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James last won the day on March 24

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  1. In one of the photographs in her book she tells us her maiden name is Mary Bohills.
  2. HONEY SACK FARM. Could the farm have been fermenting mead? HONEY is the main ingredient in Mead. SACK is an old English term for fortified wine. According to Wikipedia, mead is also c
  3. At the Doctor pit, in the early days, the main winder and the John Pit ventilation fan were driven by steam engines. As with all steam engines, each had a boiler in which coal was burnt to produce the steam to drive the engines and each had a chimney high enough to provide sufficient draft to efficiently burn the coal. The chimney of the main winder was 160 feet high and was demolished in 1921 when an electric winder was installed. I don’t know when the John pit fan was converted to electricity but the chimney was demolished in 1952.
  4. Never realised that they dropped the chimney in the way you described. I’ve attached a 3rd photograph that shows how it looked when it was down.
  5. HPW Before the plant in the photo was built there was an old plant on this site that washed output from the Aad pit. The “new” plant was built on the same site as the old plant and continued to use the same dump. The wash plant in the photo was about 10 year old when the photo was taken but the discard dump as you say had been in use for over 100 years. The difference with the new plant was that it washed coal from both the Doctor Pit and the “A” Pit. In James Tuck’s book he states that this was part of a modernisation plan at the time of nationalisation of the mines in 1947. I’
  6. James

    Putter 4.jpg

    Martin Henderson was a deputy at the Doctor Pit but I'm sure he was still working in the 1960's. His brother George worked at the Aad Pit.
  7. James

    Putter 4.jpg

    I assume you are referring to the 4 photos that have the caption at the bottom “……..working in the Doctor Pit in Bedlington”. These were posted on this site a few years ago (or possibly Facebook) and I made copies of them. They appear to be newspaper cuttings. This particular photo has an error – Steve Wash should read Steve Welsh. (You ask if I was related to anyone in this photo. It so happens that one of them was my wife’s uncle.)
  8. Photo of two Wastemen at the Doctor Pit taken by Willy Ward. No names unfortunately. Wastemen were miners who were too old for heavy work and were employed to maintain the return airways – clearing falls of roof, renewing supports etc. and they often carried on doing this work even in their 70’s. Willy Ward worked at the Doctor Pit till it closed in 1968. He was an excellent photographer and a few of the photos I have posted were bought at his shop on Front Street East. I wish I had got more of them and taken a note of the names. (Many couples would have used Willy to take their wedd
  9. James

    Dr Pit miners.jpg

    I got this photo at Willie Ward’s shop so I assume it was taken at the Doctor Pit. The person on the left is holding something I’d forgot about. I think we called it a “shotbox” – can anybody confirm? It was a canister to hold explosives. The person on the right is holding his carbide lamp. These were lamps with an open flame and were used at the Doctor Pit until around 1955 when they were replaced with electric lamps.
  10. James

    Dr Pit miners 2.jpg

    Photo from James T. Tuck's book "The Collieries of Northumberland"
  11. Photo taken by Willie Ward in 1952
  12. James

    Dr Pit stables.jpg

    Photo taken by Willie Ward in the underground stables at the Doctor Pit. The person in the centre was the head stablekeeper. No names unfortunately.
  13. James

    Dr Pit Banners.jpg

    Doctor Pit banners. 1948 banner on left. 1960’s banner on right.
  14. James

    Dr Pit union men.jpg

    Doctor Pit union men in 1960’s. Andy Fairbairn in middle at back. Anty Thompson on extreme right.
  15. From Stephen Martin’s booklet on Bedlington – “The old mill at the top of Bedlington Bank was built in 1821. Called Petrie’s mill, it was initially worked by a windmill and later by steam.”
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