large vacuum pumps sucked the fines onto the screens and then scraped off and diverted onto a conveyor then dropped into a centrifuge that spun out most of the water. All water used went to settling ponds. Not a lot of waste.
  23. 1 point
    The Olympics - Then (c1964) and Now (2009)
  24. 1 point
    A blonde Swede was sitting on a bus reading the newspaper when all of a sudden she starts to cry. The Spanish guy sitting next to her asks what's wrong and she replies that 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in a drug bust. The Spanish man agrees that the news is very sad. After a while the Swedish blonde asks, "How many is a Brazilian?"
  25. 1 point
    I was confused with your comment about someone called JDJ Metcalf being the prominent and well respected breeder of Bedlington Terriers. As you state in your comment on your photo, the character you are referring to is Ned Metcalf. Jane D J Metcalf was Ned's wife and it would appear that the licence for the Gardeners Arms was in her name, as can be seen on the pub sign in your great photos of the pub. (I got this information from the 1939 census.)
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