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  1. 1 point
    If I leave this world tomorrow I will be go contented knowing my life had been enhanced by the Rolley-Way man Scuffling alang wi the Worm & fling Gummer = magic HPW
  2. 1 point
    Just as an afterthought,and before I stand corrected...[!]....on a face which was prone to "Laying -on",the cutterman following behind the machine,that is where the cutter has just passed,would push a prop under the cut so far,and wedge it up by inserting another prop crossways-on underneath the first one,and in doing so,would serve to support the coal seam,and prevent the jib becoming fast. At Choppington High Pit,we called these "Judd-Stays"....and don't ask me why!..it was just a term carried on through generations of cuttermen and coalfillers at the pit.I never heard that term used anywhere else at any other pit. These stays were placed under the cut at intervals throughout the face ..usually a few yards apart,or wherever the cutterman's marra ahent the machine thowt it was nessissarry....... Cheers!
  3. 1 point
    Hi Canny Lass,and ye'all! Alan Dixon's right aboot thi Rolleywayman.He had he's cabin at or near the shaft bottom area,where he kept his gear.His main duties were ti maintain the rolleyway..[Railtracks] ...in good order,which was a doddle at dry pits like Bedlington A pit...[the Aad pit],where the sleepers weren't subjected to rot,and the nails and dogs kept the rails tight . If ye cudda been doon Choppington High Pit,or Bates 3/4 seam,or Hauxley,where Geoff Glass came from..[assuming it's the Geoff that came ti thi Aad pit when Hauxley pit closed..],and ye saw 40 or 50 yards..[or more!],of rolleyway....floating just under the water,where the water cud be three feet [or more!] deep.....then that became a nightmare for the set-lads who had ti travel in with long sets of materials /girders/machinery ..etc....when the "Way" just collapsed and the rails parted company from the sleepers!! This isn't summik that's ivvor mentioned in books aboot mining by so-called experts....nae disrespect to anybody...it's just that pitmen like Geoff,and Mesell',who came from really wet pits, had ti contend wi these conditions ivry day. Choppington High Pit had nae rails in the Mothergates,only in the Tailgates,so we had to trail everything inbye on the rough-shot stony ground,and the Rolleywayman had nae work ti dae in them roadways!! "Scuffling" was , as Alan Dixon says, cleaning oot the undercut coal in order ti provide for better "Shots",when the seam was drilled and fired .[Edit...not primarily though!!see notes further down!!] The only time in recent years after the war,that a "Scuffler" was needed ti follow the Coalcutter up thi face was if the Cutterman didn't fix a "Gummer" ti thi front-end [Cutting-end] of the cutter...this cud be cos the Gummer was lost in the goaf,or THROWN into thi goaf after cummin adrift from the cutter and gettin chowed up wi the picks on thi cutter jib...which happened!! The Gummer's other name was a "Scuffling Bucket",and there were two types. 1] The Worm Gummer 2] The Fling Gummer The first one was so-named cos it had a large "Worm" shaped blade rotating on a shaft, which was driven by a "Dog"gear system,on the cutting -end,and which was encased in a "Bucket-shaped" housing.The gummer was "hung" onto the cutting end and held by two latches.During cutting operations,the Gummer/worm collected the small coal scufflings,which the cutter picks brought out from the cut, ..["Duff"],and deposited them in a neat continuous heap behind the cutter in the cutting track.The undercut coal was relatively clean,but not perfect!! ..[Each coalfiller had to "Duff" his own "Stretch..or "Stint",by shovelling all thi duff onto the conveyor belt before firing his shots so people could travel the face.] The second one was equally hung onto the same latching points as the first one,but the orientation of the scuffling cycle was totally different!..The "Fling" Gummer was so-named cos it had a heavy-duty!!..set of three blades ,again housed in a really heavy casing,and again,driven by the same gear "Dog",only this was designed to collect the scufflings from the cutting jib,and literally "fling"them over the face conveyor belt and into the goaf..[waste area where coal has previously been extracted].This was the best system,cos the fillers had very little duff to clean up before starting to fire and fill off the coal. I must add that the intention of "Scuffling " the cut,wasn't primarily to give the coalfillers better shots,[though it was a bonus when the cut was clean!],it was to prevent the the coalcutter jib from becoming "Fast"..["Stuck"],in the cut,and potentially throwing the cutter out and making it dance around. The AB15 coalcutter weighed three and a half ton,and was nine feet long,two feet wide,and fifteen inches high,and with a six-feet long cutting jib attached,was the most viscious machine ever invented by man,grossly overpowered and underweighted. You had to see a cutter with the picks running, dancing wildly under a low coal face....18 to 20 inches high,or even in a 36 inch- high face, knocking timbers out,picks flying around,throwing the whole machine around,crazily, as if it was made out of balsa wood..trapping a coalcutterman up against a steel Desford chock...[the earliest ones made]...nearly killing the man,to appreciate and respect how viscious these machines were. It only took a bit of "Brass"..[Pyrites],under the cut to catch the picks and Hoy the cutter oot the cut....so the job of hand scuffling behind the machine, was not only hard work,it was also really dangerous,only those who have never seen a machine dancing around,would be complacent enough to get too close to the cutter when it was on "Full-ratch"!...[Fullspeed]. Accidents to one side,the dread of the cutterman was when the face started laying on,[or "Weighting on..],and the roof starts to lower in front of your eyes,the danger here is of the cutter jib becoming "Fast as a kna..er!"....nipped tight by the weight of the lowering seam closing the cut and rendering further cutting advance to a standstill.When this happened we had to drill holes around the jib area,put a wee bit Pooda..[explosives] into the holes,and fire them,so as to release the cutting jib and commence cutting. Aye,it wasn't aal plain sailing was it Alan [or Geoff]! Canny Lass,a hope me lang draan oot explinashin has helped yi oot wi yor qwestyins! Sorry a didn't respond straight away,aav had a lot of stress at yem,and just got back inti thi fold!!
  4. 1 point

    From the album: Bedlington Grammar School

    Photo from No 24 Elizabeth Rawling (Bedlington remembered Facebook group) and names remembered by No 26 Ann Carr and No 3 Bill Mcgeorge (Barrington Facebook group)
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