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HIGH PIT WILMA last won the day on December 3

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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  1. Obituary

    With regard to my last post regarding the sad loss of Brian Besford,may I take this opportunity to correct the date of the accident. It was on Friday , the 24th of November,and obviously this was a serious error on my part. I sincerely apologise for any distress or confusion this may have caused to anyone,especially Brian's Family. Bill.
  2. Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas Brian,and hope ye hae a guid new yeor!
  3. Obituary

    Friday 24th of December brought the tragic loss by road accident,of one of our old members,who went by the name of "The Lone Ranger". He was a very good old pit Marra,going back to my very first day underground at the Choppington B pit,[the "High Pit"]. Brian Besford was his name,and since we hadn't seen each other since Bates Pit closed,in 1986,it appeared that he couldn't remember me,when we posted comments in earlier topics such as the Mining pages. My condolences and thoughts go out to his Family and close friends,he was a reet canny lad. R.I.P. Brian Besford. Bill.
  4. Coal Mining

    Geordie Burt in the front smiling away as usual! A reet canny fella,when I was in charge as a Deputy, he would dae owt that ye asked willingly. Nae relation ti Derek Burt in thi pic further up.
  5. Barrington M.O.T. Centre.

    Gud ti hear that Andy!!
  6. Todd's Barbers

    A went owa ti North Seaton a few days ago,ti gaa ti the "PlumbCentre,[beside Frank's Carpet warehoose],and tha was a notice in thi windae saying closed doon! So a nosed aroond the units,and found "FLAME",opposite Cavendish Kitchens. It's run by a lad caaled Gary,and even though a wasn't buying owt,a just wanted sum info,he was real pleasant and sociable,and gave me the time of day wi sum gud advice,even though he's phone was ringing,he let me finish wat aa was asking him. Aal be gaan ti him when a need any plumbing bits and bobs...as ye dae...! Well recommended! Noo,just this afternoon,a went ti Swarland Motor Parts,doon Glebe Road,up from Leanne Todd's Barber shop,ti collect a parcel delivery by UPS,[an online click and collect order]. Alan,who runs it,was exactly the same as Gary at "FLAME",and Leanne,the barbaress!!! Top marks for these guys,they knaa who ti treat people,like they were thier only customers....that's a dying oot skill nooadays!!! A like ti gie credit where it's due!
  7. Todd's Barbers

    Naa!!...if it was HPW,ya ginger snaps wud just be crumbs on the floor!!...LBJ has a nose like Concord!!
  8. Bricks and Geology

    A kinda fancy,seeing as the white paint is still on aal the props and chocks,cos the fyess was bone dry and stannin' like a palace,in the beginning,that the Coal News[British Coal paper], and The Miner[N.U.M.PAPER],had these pics tekkin' when we broke the production record for the whole country. The top Chiefs in the Coal Board couldn't believe we were gettin' five shears a shift,they aal came ti see wi daeing it! Mind,when the shearer was ploughing back,aal the bumpers advanced thier back "k" bars on one back prop,aal the way doon thi face,and as soon as the snakers snaked the conveyor belt owa inti thi new track,aal they had ti dae was put the front props in,and pull the Desford chocks in. At the head-end of the conveyor,and the first stretch of supports ti be advanced,even the Deputy and Owamen used ti muck in and work like hell ti get the Shearer turned roond and away shearing again. Ivrybody wanted thi pit ti survive,and aam not being romantic,ask anybody who worked on them faces near thi pit's end of life!! Rhonda Ritchieson was the Fore-Owaman,and HE was the driving force behind aal thi pit's success,at thi time. Another record we broke,on "11" face,was changing the whole face conveyor belt in one Weekend! Rhonda organised ivrything the previous week,he practically lived on the face,and from breaking the conveyor chain,on the Friday night 12-o midnight,Rail sections were laid the whole length of the face,[150 yards],and as we were lifting the steel 5' conveyor pan sections,and stowing them in the goaf,[which we had previously prepared for in the days leading up to the pan-change,by timbering the goaf up leaving massive areas ti stack the old worn-oot pans up ti the roof!],lads were wheeling a smaa bogie wi five new pans at a time,aal thi way doon the face,and spreading them oot in the new pan-line. It was a mad race as ti hoo would be the fastest,either us lads stowing the pans in the goaf,or the lads supplying the new ones!! The whole project went like clockwork,and we had the new conveyor up and running for the Monday fore-shift men coming in ti start shearing. Rhonda,[Overman],aal the Deputies,Fitters,Electricians ,and faceworkers,pulled thier weight like aa nivvor ivvor saw again on any face at any pit. Frankie,the fitter went ti South Africa,not lang after thi pit closed,he was at Bates by then,Jimmy wa Electrician,followed me years later ti a Furniture factory at Cramlington,in 1989,Rhonda bought the garage aroond Stakeford,[the "Mobil" garage as it is noo],another smashing fitter had he's two middle fingers taken clean off wi a haulage chain accident,and a canny few of me Marra's from them days are aal deceased. A wonder if anybody apart from me and Alan Dickson would remember this amazing achievement! A hope Alan comes on ti confirm aal of this!!
  9. Todd's Barbers

    .....er......a think ye did a typo there noo....Eggy,it's not spelt "CL" ...it's spelt.....HPW....!!!!!
  10. Bricks and Geology

    The guy's hat was one of the new plastic composite material hats ....mid-late 60's,new eggshell shaped....weren't thowt of when the Harvey seam was working!!
  11. Bricks and Geology

    Thanks ivrybody for the Pics and Maps...great stuff...exciting bed-time reading! James,aad luv ti think yi are the lad standing next ti me on wa class 2 pic at the Bedltn Village Infant School....nae disrespect if yi are just a youngin',and aam totally wrang mind!!
  12. Bricks and Geology

    Like a said in me last post,fact and figures not being accurate.....whilst aam chuffed as hell ti see this pic,[which is new ti me!],THIS is not the Harvey Seam! The Harvey Seam varied in thickness between 2ft-2" ...high,down to 1ft-10",sometimes a wee bit lower... When I was transferred ti thi aad pit at Bedltn,in 1965,the only Seams working were the Harvey East,and the High Main. Being a pit "Foreigner"..[as we were called!],we Choppington lads could only get spare shifts to cover for men idle,so one day we might be in 10feet high Bord and Pillar workings,up in the High Main,or the next day reet in the Harvey east,cramped doon almost on ya belly!![dinna forget that with wood timber planks supporting the roof,ya height is lost by average 3inches...sum a bit thicker or thinner.[on longwall faces..handfilling-no Dowty props or Desford hydraulic face chocks...like those in the pic!] Getting back ti thi pic,if ye notice the gud height he is working in,[at least 3feet],plus there's a few inches of top coal left up ti keep a gud "ground"..[..meaning a good roof!!],this seam is aboot 42" high......and at the Aad pit,thi only place where Dowties and Desfords,and also "K" bars were used,was on the two new faces ["1";s...and "11"'s],doon the new drift which went doon ti the Denton Low Main,and which teemed coal off so much that the old-fashioned loader-end at the shaft-bottom area,couldn't cope,couldn't load tubs fast enough,so they had ti stop the belts frequently!! "1"'s face broke the National Productivity Records a few times for a face with props and bars....most faces at big pits were fully mechanised with powered face chocks..[so-called "Waakin' Chocks..."]! We were achieving five shears a shift,for two shift system,plus usually one or two shears in the night -shift,which was supposed to be the "Prep" shift..i.e. preparing the shearer and the face generally,for a push-button start for the fore-shift coming in.....oddly not Midnight like other pits........but 1-40am start!!![who the hell thowt that one up baffled ivry bugga at thi pit!!] Them two faces kept the pit profiting till we reached the boundaries,and conditions deteriorated.So by 1968-ish,[just after my first Son was born],I was on the development team..["Composite"...at other pits!],winning new districts oot. "21"'s face came first,with powered face chocks,[five-legged manual controlled],then after we installed the A.F.C.[Armoured Face Conveyor...all-steel sections,with flygt chain bars],and the powered chocks..[150 of them!],we put the two shearers on.A.B.[Anderson-Boyes] main shearer,and a B.J.D [British-Jeffrey-Diamond],as a "Sumpa" ["Sumping"],at the tailgate end of the face,which only sheared aboot 20 yards each time,to create a "Stall" for the main shearer to "Sump" into,allowing the face conveyor to be snaked over and turn the main shearer around for a fast plough-back to the maingate.[before "Bi-Di" ...Bi-Directional" ...shearers came in,the shearer had a plough trailing behind,on the shear cycle.] When that face went away on coalwork,we then started winning out "11"'s face,again,by arcing out with an A.B.15 coal-cutter,and drilling,firing,and hand-filling onto a rubber conveyor belt. That was mighty hard work,killing,cos the belt box-end was always at least five yards behind the cutter,and every shovel-ful had to be cast [singly!...nae double-casting!!]...owa the top of the cutter and ti thi other side of the face ti eventually slide onti the belt.....very hard ti desribe so folk will understand. By 1970-ish,thi pit was scratching aroond for coal,and drove a roadway owa ti thi Bomar pit,ti steal coal what they had left,we caaled it "Thi Bomar Road"....["Burma Road" ,,,,for thi youngin's!!!],noo a think,if me memory serves me reet,that thon roadway was drifted up from the Denton Low Main,ti thi Brass Thill seam....but a stand ti be corrected on that one,cos they did the same thing at Bates,only we drifted up and owa ti Newbiggin pit,under the North Sea,ti steal the coal what they left. It might have been that one wat was the Brass Thill. Alan Dickson would be the best one ti help oot there,cos a think he might have worked up there....[aa was imprisoned doon the Three-Quarter hell-hole aal thi time,after the Beaumont Seam closed at Bates.!] LBJ waakies....AGAIN!! Hope a haven't bored anybody!
  13. Bricks and Geology

    Phew!!!!!!! Too much ti tek in on a late neet after lbj waakies!! Wat a did notice was the facts and figures weren't exactly accurate! A didn't see any reference ti the Aad pit at Bedltn Station working the High Main Seam,where it was 10 feet high and full of bands every few inches apart...basically rubbish hoose coal!....then it went doon ti under five feet high at the finish. The Denton Low Main was the last Seam worked before closure of the pit,and aa knaa,cos aa was on development,winning oot new roads and coalfaces in that seam..coalcutting etc.[handfilling wi a greet nasty pan shuul!] Choppington High Pit worked the Top Busty for the last couple o' years before closing in 1966.The Beaumont Seam was the only other Seam worked before that for a lot of years before aa started in 1959! Aal the seams mentioned in the report such as the Bensham etc were long long long gone by the late 1950's,cos aad timers used ti tell me aboot them,plus aa had ti gaan inti aad workings ti salvage girders etc oot,when a was only 16 yrs aad!![Nae hanging aroond the station corner for lads like me in them days!!] Time for zzzzzzzzz's!! Here's wor lass seeking me thinking aav faalen asleep.again!!
  14. Todd's Barbers

    Foxy,easier ti post a razor oot ti Vic!!!.......mebbe a cap might be a better option...if he's owt like me!!
  15. Todd's Barbers

    Noo.....!!....aa was tempted ti ask her if Sweeney was any relation,an aal,but she probably wudda thowt a meant him wi the bullnose Jag!!..[too young ti knaa owt aboot THE Sweeney!!!!] Seriously,a worked with Her Dad a few times at Ashington pit,afore it closed,and they were our neighbours alang at Stakeford,afore a moved away 17 years ago. Noo Ashington pit closed in 1987,so aav knaan Leanne's parents a lang time,but only found out who she was when a went ti get me hair cut,and found that she was thier Daughter...she wudda been a wee bairn when a lived alang there. She's a real pleasant lass,gud at her job,and the walls in the shop deserve a visit even if ye dinna get ya hair cut!! Loads of old historical pics of Bedltn,and the Dr Pit,as weel as ancient haircutting tools etc!! Noo the time aam on heor,will the Mods please tell me why aa hev a notification that APPROVAL is required before me post can be put up..[in another topic...]?...hev a been a bad lad sumtime?!