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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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    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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!!
  4. 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]
  5. Westridge Class Pictures From The 60,s

    This class looks mair like aboot 1960-ish ti me.
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. Westridge Class Pictures From The 60,s

    Sorry a didn't reply ti ya forst mail ,Eggy,but a didn't see any pic and searched though them last neet..[whey till 2-0 am this morning!!],wondering which one ye meant! No,a don't know No 10. The only ones a knew were those in my class at the Whitley...Ray Barrett,Tom and Jack Hindmarsh,and John Alexander,[my young playmate at Hollymoont Square,as well as at school. It's hard ti see the pupils cos of the angle the pic was taken,of the original pic. It beats me hoo aal my class went en-block ti Westridge,having gone through every year as a unit,even sitting next ti ya deskmate in every class,then be aal scattered aroond in different classes at Westridge!! A wish we could get a pic of the upper remove wi Mr Marley,wi me and aal me gud mates on! [1957-8-9].
  9. 1959

    Heh heh,Eggy ya reet there!Nae chance o' me getting inti mischief! O.H. , and Lbj see ti that!! It is queer hoo a lot of people cud be mistaken for others,with nae disrespect intended,like one of the next pics alang in the gallery,a cud swear one lass was Lorna Barker,but the lass in question was named as Christine ? [aav forgotten aal riddy from a few minutes ago!!],and another was named as Lynda Mathews,who I wudda tuk for Lillian Moore.....! Ah weel,like ye say,pressing and guessing!!
  10. The Fourteen Club - 1958

    ...Er.....summik escapes me here...aam aa glaaky?.....or just ignorant?![Dictionary terminology for the last one mind!]..... But I count 17 Prefects......where did the "Fourteen Club" come from?! This pic must have been taken....at the very earliest.....in the new term of September in 1959-I left school at the start of the 1959 Summer Holidays,and Bobby Cross,Len Thompson,Eddie Hedley,Ian Cambell,Micky Lucas,and Trevor Hale were all in my class till the day I left,and none of them were Prefects,and the Fourteen Club didn''t exist! Carol Patterson was Head Girl,and a lovely lass at that,and Davy Lees was Head Boy,and a very well liked lad also. Trevor Hale wasn't exactly known for smiling,more like self-appreciating![trying desperately to be diplomatic and not sound sour here!] He was a very broad-shouldered lad ,not so tall,and the greatest runner the school had!.. a human greyhound!! He represented Northumberland in the County Schools competition,and was like Mo Farrow....nobody stood a chance against him,that I witnessed anyway! To me,I would have put No 15 as Davy Lees,cos that's how I remember him. Davy was a tall lad,and you can see that he towers over everyone in his row,second only to Micky Lucas,who was the tallest lad in the school,at the time,[one of my most sincere mates,along with Len Thompson,and Eddie Hedley]. Whey that's hoo aa see things,if me brain is starting to gaan,a apologise ,and will forivvor haad me gob!! Nae apologies for negative comments aboot Trev Hale...if a told me full story aboot Trev,Ian Cambell,Jimmy Scott,and little Billy Broon,[herinafter referred to as "The Gang" !],it would spoil the tone of this excellent discussion and nostalgic forum,which a just luv ti be a part of!!.....so.......Zip up Zippy!!
  11. 1959

    Ray Barret was in my class aal the way from the infants school as weel! He aalwis sat next ti Ian Darling,who were considered ti be the two brainiest[!] lads in the class. He WAS in the class with me and most of these,from the Whitley,[not THIS class!],but would have went straight into the Upper Remove the minute it was formed in the early days of opening.No 5 was Norman Taylor,who,like Alan Wilkie,and others,NEVER changed as they grew older....always instantly recognisable.
  12. 1959

    Sad to hear that Joan Hartill passed away.She was a real quiet lass in the class,and always very likeable.R.I.P. Joan. A bit late but it just struck me after reading back through the thread.
  13. 1959

    Hi Eggy! Thanks for the update! No 6 did have a bit of mixed feeling,cos a wasn't so sure after studying the pic over several sessions,and even thought Joe Hale [Deceased R.I.P. Joe.],might have been him,so many memories of classmates,easy ti get mixed up,but No 12,a was so sure of Tommy Tyler,not forgetting there were two lads with that name,a stockier lad,[in later life!] who lived in the Doctor Pit Rows,and who aa worked with at Bates Pit. That Tommy Tyler used to have a moonlight job,in between shifts at the pit,.......grave-digging with a spade,[no machines in them days, like the council have now!],along at Horton Church,past Bebside,on the way ti Deaton Delaval! No probs if aam totally wrong,aal we want is the proper names ti gaan ti the faces in thi pics!! Noo!!What's bugged me since this pic was posted,is the lassie sitting next ti Mr Bebbington,on his left,as we look at it,[No 26].In my mind,a can see a lass caaled Marie Wakenshaw,who was a lovely smiley natured real pleasant lass,and who was Bob Wakenshaws Sister..[or I always remember thinking that when a was at school.] Remember,Westridge brought pupils from aal thi schools and had a weird way of forming classes,cos when aa started,at least 15 of these pupils were in my class,along with Vic's other Half,[Doreen]and a lot of others who aren't on this pic. I never took Biology,and never had Mr Bebbington as a teacher there,[but I did have him for Maths at the Whitley School...along with his Ear-wiggling lessons!]. I sat in the same desk with Alan Wilkinson ,[No 1 ] as my deskmate aal the way through school life reet back from the first days at the infant school. Sometime,when the new school got onto it's wobbly feet,they started shifting pupils aroond,for what reason,still beats me,[age-groups?...education-potential?....],except I do know why upper-remove was created cos I went into that class and it was the biggest mistake of my school life! So this class has been formed in a shifty-roond,after aa went inti the Remove class. Mr Bebbington wasn't even up at the school when it opened the first day,and a canna ever mind seeing him,when the teachers aal sat on the stage in a row behind Mr Hemming the Headmaster. Obviously that's my grey matter torning even grey-er!,cos he was....a see noo! Aal thi way through school,up ti leaving the Whitley , the teachers used ti come ti us in wor class,then at Westridge,yi had 500 pupils teeming through the corridors,running up and doon the stairs,gaan from end ti end,in the lang corridors,ti change classes and gaan ti thi teachers!!!....Maths wi Mr Freeman at the far end of the school,then after break-time,it was doon ti the classroom nearest the the main entrance,[near the main road...so ti speak...],for History wi Mr Abrahart,or Music with Mrs Nicholson!....thinking back,if H&S existed then,risk assessments wud have had ti be put in place,cos the stairs used ti be like the London Undagrund!!,at shifty-class periods!
  14. Happy Birthday Canny Lass

    Just spent over an hour replying to you Canny Lass,in the Mining topic,and didn't know it was your Birthday gone....a bit late but a belated VERY happy Birthday to you,and hope you had a great day and many more to come!!
  15. Coal Mining

    Canny Lass, just to re-iterate,"Jockier" had nowt ti dae wi horse's,nor did the term "Horsing-up" which I used in my long-drawn-oot answer to you![that term probably did originate from the days of pit ponies,when they would have had to use a few horses in tandem to do a similar task each day.] I have just realised noo,that I mis-spelt the word "Jockie", all the way throughout my posting!![this is the correct way that it is spelt!] Lbj just awoke and started giving me those big brown eyes![walkies early tonight....it seems!]