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Everything posted by HIGH PIT WILMA

  1. Hi Alan, a did PM Michelle, but haven 't had a reply.. aam wondering if she is "lost" a bit! Aal try again laterAlan, gotta see ti things here..! Cheers Marra! Bill.
  2. Shud read "Amazing"..a couldn't edit it after posting!
  3. Heh heh!..they used ti say hard work nivvor killed any bugga....it's done a canny job up ti noo atween us two....! Did ye not notice me profile amendment,Alan,we lost LBJ on February 19th..the Vet advised we had to put her to sleep,she had Lymphoma Cancer in all her Lymph Glands throughout her body...it only showed under her throat as a big lump in the last three days. She also had Kidney failure as a result,as well as the Arthritis. We were all devasted in this hoose...I still get full yet,if a luk at her photo,or even hear certain songs what a used ti sing when we were oot for late neet walks.[..a canna sing like Tom Jones,but aa enjoy mesel singing anywheh..] The house feels empty still,and we keep expecting her to come into the rooms where we are at any one time. Aa aalwis said..ye dinna get any grief from pets,Dogs especially,it's people yi get thi grief from.. A aalwis caaled LBJ "Me Little Darling" when a spoke ti her..and a used ti sing that song [from thi 1950's..by the Diamonds],every night we went oot..it became a habit,and a used ti sing reet oot lood,so anybody hearing me wud think a shudda been tekkn away! Thanks for keeping an eye oot,Michelle Grant..[Newbie] PM'd me and said she replied to my PM,but lost the text..a said if Alan could possibly sort it,ye wud! A dinna knaa where she tried tried contacting me on...whether it was E-mail,or wor PM service.[it turns oot we are related!..thanks to this forum we have made contact through my seeing a kid in the Gallery school pics..amzing hoo fate brings people tigitha!] Thanks for your help and patience as usual Alan. Cheers,Bill. ps..just doon from the Bus stop![Bob Mole lived here before we bought it from him and his Wife Frances,they moved BACK to Seghill..be funny if ye happened ti knaa them!...]
  4. Sad to see another part of our town pass on,but Joan and her staff should have medals for their service to Bedlington for all the decades that they have been top - notch!!,and Joan deserves a happy retirement! They,together with Matty Robinsons,built Bedlington between them.if you wanted a pink Elephant,they would try to get you one!! I built my Wife a little bedside cabinet,and covered it with the "New" fashionable Quilted effect white "Fablon"[?],vinyl type of material!!!...in 1968-ish,my first project after we got married..with very little money! As the years went by,I practically re-built my house from Keenleysides materials...! Joan and young Morris were always there to help me sort out exactly what I needed,along with free advice...! I wish Joan,and the Staff,all the very best and will be calling in to say thanks! To Russell,I will give you a big nod on the road if we pass...keep riding safe!! Cheers to all! Bill Allison.
  5. The Bower family lived in the terrace behind Bacci's...truly aroond in the Nyeuk...they had the two lorries,and ran the coal delivery business for years.Raffi had the red lorry,and Jimmy had the green one. Jimmy lived opposite my family in Hollymount Square when it was first built. The shop frontage to the left,below the bay window,was Jimmy Nicholson's electrical and tv repair shop.This pic was taken a while after the Dr Pit had been closed,the Ford Granada should give an approximate date of around 1968-ish,I would think,give or take a year or so..
  6. ..A bit late catching up on this one,but you are right Webtrekkker..it was Moscardini's. Their Son,Aldo,[I think that was his name],had the biggest funeral Bedlington had ever seen,after he was killed in his sports car..sadly..just a young James Dean type..not many sports cars in Bedlington in those days..!
  7. ...When every shop,and the 23 working men's clubs and pubs,did a roaring trade..every day!
  8. ...Almost like "Heartbeat Country"....in those days!..hardly any traffic,life was plain and simple..and look how clean the street is!!

    Hand drilling

    As an afterthought,I must add that these are "proper" rails,and not the "Plates " that I described above!
  10. Thanks Alan,as always!..haven't been on lately,having a rough time here wi health problems between me and me Wife!...gett'n aad isn't much fun!
  11. When My Wife and Me got wor first hoose,in 1970,at West Terrace,in Stakeford,our next door neighbour was Ed Fearon's Parents.A lovely old couple! He is instantly recogniseable in this pic..never changed!
  12. Hi folks! ..Long afore my time...20 years if its 1924,and I don't know any one of those in the pic,but my eyes went straight to,and keep going to, No 19,the little lassie looks like the spitting image of one of my schoolmates who sadly passed on a few years ago. Norman Furness was his name..I wonder if she was a Furness?...if my class pic at the Village infant school in 1950 was overlaid,and Norman was lined up adjacent,maybe it would be more apparent,maybe a thoosand mile oot!
  13. Hi Alan,lovely to see this [previously unseen by me] pic,which has my lovely Niece,No 14,Elizabeth Bell..["Liz" to all who know her.]..on it.She was,and still is,the most gorgeous personality you could ever wish ti experience if you met her..really lovely...wor Liz! Also great ti see is Gary Usher,who went on to be one of wor "Cross-Marra's",[on thi oncoming shift after wor shift ended],at Bates Pit,in the Three-Quarter seam..not lang afore pit closure in 1986. Gary and his two Marra's,who were freshly-trained for facework,[rookies!]...asked me if we wud pick them up as Cross-Marra's on a new Coalface,that we were gonna win oot. I put it ti thi rest of my Marra's,who were a bit dubious,cos it was really rough conditions,wet,bad roof stone,...not like the training gallery where they just come from,but I convinced them ti give the youngins a go at it,so we aal agreed. Gary and he's Marra's made a few cock-ups,at the start,bringing criticism,from the other shifts,and aa had a hard time persuading them ti let the youngin's get stuck in. After a week or two,they were amang the hardest working,conscientious,miners at the pit. Gud at the job,it was only a pity thatcher ordered the ropes ti be cut...spoilt the lives of a gud team of youngins,and a hope Gary sees this and smiles...thinkin' back!! Billy McGregor's Parents moved inti the Hoose me Mother-in-Law and her Family lived in,when age and ill-health took it's toll,and my Ma-in-law moved into a sheltered bungalow. I lived in for the first two years of marriage,before getting our own place. Billy went on to tour the Country with his Elvis Presley tribute band,for many years.
  14. Hi Alan,if No 19 isn't my gud aad nybor and friend's Son ..Lee Muter...aal eat grass! Andrew Simm also lived in wor street and spent a lot of time in my hoose playing wi my Son,as did Lee.
  15. Be great if Peter saw this thread and hooked with us !..we might find more about wor family tree! This what aa like aboot this site,and thi power of the internet..aav hooked up wi a few long-lost friends since joining on here! Thanks again Alan for the work ye put in for us aal!
  16. Thanks a lot Alan,you've helped me make a little-known family connection! This pic is of my Mother's Aunt Ada and Uncle Charlie,as she called him. So Michelle Grant is a relation I didn't know about! Could you ask Michelle if she would like to Pm me,and I can share more family information that might interest her. There's plenty of evidence on this site that I am who I say I am..in case she is rightly dubious! I have a colour[!] photo of Ada and Charlie,along with a load of family members,taken on Miner's Picnic day,somewhere around 1956-ish,with Ada's Brother,Alf Montgomery,and his wife,who came over from Massachussets ,where they lived,for a family re-union,with my GrandMother McDonald..[story attached to that one as well!!],who was Ada's Sister,and my Grandma's family..who included my Mother and her Sisters..quite a lot on thi pic,and it was in lovely colour...in thi days when not many had camera's at aal,in black n white...nivvor mind colour!![mind,it WAS Uncle Alf from America,who the camera belonged to.....WE hadn't lang been oot of the rations period......after WW2!]...just showed hoo was the richer...my Mother couldn't have afforded ti sail ti America ti see Uncle Alf!! I will post thi pics if ever I find them,I also have letters from Alf,written to my Mother when I was a wee bairn,he used to entertain in a country showband,which included comedy and light drama,as well as music,he writes about having stage make-up on and other bits about the Show Business..fascinating hoo the other half lived,when aal my mates' families were struggling ti just live a simple life in Bedlington..aal pitfolks! Hello and Cheers to Michelle for sharing with me!! Bill Allison. P.S. It is a lovely photo of the bride and her GrandParents...Ada is the spitting image of my Mother at that age..it is freaky looking at it and seeing my Mother's head tilted and smiling!
  17. That's my homeland and all my precious memories of Hollymount Square...gaan doon that bank ti thi woods and the river ti play...that wall was completely covered with lads' names and drawings...it wasn't called "Graffiti" in them days...it wasn't owt at aal...just loads of great artwork and initials...the street cred went ti thi one who could reach thi highest up ti put their names on!!! A can remember Derek Wilkinson,[his younger brother Alan was my classmate and lifelong friend at school],climbing up the old mill building to reach a Pidgeon's nest,and falling to thi ground..nearly killing himself in the process...a wonder if Derek is still alive and well...he is on aal the Whitley school football team pics wi Matty Hall...as is Alan also. Great old photo of the Bank..thanks for sharing it...these pics don't half bring the memories flooding back of my childhood!
  18. Hi Alan,a canna name anybody,but wat caught me eye was the Dinner dance ticket for the Mason's. Aboot six years after that ticket was printed,my Group played for the Masons Annual Dinner Dance,at the Marketplace Club. In them days,the Masons were like a secret society. Wat a surprise aa got when we went in early to set wor gear up on stage,when we were set up,we went aroond the tables,that were also laid oot really fine,lika aa had nivvor seen thi likes of before. Aal silverware,and flooers on the tyebles,napkins in rings...thi lot. Wor Mothers had a hard time feeding us and paying the rent,and there was aal this finery! But that wasn't thi surprise....THAT, was WHOSE nametags were at the dinnerplaces on aal the tables...! "His Worshipful Master"....top of table number one ,below the stage centre...wor tally/time clerk at the Bedlington Aad Pit! "His Worshipful Brother"..further alang,....Shunter on the surface,at Choppington High Pit..[a rotten aad raggy-arsed sod who took me catapult off me,when a was just 15yrs aad,and a was just firing chippings up in the timber yard at bait-time....daing nae harm..!..[but Paddy Purcell who was in charge of me med him gie it back ti me and telt him ti mind he's aan business!!]....and HE was in Mason's dress that neet,and Aa was on stage entertaining HIM!...mind he was quiet as a moose after that..aal pussy-footing ti me,in case a telt thi pit aboot im...which a didn't! "His Worshipful Brother"...doon the aisle a bit....WOR N.U.M.Branch Secretary!..at the High Pit.[loveliest fella ye cud ever wish ti meet!] ....and others...so it was a bit of an eye-opener! They are openly inviting people in noo...gud charitable organisation....so a hear....aav still got the Posters what they used ti put in the glass case just inside the doors at aal the clubs,in them days....Happy days...sorry digressing,and nae actual help from me!
  19. Hi Alan,we aal see folks differently,in hindsight,cos No 2 reminds me of Brian Davison..[no"D"!],who was marra's on the same face [R22's],alang wi Sandy,who started his own Haulage business with an aad Transit Van,and progressed to three £100,000 Huge Articulated trucks,as well as vans,under the namme of "Sanderson's Haulage Co",based at Bebside.[Now deceased R.I.P. Sandy]. A mentioned that for reference,so he's marra's, will knaa hoo am on aboot.Bucky Sharples,[also deceased..R.I.P.Bucky],also worked wi thi Brian hoo aam thinking of.[mebbe aam mistaken..it's two against one!..and Alan Dickson is usually spot on!..just a nagging doubt in my mind...] In 1971, the Tilmouth twins were under my charge,in the Beamont seam,at Bates,when a was a young Deputy. A canny pair o' kids who were nae bother,and who were on leading the supplies inti the face,in 84's Tailgate haulage road. Their Dad,also worked in there,on the face,and when a used ti keep remarking hoo identical they were,he used ti say,he had ti bray both of them when they were bairns,if one did owt wrang,each would blame the other,and HE couldn't tell them apart![the twins telt me the same thing happened at school..they would blame each other ..so they both got wrang!] They really were remarkable in likeness. The only way aa could tell them apart was in their nature. One was a bit on the quiet side,but still chatty,while the other was more forthcoming,and chattier. The names of Bob,Tommy,and Jimmy,aal come into my mind,as a think back,but wat aam leading up to,was that a definately divvent see No 6 as one of the Tilmouth twins. A knew that lad weel,but canna get he's nyem....he was a baccy-chowa,if a remember reetly,not that that's got owt ti dae wi it! The Twins were the spit of their aad chep,cos we use ti say he couldn't weedle he's way oot o' that one......![an aad pit joke ti young new Dads.] No 6's tash might be wat serves as a memory jolt ,cos the Tilmouth Twins had exact tashes,as young kids....but wadn't it be great if the scientists cud invent a memory pill....it would save a lot of speculation!!
  20. Update on 29-4-2019....I was 42 yrs old then!...now approaching 75 yrs,and faaling ti bits! Tom is sadly no longer with us,having passed away a few years ago.R.I.P. Tom.
  21. Small world,Alan!..[a think ...am pretty sure..but not 100%..!]..one day,around 1963,I was getting ready to gaan doon ti Cambois,Sandfield Road,ti see one of me Marra's,and me Mother,oot thi blue sed,"Haad on Billy,aal come doon wi ye,and aal caal in ti see me Aunt Ada.."..when a asked where she lived she replied Sandfield Road..and that she hadn't seen her for a few years.[a thowt it was queer hoo a hadn't heard of her before!]. So we went ti Cammiss and a sed ta-ta when we parted company..[it turned oot that her Aunt lived a few doors away from me Marra,Geordie Stephenson,who sadly departed this life at a very early age..R.I.P. GEORDIE.] NOO! This pic has jolted me memory of that day..precisely because of the fact that me Mother telt me that her Aunt Ada was married to a fella whose surname was Calumboski!! A canna mind me Grand-uncle's first name noo..but a surname like that sticks in ya mind..so a bet Peter..[No 6],is a Cousin,once removed..[is that reet..?],of mine...probably ten or more years younger than me..more my youngest Sister's age...[who is ten years younger than me..]. It would seem to me to be a very rare name to have in a small community,so if Peter sees my comments,it may be that I have the relationship slightly mixed up...as to "Second Cousin"..or.."Once removed"...etc,but I am 100% on My Mother's Aunt Ada being married to a Calumboski. Aye,a small world..as I said.....!
  22. If you zoom in on this pic you can see the title on the side of the No 3 Winder test weight car,next to the pit cage wheels,it's painted red.
  23. Aye Sym,aal thi aad winders,AND big underground "Main and Tail" haulers were run on painted,or chalked indicator marks...and they were accurate if you had a well experienced Brakesman in the winderhoose,or a gud haulerman doon thi pit...well if you think about it...in the steam winder days...no electronics...right up to the 1960's at Choppington,before they replaced the steam winder with a new electric one,the overspeed trip was a simple Centrifugal["Centripetel"] "Governer",which controlled a small steam valve,with a small ram,mounted below two thick steel pivotable bars,called "Latches",which were mounted at one end of the massive brake shoes of the winder drum,and which held the brake shoes in the "Off" position.[i.e..away from the drum brake surface.] When the cages went too fast down the shaft..[and up the shaft at the same time!!]...the balls on the governer would fly outwards on their cantilever mounts,and they would push a small lever which opened the steam valve..which caused the ram to push the two "Latches" upwards,which in turn,allowed really heavy duty springs to push the brake shoes onto the drum causing a massive deceleration...which brought the cages to an abrubt halt..from over 50 feet per second down to a halt in about one second!! Noo!!..when that happened,as it did every other day,on fast-winding coalwork,the cages bounced up and down,but the one furthest down the shaft,bounced the hardest....about 6 feet either way,first downwards..then upwards..back down..up..down..up..then finally standstill. Choppington High Pit,differed to other pits,in that there was no "Manriding"mode..,on the old steam winder,there was just one mode,and that was coalwork!! The men rode the shaft at the same speed as the coal tubs did...and when the cages tripped on overspeed,it was like you just went deaf.. All the bantering and cracking on between the men on the way down,[or up..]...ceased in an instant,and all you could hear was the cage rattling against the "Skeets"..[shaft cage guide rails]. Once the cage came to rest..everybody started laughing and joking again! The shaft at Choppington High Pit was 600 feet deep,fairly shallow compared to most other pits,but once your feet are in the cage,there is 600 feet of nothing between you and the Sump at the shaft bottom. So if you were in the cage going down,and it tripped at 500 feet,then 500 feet of steel cage rope stretched like an elastic band...that's not dangerous,it's designed to do that....[[unless it snaps.!!] But nature didn't take these occasions into account when she created us!!..so every time the cage bounced up and down...so did wor stomachs!! When young trainees got into the cage for the first time,the men would say to them to hold onto the overhead bar,"in case the rope snaps"!.. then the Banksman would give the Brakesman the wire,and he would drop the cage a bit faster from the keps,and trip it on overspeed,then someone would crack..[in the following silence!]..."aye, it's thorteen years thi day since thi rope snapped..wa lucky thi day..!!" We all had it done to us....I remember the first time that happened when I went down...what a queasy feeling!!! But you got used to it..even though there was STILL a moment of silence every time..cos you never knew for sure..!...till the cage started to move again.. The ropes did stretch over time,but there was always a few spare coils of the rope tucked in a recess at the side of the drum,which served as a reserve for when the Shaftsmen did the obligatory "Rope-cut",every six months,which involved cutting off the Sheckle on the rope -end,on which the cages hung,plus 6 feet of rope on which the sheckle was mounted. This was done on both cage ropes,and both samples were sent away to S.M.R.E. ["Safety in Mines Research Establishment" in Nottingham],for testing the integrity of the sheckles on the rope-ends. The reserve coils on the drum were then utilised to equalise both ropes to their original lengths,by unwinding them with a geared mechanism,on the side of the drum,and new sheckles fitted to the ropes. When new ropes stretched after a while,the extra length was taken up back inside the coil reserve recess.[you can see this if you visit any mining museum,and you know what to look for!] An Emergency brake test was done every week,at every pit,and involved loading the cages with a known,weighted vehicle,which weighed ten times more than the heaviest load which the cages would be subjected to,in everyday use. The cages were run on coalwork,then the Brakesman would slam the brakes on to simulate an emergency stop. Rope-breakages were unheard of in latter years as locked-coil steel ropes became ever stronger with anti-twist properties,and safety regulations enforced without question. Tonyp,it was a sad aspect of mining,that only the mining communities knew anything about,that fatalities were happening too often in the olden days ,especially,but even in the days of mechanisation,when fewer fatalities occurred,ONE fatality was STILL too many.
  24. Sym,a just followed the link you posted,it's a few years since aa was at Whitehaven,and a forgot exactly hoo luvly it is owa theor. It med me blood sort of Sym...mer..[!],when they flew owa the aad [presumably ] ..Whitehaven pit buildings' concrete foundations,wi grass and weeds growwin' aroond and aal dilapidated. Bates pit had wor aan shipping berths and loading facilities,so wor coal went oot stryght onto the ship from the Washery and blending plant,and away doon ti the power stations...a proportion of wor total ootput went by rail also,and Household and Industrial needs were supplied by road. Aal we needed,throughoot the Coalmining Industry,was better managed investment,more research into "Clean-burning" methods, and a lot fewer,.."created" jobs,for the Senior Officials,from the pits that were exhausted of reserves,and HAD to close,at the headquarters of each area ..in our case it was Teems Valley,in Gateshead. As pits were closing,right back in the 1960's,I saw Managers,Personell Officers,Engineers..etc,suddenly come to the pits where aa was transferred,as each of my pits closed,under a new guise...such as "Strata Control" Engineers...who the hell thinks they can gaan doon a pit,and tell experienced miners....aboot "Strata Control?!!..[ methinks if me needed a Strata Control engineer ti show me hoo ti keep a safe roof up owa me heed...ME wadna be heor relating past history of true events in the name of education and entertainment,as well as preserving wor Heritage! Other job-titles that were created for some..[to keep jobs for the boys!...],were "Method Study Engineers"...timing hoo lang it tuk ti saw a pit prop and knock it in,ti keep thi roof up..hoo lang it tuk ti cut the coal wi a coal-cutter....sitting theor aside ye wi a stop-waatch and pen and paper...no kid...we'd been cutting coal aal wor pit lives!!...ye canna cut coal any faster than the brittleness of a particular seam will allow ye...try and cut it faster...and ye snap the cutter rope...simple as that!! UUUGGGGRRRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!! Aam gaana get me suppa and gaa ti bed....!
  25. Heh heh!Sym, aam owa aad noo for craaling aroond on a coalfyess....but me brain cud still come in handy training aal.. ...[AAL?]..or..aa shud hev sed...whomsoever may have the courage to meander down the mine!...after stepping into a rattly...[no...no...!..]...into a LIFT!!...aye,nae such thing as riding doon in a rattly steel cage on the end of a rope...steam-winding and dropping at 50 feet -per-second....then as the cage nears the middle of the shaft, you experience a G-force that makes you feel as if you are going back up the shaft again,[momentarily..],and as you get nearer to the shaft bottom..the brakesman [winderman], steps on the pedal so hard that your knees bend for a second and you canna lift ya byeuts up off the floor of the cage!...noo if ye are in the cage gaan up the shaft,when he brakes the cages,you feel your insides coming up into your mouth!..as you experience slight weightlessness...you get used to these things after a while...but anyway,there'll be none of that in a new mine...even Ellington Colliery had a proper lift shaft installed a while before thatchy ordered the ropes ti be cut! But the main question is...where are the "Whomsoevers"....[probably full teams contracted in from China..or...India?!]..
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