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HIGH PIT WILMA

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HIGH PIT WILMA last won the day on August 15

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About HIGH PIT WILMA

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    Senior Bedlingtonian

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    BEDLINGTON NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Interests
    Guitars,Motorcycles,Remembering my wee Labrador cross...Little Black Jess..deceased 19-2-19 R.I.P LBJ.Sadly missed.

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  1. I just thought on,after I switched off last night,a while ago I watched a short film on U-Tube,which was a visit underground at Kellingly Colliery,[I think],and in one short clip,in the middle of the film,the Manager and his visitors went to jump onto a manriding conveyor belt,which would transport them away inbye.It was at a transfer point,where one conveyor belt loads onto another one,and high above the conveyor belt,hung from the roof,was a full-size mock-up of a horse hanging from the chains holding it,with a proper leather body harness, holding him in a comfortable position,simulating being slung from the cage,and being transported down the shaft,[or up the shaft,as the case may be. The thing what struck me was...not one person glanced up to see it,they all had eyes down,and followed the Manager..Pidgeon fashion,onto the conveyor belt. How nobody saw a full-size model horse hanging there...beats me,and I also thought that I wouldn't have wanted any of that lot as Marras working down there with me!!....you needed a hundred pairs of eyes,and instinctively learned to be aware of all your surroundings at all times...your life depended upon your vigilance,and common-sense! If I can find the film link,I will try and post it for your information. Cheers ! HPW.
  2. I hope I was clear enough to help you understand about these haulers,cos upon me re-reading again,I was thinking that you might have thought that this particular engine would have been used underground,which is not entirely impossible,but highly improbable! It would have involved having a steam boiler within a short distance away,but seeing as the earliest pits depended upon a huge fireplace at the bottom of the upcast shaft,which heated the air,causing an updraught,which in turn,caused fresh air to be drawn down the "Downcast" shaft, which travelled all around the roadways of the pit,then I don't see why a boiler couldn't be installed into the fireplace..like a larger version of a domestic back-boiler,to provide the steam pressure necessary to drive this engine. Ashington colliery,in Northumberland UK,still had the fireplace,along with all the fireman's rakes,and other tools which hung up on a large rack,on the side of the shaft walled area...it wasn't in use,naturally,after Electricity was installed at the mine,but it was a museum piece frozen in time!!..I think it all went to a Museum..not sure. So my main point was that it was electric hauling engines that were used underground.
  3. Hi Pete,if ya in theor!...Hoo di ye remember the Dynacords?....were they that bad!.... Alan,can ye tell Jean that we ARE aal Dinosaurs noo!...sadly except for wor lead vocalist,who passed away many years ago,aged only 46 yrs,after a long illness,due to a very rare disease called "Poitsieager's Syndrome", which causes Polyps to form on the Intestines,and which required frequent operations to remove them. Geordie was one of only 40 people in the UK,who was known to suffer from this awful disease..R.I.P. Geordie.
  4. Laddies aboot 13 or 14 years old,and older ones....and we criticised other countries for using child labour!!
  5. Netherton pit was relativeley dry,as was Bedlington A pit,and Ashington,as well as other pits I worked at,so looking at the scale of this engine,I am nearly 100 per cent certain that it would have driven the Colliery 's Ventilation Fan,which had a massive task to do!
  6. Great pic!..completely different to the 100 years old steam winder at the High Pit!..mind,theres something about steam engines....Raw direct power,from massive twin cylinders,all the copper and brass pipework and valves polished like mirrors,and you just lay one finger on a pipe,as I did aged 15 years,and you got a steel pipewrench rapped over your fingers..as I had,from the Brakesman! they were very proud of their engines in those days...and that is fact!
  7. A very good friend of mine lives in the Cottages opposite!
  8. Netherton pit was unique then!At all pits,the ponies were stabled,fed,groomed,shoe'ed,and bedded down in the underground stables. Ponies were never put in a cage with a man!...they used to sling them in a proper body harness UNDERNEATH the cage,for the ponies own safety..he could kick and fling all he wanted..and wouldn't come to any harm.At Choppington High Pit,right up until it closed,in 1966,we had ponies sent down that weren't broken in at all. We didn't have limbers [shafts] at all,until just before the pit closed,and that was only for one pony to supply the men driving a new drift.[scratching around for coal!]. We had what was called "Tracing Chains",which were two long chains,one each side,and attached to the pony's collar "Yem-sticks",and which had a hook at the end. We used to trail all timber and steel materials across the bare rough ground..really hard labour for both the pony and his handler.[that was in all the Maingates.],and we had small trams with steel bars at the sides,upon which materials were loaded,and which were used in the Tailgates,with the pony's chains attached to each side of the tram...the roadways were too small too take pit tubs right up to the coalface,due to severe crush from the roof and sides. We had to break the ponies in ourselves,by giving them twice as much of a load as we would normally,the pony would wildly try to escape the chains by straining and pulling constantly until he just tired himself out,and calmed down,then it was a case of a lot of love and attention,commands rewarded,as you would a dog or any other animal. Once you bonded with your pony,and not a lot of miners did!!,he would do anything you asked him to do. My gorgeous dapple grey Stallion,Charlie,had to be put to sleep after he suffered a serious injury underground,and I was in tears,and upset...in 1963,and even now,in 2019,aged 75 years,I still well up every time I see a rider passing on a Dapple-grey! I watched the film.."Warhorse",just a few weeks ago,and I was breaking down watching the way the horses were treated,purely because of flashbacks to the conditions our ponies were subjected to..it was cruelty for man and horse at the High Pit...and the NCB and Government inspectors turned a blind eye to roadways so low that the ponies' backs and flanks were stripped to bare flesh bleeding,and having to be stabled for days,or weeks,untill they healed....sorry for ranting...wound up...thinking back...it wasn't like that at Netherton in 1971,I did a training course there for a few weeks,and saw how completeley different it was,and a lot easier on the pony's..better drier conditions made life a lot easier!
  9. This is a main and tail hauler,[not a motor!..],used for hauling sets of pit tubs and trams, loaded with coal,and materials respectively.They were usually installed at the pit shaft bottom area,as the main means of transporting the total of the coal seam's requirements for a day.At the end of the roadway there would be "Return wheels",[or "Sheaves"],upon which the hauler ropes would be slung,and these wheels and blocks would either be slung up high in the roadway,or mounted beneath the rolleyway,at the end of the line. Not nitpicking ,mind,only for correctness,but this not an electrically-driven hauler...it is a magnificent example of a twin cylinder steam - driven hauler. In a very small,shallow mine,it could have been used to wind the pit cages in a not-so-deep mineshaft,it is a smaller version of the big winding engines...except these only had a single drum,with both ropes on the same drum. Hope I have been of some help with this information. Cheers HPW.
  10. ...like a said earlier..not for the poor peasant coalminer,for the Officeworkers...Stone built frontage..a bit better class! Luvly garden..and blinds at the windaes...!
  11. Spotless clean street...nae litter in them days!
  12. Brilliant set of pics throughout!
  13. The reason why there was a small number of these fancy houses built,wasn't cos they were for miners as such...!..they would have been for the Engineers,Surveyors,Clerks ,and Mine-owners families,just my guess,based on my experience of having lived in a pit terraced hoose wi an ootside netty ...right up until we got the chance to buy it..and that was in 1984...outside toilet across a yard in the middle of a freezing winter,in the middle of the night,brushing and wafting the forky-tails off the door and walls and roof,before you went in....in modern 1984....doesn't compare with the quality in appearance alone...with these houses!A think the arches above the windows,which have been bricked in,suggest they were a wee bit of a better standard than the average pit rows which were back to back,and completely characterless!! Please correct me if i'm totally misguided!
  14. Canny Lass,a just remembered,when Ashington Pit closed,in 1987,a year or two went by,then they started to reclaim coal which had been tipped along with all the stones from the screening plant...which all pits had,ancient methods..young laddies from school started on the screens usually,before going underground to work.It toughened up even the smallest and weakest of kids,cos you stood there from clocking on,till you clocked off,legs ,arms,and back feeling like they were breaking.It really was slave labour for a 14 year old,like my Father,and 15 yrs old for my generation. So, they used modern technology to sift through the pit heap,[or "Spoil" heap..if ya posh!],using big machines,bulldozers,etc,and if my memory serves me correctly,they reclaimed over 20,000 tons of coal ,which had lain there for over one hundred years! So it shows you what was lost at all the other pit heaps around the country!!...well,not exactly LOST,cos the heaps are still there..only they made country parks out of them,forested and nice grassy places for picnics etc. Let's say,when all the available power generators run out of fuel..theres a hell of an asset above ground in those heaps,as well as what millions of tons was left underground...but that's been covered by me in the past!!
  15. Aye Tony, we were the same..a mean,Hollymoont Square is a mile and a haaf from the Station,and me and me owlda Brother,[by three years..born on the same day ...three yeors apart!..gud shooting!],used to luv watching the flames and acres of red and white hot cinders flying off the heap in a gale force wind,on a winter's dark neet..for aal we were so far away,it was so high that it loomed owa the toon!! It was the oldest and biggest pit heap in the country,in the sixties,afore they lowered it by nearly 200 feet,a think that figure was aboot reet. Wor Liz is still gorgeous..a great personality,we are at the ages where we only meet at family funerals noo..did ye knaa her younger Brother Ray,he passed away last year aged 56. Next time we meet aal pass on your regards Tony. Cheers HPW .
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