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HIGH PIT WILMA last won the day on January 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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    The Gardeners Arms.

    Heh heh !...it's queer hoo time changes your perception of life when you were a kid! That's nowt like the aad Ned Metcalfe I have in me head...he has a coat on...and nae riding breeches or horse whip!....AND...he looks like a canny aad chep! He always seemed ti be in his shirt sleeves,wi sleeve armbands,[ti keep he's shirt cuffs up],and he's aad waistcoat on ...a real figure of dominance wi that whip.... What year was the pic?....[1936 was the year the trophy was presented to the club],cos aam sure that the fella on the right wi he's hand on he's hip was my deceased Brother-in-Law or if it wasn't,then he is the spitting image of him. Very interesting picture of the Bedlingtons....especially the desperate one which is squatting! Looking at Ned,[apart from his unrecogniseable attire!],his stature suggests to me that it would have been mid-fifties,I would have been a kid of nine or ten...

    Puddler's Raa[Row]

    Hi Eggy! Thanks for the P.M.,and a big HI! to you Elaine,and welcome to the greatest forum on the planet!! Sorry to have missed your post , Elaine,I have had a rough time lately..health-wise,but back into catching up on all things domestic which have to be done! My Wife's Parents,and GrandParents lived in Puddler's Row..[known locally as .."Puddlaas Raa.."],and my Wife was nine years old when they moved to the "new" Grange Park estate,around 1955,when it was just being built. She has often mentioned Paddy McCafferty,and only a few weeks ago Rosie McCafferty passed away,she was a close friend and neighbour of my Wife's family at both dwelling places for many many years. Rosie lived next door to Harry Craze and his Wife Bridgie..[ that's what we called her..],at Grange Park,and she was a McCafferty also,but not sure if she was a Sister of Paddy's,or a different relation. Those were the good old days when all the neighbours would give you a shout over the street if you hadn't seen them as you walked by,or if you were busy in the garden,it was hard work trying to just get something done.....due to being distracted by chatting too long over the fence! The McCafferty's were no relation to me or my Wife,but Bridgie,Harry,and Rosie were all so lovely,homely,and affectionate,that they were in many respects closer to us ,as neighbours,that they would have made a lovely family for us! True old saying..."Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves"....!

    Under The Bridge

    Hi Jack,welcome to the forum!...that was a blast from thi past...."Woodbines"...[we called them "Willy Woodbines"...when we were bairns...I think we heard the aad-timers caaling them that!] A thowt ye were gaana tell us that Uncle used ti feed he's Roses wi the blood from the Slaatahoose!!![aad gardeners,especially aad pitmen,used aal manner of things ti get gud results in their gardens....even using the explosive pooda ti put aroond the flooers and cabbages ti keep thi slugs off!]

    Please Help

    Hi Arlie! Aam sure ye will love Bedlington,Blyth,Cramlington,and aal thi surroondin areas....we have the loveliest County in the Country...best beaches....most castles....finest untouched countryside.....did you see Cragside at Rothbury t'other neet? A forgot ti mention...the frendliest folk in the country! Hope ye find the info you are searching for! Cheers!

    Todd's Barbers

    A was in Leanne's [Todd's Barber's],thi day gettin a couple o' aggravating hairs cut off the back o' me heed...[waat's caaled a "Haircut"!],and she still has a gud bit crack,very pleasant,while mekkin a grand job o' me heed....a luk like a aad chep noo! Yistidi,a went ti pick up sum Croc Clips at "John's Car Parts",at the Station,[was the aad Post Office wen aa was young],and the youngin who runs it noo,[John's Son],gave me the time of day wi a gud crack also,and a friendly approach! He gaa's by the title of "J.P." Also yistidi,a went aroond ti Barrington M.O.T. Centre,ti ask George,the Owner,if he would check oot a few problems aav got wi me car. Stryght away he had me car up on the Fower-Poster,checked things oot,dropped it doon,gave me a valid and honest opinion, which a accepted,and aam gaana tek he's advice. Smashing team,him and Jean,[he's Wife],and the fitter also. Recommend them ti anybody,me next door Nyghbor has gone ti them for years and recommended them ti me and me Son.

    Happy Birthday Vic

    Belated Happy Boithday Vic!! Pleased aa stumbled across Pete's Thumbnail at the side!![a been awol also!] Regards to the Boss as weel!! We got wor Snaadrops and Crocuses up noo...Daffs weel up ready ti open...waiting for a bit het weather!!...

    Whitley Memorial - Intermediate Football Teams - 1950's

    Hi Eggy! Great to get additions from the horses mooth..and Albert is spot on!!..I didn't know Albert is still kicking aboot!! He and my older Brother were great friends,along with Lol Thompson and Alan "Cowla" Cowell. Most of these lads named were in my Brother's class all the way through school at the Whitley. Three years older than me,and the only one on here who sat next to me in the same desk for years is Alan Wilkinson!! He WAS a really gud player,as all these team pics prove....his older Brother Derek was his Mentor ...another team member. Alan Cowell was on Composite work down the Three-Quarter Drift,where my Bates pit pics were taken,and was one of my cross-marra's...a smashing natured lad..really likeable.[R.I.P. Alan Cowell.] Aye,this team was made up from about three age groups,which leads me onto the subject of how Pete Smith was on the Whitley team when he went to Netherton School! I am beginning to doubt my own "so-sure" memory about this one!! Did Netherton School close around the same time as this team was being formed,with Peter being sent to the Whitley,and qualifying for the team within a few weeks of starting at the Whitley? Or are my vivid memories of my next door neighbour and close friend parting company with me to go for Raisbeck's bus,[to Netherton],as I walked down Vulcan Place to the Whitley... just my imagination playing tricks in old age?!!!!! I'll have to ask my Sister-in-law ,who is Pete's older Sister,and who is married to my older Brother,and SHE will clear my muddled mind!! If I am all muddled really....I will be the first to come on here and tell the crew I was wrong !! Heh heh! To re-cap , in 1954, Alan Wilkinson [and Me!] were 10 years old!! Lol Thompson,Albert Glenton,Alan Cowell,Paddy Gore,Brian Palmer,..were all 13 years old!! At that age,that was a canny difference in size and strength,to be matched against opponents of similar statures!! Alan Wilkinson wasn't a very big lad,but by hell,he wasn't half fast with the ball..!! Eggy,seeing as aam not on facebook,could you please pass a comment from me to Alan,or his family,for them to pass onmy best regards to Alan,and would love to hook up with him to natter aboot old times doon the woods,and daeing daft things as laddies did in them days!! Cheers!

    1956-57 Intermediate team

    Hi Eggy! Been off the scene for a wee while,especially this last week gone...nasty real flu bug....not a heavy caad!....aam taakin aboot being felled onti be back in bed like being hit wi a mel!! Noo! This team comprises seven of my classmates who I went through school from aged five years,at the Village Infants............block of flats!![opp. thi church]..reet up ti Westridge from the Whitley. Noo! A knaa aam not bright when it cums ti fitba' ,but tha's summick odd aboot this team!! Forst off, wheor's big Richie,[Brian Richmond],wa best goalie ever?...a reckon he musta had the flu an aal!! Then no 10 definately isn't Joe Hale!....more like Mike Rutherford,[my neighbour and playmate of my older Brother and me]....if you check out other Whitley team pics..Mike is on there. No 13 definately isn't,to my mind,Bobby Cross...! How they made up a team from differing age groups beats me ! ? Scantlebury,[no2],and Mike Rutherford,[no 10] ,are nearly three years older than Ray Mack,Alan Wilkinson,Malcolm Spiers,Jimmy Neil,Davy Kane,Tommy Logan,and Tommy Holmes,all of whom are the same age as me,and would have been either 12 years old,or approaching their 12th Birthdays when the pic was taken.[I was 12 yrs old in July 1956]. BUT,... the queerest thing is HOW Peter Smith is in the team!!......he went ti Netherton School ...until Westridge opened,then he started there with me on the first day it opened..cos we were close friends,and nieghbours. I would love to know what the exact date was,when the pic was taken!!


    Great ti be able ti just click on the gallery and see the pics,Eggy,instead of faffing aboot wi Flickr! Canna thenk ye enuff,marra!

    Coal Mining

    Look at old pics of miners from the "olden" days,and you see badly damaged joints throughout thier bodies,stooped gaite,bandy legged,strained hard sinewy arms,and prematurely-aged faces,after working in very poor light ,poor ventilation,very low seams....wet conditions ,etc.... On my Father's pic taken down the High Pit,when he was 14 yrs old in 1929,his old Marra,[a hewer..before coal-cutters came along..],was probably in his early fifties,maybe younger,but with absoloutely no disrespect intended,he does look like he should have been retired a few years before the pic was taken. I do know that in the coal-owner days ,miners worked at the face till they were in their seventies!,but I don't think this was the case here.

    Coal Mining

    Tell you what,Canny Lass,when I went down Choppington High Pit ,as a kid,I went straight inbye,to go onto heavy transport,which was taking anything steel and heavy,such as coal-cutters,conveyor belt driveheads,pipes..[21feet long and HEAVY!!],cutter cables which were 170 yards long and about3 inches thick,girders for supporting the roadways,etc etc! There were no rails on the ground in the Mothergates,[main air intake roadways],so everything had to be trailed inbye with my pit pony,and long " Tracing chains" attached to each side of his collar with hooks on the other ends,along rough stony ground through long swalleys of deep black stinking water,up the knees and above.Lots of physical demanding lifting and carrying,which after a few months turned me from being a small skinny kid from school,to a pretty-much athletic muscular sort of lad,through sheer hard work...and still only 16 yrs old! I never did any work at the shaft bottom area,which was always considered as ..."Light Work.."!! That is...until the High Pit was about to close in 1966,and I was sent to Bedlington A pit,in 1965,[a few months before closure],as a fully experienced coal-cutterman/coal filler faceworker.! For the first few months we High Pit Lads were treated as "Strangers" ...[pit terminology meaning we weren't Bedlington men!!] SO! We were sent to all sorts of places in the pit to fill in for absentees,which saw me and my Marra's doing work at the shaft-bottom for odd spells of a few shifts. The shaft lads had the worst deal in every pit in the country,lowest paid,longest hours cos there was no travelling time..you started work the minute you stepped out of the cage and hung your bait-bag up.....and worked until the Buzzer went, on the surface ,at the very last minute of the working day!....and it was always freezing cold,summer or winter!!,with a cold blast of downcast air which ventilated the whole of the mineworkings..which was a mighty big blast of air!! Now one day,the Overman said to me "Wilma,gaan onto the kip at the High Main..[seam],and tek Jockies oot.." "O.k Alan"..and away aa went up onto the kip. The kip was only about five feet high,so I was walking along for about twenty yards,back bent,meeting single tubs flying towards me at about ten miles an hour,free-fall,after being un-hooked ..[or "loused off" from the haulage rope..],and me having to quickly reach out at arm's-length,and quickly lift the jockies [front and back of the tub],from out of the cock-holes,and lay them in an arranged pattern,around a hatch-hole,on the floor where I worked,so the dish-lad,below the level where I was, could reach up and take them two at a time,to put back into the empty [chumming] tubs to send them back inbye to be loaded with coal again. Well,as strong as I was,THIS was a different ball-game!! The first half dozen tubs went flying past with me frantically running,bent-backed desperately trying to unhook these damned jockies which was a lot harder than I expected!! I had to use my right arm stretched out full,and synchronise the speed of the tub with my effort to lift [or "Snatch"],the jockie out,then as the tub flew past,reach out quickly,with my left arm,and snatch out the jockie from the back of the tub,whilst still holding the heavy jockie in my right hand.[the actions resembled a Matador with his cape to one side of a charging bull!...picture the elegant way he turns his body......that was me.....but swearing like hell at the stupid things for being so tight to snatch oot!!] Well,after a few weeks,the muscles under my arms became more developed,and I was snatching the jockies oot like they were made of wood,and light as a feather.....but being bent-backed for a full shift, and walking back and forward to snatch jockies out of thirty-score of tubs every day,took it's toll on my spine!..[30 score=30 x 20 tubs =600 tubs every shift!] All that was apart from the number of tubs that jumped off the way,with 15 cwt of coal in them,and had to be lifted back onto the rails["the way"] using arm and shoulder-power!!...and THIS was regarded by management as ..."LIGHT WORK"...!! More like hard labour!!

    Under The Bridge

    Hi Peter,welcome to the site!I thought the same as you even if you were cracking on!! It could have been one of many tunnels running from Bedlington main street down to the river,that we discussed a while ago on another thread. What was the purpose of these tunnels if it weren't for those in power to flee the town,or others [in power also!] to benefit from moonlighting licquor or even drugs in the aad days when peasants were held down by the rich!....romanticing?... Old-timers I worked at the pit [Bedlington A ],with,used ti tell me aboot thi hospital for Diptheria,Typhoid,and such contagious diseases,down by the river,where Doglover describes,noo was there also a bottle factory there or aam a mixed up wi sumwheor else?..[that was back in thi '60s]

    Westridge Class Pictures From The 60,s

    This class looks mair like aboot 1960-ish ti me.

    Westridge Class Pictures From The 60,s

    Heh heh! Eggy,a just got notification of your reply while I was typing that list oot! Ner,aa had moosy blackish hair.....er....when a had some that is/was! Also,until a left school and became a man quickly,[doon thi big black hole!!],me orders from me Faatha were aalwis ti get me hair cut ...."Short back and sides mind!!"[quote!]. A aalwis had a parting on me left side and a Crows wing-typical aad gadgy style of cut!...aaaannnnd!....me Mutha aalwis complained aboot a few strands of aakwaad hair which aalwis refused ti lie doon,reet inside the croon of where me hair was parted.[ivry photo tekkin of me since aa was aboot three years aad show this queer little sticky-up hair!]. Nae Brylcreem in them days,Butter!![then when we got a bit better off...[!!],it was a little tin of Vaseline!] Another thing aav noticed is the relaxed dress code,cos when the school first opened,it was mandatory for school uniforms to be worn,including collar and tie...boys AND girls!...nae open shirt collar owa the coat like sum on this pic....which AA wudda preferred ti dae..[and so wud me Mutha cos she couldn't afford the uniform,really,but had ti get them oot on tick...like it or not!that's the way it was]. Apart from Ray Barrett and the Hindmarsh Bros,a divvent knaa anybody on this pic. Thanks for the thought Eggy,Nice one!

    Westridge Class Pictures From The 60,s

    Just to try and jog a few memories of anyone who might be browsing but not posting,here is a list of those who were in my class,in the Upper Remove up to the day I left school,in 1959. Class Teacher,a short very stocky,grey close-curled haired Mr Marley..[with a tongue like acid when he got ratty...but a great teacher otherwise!] Billy Brown,Trevor Hale,Ian Campbell,Jimmy Scott,[aka "the gang"!],Eddie Hedley,Micky Lucas,Derek McGregor,Dennis Green,Bobby Cross,Len Thompson,Ted Smout,Martin Nicholson,Barry ?[wore Buddy Holly specs..],Derek Goodall,Lorna Barker,Pat Purcell,Lynne Hayes,Barbara["Babs" Thornton,Isobel Bowman,Joan Henderson,Lilian Moore,Rosemary Oliver,Hilda Storey,Elsie Hall.[Joan Hogg..a think.. but could be wrong,might be thinking of my class at the Whitley School...and of course...myself.[Norman Turner tells me that he was in my class,but I can't place him at all!] This was the first Upper Remove that was ever formed from the school opening up,therefore it was a relatively small class compared to those we had been used to at the Whitley...which was normally anywhere from 40-43 pupils!! Next is a list of all pupils who came into my classes at the Whitley School,over the years,where pupils might have been in the class and either moved away from the area after a few terms,or were moved down or up a class through re-organisation of age groups..or sadly deceased while very young. Bobby Cross,Dennis Green,Alan Wilkinson,Billy Allison,Ronnie Leyland,Brian Richmond,Eddie Simpson,Sid Short,Brian Redpath,Joe Hale,Sid Newman,Bob Palmer,Gordon Parmley,Raymond Mack,Alan Lilico,Davy Weatherit,Tommy Holmes,Davy Walker,Jimmy Nealan,Jimmy Russell,Jim Hardy,Chris Watson,Alan White,Raymond Barret,Ian Darling,Norman Taylor,Norman Furness,Ronnie Hemsley,Micky Scrowther,Jimmy Ayres,Alan Stewart,Alan Spowart,John Henderson,Bobby Bell,John Wilkinson,Jimmy Brown,Terry Foote,Martin Sharpe,Billy Williamson,Jimmy Rouse. ....and now the girls.....! Ann Ayres,Joan Holdsworth,Lorna Barker,Joan Bell,Joan Hogg,Joan Henderson,Ann Pattinson,Lynne Hayes,Doreen Dagless,Elizabeth Maize.[or May?],Pauline Short,Lilian Moore,Rosemary Oliver,Margaret Thackeray,Rita Wheallans,Natasha Patti,Linda Sanderson,Elizabeth Ellis,Anne Thompson,Barbara Thornton,Helen Treyer,Sandra Short,Joan Hartill. There are a few who have escaped my memory,so this list is not complete! In my mind's eye,I can picture a lot of who sat next to who,and in what position in the class desks they say sat in!