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HIGH PIT WILMA last won the day on October 16

HIGH PIT WILMA had the most liked content!

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    Guitars,Motorcycles,my wee Labrador cross...Little Black Jess!

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    Coal Mining

    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!

    Coal Mining

    Alan,hae yi checked oot anywhere ti see if thi pit dictionaries mention the Gummers?...a once saw one come adrift from the latches when we were cutting the face and it fell inti thi picks...wat a mangled mess it was..solid steel casings ripped like a piece of old rag ...seeing that made me respect this machine's power even more!...many a time a saw lads who were at the jib,scuffling wi a big filler's shuul,as we were jibbing in ready ti cut thi face,and they wud get a wee bit too close ti thi picks...and the shuul wud be snatched oot their hands and taken up inside the cut by the back picks,only ti be thrown oot a tangled mess wi nea resemblance to the shuul that was!

    Coal Mining

    Heh heh! The power of the net again! ....bringing auld pit marra's tigitha again! Thanks Alan,please pass my regards ti Geoff,haven't seen Geoff for a canny few years...last time was when he was at the Chapel at the Half Moon,Stakeford,and he was in the chapel with the organisers of the Russian[?] Butter Mountain distribution team,handing out the free ration of butter to the old and needy folks in the community,and I was seeking the rations for the old neighbours of mine at that time.It might have been in the '80's...I can't remember exactly,but Geoff probably does.When Geoff came to the Aad Pit at Bedlington,from Hauxley Pit,He described the conditions there,and I can vividly remember him being met with scorn from the Aad Pit old-timers,who hadn't seen water get owa the bootlaces...and the reason I remember it well,was because me and my Marra's from Choppington High Pit had met with the same scorn just before Geoff came..so Geoff and me exchanged stories of how rough our pits were!! "SCORN"= Comments such as....."oh Aye ....heor wi gaan.....wiv hord it aal before...clivvor bugga's...working in three foot o' waata..in a two-foot seam..."...said very sarcastically,from a gathering of the aad pit coalfillers....in answer to THEIR question as "was Choppington as rough as this then?"...as we rested for five minutes on the way inbye..sitting on a wood chock,wi wa byeuts pressed into stone dust four inches deep....the dust was a killer mind,even waaking inbye ye were choking on it in the High MAIN seam. We just telt them it was a thoosand times rougher at Choppington,cos A] The water teemed in from the roof,there were very few pumps,the water just filled long swalleys,until it overflowed and ran down the inclined roadways ti fill the next swalley...and so on.....! Some swalley's were 50-100 yards long,and up to your waist...we transport lads travelled through up to a dozen times a shift,in the different roadways in the pit. B] Because the seam went doon ti less than two feet high,the cuttermen had ti cut thi bottom oot,throughout the face ti mek height for the cutter ti pass through..so ye had airborne dust filling the roadways alang wi roof droppers of waata and ground water aal tigitha...! C] The Shaft was sunk through sandbanks and musselbeds[fossilised!],and the whole of the seams were driven through nests of geological faults...["Faaalts"..!]..making roof and sides very difficult to control...men got killed or injured every other few weeks and my Father told me it was like that in 1929 when he was a young putter down there!!..[as you know...aged 14 years!]...and the changes for the better came only with rails laid in the Mothergates as well as the Tailgates,when the new Drift doon ti thi Top Busty opened up not lang afore thi pit closed...the waata and bad roof conditions remained the same as the other seams!! A wonder if Geoff cud relate sum stories from his time doon thi black hole!!A wud luv ti hear from him on wor site,cos aam not on Facebook. Thanks for posting his pics Alan,he's nivvor changed..just a bit mair matured in the oak..so ti speak!

    Coal Mining

    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!

    Coal Mining

    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!!

    Coal Mining

    This was a set of canny lads,of which there were loads of sets in the pit. Faceworkers were grouped into "Sets",such as the Caunchmen..[stonemen]..The "Bumpers"[who advanced the Armoured Face Conveyor as the Shearer passed through the coalface],Advanced Heading men,Shearer men,Composite men..and so on. Gordon and Billy,[above] were on the face I worked on in 1971 [84'sFace in the Beaumont Seam],which was my first appointment as a Deputy on that face. Sadly,lots of men and young lads are no longer with us,so it is fitting that Families and friends can see these pics as mementoes.

    Coal Mining

    Hi Eggy! Aav seen this pic amang a set of others. Gud ti see sum of the lads.. brings back memories! Gordon Hickson second left, Billy Smith second right, aav forgotten the other lads names... last days afore Bates closed... if not THE last day.

    The Avengers pop band

    Hi Eggy! A can mind of a few groups, but not the Dinosaurs. Might have been after I got married and stopped gaaning ti thi Clayton. Sorry nae help this time. Aal dae a bit asking aroond me aad marra's. Me Wife has had an op. on Friday gone ti hae two new plakka joints put in her hand, so aam caring for her intensely. If a dinna post owt for a while, ye knaa aam not deserting thi forums!

    Problems with webcam?

    Mebbe it's just LIGHT rain..........! ...not workin' here eethaa!....a naa wat it is ....it's rain stopped play.....!!!

    Bedlington on Channel 5 - Britain by Bike with Larry & George Lamb.

    Gud ti see Bedltn gettn an airing on the telly!![and gud ti see the little Bedltn's also!!]

    The Avengers pop band

    Correction to my last post above,which SHOULD read..."..where I met my Wife,in 1962,at the skating rink,one Wednesday night, in JULY[!]",[and Not February!!]. A very rare slip of the mind by Wilma,and one which wud not be forgiven if the Boss knew I had slipped up!! Heh heh! Gettin' auld's not much fun!

    Todd's Barbers

    Yi cud set ya aan shop away caaled.." Vic the Veteran"....ner!... a mean...."Veteran Vic's car parts"..........NAA!!!!!,,,aal get it reet yit......a mean....."Vic's Veteran Car Parts"....[Prop. Veteran Vic!]....heh heh! [....another lead balloon!]

    Happy Birthday Foxy

    Belated Happy Birthday Foxy! Just tuned in noo,late as usual,but aad nicky wor heedmaster at the Whitley schyuul aalwis sed....."Better late than never!"

    Bedlington Man Plays for Manchester United

    As an afterthought, Billy who aam on aboot,also lived in Beattie Road,and will be getting on for 74 years noo.....same age as me.

    Bedlington Man Plays for Manchester United

    Wow! Wat a blast from thi past for me! Hi Eggy,and all on the forum!First off,Billy McGlenn didn't play in my Rock group,in the 1960's. I have known Billy practically aal me life,and when we left school in 1959,[Billy was at the Catholic school],we both started our pit training together at Seaton Burn colliery training centre. Billy was a small blonde lad,very sociable and a born comedian,served his time at the pit,then left later on to join the Merchant Navy. A canna figure oot where he fits inti thi family tree above,cos he certainly didn't play footie that aa knew of! Last time a saw Billy was at the the Domino at thi Station,in the late 1960's/very early '70s..[not sure exactly],and he had just come yem on leave from the sea,wi a bulging pocket of fivers!![ye canna spend ya pay at sea!] Me aad Marra Davy Holland..[Holly] was starring in the cabaret wi he's chart group caaled "Toby Twirl"...that's hoo a can mind aal this.[Billy got he's eye on me in the darkness and came owa for a natter!] Noo,the blast from thi past continues on,seeing other aad marra's in thi pics,hoo aav nivvor seen for donky's yeors...Jackie Mason lived aside me in Hollymoont Square,and we played tigitha aal wor young life! Ray Chilton and he's Wife are friends of wors,a have seen often,Geordie Elliot was an old friend in the 1960's,nivvor seen for donkey's,a smashing lad...footbaal crazy...used ti be drunk and sobbing like a kid,him and Jimmy Burke,his close mate,when thi Toon lost on a Saturday Aftanoon...in the 1960's!! Geordie's Dad was a Deputy at thi Aad pit,in thi 1960's ,when a went there from Choppington High Pit,and he was the most likeable bloke ye cud ivvor wish ti meet!! Bob McGregor was me neighbour and good friend for the 30-odd years a lived at West Terrace in Stakeford,till a moved away 18 years ago. Nivvor seen Bob Short for donkey's eetha! Great for me ti see these pics,but sorry a canna help in researching the family tree,Rigger!! Hope ye find more success as ye gaa alang ,Marra!