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HIGH PIT WILMA last won the day on February 13

HIGH PIT WILMA had the most liked content!

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    Guitars,Motorcycles,Remembering my wee Labrador cross...Little Black Jess..deceased 19-2-19 R.I.P LBJ.Sadly missed.

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    Matty Hall - Whitley Memorial & Medowdale Teacher

    I was really sad at hearing of Matty's passing,he was a great teacher who balanced strict discipline with a fond affection for his pupils,and gained a lot of respect. I am pleased that I caught up with Matty at his home as I was passing by on the way to my Mother's house,one day,to shake his hand and thank him for making a man of me.We had a good crack,and he remembered my family,he taught me and my three Sisters,and my older Brother.He was still a true gentleman ...I am now approaching 75 years of age,and can vividly remember him singing on Parent/Teacher's open days..lovely baritone voice.[in the mid-1950's] Great teacher ..will be sadly missed by all who knew him. R.I.P. Matty Hall,Sir. Bill Allison.

    Dr Pit Welfare Park

    A bit late as usual, for me,Joe,but many thnks for keeping me reet!

    New Albums 2016

    A bit late for catching up!..but if you kind folks like a bit of Country and Western,I'd strongly recommend you go out and buy "Soul of the West" by Singer/Songwriter Clint Bradley. Clint hails from the New Forest area in Kent[?],and has been around the music business for decades,with his band "The BlueCats". There is the odd note where he sounds like Johnny Cash,then the next he sounds like Roy Orbison..then Jim Reeves..not intentionally,he has such a vocal range,and quality of tone,that comments from places like Nashville etc,cannot believe he is an Englishman...he sounds better than a lot of so-called Nashville Country music these days..[Nashville not producing Artists like those in days gone by...sad to say!] My Son,Darren Allison,[Music Producer/Engineer],mixed and co-produced the album,and so it's natural that I would like the world to hear it,but even if that wasn't the case,I would still be singing it's praises for what is a fine collection of original songs. There are no studio tricks or magic on this CD,..no dreaded Auto-tune!!,no Pedal-Steel,..just Clint,Vocals, Guitar,and Harmonica...Dave Luke on Lead Acoustic Guitar and Mandolin,Miss Connie Everard on Accoustic Double Bass,Nick Evans on good old Dobro Guitar,Danny Kelly on rums and Percussion,Darren Allison on Drums,Percussion,Mandolin,and Rhythm Guitar,Quentin Hutchinson on French Horn. Clint's last Album "Riding after Midnight",was heavily featured on Paddy McDee's late night show for several weeks,he played a different track each week..and received a good response from his listeners,and this new one has a big write-up and a great review in this month's edition of "Country Music People"..and was number 6 in the Country music charts. Sym,I never knew you were a Stones Fan!!..I had the great pleasure of playing all their tracks,both singles,and all their album tracks,as they were just coming into the charts..when I was just a skittering young Ched wi' a snotty beak! Initial stage fright soon gave way to ecstasy playing "Little Red Rooster","You can make it if you try","If you need Me","The Last Time"..and everything else in between,that they released till we broke in 1966...it was a fantastic time to be a Lead Guitarist in a Group!


    Eh Alan!..a jumped the gun there noo! It's that lang since a was on the forum seriously,aam way behind on a lot of topics! Aav e-mailed the Radio Station,and added ,after me request,that a found them from this forum,giving them me HPW logo as well as me full name!...cos a divvent knaa hoo Ovalteeny's real name is! Here's hoping for a reply and some airplay!

    Ovalteeny shares his music taste

    A bit slow of catching up,Alan,but DID at last! Thanks!


    Hi Alan!...What's with Oalteeny's radio programme? ...new to me! Thanks for letting me know! ..I need the frequency it broadcasts on....!

    B.U.D.C workers - 1950's?

    Jimmy McCullough married my next door neighbour's Daughter in the mid-50's.His Grand-Daughter lives in Wales now,and if you haven't ever visited her U-tube channel..You might find it very interesting,especially if you ,like myself,are a Shadows fan,or any other guitar related music.Her name is Zoe McCullough,and her Girl-Band are called "The Cricketts"...obviously an influence from Buddy Holly's group.."The Crickets"...[in the mid/late 1950's/60's "Bands" were Brass..."Groups/Rock/Pop/Blues/Vocals.."..were Guitar orientated] It's a pity Jimmy never lived to see how Zoe's music career took her to play with a lot of the Great Guitarists,especially all over America and Europe. I wouldn't be surprised,if Jimmy's Brother-in-Law, Billy,took these old photos,'cos when we were kids growing up in Hollymount Square,every event that ever happened in Bedlington,was captured by Billy,both on Kodak Brownie.[in the 1950's]...right through to the Digital age..and also 8mm Cine film,through to digital videocams...including my Wedding in 1967..which I never saw and would dearly love to have seen! It was a mighty grand design for a roundabout,in a place where we still had Horse-drawn vehicles ,and the new car was the Ford Anglia/Popular series,[looks like!.]...and the new Truck-of-the-day..was the Thames Trader! I rode my push-bike up that road from Hollymount Sq,to Choppington High Pit,up Guide-post Road,every day from 1959 to 1965,[having rode these roads from 1956,at 12 years old,on a leisurely basis],and even to this day,you wouldn't class it as having a severe congestion problem!!


    Clint Bradley is a Country and Western singer/songwriter who hails from the New Forest area [doon sooth] He has just released a new album called.."Soul of the West"..it is brilliant,and a recommended buy for fans of this kind of music. My Son..Darren Allison mixed and Co-Produced the album,with a lot of the production being done at he's own Studio..["Triangle Studios"..in North Finchley]. It's natural that I would want to plug the Album,but I can genuineley say that even if Daz hadn't been involved with it,I would still recommend it as a good buy. Clint has written 100% of the material on the CD,and you can hear influences of Marty Robbins,and other great Country artists coming over with Clint's smashing voice. Try listening to free soundbytes on his site..."Joshuas Yellow Boy" stands out for me, a story similar to "El Paso"...featuring the Winchester rifle with this name..["Yellow Boy"]. Give it a try folks...you won't be disappointed!

    Teaching legends

    Heh heh!Canny Lass,a was aboot 12 yeors aad when Miss Thew clapped me ear from behind..and a nivvor saw her coming,so a got a gliff,for a start,and then a saw stars cos it wasn't just a "wee clip roond the ears"...it was a full on flat hand owa me ear..and it's a wonder she didn't burst me eardrum..it was a stupid thing ti dae,a wud rather have had a cane owa me hands,or Danny's sandshoe owa me bare hintend...whey not aal bare..but bare legs wi thin p.e. shorts on! But it larned me nivvor ti taak in class ivvor again! Noo if AA had ti write aboot ...Loquiracity...ner...loquakity....anywheh!...a wud still be theor yit!!! Aye,Mr Bebbington took maths at the Whitley ..he was a great teacher!

    Coal Mining

    Peter Whitiker is the only lad a can mind of on this pic,he also went doon the pit when he passed he's apprenticeship. He was a reet canny lad as weel,quiet,sociable..when a think back,we had a greet big bunch of canny lads,that's hoo the banter and comradeship was so strong and binding! Some of the lads went on ti be Engineers,Harry Ross,Joe Tansey,instantly come ti mind..they were gud fitters,John Bennett..electrician..went ti be an engineer..Steve Carroll was a mechanical engineer..last time a saw Stevie was alang the road at the Stakeford Welfare,he was running..[or helping ti run?] the Bowling Club...that was a few years ago..Geordie Lawson..electrician..John Coultas..fitter..Ted Carse.fitter...[he's Faatha was a Deputy..a really funny fella,and a gud marra of mine when aa was a Deputy] ..a cud gaan on and on...aal smashing natured lads.. It was a culture shock when a got ti working in factories and small Cabinet-maker's workshops,after the pits closed ..better working conditions but nae comradeship or banter like doon the stinking black hole!

    Coal Mining

    Whey yi bugga!Barry Muldoon went on ti Deputy -work and eventually became Face-Overman in charge of wor District doon the Three-Quarter drift..well-liked and respected by all the lads.One day we had a stretcher-case,and we carried the lad oot doon the Mothergate till we came to a lang deep swalley..pump had burnt out,[which was the norm!],and the water was above waist high..Barry was with us escorting the stretcher bearers,[me included!]..the swalley was about 50 yards long,and ye cud see the girder crowns gaan away in the reflection of the black stinking water.Barry looked at me,[cos aa hadn't been off Deputy-work very long,and had more pit experience than him..with respect..],a said to him.."Barry..we haven't got any choice...!" ...he looked at me again and replied.."ya reet bill..aal stop the belt.." He went to a "Latch-box",safety stop-button,and stopped the conveyor belt.We humped the stretcher,with the lad strapped onto it,high up onto the coal-laden conveyor belt,Bill Etheridge..[my long time Marra..and "pit-Brother"]..lay completely flat on top of the coal,facing outbye,and holding the stretcher handles to steady it,and aa did the same thing at the other end of the stretcher..only aa was laid flat and facing INBYE!,going out legs first,and fully trusting Bill to direct me when to keep my head down in the coal,when to move my head to one side or the other,to avoid broken timber struts from taking my head off,etc.[cos the roof was only aboot 12 inches above us in places!] Barry stayed in control at the latchbox,and "Janted" the conveyor,[got the conveyor belt button man to switch the belt on and off in short bursts],each time the belt would run about 15 yards and stop...we were thrown up and down over the rollers and the lad on the stretcher was screaming in pain...but there was no option..we were in a dead-end situation,at this point the conveyor belt was slung high to the roof because of the deep swalley,to keep the belt-line straight and level as possible,but it mean't we couldn't get back off the belt once we had cleared the water,so Barry had to keep Janting the belt for about a hundred yards till we were near to the ground again..! Maybe doesn't sound much of a story,but I can tell you that going backwards on a conveyor,nearly ten feet up from the ground,in bad conditions,with the risk of being thrown off the belt,or the belt breaking with continuous Janting,and being cast into four feet deep black freezing water..wasn't much fun..and I can honestly say I had the wind up until we were safely on the ground again. After that,we had to carry the stretcher half a mile more outbye,and up a quarter-mile long drift,with a 1-in -6 gradient,rough-shot stone ground..slipping and sliding all the way,and hanging onto the girders with one hand for support,and holding the stretcher with the other hand. Barry was cool as a cucumber the whole way,with no flustering at all...a great lad to have in charge![funny situations occurred like that,where I used to be in charge of a team,one minute,then some of the teams went to be Deputies,and Overman,then they would be in charge of me..!!] Les Coleman..[Deceased..R.I.P. Les..],was one of our fitters when we were winning new coal-faces and roadways oot..["Composite-work"..it was called..]. Les wasn't very tall,or well-built,but what a fitter he was,among the best...and we had some gud fitters,and electricians!! He wud have been an apprentice on this pic,cos he was an underground coalface fitter full-time....so would Jimmy Mulvain,he was an affectionate quiet lad,unlike Les and all the tradesmen,who had wits sharper than a pit bowsaw!!..ye had ti be ready ti counter most of the crew,or they would make mincemeat of you,in front of an audience underground..Jimmy didn't have that in him...so docile and mannerly,he used to take a lot of flak from his Marra's..in the way of banter! Eh! These pics bring back loads of memories! Sadly,a lot of the lads died at very early ages,and we often wonder if it was through handling fluids such as Phosphate-Esters ,Hydraulic fluids,Aquacent soluble hydraulic fluid,gear oils etc..another one was "Rodol",a caustic agent used to burn heavy Carbon deposits off the Flame-traps on the Diesel loco's used underground..as well as diesel fumes and exhaust fumes from the loco's. We will never know.. Thanks for posting Alan,and could you pass my regards ti Steve,please!

    Teaching legends

    REET! AAM BACK!Heh heh..it's funny hoo when we were little,we didn't like school...it was a waste of gud playing-doon-thi-woods...time! Noo,as we near thi end of wor stay on this planet,[whey sum o' us...i.e.!],we tend ti luk bak wi fondness at wa skyuul-time! Aa started thi Village Infant's School,[noo a block of ugly flats!],opposite St Cuthbert's Church,in 1949,and can remember me forst days,playing wi coloured Plasticene,and bonny -coloured shiny cardboard round "Counters"...as they were caaled.Mrs Smith was my forst teacher,a luvly gentle woman,who eventually gave up on tryin' ti mek me learn ti write wi me right hand,cos a just adamantly refused,and kept puttin' thi pencil bak inti me left hand![..and aam still a cowie-hander..!]..then a remember thi Headmistress,Mrs Oliver,and she was also a lovely quiet woman who never needed to raise her voice. Then came thi Whitley...! For me and me 10-yeor-younger babby sister,we had the benefit of wor aader Brother and Sisters' experience and forwarnings aboot different teachers at the Whitley. A vividly remember me aadest Sister,now deceased,R.I.P. Wor June..telling me aboot Mrs Pallister,thi Dragon..!She terrified me wi tales of Mrs Pallister shouting at thi class....whey it came ti pass,that in the year of me gaaning inti "Standard ?..[1.2.3or4..?],on thi forst mornin',aal thi kids were taakin' excitedley,and lood..as kids dae...when thi door oppened..and this huge woman was standin' theor...arms folded...icy stare ...lukkin' aroond at ivrybody,cos some kids hadn't seen her cum in.... "SIT UP....AND SHUT UP...."! were her forst words..loud..and a mean...LOUD! The whole class sat bolt upright..and yi cud hear ya aan heart beatin'. "I'm Mrs Pallister"...[LAAANG space...!]..then....."Paddy whack thi drumstick to you lot"...she said in a quieter laughin' tone of voice..as she wagged her finger at the whole class...... Whey , thi whole class fell apart laughing,and she joined in the fun wi us aal....! THAT!..was thi best,and most memorable teacher-introduction I ever experienced throughout my schyuul life! She was a lovely teacher,built like Peggy Mount,for those who can remember the "LARKINS"..,and could,and did,occasionally raise her voice,but only to those kids who needed chastising.Overall,it's fair ti say thi class loved her..cos she was so funny wi us aal. On ti Mrs Maize,again,luvly quiet pleasant teacher,who was gaan wi Mr Dodds,a very stern strict teacher who had us aal scared withoot saying owt!..but he was a gud teacher..strapped ya hands for taakin' in class..[shudn't hae taaked in class ...me Mother sed....!] Mr Doddsy,and Mrs Maize used ti waak aroond thi playgrund haadin hands,and aal thi kids used ti gang up and follow them aroond singin'..."Maizy dotes on Quaker Oats,and Semolina Puddin'"...and aav got a vivid picture in me heed of Mrs Maize turnin' roond and lukkin' at us wi a luvly smile on her face!...she tuk it in fun,but Doddsy didn't,and a aalwis wondered why he didn't hae us aal up for strappin' after playtime was owa,lukkin' back,he probably didn't want ti show her he's bad side!! He suffered aaful wi Malaria attacks,caught when he was in the middle or far east in the army during the war..we were told at thi time. Mrs Molden...!...IVRYBODY knew Mrs Molden.."aad moldy cheese" the kids caaled her..my genuine apologies for any distress caused by these comments,but this is a true account of my schooldays at the Whitley! I was aboot 8 yrs old,quietly singin' ti mesell',daeing me lesson wi me heed doon in me book...writing,when she howked me oot in front of 40-odd pupils in wor class. "Hand out ,Allison.."[brandishing the strap..]..."What for Miss?....what have I done?"...."What have you done..?"..[shrieking!].."Talking in class,Boy.." "But I wasn't talking Miss.." [I pleaded..]..."Then what WERE you doing..pray...?"..[sarcastically..].."Singing..Miss".. "Oh!..singing?!"....[sarcastically...again!].."Come on then,sing us a solo.."..[noo aam shaking like a leaf wi fear,cos a didn't knaa wat a solo was..!] Aam standing silent.."..and what were you singing,Boy..?"..."Will the Angels play their harps for me..Miss" [an aad 1920's? shellac record oot wor aad gramophone!] "And do you think the Angels WILL play their harps for you?..."..[more sarcasm...taunting me in front of the whole class..psychologically disturbing..],.."No Miss".."Then sit down Boy,and no more singing..!"...[Phew..nae strap,at least,but het under thi collar!] It was a real change ti hae Mr Davidson next,he was a real soft gentleman,went oot o' he's way ti show us aal sorts of crafts,growing cress,daffs,in bowls on the windaesill,mekking xmas santy's wi papier mache owa a milk bottle,tellin' stories endlessly,aboot he's wartime duty in Egypt,Moont Everest,climbing up thi Pyramids...endless!! We were aal sad ti leave he's class! "Please Sir,show us how to wiggle your ears"...middle of Maths..Mr Bebbington!!..chaak doon..Ear-wiggling lesson starts...just like that!...HE was great! THEN came Mr Matty Hall..Gud lukking kid...luvly singer...strong as an ox..arms like Garth!Great teacher,but taak in class..and boy..he's blackboard ruler had a lood voice when it spoke!..a think the lang split in thi ruler med it worse..it's a wonder aal thi lads didn't grow up wi high sqeaky voices,cos the force of the ruler banged your front onti the desk yi were bent owa,and med yi pain atween ya legs for a lang time! Keep your nose clean,and he was the best teacher yi could wish for! We aal knaa aboot aad Nicky,the heedmaster,so aal gaa stryght up ti Westridge...it'd be unfair ti class one teacher against another,cos ti me,they were aal gud teachers,some stood oot for their characters more than others maybe,like Wor Danny Douglas,Mr Abrahart,Mr Freeman,but other quieter teachers like Mr Johnson.[who was my after-hours electronics Mentor/Marra..till I left shool],Mr Epsley,Metalwork/tech.drawing,Miss Nicholson,luvly lass..music teacher,Miss Short..again,luvly P.E teacher,Miss Thew..luvly...but cross her by taaking in class...like aa did...WHACK..!..her flat hand hard as hell stryght onti me ear..wonder it didn't bust me eardrum!.. Mr Marley,English teacher....VERY strict,but equally sociable at times. Mr Hemming,best Headmaster aa ever had..taught us aal aboot thi weather patterns ,and hoo they are formed,it was he who spurred me on ti hae an interest in Meteorology..ti this day! Aam having trouble noo...! a remember other teacher's faces,but canna put names or positions,to them!..a must be gettin' aad! Tony,are you awake ,are you awake..sonna lamantero....heh heh!! A telt ye ti fetch a sleeping bag...hope aav jogged a memory or two for somebody! Cheers!

    Teaching legends

    Tony,it's too late at neet for me to start.....but aal be back....get ya coffee ready.....and a sleeping bag......!!!!!!

    3 Generations Of Miners

    James..[and Reedy..],when I was very young,about 8 or 9 years old,and throughout the 1950's,and living in Hollymount Square,every night at the same time,approximately 9-0pm,we used to hear a thump from the floor..accompanied by a rattle of window panes,an I was learn't by my miner father that it would have been the caunchmen firing the caunch down. As I grew older and went into night shift..[5-0pm start] at the Bedlington Aad pit,it made sense to me why it was usually the same time every night...just how the cycle of operations used ti gaan,in the days of hand-filled coal faces. The AB arc-shearer in the pic was wat we used at the high main/main coal seam at the Aad pit,only they didn't have the cable reels attahed..it was aal muscle power howking cables aroond! One thing that impressed me was the absolute ultimate piece of engineering underground,and the most underrated,and took for granted,bit of gear.....was the "Combined-heads" at the front of the machine to which the cutting jib was mounted upon. Whoever designed the heads,must have had a gud heedpiece on thasell's! If you could have seen these heads with the access plates off,exposing the multi-action sets of gearing...spur..helical..double-helical...worm and pinion..clutches here and there,all gears and head controls operated by one multi-position "Handle"...this guy didn't get a knighthood for this machine design..a bet..,but it was ivry bit as ingenious as putting an engine /gearbox/transmission unit in a minicar!!...come ti think of it..VIC..!..Did ye work on these machines at the workshops? The jib could be rotated on it's spindle through 360 degrees,slewed nearly 250 degrees,lifted from nearly [but not fully] ground level,to a height which was above the height of the body of the machine,to be used as a "Top-cutter"..it would have been great to be able to have a demo video done in the workshops,with gud lighting,to show the capabilities of this amazing machine...we used to balance 15feet long x 8"x6" straight steel girders on the jib after "waffling " a full cut of coal in a 10foot high seam,and slew the jib in a vertical configuration,very slowly,to lift the girders against the roof,leaving us to put the "Enders" [end props] in at each side of the gateway. It could also cut vertically,so you could cut the face with a conventional undercut,then cut the face at the centre of the winnings,floor to roof,so creating a "T" cut,the idea being that you fire the left side first,then the right sideand so reducing the blast effect,by using less "Pooda"-explosives,because of having more free faces to fire off. Mind,these were no ordinary "pit -props"..!,they were 10-feet long x 1 foot thick ,virtual telegraph poles cut to length! We used to use the machine as a haulage engine to pull the conveyor belt boxend in,during belt extensions,as well as other heavy tasks,to save on muscle-power!! We had a saying underground..."ye divvent use these...[biceps flexed like Popeye!]...when ye can use these..[pointing ti wa heed!.."] Pit folklore had it that one of thi lads at thi Aad pit was caught by the Manager cutting he's Initials inti the 10-feet high coalface,the machine was that versatile that Aa cud have cut my Logo WA [with the A spliced over the W],with ease!!...like the AB logo on the side of this machine! This looks like a 10-foot long jib,so this machine would cut a gateway 24-feet wide in one slew,and the picks are set up to cut from right -to-left.

    Coal Mining

    Alan,aav just been studying them two pics of the tandem heedgears,wat we discussed earlier,and thi top pic isn't the Aad pit,that must have been Seaton Delaval heedgears,cos the Heapstead is totally different ti thi Aad pit. Whey ye can see by the top frameworks of the two pits,as weel. When ye went owa thi rail crossings from the baths ti thi lamp and tally cabin,at thi aad pit,ye wud luk owa ti ya reet and see the steps leading up onti the heap. Thi top pic shows a different configuration,where the heap is in front of the heap steps,which ye can just see a few treads in the middle ground,and on thi bottom pic at thi far end of the pit road,ye can see the tally cabin at thi Aad pit. A can just picture me and me marra's sitting on thi grund ootside yon building...waiting for thi buzzer ti blaa..on a luvly reed het summer's day,and then just seeing thi bright sunny sky disappear as the cage went doon past thi horsehole...then it was blacker than neet...aal in thi blink of an eye!!.....wat wi did ti put a loaf o' bread onti thi tyeble for thi wife and kids...!