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  1. 6 points
    December 2018. First up was a site visit to Widdrington to look at the site of a potential Caravan park. I got there early because I wanted to look at all the access roads. The main one from the village is pretty new and pretty good but the other way it’s more or less a single track road passing over railway lines with unmanned level crossings. This would be totally unsuitable for a sizeable increase in traffic in my view so that’s one question to ask later! It is a nice site and perfect for a caravan park with some provisos. A major one being the ecology report and possible mitigation measures. While the planning officer gave us the presentation I asked about the Blue Sky Forest project and if this had been included in that site. I really wanted to know if this land had been identified for this sort of development for years or was this application something new. Seems not many people, other than the Widdrington residents who were there as observers only, knew the answer. Turned out it was one of the areas earmarked for development in the Blue Sky Forest project, in fact it was the area designated for a nature reserve. Tonight we had the strategic planning meeting with several old applications having to come back because of the new NPPF guidance off central government. First off I objected to the minutes of the last meeting which said there had been no objectors to the new 500 houses in Bedlington. I reminded the chair and officers there had actually been 2 objectors, one of which was me! After a bit of fluster I was told it was only a slip of the pen and would be amended forthwith. First up was the Widdrington application. This took nearly 2 hours to get through. We were given the presentation by the officer then objectors spoke, then supports/developer spoke then members got to ask questions of the officers. After they were over we get to debate the motion once it has been proposed and seconded. I had heard several concerns the local parish council had mentioned and one in particular resonated with me seeing as I chaired our local Town Council for two years and served as a member for four. I reiterated their concerns about things like a possible litter problem which would ultimately be costly for the parish council and I specifically asked what measures were in hand to make sure this private commercial development didn’t impact onto the parish unproportionately. Given there were only 80 odd households in this parish that was understandably something of a worry. The officer replied saying some of the s106 funding was for coastline mitigation and part of that would be wardens or rangers who would be able to keep paths clear and help oversee things like litter bin emptying. I also mentioned the road to the west especially if this was the route from our main arterial road, the A1. I said I welcomed the North East Mainline Train holding objection until they assessed any impacts onto their level crossings. So we have to wait until they get back with their assessment. Didn’t stop the application going through with only one member objecting because of his concerns regarding the lakes on the site. Given that we have policies espousing the virtues of tourist potential I don’t think we had much choice. The rest of the applications were actually ones coming back because of the new NPPF guidance. As there was one about a 500 house development I couldn’t help but compare the agreed S106 funding with the one Bedlington got. Sizeable differences but given that this one was only one part of about 900 for Amble I could see some reasoning. Didn’t stop me questioning the agreed funding! In fact once again I had to insist on getting the answers to my questions and using them to inform other members that even though we think we are getting a good deal, things like the health contributions don’t actually put one extra doctor or nurse into the practices because it’s capital only funding. I said this actually does nothing about waiting times to see the likes of health professionals or even help parents get their children into their local school of choice. The interim head of planning told me they tried to get the best deals they could within the regulations and I replied I understood that and this time I didn’t blame them or even the developer but I did want to question the health authority and education authority about the way they assessed need and where and how this money got spent! Few slack jaws there with that volley and I don’t think this has ever been questioned before. We think we are doing the right thing yet know nothing about the system after our input. I also had words about another application up in Amble. This one came to us earlier in the year and members asked about a relief road as part of the development. It was mentioned not just by the developer but planning officers as well that a road would means there would be no suit of other S106 funding, it would effectively wipe them out. Members stepped away at that point but given that the local member had requested this road I asked if we were being presented with a deal for community benefit who was to say what the community really wanted? The planners insisted on the funding package as presented so I asked when had they last spoken to this community to get their view, isn’t that the job of the local member and he was asking for this road. That seems to really throw the cat amongst the pigeons again but I said it seems we were being asked to decide on which side of the deal to come down on. Seems we weren’t and any trade-off was imaginary. I think I was on planet Planning at that point! I would suggest no one play poker with anyone in our planning department because whenever I have four of a kind they pull out a royal flush. This is getting frustrating having them pull trump cards out of thin air all the time and the whole thing looks to be smoke and mirrors with the rules written on the back of fag packets! The next meeting I had to attend was listed as pension training but actually it was to hear a presentation from our new pension management officers. This because we are now in a partnership called Boarder to Coast with another 12 authorities and public sector pension providers. The officers from Leeds gave us a run-down on where we are with the new host body and then the head of strategic investments gave us his input. I did have several questions for him and one in particular seemed not to be answered even after asking it again. It was about the investment strategy and in particular the sub divisions. I was keen to know if they would be taken up whatever the market did even if that meant buying into a loss making position. Still didn’t get my question answered and in our discussions later, after these officers left, other members of the panel agreed it was a pretty fundamental question. I also asked about the strategy I had suggested several months ago about protecting our level of pension liability coverage. We currently enjoy a 100% coverage for the first time ever but my warnings about market corrections seem to be coming true. I’m pretty sure we don’t enjoy that amount of coverage now because of our passive engagement in stocks and shares. It should come back of course but I really did want them to protect our gains because we would be in a buying position given market viotility instead of sucking our thumbs waiting to see the effects. Chance lost I fear. I had a quick exam and assessment to do as part of this panel then it was off back home for the Town Council Meeting. I had a meeting with our head of Estates and the green spaces officer about a couple of projects I’m working on in my ward. I also had to raise concerns others had made to me about their relationship with our estates office. Affable meeting with no real objections raised to my suggestions so onwards and upwards! When I got back to Bedlington I had time for a quick cuppa then back out for a meeting with the police, this along with Russ and Bill. We discussed quite a few issues and I listed just about all the concerns my residents had contacted me about over the last couple of months. I think we all felt each of us got something out of this meeting and now others have been arranged. The police are well aware of what residents are concerned about these days. I had been asking for a meeting with the leadership of NCC for some time and after many cancelled attempts I finally got into the Leaders office along with the cabinet member I had specifically asked to attend. This was all about trying to get more investment into Bedlington, give it a renewed focus to address its fast approaching dormitory Town status and especially my ward and the suggestions I made were listened to and acknowledged. In fact I have to work them up into firm costed proposals now so lots of work to do in the New Year. I got up to county hall in good time for my next meeting which was economic and corporate scrutiny. One of the main bones of contention for this meeting was the proposed reduction in relief for council tax claimants of working age, to go from the 100% currently enjoyed to 92%. This was the same meeting I had previously reported on because I was told I was taking the bread out of the bairns mouths by asking for as much information as possible before proceeding to a recommendation? The consultation had been carried out and we now had the results. These were contained in a large publication which has been available in the members lounge for some time and something I had taken the time to read through. I have mentioned previously about me asking people for their thoughts on this potential reduction to benefit. In fact the NCC consulting’s got about 500 responses, I have asked probably nearly 100 people myself. Of all the people I asked I can now report that just one person was absolutely against the idea and I asked people in all council tax bands, people working in this arena and even benefit claimants themselves. So I did have a clear mandate to back to proposal however there are some salient pieces of information most people will not be privy to, such as the introduction of Universal Credit and its likely effects. I also consider the fact that with 80 odd percent of micro businesses making up the business landscape in this county and with small retailers being a large part of that, the recent downturn in high street retail with some pretty large players going to the wall means that employees within that sphere, not usually the best paid, could well be facing a bleak time, was something I had to consider as well. Like everyone else on the committee I spoke to prior to the meeting we all expected a large presence in the public gallery for this one and again histrionics from certain members. I was astounded when only one single Labour member turned up and he is on the committee. The other two submitted apologies even though at the discussion stage they shouted about this, now when the decision was to be made their votes were missing? None in the public gallery either which again shocked me as everyone had expected heckling. Back to the meeting and after the usual agenda item we came to this benefit cut. The Labour member sitting next to me asked about the consultation and both the cabinet member and the appropriate officer gave him the run-down on how it was conducted. I said nothing because I knew I had it posted on my blog and asked residents to complete it, if all 67 members had done the same I’m sure there would have been a lot more than 500 replies! Anyway the chair asked if we had any more questions and with none forthcoming from other members I said I had several. I first asked how confident we were in the numbers and the immediate response was about the consultation numbers. I said I was not on about those rather the financial numbers given that all the way through we had been told about 12,000 people would be affected, just now that figure seems to have been revised up to 15,000. How confident are we in the number of people affected and the financial savings mentioned in the report? Seems there was a bit of averaging done to arrive at these figures but NCC was the only authority along with Durham which gave 100% rebate and even after the change if it goes through we will still be the second most generous in the North East. I said it looked like that was being used as an excuse for bringing in this cut and I wasn’t bothered about anywhere else, I wanted the best for our residents, that was my only concern as it should be for the rest of us! I said I considered this proposal too much of a blunt instrument and we should really celebrate the fact that we give this level of help to people needing it. I went on and said I wanted members to consider two proposals, one to guarantee the 100% rebate for the first year of unemployment because that’s when help is really needed and secondly defer the introduction until we see how Universal Credit has bedded in. The Labour member sitting next to me immediately seconded my proposals but the cabinet member said how that would negatively impact onto the budget. I reminded everyone I had asked members of the committee to consider what I said to which the secretary gave a rather curt reply saying all comments would be taken to cabinet for their consideration. I kept my powder dry until the chair called for a vote but that never came. I do know cabinet considered my proposals but decided to put the reduction through without change straight-away. We had our usual Local Area Council meeting at Seaton Sluice this time and there was really only one planning item on the agenda. This was a revision to a condition we had laid down on this application previously when it came before us. Speakers for and against spoke as well as the planning officer. Storm in a teacup really because it was all about disguising a metal storage container so it blended into the setting better. One of the members spoke against it saying she could hear the noise when she was at church and it looked unsightly. I said she must have supersonic sight and hearing because I had been to the site visit, only the Bedlington lads and the chair attended, and the container wasn’t visible from the road and it was actually 200 metres away from other buildings as well as a wall and a wood all directly in the way of the church the member said she was inside of but could hear saddles being lifted out of mountings inside this container. Another member said there was actually churches in the middle of our largest cities right alongside major roads and that this was a complete red herring. The applicant got his change of condition. I did have to raise something else at the final agenda item of any other business. I said we were told these committees would bring decision making closer to residents and would have things like economic budgets attached. If that is the case I can’t recall any meeting where that has happened or did the administration really just meet local contested planning applications? The chair informed me that this wasn’t the right time to bring this up but another member said he actually backed everything I had said. So I look forward to an answer at our next meeting. So that’s about it for 2018 and I wish all residents the very best for the New Year. Kenavo 2018 and Salud 2019.
  2. 4 points
  3. 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!
  4. 3 points
    Heh heh!..apologies to all,for digressing..this forum and aal ye folks are like a was sitting at yem,and a just get carried away! Pete,we first started to practice at the Wharton Arms,as we had all just gotten togitha,ti form a group. We were aal young,no group experience,no proper gear,as aa just explained,and we had to learn as we went alang. One of the other lads knew a lass who was a canny singer,[Sandy Shaw/Cilla Black style],and we agreed to give her a try.She played three or four "bookings"...as we caaled them in them days....not "Gigs"...[which a think came from yankeeland and soonds poncy as hell ti me....!],but wor Bass player and her got together,and were married within a few months...at short notice. The poor lass died a few years ago,much too early in life,as did wor Singer,who a mentioned in the above posts,but this was in later life,and still much too young to die. Once we got a bit experience,and a bit better..[proper!] gear,we changed practice venue to a place which no longer exists... ...the place was pulled doon ti put a new road through...but aa digress.....! ....just ti keep ye in touch wi Geordieland/Northumbrian/Bedltn dialect,Pete ,ye spell nivvor,like "nivvor" Hoo did ye knaa we practiced there Pete,aam ashamed ti say aav forgotten ya sornyem,after we met doon thon Fornace Bank woods orlier in thi yeor... Can ye mind the big fella who ran the Wharton,Pete,he was a giant of a man caaled Derek,it was kind of him ti let a bunch o yung kids mek a racket and chase customers oot!..whey, a say "Kids",we were aal working men,two of us were pitmen,aa was just eyteen ya- -raad-ish..!..[ ye grew up quick doon thon deep black hole...ye had ti stand on ya aan two feet...!] Noo aam just torned 75 last month,and a still plonk on wi arthritic fingers and hands,and wrists...but it's as much fun noo,as it was 60 yrs ago when a forst larn't thi guitar mesel. Cheers Bill. ps..aam still puzzled as ti hoo Pete remembered wor nyem!
  5. 3 points
    Sorry folks. Working on it but it might be offline for a couple of weeks.
  6. 3 points
  7. 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
  8. 2 points
    All the best to the both of you.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 2 points
    February 2019. Busy start to this month. First up was a corporate scrutiny meeting at 10am in County Hall. This was a pretty important one as it scrutinised the medium term financial plan and this years proposed budget. I was a bit shocked to see so many unoccupied seats because members from all scrutiny committees were invited. I had several questions and again it was a bit of a two man show as the Lib Dem Leader and myself monopolised the question and answer session. My questions were about post 16 school transport and why it only had one year listed in the accounts, why do we see a 2.99% council tax rise when at last year’s meeting we were told if we agreed a 2.99% rise for last year we would only need a 1.99% rise for next year, or this year as it now falls, a further question about recurrent financial pressures, the adult social care proposals, delegation of the strategic regeneration budget to 4 officers and members and could someone explain the quote ‘flexibilities of capital receipts’ when we are told time and time again capital and revenue budgets cannot be mixed. I was satisfied with most of the answers that came back. The opposition made a comment but did not question the financial plan or budget at all? That meeting finished around 11.25am and it was a rush to get down into the council chamber for the State of the Area debate tabled to start at 11.30am. Again I was surprised when it became apparent the Labour group and Lib Dems boycotted this meeting. Not sure how you can represent constituents by not attending meetings but that certainly seems to be the modus operandi of the opposition at present. I would make the point that I feel to effect change to prospective NCC policy, which is basically put in place by cabinet, I can only do that by engaging at committee level. Or before it becomes NCC policy. Trying to do it after the cabinet has accepted or declined suggestions, changes and amendments, and then voted for it is almost impossible, given they are the administration. We heard the Leader talk about future plans and in particular those on education and tourism, in fact the cabinet members responsible for those, gave presentations. During the educational presentation we heard about large investments in new schools etc throughout the county. The portfolio holder said this is all about viable business cases being made. I was a bit annoyed at that and asked if that is the case then tailoring your offer to customer demand, or in this case schoolchildren’s needs, how do we see large investments in lower residential density areas and whilst I note there is a single new school planned within the South East of the county, where over 50% of the population resides, we do have extra educational needs based on huge influxes of new residents. The cabinet member responded and again said any investment would be based on sound business principles so I said I would welcome the undoubted investment coming into Bedlington in that case! Next we had a presentation about tourism and the Discover Northumberland initiative. I did want to ask for help with a particular problem we have in Bedlington at present and I had to think of a way to factor it into a question. I used the antithesis of what was being presented to ask for a multi agency task force to help with the anti social behaviour Bedlington was being subjected to at weekends because that flew in the face of presenting a positive image for the county as a whole. The deputy Leader said he would get someone to contact me and tell the Northumberland Youth Service to get involved. Next I had a mad rush to get home have a cuppa then out back to the Advance Northumberland HQ in Ashington. Bill and Russ came and again we discussed the Bedlington Town Centre Regeneration Project, this time with the MD and head of investments. This 30 minute meeting turned into 2 hours and some pretty straightforward talking took place. These meetings have been subject to strict commercial confidentiality and it’s a bit soul destroying seeing and reading huge swathes of social media principly put out by a local political group for their own political benefit at the cost of so much discord and division in the town. I then had my usual monthly surgery for residents at Netherton Club, so all in all quite a busy Monday. Strategic Planning and no real issues with any of the applications for a change. I did want to challenge planners on one item, wagon access to a opencast coal mine. I was particularly concerned this application was retrospective and was about road safety issues as highlighted by a local school and local residents. Our recommendation off planners was based on a new access route to the site not any alleviation of road safety issues especially for minors. Other members expressed their disquiet about this being a retrospective application too looking to change conditions as laid down when the original application was heard. Exactly what I have been banging on about for the last year! What’s the point of laying down conditions if developers etc just ignore them. Given there was just a very limited time left for this site to run we asked for a strongly worded letter to go out to the operator and I hope we keep our eyes open in future about such conditions breaches! I have a meeting with planners at Westlea today and I hope I can get some resolution to their impasse. Well you are never too old to be shocked. After listening to the arguments put forward by our planners I rebuffed their arguments one by one and they actually agreed with my take. So much so I now have their help in making this project happen. I would like to thank them for being so reasonable and open minded. I then had to go down to the police station for another meeting with the officers charged to look after Bedlington. No prizes for guessing what took up the whole of the meeting. We are going to see a different tack from now on with police being far more proactive, something which I said I welcomed. Had to be up and ready for a pick up at county hall today at 7.45am. Bill, Russ and myself have been asked to travel on the hopefully soon to be reopened Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Tyne rail line and we should be able to speak to the minister for Transport directly outlining our support and the reasons why our Town needs this so badly. After he was taken around the recently started upgrades happening to Morpeth station we got on a special train and first stop, according to the announcement, Bedlington. Had a nice ring to it!!! Once here we were able to get off, onot the old platform and press the minister for his support in getting this line reopened. Everything he said was positive! In fact 2022 is now being bandied around for the first passenger trains onto this line for decades. For my money this not only helps people travel out and into central station Newcastle where the full monty of rail destinations is available, it also helps bring people in which in turn will make Bedlington a destination instead of a crossroads to other towns. Lots of hurdles and lots of work still to be done of course but it does look like the political will is there now. Sad news today, out of the blue, Councillor Bernard Pidcock has died. Bernard was a heart on his sleeve sort of bloke and spoke passionately in support of his particular beliefs. He took part in a number of committees I work on and many more. I for one will miss his mischievousness especially at full council meetings. Next meeting was our community chest committee. Bernard was on this committee and even though a great deal of thought had gone into the make up of this committee so it was balanced politically he was usually the only opposition member to attend. His recent death has now resulted in no opposition members being present! So I had to check with the officer to make sure we were quorate. We were so I started the meeting and given this was about underspent monies in the normal community chest I suggested, as normal, considering any applications which had not had funding before. The three which met that criteria were assessed and then we went into the rest of the applications. Couple of hours later and we had allocated all of the outstanding monies at our disposal. This is something I believe we owe the local groups and charities based in our locale because I know first hand how difficult it is to actually get funding for community projects. Some of the other areas are still under their funding criteria, however ours is 100% paid out! I have a site meeting with Miller Homes today after many months of complaints from residents about the way they have conducted the build at Broadoaks, most especially the effect it has had on the Green Letch. Well we have just had the meeting and it looked like Miller had turned up mob handed with the North East manager, north of Tyne manager, technical manager and site foreman in the office with me. Our enforcement officer turned up to even things out a little. We spoke about the planning problems the site still has and I told them residents concerns. There was some pretty straightforward talking done and I have a new respect for our enforcement officer after she refused to back down on her demands and backed me and my resident’s claims up! They did agree to the proposals sent in by our ecology officer and I asked for them to be written down and sent back so we all had them in black and white. We then walked along the site and on a couple of occasions I had to draw their attention to things which in the office they said they were not doing! I think in the end we both knew where we have to go, in fact the boss said we have heard things neither of us wanted to hear but at least we have cleared the air and solutions have been agreed. The only thing I didn’t get was some answer to the Great Wall of Bedlington. Sitting in the officer when I asked about it I was told there was no building going on top of this structure. I asked to make sure, so it’s only going to be gardens and the reply came back yes. When we walked along the site I stopped the boss and said you have just told me there is no buildings going to be on top of this retaining wall and clearly there are foundations, footings, bricks up the damp course level and one half built house. He said he thought I meant directly on top of the gabion wall cages? He assured us that the foundations were at a depth and angle that no stress would be on the gabion wall anyway. OK but that’s not quite what was said half an hour ago in the office! All in all I agree with the ecology officer who suggested to enforcement that sympathetic restoration rather than going for an out and out breach of conditions was the way to go and as long as we get what was agreed in writing and they complete, I think that is the best we can demand now. Course if we had some proper oversight in the first place….. Busy week this week, first up we had a budget and financial plan presentation in our office at county hall. This is given to all parties and groups before the full council budget vote. The financial officer and the corporate cabinet member came and we had a long session of going through their budget and 3 year plan. My first question was about the regeneration budget for our town centre development because this time it wasn’t shown separately. After going through the budget spreadsheet we were shown the line which contained it by the finance officer. It was a separate item in last year’s financial plan, this year it was included in the budget proposals for other Town centre regenerations. That done loads of more questions about where our Town fitted and might fit into this 3 year plan. We did have many questions about the proposed cuts to the social care budget and I made the point that these people by their very nature were passive and couldn’t really make representations for themselves. I had the opportunity to question these financial plans at the corporate scrutiny committee at the beginning of the month but I was still able to drill down into the detail. We eventually finished this meeting and then it was a rush to get back have a quick cuppa then get to Cramlington for the monthly LAC. This should have been a planning meeting only but we had a couple of presentations to hear, first one the Local Transport Plan and the other the new Local Plan. Nice to see several Bedlington residents had made the time to make the meeting. Seems to me that a lot of places are faring quite well out of this year’s LTP, (Local Transport Plan) Bedlington not being one even though each of us had given our three priorities. I did question this and asked why over 12 months ago I had been turned down on two out of my three priorities but for one I had been assured I was going to be invited into a meeting to discuss it. This one was about school parking issues which affect residents in my ward. Again I was assured by the officer that he would look into it and get back to me within a day. Seems to have slipped again! Next presentation was the new Local Plan and a brief rundown was given before questions were fielded. Again I did have several questions for the officer even though I had worked on this at committee. Very interested in the house build design strategy. The chair did open these presentations up for any residents who attended to ask questions. Much better way of doing things. Long day today, work at 6am a mad rush at 2pm to get back have a shower and change then up to County Hall for full council at 3pm. The main bones for this one was the proposed social care cut and the budget. I argued that this social care cut was not the way to balance the budget and specifically questioned why do we seem to be charging carers to look after people? The answer came back that we charge for any specialist help carers need to look after people, people that are probably loved ones. What an insensitive policy and as its a continuation of the existing policy I wonder who put this in place? The vote came and we lost by 10 votes. Looked like the administration had all of their councillors there, pity the opposition didn’t or we might have been able to turn that over! Other non aligned independents voted against too. Next came the budget vote and questions were asked specifically about the Bedlington Regeneration funding. The Leader said we are getting our regeneration, the chair of regeneration said its included and I said I had checked to make sure it was included and it is. Thanks for the concern! I was a bit taken aback when all labour members voted against the budget knowing full well it contained our much needed regeneration funding and not just Bedlington’s but other town centres too. Again putting politics before the needs of our communities. Before I got home that night yet another report on a local political page saying I had voted for the social care cut? That seemed to entitle several people to make personal comments about me and people close to me insisted I made a counter statement. I did and put up the video of the meeting leaving people to make their own minds up about who was or wasn’t being truthful. The accusation was then changed to say that because I had voted for the budget I was in fact voting for the social care cut by association. I would just point out the advice given by the NCC solicitor during the meeting which resulted in the opposition Leader taking out his counter motion pre vote concerning this social care cut. It couldn’t legally be included having just been approved by the full council unlike our town centre funding! I will just say this in conclusion, if I had voted against the budget knowing full well our town centre funding was included how on earth could I look anyone in the eye and tell them I was working for our Town’s benefit? I can just imagine the faux outrage if that had happened! Local Government Pension Panel meeting today and as usual quite complex and long. It’s one thing keeping abreast of the current regulations but we also have to consider the new shared admin with Newcastle as well as the new Border to Coast group we are part of. It was good to hear off all the independent examiners, pension board chair, employee reps that they consider this panel to be out performing and our commitment to training was very commendable. Must be doing something right then! One of the questions I did ask was about this shared service and was the expected savings and improvements being seen. Seems they are. Next meeting was another long training session, this time for planning. Improving planning design and delivering better homes not just in terms of build quality but also running costs is something of a soapbox for me and it was good to hear support for this when I mentioned it. In fact our new head of planning said he understood and supported what I was saying. Let’s hope we see real movement towards these ends soon. This session certainly gave us food for thought. It was a pity once again not all members made it but there was a good smattering of officers present. Russ and myself had a meeting at the WBTC office today, this with NCC highways and the Town Council. Matters under discussion were the suggested road safety improvements we want to see. I was particularly interested in getting the new speed interactive signs fitted, seeing as I have agreed to buy three. Also getting new road markings to slow traffic on certain roads was again something we tried to get through. We did agree the upgrades we wanted to see and we were assured the final costings should be available next week. Many thanks to WBTC for their help and input, so much easier when we are all just trying to improve our area for residents. I have been contacted by our road safety officer after my questions at our last LAC and we are meeting on Ridge Terrace to look into the school traffic problems. We did meet and walked from Bishops Meadow along to the school exit on Netherton Lane. Several points were raised along the way and some agreed on. So hopefully we will see some further upgrades designed to aid the safety of our school children as they go to and from their schools, as well as some relief for residents! Looks like I’m now being castigated on social media again for going on that train with the government minister. Well sorry but if I get the chance to talk directly to a minister advocating investment and regeneration in our area Im going to jump on it. Who was and wasn’t invited wasn’t in my remit but being able to tell the transport minister that this project is integral to the regeneration of this area for several reasons was reason enough to take part. I think a passenger rail link is one of the most crucial keys to lasting economic growth for our area, if its handled properly. I make no apologies for taking part, in fact I consider it part of the job! Had an interesting meeting today about the new High Street Fund. Lots to consider even though Bedlington isn’t one of the 3 priorities NCC have listed or the one, Blyth, they are putting forward for this funding. I asked for and now have the data matrices concerning our Town. Looks like there are quite some options and I don’t see why we can’t go for them, albeit in a slightly different context. Back up to County Hall for another meeting this afternoon. This one in response to my call, at the State of the Area debate, for a multi agency approach to the adolescent problems blighting this town at present. Nice to hear this is something being taken seriously and actions will be forthcoming from NCC. NCC Youth Services and Neighbourhood safety teams are initially being tasked to get involved and liaise with the Police.
  12. 2 points
    Breakfast? Wouldn't dream of mentioning it!
  13. 2 points
    Because every development hits snags, that's life and with the increasing online shopping, that a lot of us do, high street shopping centers are risky businesses. Developers will always have retailers changing their minds and after better deals - .
  14. 2 points
    I have attached a couple of photos of the headgear from different viewpoints showing the unusual arrangement of the pulley wheels at the “Little Pit’. In James Tuck’s book “The Collieries of Northumberland”, there is a chapter on “The Auld Pit” and he says this is known as a ‘Tandem Headgear’ and that the only other tandem headgear in Northumberland was at Seaton Delaval colliery. He also mentions that the ‘Little Pit’ had 2 small diameter shafts but until I read your posting I didn’t appreciate that the reason for the tandem configuration was to position the pulleys over two separate shafts situated next to each other - Thanks HPW for your excellent posting. There must have been a ventilation shaft, so the ‘A’ pit would have had 4 shafts in total.
  15. 2 points
    Not a bad idea. We can make the categories and albums public but the images member only but I'm all for keeping things open generally. Getting people to sign up doesn't seem to be an issue as there's a constant stream of members it's the engagement that is sometimes tricky. The advantage of Facebook is it's general social aim but it's also the big disadvantage in that pretty much everything posted there is ultimately doomed to get lost. We're working on allowing people to post before registering so that posting and signing up are part of the same process. Hopefully that will help.
  16. 1 point
    That's a great 'before and after' photo! Pete, you're the only one I would be able to recognise today!
  17. 1 point
    Eh Alan!..thanks a lot for notifying me of this great pic of my old home village! Please convey my special thanks to the person who made the reference to me on Facebook. Brings back a lot of memories..climbing on the wall behind the chapel,which was a helluva height....for a three year old laddie..in truth it was probably about the same height as the one shown here..maybe four or five feet high!...playing in the back lane..up the field where the ponds were...in the days when they were lovely green meadows stretching aal thi way up the Barn'ton Born! Imagine,we just used to walk over that road ti play in the "Front" field,in the bomb crater,which grassed over by then.. Cheers and thanks again!
  18. 1 point
    I have replied to the email from Yvonne so hopefully she will be able to reply here directly.
  19. 1 point
    The Mr Boll in this photo is William Henry Boll who was head teacher at Nedderton School. Eric George Boll was his son, the seventh child of eight born to William and his wife Agnes while living in the school house in Nedderton village shown in Carole's photo above. They had one servant living in (1911) which must have been a great help to Agnes. Eric, at some point before 1939, moved to Lancashire where he died in 1974 at the age of 68 years. I believe that he was a police constable but have not been able to verify that as yet. This sounds like a very interesting document, which I would certainly be interested in reading. It should be preserved and available to all. Woodhorn Museum sounds like a good place, or digitalized for availability on-line. I'm sure Maggie can tell us more about school house. All I know is that it had 6 rooms and 10 residents in 1911.
  20. 1 point
    This is a real mystery! I couldn’t find Carr’s Buildings anywhere on (or leading off from) Front Street in the 1911 census and I can’t find it anywhere on (or leading off from) Glebe Row. The address ‘Carr’s Buildings’ just doesn’t seem to appear anywhere. However, it seems to have been a time of great confusion as far as the street names of Bedlington go. According to the enumerator, the whole of what we now call Front Street West was then called ‘High Street’ but no resident uses this name – most of them preferring to use ‘Front Street’ instead. Some dwellings were given specific names by the residents, in particular those that had a specific function, such as public houses, and those side streets and yards having their common entrance from the main road. From the Market place and heading north towards the Red Lion, the residents call these: Mason’s Arms, King’s Arms, Brewery Yard, Old Brewery House (home of Dr. Trotter), St.Cuthbert House, Howard Terrace (3 dwellings), Foggan’s Yard (12 dwellings, mostly 1 room), Baptist Yard West End (16 dwellings of 1-2 rooms) and West End – the latter being the last building before turning the corner onto Glebe Row and then occupied by Robert Beadnell. Most of us can probably remember Beadnell’s grocery shop on that site. With the exception of Foggan’s Yard and Baptist’s Yard, both with the addition of ‘High Street’, none of these names are taken up by the enumerator. The same situation is evident along the length of Glebe Row. Turning the corner from Beadnell’s and continuing towards Choppington as far as the Dr Pit Cottages on the western district boundary the official name seems to have simply been ‘Glebe Row’. However, even here the residents have their own unique way of defining the place they called home. Next to Beadnells was Kidd’s Yard with 10 dwellings ranging from 1-3 rooms. In one room we can find a father and son aged 69 and 30 years living together with a female servant aged 14 years. Talk about overcrowding! Continuing down Glebe Road, the residents use the names: Charlton’s Buildings (7 dwellings), Oliver’s Buildings (16 dwellings), Alma Inn, Front Street, Renwick House, Renwick Yard, Tankerville Yard, Arcade (6 dwellings 1-2 rooms, my parents lived here), Tankerville Arms, Fountain Yard (6 dwellings of 1 room) and Fountain Inn. The public houses are taken up by the enumerator with the addition of ‘Glebe Row’. No mention by either residents or the enumerator of Carr’s Buildings. I eagerly await the release of the 1921 census in 2021. We should be able to pinpoint it accurately with you having named relatives living there Eggy. By the way, ration books, along with National Dried Milk, Cod Liver Oil, Orange Juice and Virol were collected from the Food Office, formerly the Alma Inn. I've vague memories of visiting in the early 50s.
  21. 1 point
    No 6 is Neil Clark and possibly Shirley Sissons for no 19
  22. 1 point
    If memory serves me correct, the burnt out Co-oP was after Beattie & Simm (or someone like that) took it over as an industrial pressing workshop and it caught fire.
  23. 1 point
  24. 1 point
    June 2019. June already and last week we had an LDF, or Local Plan, update. Lots of last minute items to go through and several cases to be made but in the end the document left on time to go to central government for inspection. Like I have said this has been a mammoth task and all credit to the team of officers who have done such a diligent job on its production. Next meeting was an LAC, Local Area Council, chairs meeting. I get to go because I'm the deputy chair of ours. Several items of business went through and one in particular I was very interested in, this being the new “council housing” initiative. The lead officer gave an update and as I was one of only a few who had actually attended his wider presentation earlier in the year, I mentioned some of the concerns I had spoken about at that presentation specifically the fact that the administration have done press releases suggesting we are building 1000 new houses for social rent whereas when I asked if we would see 1000 new council houses built the answer had been somewhat different! I did press this point and said I didn't know why the opposition, who were at least at this meeting, had let the administration away with that claim! Seems I was being overly sceptical? Next item was something I again wanted an input into as this was possible items for future meetings. I said we had been told when these LAC’s were initiated, that they would bring decision making closer to the local populace and they would hold their own budgets for things like regeneration projects and I haven't seen any evidence of those! I said we always got a good turnout of Bedlington residents but even they are not attending because they have little input and the agendas are too weak. This caused a bit of a furore and I was told we had just seen a Bedlington regeneration presentation in Bedlington so we did have regeneration in our remit. I said that has nothing to do with the LAC and was only a presentation by an existing project. I was told in no uncertain manner to list what I thought should be included so I said things like the social housing project we have just been talking about, the proposed new rail link, the North of Tyne devolution deal which has just had its mayoral election, the Borderlands deal and I could go on. These are all things which affect residents in all our wards and we should see the local flavour. I was told to send my comments to the chair and business chair so I will! Strategic planning today and only one application. I went along open minded and listened to the arguments for and against. The more I heard the less I liked the scheme on offer and had to ask several questions to the Head of Planning about it as he seemed to be taking over this application. Of all the questions I asked I think I only had one proper reply, in fact the chair had to say I was drifting towards debate which I refuted straight away because I wasn't getting any straight answers. That bit done we had a proposer and seconder for approval and I spoke against. This application was for a piece of artwork installed in the middle of the Northumbrian moors. I understood the concept and even given it was to be 56M high I did like the idea but I said I just couldn't accept it at this location. I said I would support it in 100 different locations throughout the county but in this location it was just too confrontational. Also the fact that it was being touted as a tourist destination but the road to it was a single track, there was to be no facilities such as toilets or restrooms, and the current parking which could accommodate one single bus or a handful of cars wasn't being upgraded meant that argument was a complete red herring. Who ever suggested this was to be a tourist destination but didn't want any tourists to actually visit it baffled me. Anyway we eventually voted it down but then one of the members who had proposed it and refused a site visit before the vote then proposed a site visit. I asked what were we going to look at because there was nothing 56M in height nearby which would give us an indication. I was told we were going to see the moors to which I responded I could see them on the pictures on the screen behind. So we now have a site visit to go on for an application which has been refused. I have said many times planning law has it own incongruous set of rules. It wasn't just me who wondered what was going on either! My application for the central government High Street funding which although turned down has born some fruit! I saw the way some other towns had been given a lead and that is done through business forums so given what I was told at recent NCC economic presentations all areas would be given equal consideration I asked for one to be set up for us. Just learnt we are getting one set up and it will include the parish councils in the first instance. Thats a step in the right direction but we then have to turn the rhetoric into real investment and regeneration. I have my own ideas on how this should proceed and I'll wager there might be some fireworks because I don't want to see some anodyne and insipid lip service being played out with this chance. Another meeting with the head of Advance and this time we locked horns! I just couldn't see the sense of what was being proposed and said so. We were joined by the head of investments and it was nice to hear some of my ideas have been taken seriously. Still gagged by NDA’s but that will soon be over. Our Town Centre regeneration will happen and once we can tell the real story behind this epic tale people will see for themselves why there has been so many false dawns! I can only see one way to get this over the line in the short term and that will become clear in the next couple of weeks. One of the things stated on social media by the usual suspects which does rankle a bit is the suggestion that because I, as well as Bill and Russ, are new councillors we don't know how to represent our wards or Town. I'll leave this comment which I overheard at a recent NCC meeting…. “You always know when Bedlington is at a meeting these days!” As for not working to get any investment into the Town, well the £6.5M for our Town Centre regeneration is there in black and white now, it never was before, as well as an extra £1.4M! Having won that fight I now want to see it actually spent sooner rather than later. As well as that investment into the Town we are pushing for other funding streams and I hope we can soon reveal details of those. Scrutiny meeting today and a varied agenda. One of the items was about devolving an educational budget to the new North of Tyne Combined Authority. This one did make sense strategically but I asked if any other budgets were going to be devolved because this was a question I asked at the very first presentations about this years go. A direct answer was skillfully avoided but I was told devolving this budget had always been the case. Actually I distinctly remember being told some of our Transport initiatives working toward an integrated transport network would be the only thing devolved at the time! I was told that had been shelved because of its complexity for the moment. I was also told back then there would certainly be no duplication of efforts and this would be new money for the twin stated aims of job creation and raising educational standards and any projects funded would be subject to a benchmarking process. Once back to Bedlington I had some things to sort out and then a meeting with the police. This time I had invited a senior NCC officer to attend so we had first hand information and a potential route to get a multi agency approach to Beldington’s ASB problems. He did offer some help and advice but I'm not sure if this will have any benefits, however we did hear how other areas have tackled the same problems and the tools they used. If nothing else the NCC officer got to hear the problems firsthand! I have now had notice of another meeting to discuss an initiative suggested at this meeting which I think could well have some merit. Personally I’m still pushing for somewhere for young people to congregate which they can call their own but with some supervision! Back up to councty for further meetings but then across to Plessey Woods to do some PR for the Park. Pension Panel meeting this morning and given the size of the papers I had its going to be a long one! Well it was another mammoth LGPS meeting and it threw some items up which we need other meetings to consider. Doing 9am-3pm for a meeting on a Friday left me little time to get sorted for the weekend at work so back to Bedders ASAP. This week we had a full council meeting and as usual I finished work early to make it up to County for the 3pm start. I had two questions tabled at this one and other members have said how they were going to be interested in the answers I got back. I have to say out of 7 questions tabled to the Administration 5 were from independent members with the other two from a Conservative member. Got to wonder just who is trying to hold the Administration to account these days? Out of 7 questions tabled to the Conservative Administration at this full council meeting 5 were off Independent members and 2 off a Conservative member who really took them to task on his questions too. (Meeting starts about 16 minutes in?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIO8oFaxXDE&t=2024s I have Director training at Advance Northumberland today. The only way I can see to get our Town Centre regeneration on anything like a proper time frame is to work from the inside so I have agreed to take up the poison chalice and become a director of the company. Having been one of the biggest critics about the way Arch conducted itself I will be making sure Advance isn't allowed to go the same way. Of course I now have further constraints on what I can say because being a director places its own requirements on what can be reported. Having had all afternoon with the Chief Executive and the financial officer it was refreshing to hear that a complete set of new governance and accounting is being put into place. Today I have my first board meeting and once installed it was a very open, amiable and accountable meeting. I did take part and all my questions were answered and suggestions considered. Looking at next month’s calendar the days are being filled up with meeting after meeting. It's going to be another busy one. Malcolm Robinson. Councillor Malcolm Robinson. Northumberland County Council. Bedlington West.
  25. 1 point
    names for picture:- 2. Malcolm Crosby 13.Matthew Adamson 16.Ronnie Morgan 22.Margaret Sherlaw 27.Hazel Wade 34.Ann Hedley 35.Sheila Burns 37.Eileen Gair 43.Elizabeth Little
  26. 1 point
    No response off the others sites, yet, Bill. Health - I work on the basis that I enjoyed myself getting to this state so I just have to put up with the consequences . I always keep an eye oot for you when I pass through Bomarsund as I expect to see you + dog outside your bungalow - near the bus stop?
  27. 1 point
    Yes, I heard the ruskies hacked the scoring system - we must demand a people's score board.
  28. 1 point
    Some interesting info from Lord Ashcroft's polls about how the establishment parties are fracturing: That's totally astounding, and obviously there are still more to make the jump. The establishment line will be that it's only a protest vote, but the polling indicates that a majority already see it as a permanent transfer of allegiance. So, things can never be the same again - thanks Theresa and Jeremy!
  29. 1 point
    Great stuff! My brothers used to play in the mill. They said there was an old settee under a double trap door and the kids would stand on the trapdoors and someone would release them and they’d fall onto the settee haha. Mid/late 70s I think.
  30. 1 point
    That IAO is a real eye-opener! Thanks Malcolm for this little glimpse backstage. More transparency like this is needed - at all levels of politics, I might add. Keep up the good work.
  31. 1 point
    Hasn't worked for months on my win 10 laptop
  32. 1 point
    Hi Alan,this pic is aalriddy in the gallery is it not..a knew aal the lads but only name that will be with me forever is that of me old gud friend and neighbour Frankie Tatters,Number 4 ,Frankie was a friend of my Wife's family gaan back as far as my Wife can remember..he used to stay overnight at her Mother's hoose after a night at the club wi her Brother,when she was was a wee bairn..then as aa came alang,courting,aa was transferred ti thi Aad pit at thi Station,where a worked wi Frankie from me being 21 years aad. Thi pic of thi Windy Driller stuck in the caunch wi knee deep waata aal aroond,[in me Bates Pit Pics],was Frankie's driller..when thatcher said "Switch off and pull oot...Bates is closing"...Frankie said "Ye can go to hell!...thi bugga's stopping there for me"!...so he switched the driller off...and it's still there yit..35 years later![and a bet it still works!] Frankie was the driest ,funniest bugga ,and the canniest lad ye cud ivvor wish ti meet. R.I.P. Frankie Tatters [No 4]
  33. 1 point
    Just got my eye on that @Canny lass, it has now been deleted!
  34. 1 point
    You've got the gender of Cympil wrong I think. Nothing wrong with patriotic Kippers, unless you've still got a dose of that leftie "common purpose" bilge they serve up at uni, and I'd have hoped you'd have got most of it out of your system by now.
  35. 1 point
    Thank you Pete, still got lots of snow, more forecast for tomorrow, but only -10c so Spring is nearly here....
  36. 1 point
    Have you seen this video @timeslip1 -Footage of Netherton Colliery Village 1970 to 1973 - posted by Damian Robson.
  37. 1 point
    Thanks that would be good
  38. 1 point
    Hi Alan! Gud ti hae wa aan topic for Bates..a knaa it's a Bedltn forum,but tha wus a lot o' Bedlington lads went ti Bates from the Aad Pit in Bedders.[Mining ex-pats?!...so ti speak!]. Definately John Tinmouth far right,a was in charge of him and he's marra's when a was a Deputy,then when a came back into the N.U.M.,in 1978,a worked alang him on Composite/Development work...that was driving new roadways,and winning oot new coal faces. John was famous in the Angling world for catching a 29-pounder Cod fish,off the steps at the Dun Cow jetty in Blyth,many many years ago,and was sick ti death of folk asking him aboot it for years after!! The lad third from the left,a knew very well,but time has erased his name from me memory...if a get a prompt from sumbody,it'll cum back ti me![same wi the lad ? Rose,just canna get names ti fit!]..a knew aal four ,but Bates was a big pit..it cud be owa a year before me and me Brother,and Faatha,wud be in the syem shifts,ti see each other at thi pit!
  39. 1 point
    Once again Ronnie Campbell does the right thing by his electors and has abstained from a whipped vote for the so-called Spelman Amendment. This attempts to take the no deal option with the EU off the table, and so tie our negotiator's hands. The same can not be said for our Mr Lavery, who is once again playing politics with his country's future! You'll come to regret your duplicity Mr Lavery; your electors aren't as stupid as you assume!
  40. 1 point
    Hi Bill I know the walk you describe in your post (did it last year) but didn’t see the structure you mention. I have attached a plan with the Hartford Woods shown in green. The footpath leads through these woods. As you say, to get there, you have to walk over the stepping stones at Humford Mill to the Hartford side of the river, turn right over the wooden footbridge that crosses the Horton Burn and into Hartford woods and follow the (difficult) footpath that leads to Hartford Bridge. Can you give a rough idea of the location of the structure you saw on your walk? There are two distinctive features on the walk; first the huge concrete culvert that was built to drain water from Brentford Nylons and the other is the dam that used to supply water to the swimming baths. Is it near any of these two points or at the end of the walk, i.e. the field that leads to Hartford Bridge (opposite Hartford Hall)? Any other pointers would help, e.g. at the top perimeter of the woods along the fields, or near the river. Another possibility is that when you state at the “top of the bank”, perhaps you followed the footpath through Horton Dene which is a fairly steep walk along the burn towards Hartford Colliery (East Hartford)
  41. 1 point
    I'm honestly not a paranoid cynic or political axe grinder but this is really getting beyond a joke. I would love to believe all will turn out great but I just can't help feeling that things will stall for 6 months and then we'll be told that its all going to be turned into housing. Planning permission was granted in early 2017 and we are now into 2019 with not a stone laid for the new town centre. The "Investing in Bedlington" website which is supposed to keep us up to date only seems to be updated when I e-mail them asking for an update. It's latest news is 3 months old and has been superceded by this latest update in the local press. I really hope I am proven wrong. I moved here from out of the area 9 years ago and have seen the town gain a huge number of additional residents and seen either static provision or a decline, for retail, entertainment, schools and healthcare. If we've lost our anchor food retailer then can we not stop flogging a dead horse (after all Lidl kind of replaced Tesco) and go for something that will attract visitors to the town like a cinema, leisure centre, arts venue etc. Just please not a derelict building site or 300 new homes. I'm sure those in charge of the development have already thought of all of this but faith is wearing thin.
  42. 1 point
    The Morpeth Herald reported at the end of the 1960-61 season that the Mechanics had been turned off Millne Park and that Mr. Millne wished to build a road through it giving access to his business. From 1965-66 season the club played as Bedlington Colliery Welfare and did not adopt the name Bedlington Terriers until the 1980-81 season. The Welfare team disappeared in the mid 60s and the best evidence I have seen is that the Mechanics moved to Welfare Park for the 1968-69 season. From 1961-68 the Mechanics played at Bedlington Station Welfare.
  43. 1 point
    A link to the newmp site is :- http://www.newmp.org.uk/
  44. 1 point
    Richard, i did attempt to re-write the history for Ronnan, but the info that I sent him has never been used to update the history on the web-site. See attached, 2 files which contain some of the info you are searching for. Bedlington Mechanics.pages Mechanics history re-write.pages
  45. 1 point
    @Richard Bloomfield - the photos belong to @Reedy = Paul Reed. Although I have 'tagged' him in this comment I am not sure if Paul still receives messages from this group. The last time Paul visited/Logged onto this site was 22nd November 2017. In one of the photos Paul's dad, John reed, is named and that's where Paul gets his info and photos. John Reed was involved with the Mechanics from when they first formed. If you enter "Mechanics" in the Search box (top right) many Topics about the Mechanics will be displayed. I will send Paul a Message (via the Bedlington Facebook groups) and let you know what he says. On this group there is also Stan Kidd' grandson ( Ovalteeny) and no doubt your research has thrown up the name Stan Kidd. @Ovalteeny has researched the full history of the Mechanics and I am sure he would supply you with some info. Ovalteeny is still active on this group.
  46. 1 point
  47. 1 point
    ....a just thowt on....thaas summik missin' from Andy's draa'in.....it's my car.....it was there 7days week,sumtimes for 18hour shifts...that it was part of the fittings..!!...[..a was caaled a greedy sod...a used ti say..."Need..not Greed.."..!]..heh heh!
  48. 1 point
    ... or take more water with it, maybe.
  49. 1 point
    Hi alan,aav been on the last hoor,reading an article in the Durham mining museum....ye'd think aa had written it!!..except for one variation on the description of the controls on a coalcutter. They say that the speed handle is raised for high speed..["Flitting" the cutter]...and dropped down for slow speed..["Cutting" speed]. AAL thi machines aa ever worked on,ye dropped the handle down and pulled it out past a detent,then dropped it further..that put the machine inti FLIT MODE.[OR.....to run the rope on or off the haulage drum at a higher speed than that used for cutting.] A think it's a slight mistake on the drawings,cos an AB 15 OR AM 16[LATER YEARS]..were aal the same. Check it out..it's a really gud article!
  50. 0 points
    Maybe of interest.


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