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HIGH PIT WILMA

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Everything posted by HIGH PIT WILMA

  1. Hi Maggie,aam a bit late on catching ye up aboot the photo,of the two workmen. It was taken during the construction of the big "New" roundabout at Guide Post,sometime in the 1960's,a think,but not 100%!! The fella on the left was my next door Nieghbour,at Hollymount Square,when I was a young kid. His Name was Jimmy McCullough,and if you like The Shadows ,and Country music,you might like to watch his Grand -Daughter Zoe McCullough,and her group..."The Crickettes",on U-Tube..she is a great guitarist!..has lived in Wales for a canny few years noo. Stay Safe Maggie! Bill.
  2. Hi Folks,aye, a knew a lot of them youngin's,only cos a was transferred ti thi aad pit mind,Dyevvy Bower,Stevie Locker,Alan McGuire ,and Micky, they were a canny set of youngun's,they were aal on timber-leading and shaft-bottom work,they aal got on doon the pit and oot thi pit,same as aa did wi my Marra's at Choppington High Pit,working together underground,and oot on motorbikes most nights in the summer nights,and oot for waaks wi the dogs when we weren't biking. Aam sorry ti hear of the lads who passed on too soon in life. Thi pits had a comradeship like no other industry..other than the Armed Forces,methinks. Jammy,me and Wor Lass usually have UK GOLD on the DAB radio in the hoose,it's constantly 1960-70's..aal day lang. We have an APP called "TUNE-IN" on our phones,it's aal 60's and the sound quality is only as good as the cans you wear...obviously the speakers are crap,better than none!, but a decent set of cans sound great...ti my 75 year aad deef lugs enywheh!!..oh!...and that app is a free download.[Check it oot..] Mebbe the Gold you mention,is the same station,but with UK pre-fix to the Station name for Radio. Alan,I didn't know Raymie Tyrie,but a worked wi a lad at Choppington High Pit,in the very early 1960's,caaled Ken Tyrie,he was a young apprentice Fitter. He lives doon Grange Park noo,wud Raymie be his Brother?,also was Val a wee bonny dark haired lass wi an attractive tooth-gap..used ti gaan ti the Clayton Ballroom skating on a Wednesday neets,where aa met my Wife,who was friendly with a lass called Val..an unusual name among the crowd aa kew..?..[my Lass also has the tooth-gap which attracted me the first time aa saw her!!...but she hates it!!] A think at that time,my Val was gaan wi one of Davy Bower/Stevie Locker's marra's nickamed "Butch",he was a smashing natured lad,like aal he's Marra's...but they were aal only aboot 16 or 17 yrs aad...if they were that!! A still see Ronnie Ince noo and again,at the station...nivvor seen any of the other lads for decades since thi aad Pit closed. Cheers,and Stay Safe ,folks! Bill.
  3. Jammy,it's late and aam buggaad,aal hook up wi ye thi morn! Cheers. Bill.
  4. Hi Folks,Alan,Billy Winters was the oldest,as far as I always gathered,He was on Coalface work long before Dennis. I started the Aad Pit in 1965,when I was transferred there from Choppington High Pit. We were regarded by the Aad pit union as "Strangers",and " The Choppington Men". They were very clanny at the Aad pit,even when other pits closed,like the Doctor Pit,and Cambois Pit,they were also "Strangers"...and strangers had to stand at the back of the queue when it came to drawing for spare Cyevils...[spare men were needed to fill the vacated jobs of those men who were idle]. So,after being on coalface work as a Coalcutterman,and Coalfiller,aged 21 yrs,I suddenly found myself working at the shaft bottom area of the pit.[where trainees usually start their first jobs underground!] Dennis Winter worked on the Loader-end,at the High Main shaft bottom..and that is where I met him,and worked with him,till I got a cyevil on Composite work,with an older [41yrs old!!] Cambois Coalcutterman called Joe Hickman..a hell of a worker! Tom came down the pit as a 16 yr lad not long afore the pit closed..I remember him as being a smashing natured ,jovial kid,who would do owt ti help anybody. I never knew Gordon,or Willy's Sister. Jammy,I worked with all the Hillsy's,The old timers were "Famous" Coalcuttermen at the aad pit,and Billy was a Shearer/Coalcutterman at Bates. Norman was a canny kid. Uncle Billy,at Bates pit,used ti play "Lily the Pink" on his mooth organ owa the "DAC" [Coalface Tannoy system],which was connected throughout the pit,reet ti thi Control Centre at Bank..[the surface],so ivrybody in the whole pit,used ti hear him,and shout for requests..! The Manager had ti quietly ask him ti stop! Just ti clarify a point..he only ever did that when there was a major Conveyor belt stoppage,and all the Machines were standing...in case anybody though it was a crazy unsafe thing to do...and nothing in the Coal Mines and Quarries Act 1954,says you cannot play ya Moothie when the belts are standing!! I also worked with Alby Douds,Cappy Foreman ,Tommy O'Neil,Billy Crackett,Dusty Miller,and a fella called Billy Miller,who trained me to work on the Coalcutters..he was a hell of a Cutterman as weel. R.I.P. Billy Miller. There were 900 men at the Aad Pit,and I knew hundreds of them at any given point in time..it didn't take lang ti get ti knaa them,when there were 30 men on each face,in each shift!... Cheers Folks. Stay Safe! Bill.
  5. Hi Folks,age changes perspective of life in general,as we all know,so to us kids growing up around the place,and playing inside the empty building,going up actually onto the roof through the open skylights,that Hall was a big place to be in! We used to get lost in the corridors when we were exploring the rooms and passages! I remember lying on the ground over an iron grid,in the courtyard,at one side of the building,with my older Brother,and peering into the darkness of a room below ground,and my Brother telling me that this was the place where they tied people up to die,who they had kidnapped,and that there was loads of skeletons down there! .....it was the Wine cellar!!..[I realised as I grew older!] There were similar ventilation grids up Bedlington main street,outside the Grapes,as well as the Monkey,next to the Whitley School,and wherever the situation of the beer cellar called for one,whether it was on the front street,or to the rear of the buildings. I think the film "Moonfleet" inspired such imaginations in the kids in those days,as well as other films and comics of that ilk! Canny Lass,the building sems to follow the same pattern as Spring View,which is just over the road which takes you to Beattie Road,as you go past Hollymount Terrace,from the main road,just before you go down Bedlington Bank. In a Mining Community,where the Miner's "houses" were as basic as possibly necessary,to just call them "Houses"..[they didn't even have ceilings,you looked up through what was the upstairs floorboards..into the bedrooms..and the floorboards weren't even butted up to each other..presumably to save the cost of one floorboard per room!!],these two Halls,..Hollymount,and Spring View, would represent grandeur on a scale which could only be imagined in the eyes of the workers![the Miners pasted newspapers to the underside of the upstairs floorboard for a few reasons! [1] To preserve the dignity of the Ladies in the Bedrooms..!..[2]..to stop dust falling down through the big gaps onto those below..[3] ..to prevent heat loss fom the living area.]..Birky,and Holmsy,and Longridgy,wouldn't have had ti dae that ti their ceilings..they had fine plasterwork and covings..! Horses and coaches?...Servants?...wine cellars?...garden parties?....top hats?....hand crafted stone walls with lovely coping stones?..they were mini-estates !! I remember the fine wood panelling along the corridors,which,of course,had been smashed and stolen in places,as was the floorboards in the upper rooms..we used to walk along the floor joists to get across the rooms. I do remember distinctly when,as a kid about 10 or 11 yrs old,going down Hollymount Avenue,where we used to go to watch the Bats at night,and listen to them screeching,with my older Brother,[3 yrs older to the same day!!],to seek his friend,a lad called Micky Robinson..and I remember a blue painted outside staircase and balcony ,lit by the gas lamps we discussed earlier,and it was an eerie place..scary to a kid my age,even though I was a tough kid...[ha ha!],and wouldn't admit it to anyone!!..[years later Southfork Ranch,in "Dallas",reminded me of the Hall,cos it had a similar staircase and balcony!...wat a comparison ti mek!!] After the place became derelict,on a windy night,we couldn't get any sleep because of the shutters on the windows banging open and shut,all night long..all these events,coupled with tales of old tramps living in there,who would steal your clothes if he caught you...made us kids very wary,and we always went hanging around in groups,using coded signals like a particular whistle for a particular response..i.e....1 whistle..RUN! 2 whistles ....get down on the ground...etc etc!! The Colliery Managers all had mini-mansions,of pretty much the same design,look at Holmside Nursing Care Home at the Station,and the Care Home up at Netherton...you couldn't have turned a Miner's "Hovel" into a Care Home!! I can remember,being chased off the high wall which ran down the cut to Cornwall Crescent,a few times,when the place was kept in very good repair,nice lawns,garden parties etc....Aye,they had a completely different standard of living to us kids! That would have been before it was turned into seperate flats,maybe? When did that happen Ovalteeny? Heh heh!,I just realised ,I said "the high wall which ran down the cut"....and I was chased off it....I must have only been about 7-or 8 yrs old,for the wall to be "High" to me!!..looking at the pics,it seems to be aboot three or four feet high...more likely aboot four feet high..methinks! Carry on with the good work folks! Cheers,and Stay Safe! Bill.
  6. Jammy,Billy [ or..Willy ..as we call him!]..Winter, is an aad pit Marra,friend,and Nybor,of mine.I also worked with Dennis,and the youngin..was he called Tom?...was a young timber-leader at the Aad Pit at Bedlington,as was their Father. I did my preliminary training,from leaving school,at Seaton Burn pit ,in 1959,and Geordie Winter was on the same training course,but I didn't know him well.He left the pits not lang after starting,and joined the Army. Willy was as strong as an Ox,so the sewage musn'ta done him any harm![ye remindd me of a scene from the Shawshank Redemption film!!] Aye,it was part of being a kid,to build dams across the river,and we always used to wonder who kept destroying aal wor work..aav nivvor given it any thowt in me adult years,till noo!! It's obvious when ye realise it,but not when ya ten yeors aad! Cheers!
  7. Wow! Canny Lass,well done! I hope you find more info,since I lived in Hollymount Square from 1947-ish..till 1967..when I personally moved away,but my Parents lived there for many years after that. When Hollymount Hall became vacated,and derelict,us kids used to play inside the Hall,and we used to look inside all the fine wood panelling for secret passageways down to the dungeons...!!! [ the big lads used to tell us there were these passages!...] It was a shame that we couldn't have kept these fine buildings restored..like the Old Hall up the main street also. I look forward to part two of your epic reading! [Aa better watch oot...ya catching me up heor noo,for lang tale telling!!] Cheers Canny Lass, Stay Safe and Well!
  8. A think a mighta med a blunder wi me comment aboot MAFF..[above]...while a dae knae that it's the UK Ministry of Food and Fisheries,aam sure,[but noo not 100%...!!],that that is also the name of the African Flying Doctor service..or one of them...aal check oot wi me old friend who supports the Chapel,as a member of the Christian Fellowship,at the Chapel. Aal eat grass if aav med a stupid blunder,and mek the excuse i'ts me aad grey matter failing me!
  9. Aye Jammy,it was exciting for us kids,simple pleasures of life,it's true wat the aad folk used ti say....[ahem...Aad Folk!!]... "Wi had nowt ...but we were happy.."!,and fowty yeors ago a a used ti say,"Hoo thi hell can ye be happy wen ye've got nowt?"!! But noo that aam one of thi aad folks,a can say thi syem thing,we WERE happy..cos we knew nowt else but heving nowt...played doon the woods..my patch was from the picnic field up owa,ti the Humford Baths,then carrying on reet up past the dam and the pipes owa the waata. Oot aal day on weekends and holidays from schyuul...either the woods or thi Opencast,wat we kids caaled .."thi ootcrop"... Did ye gaan doon ti the Furnace Bridge ti play in the waata there..? Depending on your age,ye mighta knaan my Wife's family,they lived in the Puddler's Raa..then they were among the forst families ti move inti the new hooses at Grange Park,when they were still building the Estate. The aad lamps were better than nae lamps at aal,but by hell they were eerie,a aalwis thowt,as a a bairn,but a think wat med that feeling was aal thi aad black n white pictures at the Top-end picture haal,murders,gangsters...Dracula...Frankenstein...James Cagney..Lon Chaney,Christopher Lee....aal filmed under eerie dark gas lamps of cobbled London streets!
  10. Hi Folks,Jammy , us kids in Hollymount Square were the opposite to you's,we had the same Gas lamp as ye wi thi four tapered sides,and it was built into the wall doon Bell's Place,so ye cud only see half of the standard. I suspect that the lamp standard was there first,and the owner of the walled land which ran at the top of the gardens doon ti Walkers Apple Orchard,built the wall up and aroond it! Noo why were we the opposite?.....cos us little buggers used ti climb up on top of the waal,and pull the wee lever which closed the valve and put the leet oot,so we cud play hidey in the shrubbery's next ti it,in the darkness!! That lamp,as well as the ones that went doon thi cut ti Cornwall Crescent,and Beattie/Haig roads,aal ran of the Coal Gas produced at the Dr Pit Gasworks. Canny Lass,the Coffin Chapel is very much alive and kicking today! The Folk who provide the Evangelical services,are very good friends of ours,and some have tried in the past to convert my Wife and me,but have given up on us as lost souls!! They,in all seriousness,dedicate their time all through thi year,preparing and filling shoeboxes for the third world and underpriviledged children,in war torn zones etc. They also raise funds constantly,to support the MAFF Appeal fund,which funds Light Aircraft Flying Doctors to take Medical supplies,and their experience,into Villages in Jungle areas,or where there are no proper landing strips. These people are among the Unsung Heroes of the world,and I think it is justified that I go off-topic ..[like...is that unusual for me?!!],for five minutes to give praise ,and a huge clap for them and their Organisation all over,for the gud work they do..and it is even harder work noo,in this global crisis. ....an aam still a lost soul....heh heh!! Back ti thi gas lamps,aal kids wudda read Wor Wullie Byeuks in thi aad days afore two-thumb generations evolved,and even Wor Wullie swung on thi arms of the four-sided gas lamps!! Wat aboot Bob Dylan's song..."Gates of Eden"...."The Lamp-post stands with folded arms..it's Iron Claws Attached...." They musta had the syem lamps owa thi pond in the aad days.....haad on..."Ya nivvor alone wi a Strand"!!...filmed under the syem lamps...heh heh! Howw ,ye cud gaa on n on aboot these leets! Nea Catholic Church ivvor at the Station,Wor Lass wadn't o had ti get thi Raisbecks bus from the Station ti thi top-end Catholic School if tha had been!...not that she wanted ti...she was Made ti....!! Lets keep the entertainment leet... Hope ye'aal are keeping safe,staying at yem as much as possible,and saving lives..as well as protecting the NHS. Tha will be a leet,[not a gas leet,]!..at thi end of this lang tunnel,but aa canna see thi bugger!!
  11. Hi Folks! Aav been locked in for five weeks , since me Wife had a really serious Seizure ,the worst one she has had for over thirty years,cos for the first two weeks after the seizure,I couldn't leave her for a minute,as the saying goes,it was full on nursing from me at home. Then the lock-down started,and since then,very good neighbours of mine have been doing our shopping,it's at times like this when the value of good friends and neighbours is very much appreciated!! Both of us are in the really vulnerable category,so are strictly abiding by the rules for everybody's sakes. The positive side is,we have gardens front and rear,the front garden is decent-sized but faces right onto the main road,which normally has a constant stream of traffic,but which is now strangely quiet!..I can hear Birds whistling a mile away!,and last night,under the glow of the street lamp outside our house,I was in the drive,and glanced around when something caught my eye,moving slowly in the darkness. Mr Foxy, [of the four-legged kind!],was standing,brazenly staring up at me,then after a few seconds, ambled away unconcerned,walking on the dry road,cos it was better than the damp grass...[what a pity!] Nowt like having Elk on your doorstep,Canny Lass,but for Bedltn,it's a lovely sight to see! Fortunately,wor back garden faces owa thi back fields,reet owa ti Scotland Gate,and futher owa ti Hepscot way,so it's a wid open aspect,wi aal the birds coming in. So we're fortunate ti have somewhere ti waak aroond,and ti potter on with. Aav got a wee pond in the back garden,and when a put it in,twenty years ago,a asked me [then] fower-year-aad Niece ti fetch me some Stickleyback fish ti put in,cos a aalwis loved them when aa was a bairn. She came wi her Granda one day,after been doon the Furnace Bank,ti thi River Blyth,and she proudly presented me wi a jamjar wi fower Luvly Stickly's. Owa the last twenty yeors,them fower fish have bred,and bred several generations,and aav noo got aboot thirty.[having given dozens away to friends,and released hundreds back into the river!] So a can sit and watch me fish on a nice warm afternoon,for aboot ten minutes,then back ti thi grindstone![nivvor still!] Vic,and Canny Lass,a cud live amang the forests withoot any persuasion!![we did for owa twenty yeors,wi thi touring caravan,farm and Forestry Commision sites,from 1977-on..when the bairns were young..] Aav got me guitars and recording gear,noo that's a hobby that,if a had the time,a cud spend hours and hours...nay..days and days..on a project...multi-tracking,and creating me aan music![which a used ti dae,afore me Wife became disabled,and a became her full-time carer]..nivvor mind,nowt's a bother to me,aam cool!! Me motorbike is an ornament,nice ti luk at! Same wi thi car!..aam not grousing,a feel very fortunate to not be in the same sad predicament that a lot of families around the world are in. Then,late at night,to relax,a watch U-Tube music videos,documentaries,or a dvd noo and again. A divvent watch telly,haven't for aboot thirty years,knaa very little aboot what's gaan on,in the news,except for the latest Govt Briefings,and what snippets me Wife tells me ..!! Wi me health problems a hae ti avoid stress,and a gaan thi best way aboot it!! So that's my life story ,Isolation doesn't affect me mentally,aav telt folks in conversation,for years,that aa can easily mix wi folks,or a cud just as easily live in the jungle or an island on me own!![as lang as a had me guitars and me laptop!] Both me Wife,and mesel,have found aal the comments in this thread really interesting,as ti hoo other folks are coping. Big thanks folks! [First time aav ivvor commented withoot ivor mentioning.............COAL!...[drat! ...a just did!]
  12. Number 6 isn't Jack Earl..nowt like him! He is my Wife's Brother..another photo in this gallery shows Jack correctly..there is no comparison!
  13. Heh heh,slip of the mind,CORRECTION!..the weight of the Bucyrus Erie 1150-b draglines were 1200 tons,but nevertheless the calculations were correct! I have just opened the link above,regarding Big Geordie,and also found an excellent link to an article with excerpts from a seemingly excellent book called "British Opencast Coal- a Photographic History 1942-1985",written by Keith Haddock. Both are extremely fascinating! I am gonna see if I can get a hold of the book. Is it possible or even legal to copy the Big Geordie documentary to a disc for showing family members who aren't computer literate Alan? I don't know how to Burn discs.. Cheers! Bill.
  14. Hi folks!..and to add my tuppenceworth,I used to go over after school,with my schoolmates and the Hollymoonta gang,and watch Bucyrus Erie [as we called him ,cos his name was on a huge plate up on the side of the machine,mounted on the first gantry],we didn't know,at 10 years old,that it was the firm's name!] [that was in 1954-ish]. These two Draglines were reported in the press,[Evening Chronicle etc],as being the two largest walking draglines in the whole of Europe,as was the Acorn Bank Site cut. At night,in the dark,we used to snipe almost on top of the gang who were building it,and it's a wonder we weren't blinded by the welding arc's,cos to us,it was a bonny bright blue light!!...we just used to lie on the ground and snipe ever closer,and watch the arc,fascinated! It had a 50-ton bucket. Now,Alan,when it comes to disputes..[silly disputes an aal!],aa had an argument wi one of me pit marra's,now deceased,[R.I.P. TOM],one day when we were sitting getting wor baits,amang aal the waata and clarts,doon the Three-Quarter drift,at Bates. We somehow got on aboot the Acorn Bank site,and Tom said he worked there,before gaan doon the pit. Aa just remarked hoo we kids used to watch the Euclids bouncing like they were toys,when Bucyrus Erie dropped his bucketfull of stones into the back of the truck,and big stones used to smash doon onto the canopy above the Driver's cab. That was like a red rag to Tom..he adamantly argued and started getting real ratty,saying the Draglines never filled the Euclids,it was done by the face shovels. Whey naturally,a argued back saying a used ti watch them man.... Tom shouted ....Aa used ti work there man Bill..ya getting mixed up....so a backed off,cos a hate arguments and ill-feeling...[this was in the 1980's] Whey,Tom passed away a few years ago,and then at Christmas,a year or two back,I got a DVD which had been transferred from old Cine-film,and it was amateur footage of the Acorn Bank site..[a Sixtownship DVD a think]. Then a started researching aboot the site,and guess what,it explains hoo the Dragline bucket was overloading the Euclids,and damaging the bodies ,so a special hopper was designed and erected,so the bucket emptied it's load into the hopper,and a guy loaded the Euclids safely..and I remembered the name of the hopper,cos aam a guitarist!! It was called a .....HENDRIX ...hopper!! It seems that Tom must have worked at the far end of the cut,where Bucyrus Erie [1] ,was working,and that was a thousand yards away from Bucyrus Erie [2]..and they only had the one hopper. Trivial story,but Tom was starting to get violent in his attempt to convince me I was wrong. At the end of the day,it didn't matter who was right ,cos it was history long gone!,but this is hoo misinformation spreads. My friend's Dad was one of the Dragline operators,a fella caaled Mr Humble,Bob and Les were his two Sons,who were my mates. There was no security in them days,no watchman or owt like that,no fences or barriers of any kind,on Sundays we kids used to either walk or ride wor bikes,doon inti the cut,and play on the Draglines feet,which were 44 feet long and 8 feet wide. We played in the Euclids seats,mekking on we were driving....whey,ye dae when ya ownly aboot ten or elivin yeors aad ...divvent ye?! One thing I read,recently,which really interested me,was the footprint pressure of the central hub which the crane sat on when in operation....2500 tons weight,[if I remember rightly!]..and the pressure on the ground was ....5pounds per square inch!! Incredible engineering..like an elephant,s gentle footsteps from such a heavy animal! I sat one day,for fun,and calculated it out in my head,and it was spot-on..even with simple Maths! [another trivial story!] Maggie,thanks for posting the pics,brought back many happy memories..that place was part of my childhood!
  15. Alan.."We gotta get outa this place"...[The Animals 1965-ish?] for number 11..!...[till a think o sum mair!] A went for me quaataly hair cut [it's aalwis the same one...growws owa me eye..!]..last Thorsdi...Leanne was off work ill wi Flu. She has a luvly natured bonny lass helping her oot caaled Kirsty. She was very pleasant and chatty,and did a great job wi me owld heed.Five stars again ti Todds Barbers. It's a bonus ti just gaan ti hae a luk at thi montage of pics of aad Bedltn on thi waal! No 12 ..."Stay" [Hollies...1960's] No 13...thinkin......!!.......still thinkin'!.......
  16. Thanks Alan...much appreciated!
  17. Thanks again Alan,a wonder if Davy Shepherd is my good friend's Brother,who is now very ill,a haven't seen Davy for a while,wud ye just say Halloww ti him from me,and if he is Mick's Brother,he will knaa hoo aa aam. Thanks Marra! Bill.
  18. Hi Alan ,again!..also please pass thanks to Peter Jones as weel for his comment. Cheers Bill.
  19. Hi Alan,thanks for the info,so my memory isn't as bad as a a thowt it waas!..a cud picture the fella wi thi tash..it was a really tick tash,and a mop of corly hair,but his voice soonded like he was diluted ethnic,but aa cudn't put me finger where he might have have been from. A dae knaa that he was a fast taaka but as far as aa was concerned,nowt was a problem ti him,he used ti say repeatedly..."...This is how I do business my friend,it is no good for business if I am not nice with you...I will change your tyres for new ones ,no problem..and if you are still not happy..you come back and I will give you your money back....."..he came over as a real genuine guy,but maybe others might not agree if they had a bad experience with the guy! Cheers Alan,divvent forget where a live,if ya passing and the motor is there! P.S. Please pass my thanks on to Alan Dickson if ye dinna mind!!
  20. Hi Alan, aa was transferred ti Bedltn Aad Pit in 1965,from Choppington B Pit. Bob Muter and his Wife and family are very good friends of ours. They were our next door neighbours for decades, till they, and us, moved from West Terrace. Ken Sellick and me worked together at the pit, then Ken worked in the Medical Centre at thi Aad pit, aa went onto Coal cutting, hand filling, then on the mechanised Shearer coalfaces. A divvent knaa the other two.... aa was aan aad timer (21 yrs aad!) when these youngins came alang!... apart from Sellicka! When they were daeing aal this, aa was on the coalfaces, working different shifts, so a lost touch wi thi young recruits just afore a transferred. Great ti see this pic! Cheers Alan, and thanks for posting it! Bill.
  21. Can anybody remember a small shop on the Choppington bank,in Storey's Buildings,[where a lived in 1947],what sold budget tyres with the brand name of "Colway" on the sidewalls? The guy was as straight as a die when it came to taking a faulty tyre back,nae messing aboot....changed as quick as a flash! A think he might have been the forst one ti deal in budget and remould tyres in this area,even before Gerry's Wasp in Ashington! Alan Dixon will knaa,cos he lived there then,aam sure! Come in Alan ,wheor are ye!! A got two of the Colway tyres put on me wee Ford Anglia 105E 997 cc in aroond 1970-ish...![ a think they were aboot a fiver each,or summik silly like that!]
  22. Happy New Year to all me Marra's on this great forum! Noo! Canny Lass,ahem,[cough cough!],me being a clean-living lad,who nivvor smoked ,nivvor drank,nivvor gammelled,a can HONESTLY say....aam 0 on the shaggy dog scale!....except aam buggaad wi aad age in me bones!! My New Year's Resolution..[same as last year but broke it for domestic reasons..]...Aam determined ti get oot more on me Bike,since this time last year,a did 40-odd miles,and that was gaan for MOT, and CBT!!! Aav written it on me calendar as weel as me second resolution,and that is ti try and write more of me book,which a started in 2009!! Aav been advised by a published Author who me Wife and me met doon Cammis a few days ago,a luvly friendly aad Lady caaled Mary Bowmaker,who has three books on Amazon,and is busy wi a fourth book. She was enthusiastic when a telt her a was writing me life story from a wee bairn,growing up from the late1940's,ti aal me experiences doon the coalmines. SO!...it's here in black n white!...we'll see hoo things gaan at yem! Aal thi best folks!
  23. Whey if John didn't hae sae many connections,A wudda still said that number two was Foster McKenzie! He is the absoloute spitting image..can we find a pic of Foster ti put side by side...a wunda!! A did say in the previous page that a thowt it wud be strange for Foster ti be up in the Dr Pit Park,when he was a Station fella! Gotta mek an appointment wi me Optician methinks!
  24. Wahey!! ...it's noo 2019 ,December 23rd,and aav just caught up with this thread,and there's me Greenheart wood trestles holding the bridge up!!...ye can see by the scale of things,that aa wasn't far wrang aboot thi beams being aboot two feet square! The top pic shows a " Butters" crane,building it's Marra up,[another "Butters" crane],which ran on rails,along the edge of the cut,and which lifted skips,full of coal,and which then loaded the Euclids,and the later 42-ton coal-haulers. The middle pic shows one of the two "Bucyrus Erie" Draglines,which we used to play on,when the site was closed,on Sunday afternoons. I always thought that they were the bonniest designed Draglines of all the ones I have ever seen...including Big Geordie,and the Ace of Spades!! If I am not mistaken,you can see St Cuthbert's Church tower in the background,and to confirm this,you can also see the smaller line of overburden heaps which were deposited at the top of the Picnic field,and which was a haven for fossil-hunters like me,at 11 years old!! I spent hours looking among the rocks,finding loads of fossils of Fern leaves ,and tree bark,some which were really tropical,with pineapple "Diamond-cut" patterns on them. My goal was to find a fossilised Insect,or Animal remains,but sadly this never happened. I took loads of fossils to the old Whitley School for Mr Davidson,wor smashing teacher,and a often wonder what happened to them..they were historic examples which would never be available ever again,once the Opencast site was re-instated to it's former state. Thanks for uploading these great pics,Alan,and thanks also to John Brown for sharing them. Brings back loads of happy memories!
  25. Heh heh! Great interesting discussion, ye two bonny lassies! The only bits aa remember wat was ingrained into us were the 611 AD consecration,and the sleepover of King John at thi Old Hall Tower at thi Market Place,before the signing of thi Magna Carta. When I was a kid,aa coudn't stand History lessons,cos a didn't see thi need for it...a wud rather be fiddling on wi me Electricity experiments in me Mutha's wesh-hoose....[at 12- yeor aad!]. Noo,aam fascinated by History,fortunately we hae thi technology nooadays,ti larn of those who are more edicated...like ye two bonny lassies!! Heh heh!
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