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Everything posted by HIGH PIT WILMA

  1. Hi Lynne,welcome to the forum,they are a very helpful bunch of luvly sensible folk..nae muppets like on other forums!! It's interesting to learn your roots,I never knew much about your Parents family history! Ye might be a Longridge for aal ye knaa!!
  2. ...shud read.."if he was here with us now.."
  3. Hi Canny Lass,a think aal the facts about Dusty Miller ,which are as vivid in my memory as if it was yesterday,lead ye ti think it was the Accident Steve is wondering about. Take my account against some unknown,uneducated [in mining that is!],reporter,who throws his notepad in to a similarly uneducated editor,with absoloutely no disrespect intended... Unless we throw a different light on the matter,I would go for poor Dusty..he suffered agonising injuries and pain,on a day which started quite happy with a bunch of gud Marra's. The one fact I left out was hearsay to me,and I don't know how true it was except for the fact it was told to me by my own very trustworthy Marra's.. The Coalface Overman,[in overall charge of the face],left the scene of the accident,and crawled off the face and sat in the High Roadway which was the Tailgate..[return airway road]. He had taken his pit helmet off,and sat with his head in his hands,breaking down,and said to the tailgate Stonemen.."A canna gaan back doon there...a canna.."..in those exact words...which,at the time,he was heavily criticised for,but as we get older, a bet some of those who criticised,including myself,think back and understand that Man's feelings..he was in charge,and should have been organising a stretcher,informing the Surface to have an Ambulance,organising getting Dusty off the face on the stretcher..organising who should be stretcher bearers,and relief bearers,8 men in all..4 men on carrying the stretcher one man at each handle,and the other four to take over at every ten minutes or so..[it's not like smooth pavement down there you know...]..a one- mile carrying of a 16 stone fella on a stretcher,over rough,wet,stony uneven ground,then a climb of a quarter of a mile up a 1- in 6 gradient "Drift" roadway,then 200 yards to the shaft bottom,to be put in a cage to be wound 1000 feet to the surface...all the time Dusty would have been passing out,through being joggled around during the journey outbye and to Bank..[the surface]..I have been a stretcher bearer a lot of times from aged 19 yrs old down the High Pit at Choppington,and at other pits,and have carried 18 stone fellas,believe me..itwas arduous very heavy work,but when it happens,urgency of the situation,and care for your Marra on the stretcher,overrides the pain you feel. I didn't intend to go into so much detail,but feel it is necessary to try and tell the facts as best as I can,what it was like down there. This Overman was close friends with Dusty and the whole team,it was like watching a family member suffering..so now,in my old age,and I speak only for myself,I feel guilty for even just thinking about any criticism on this fella..he died a long time ago,but if he was her with us now,I would be apologising for my thoughts..I was only about 23-24-ish yrs old at the time.[young and hotheaded..as they used to say!]
  4. Anne,just another thought,out of interest,if you haven't already,you may be interested to see the photo's which I took underground down Bates' Pit in 1986,just before the pit was shut down for good. They are in the gallery under the heading Bates Pit Photographs. Cheers, Bill.
  5. Anne,I was so engrossed in my thoughts ,trying to help Steven,and didn't think to say how sorry a was to read about your Dad's accident. Life down the mines was really rough,and in an accident scenario,miles inbye,in roadways roughly blasted out from solid stone strata,and swalleys..[dips],in the roadways sometimes flooded up to the waist..with oily black stinking water which was freezing..it was really stressful,sheer physically demanding hard work,to carry wor Marra's outbye on a stretcher.[we often used to wonder who would be the next one we would be carrying out..maybe it would be one of us..and it often was...] Conditions like that never existed in any other industry,no Doctor's,no Ambulances..no nothing..not even toilets or washbasins..I mean really barbaric.. We fought in 1984 to keep the pits open,but in my old age,and looking back,we knew nowt else..it was wor heritage..with a hefty legacy of injuries and suffering ill-health,maybe it was a blessing that they were closed. Anne,you should always be proud to tell anyone that your Dad was a Coalminer,Salt of the earth,and the Industrial Revolution would never have got us to where we are now ,without the sacrifices made by the Coalminers of the past..a rare breed! Kindest regards,Bill.
  6. Hi Anne,and Steven,welcome to the forum! Steven,I worked at the A pit at Bedlington,[the "Auld Pit"],from being transferred there from Choppington B pit..[the "HighPit"],in 1965. I worked at the auld pit from 1965 until it closed in 1971,and knew LOTS of the workforce,in all the different shifts..and obviously,through time,I have forgotten some. However,as my friends on this forum all know,my memory overall of my mining years is still pretty vivid,and I remember well,the fella who trained me on the coalcutters [the old AB15 Cutters!],as well as my other face training operations. His name was Billy Miller,and he lived at Grange Park in Bedlington,in his later years. AAHH!..a thought just came to me as a was thinking Billy was the only Miller at the Aad Pit,then it suddenly came to me,it cud have been aroond 1966-7-8-ish,when a Shearer Operator,[the Shearer-Man],called Dusty Miller,was buried under a roof fall when he was at the face side of the shearer machine. The stone was aboot 10 feet lang and two feet thick..and was partly lying on the machine,and partly crushing the life out of poor Dusty.[a never knew his first name..we all had nicknames like my silly nickname on here.] His Marras were standing in the roof cavity where the stone had fallen from,using big Mel's ["Mallets"!],swinging the lang shafted mel's above their heads to hit the stone to break it so they could free Dusty. I wasn't in that shift,but came in onto the face in the following shift,and we were still breaking up the stones and timbering the roof to make it safe lang after Dusty was carried outbye on the stretcher..half dead. Well,we met the rest of the marra's of Dusty's shift,as they were travelling outbye,and we were coming inbye to start our shift,and they told us that Dusty was screaming for the lads to "Get them dogs off me back"..he was obviously delirious with pain and shock. As time had gone by,with the lads constantly pounding away at this massive stone frantically ,Dusty had started screaming at them to leave him alone,which,of course they couldn't..and no way could Dusty move a stone weighing a few tons which completely covered him as he was pinned down on his chest. Now we all know about false and misleading reports by Journalists who havent the faintest idea what they are reporting about,and it is quite possible that Dusty was your Relative,Steven,cos in those years I quoted,I was about 22-3-4 yrs old,and Dusty was one of the "Old- timers"..although he may only have been in his fifties,BUT!..to a lad in his twenties...fifty yrs old....was old!! [now,at 78 yrs old in July,fifty is just a skittering young ched!..as we used to say! As Dusty was recovering at home,his close Marras brought reports back to us lads in the team,about his progress,and said he was healing champion,but his Back was so bad,he had to go down the stairs on his backside..he couldn't walk up or down normally. Now I was transferred to Bates Pit in 1971,just a few weeks before the Aad pit closed for good,so lost touch with a lot of me aad Marras. Now the first person I worked with at Bates Pit,was a Seam Overman underground called Jack Miller,he had served in the second world war,and was a real canny likeable fella,a Bricklayer by trade originally,before joining the pits. His Brother was Seargant Miller at Bedlington Police Station in the 1950's. Another fella I worked with at Bates Pit was a well-known local gardener and nurseryman,called....Stevie Clark..!! Then there was Ernie Clark,wor Pit Electrician,another smashing fella ..me cog wheels are running dry noo,and starting ti slaa doon,if a can mind of any mair Millers,aal let ye knaa Steven. Gud luck wi ya search,Steven,hope aav been a wee bit o' help,if only ti eliminate the fellas from ya search. Cheers folks! Bill.
  7. Heh heh!..dae ye forget things as weel Alan..aad age is hitting us hard doon heor in the backwoods! A think 1953 -ish luks aboot reet ..aa wudda been aboot 9 years aad then..as wud these kids. Cheers Alan,hope ye keeping not too bad. Aam wondering hoo me friend Jim Bower wasn't on these pics..mebbe he was away on Holiday or playing footbaal or summick. Thanks anyway Alan for the update,ya still daeing a grand job,aam full time lukking after Cath noo.
  8. Heh heh,the gable end is of my longstanding Marra's hoose at Doctor Terrace. He said he wadn't shift oot till he got the hoose he wanted at Millfield in Bedlington...and he GOT the hoose he wanted!!
  9. Hi Tom,a bit late in catching up,but didn't ya striker work on ya Carbide Lamp?.Puzzled aboot the bit aboot thi stick!! Cheers,Bill.
  10. Acetylene naked flame lamps,cos the pit was considered as "Gas-Free"..with regard to explosive Methane. Great conditions here,we at Choppington High Pit would have said this was "Stannin' like a Palace"!! High,dry,good roof conditions,even the coalface is a good height,aboot 2"- 9" a wud guess..mebbe even the Yard seam. Great pics. Willy Ward knew hoo ti get a gud shot in darkness!
  11. "Cavilling" was pronounced as " Cyevillin''
  12. 1949..??!!...I went to the Bedlington Village infants School in 1949..aged 5yrs..Paddy o Malley,and Terry Bradley..[deceased at a very young age R.I.P. Terry],became friends of mine in later years because of my close friend and Neighbour,Jimmy Bower..who went to school with all these pupils,a got ti knaa a lot of them through gaan wi Jimmy ti the school youth club on Sunday neets,when we were aboot 16/17 yrs aad.[we were aal the same age,Jim was only a couple of months older than me..] Strikes me that these are big 5/6 year old kids!! Normal rules forbade Protestant Schoolkids from attending the youth club,but because the Bower family were well known and respected in Bedlington,Father Mark allowed Jim Bower to bring his "Protestant"[!!] friend,[which was me!!],there were a lot of luvly lasses and lads went there,aal a canny crew who welcomed me,a stranger ,into their club. People I well remember were Paddy o' Malley,Terry Bradley,Catherine and Mary Tait,Frances Weightman,Terry.["Tot"] o'Neil,Anne Brewis,Terry..["Tot"],Docherty,Billy McGlenn,and a canny ,bonny wee Italian lass caaled Rhoda Black,she lived in the"Huts/Caravans" in the Grey's Farm field,next ti the 20 acres Showfield,around 1961/2. The day after a got ti know her to speak to her as a friend,her Parents sent her back to Italy to live with her Grandma..aged 16 yrs..pure cruelty taking her away from her schoolfriends and mates,after being brought up here from infanthood..she was absoloutely devastated,I remember her friends ,Catherine and Mary Tait,and Frances Weightman,all being in tears for days after she got the plane back to Italy. They wrote to her several times,and never received a reply,my guess was,old fashioned Italian Granny didn't want her to correspond with English..anywheh....!
  13. A bit late of catching up on this one Alan,me aad Heedmaster taught us kids better late than never..so here's a late thanks for aal thi work ye dae for others!! Cheers,Bill.
  14. Hi Folks!,Alan,when my Parents moved into Hollymount..[herinafter referred to by me as "Hollymoont"!] Square,around the 1947/8 period in time,only half of the square was built..oddly enough,they weren't built in numerical order! We lived in No 13,and out of the total of 66 houses,we knew every single family in the square. Even noo in me mind's eye,aam naming them,but can a hell remember the Graham family. In those first years of living there,a lot of people moved house ,for some reason or other..can't think why,cos those were the days of either gas or candle lighting,and the gas came from the Doctor pit Gasworks,and when Hollymoont was built,they were like luxury hotels![to those of us who had to stand up at the end of the street with Mother,while waiting her turn to fill her bucket of water at the communal water standpipe..!..in Storey's Buildings,at Choppington Station..!] We had full electric lighting,and cooker,kettle,wash-house with electric boiler,hot and cold running water,and three bedrooms!! But try as a may,a canna think of Geordie Graham,and if you say he lived there,my family would have knaan him. ...Aaahh!..the question is..WHEN did he live there?..cos when a started courting my Lass..[noo WOR Lass!],in 1962,a stayed down with her family a lot over wor five yr courtship,and when we got married in 1967,a knew mair folks doon at Grange Park,than a did at Hollymoont Square!. A used ti remark ti me Mutha,when a visited owa the years,aav just seen a strange Wife/Bloke gaan inti number 12.or whatever,and she wud say ,Aah,they just moved in last week..or wativvor... SO!,at thi end of that [usual!] rammelin' on,aam still nae fartha forward wi Geordie Graham!! Funnily enough,when a moved wi me aan family,ti West Terrace Stakeford,in 1970,me eventual next door nybor was Joe Graham n his Wife,Margorie. Joe was in the Buffs Club,a wonder if he was any relation ti Geordie? Sorry aam aal reet at yakkin,but not much help this time! Cheers ti aal ye canny folks! Bill.
  15. Heh heh! Alan,wud be a queer sight seeing unmentionables fleeing through the air,and landing on sumbody's windscreen gaan at sivinty mile an oor!! Hope ye are keeping areet,Cath not grand at aal..me like ye,lossing me legs and struggling ti keep vertical! Cheers Alan,it's Bait-time! Bill.
  16. 25-4-2022..Frankie,who abandoned his Windy Driller,when thatcher gave the word to switch off and pull out..switched off,and said "and ye can stop theor!" Frankie,a smashing Marra of mine,and me other Marra's,sadly passed away a few years ago,leaving this legacy. R.I.P. Frankie.
  17. Well,well well!..it's now 25-4-2022,and the Russian President,Alexander Putin..[or,as we say,Putrid!],is invading Ukraine,so all the Civil Allies have created Sanctions against Russia. The result is,he has cut the Oil,and Gas supplies to us all,creating a massive Energy crisis,with price hikes of 54% and a further massive hike expected in the Autumn of this year. The environmentalist do-gooders don't want Fossil fuels used at all! Go Electric..with Cars ,Lorries,Ships,and AEROPLANES....!! So,where is the electricity gonna come from? The silly buggaas dinna fully understand the ludicrous demands they are making!! Blyth Shipping Warf is STILL bringing in Shiploads of supposedly "CHEAP" coal from China!! We have over 100 million tons of clean Virgin coal seams under Bates and Ellington Collieries,under the North Sea,where these Pics were taken,and which was abandoned in 1986..for cheap oil and gas from RUSSIA!! The bubble has burst mate!
  18. ...and in 25-4-2022..I am now 78 yrs old and waiting and hoping that justice will be seen to be given to those of us still here,who lost their jobs and Communities due to thatcher-the-hatcheter and her evil cronies.
  19. 25-4-2022...I bet if this one was powered up ,it wud work like the day it was abandoned in 1986!
  20. 25-4-2022..update..Tom ..sitting in the machine,passed away a few years ago. R.I.P. Tom.
  21. Update on 25-4-2022..Still busy with my book,and wonder if aal ivvor get it finished..since a started writing it in 2009,loads of me Marra's who figure in the book,are now not with us any more. But they are remembered forever if my book ever gets to be read by people other than my own family. 34 yeors after this pic was taken,Bill is a fine lukking distinguished grey haired aad chep..trying ti convince me he is fit as a lop...!! Wi lungs like a Blackboard after yeors of coalcutting n hand-filling coal onti a conveyor belt,a think he will be mair like me..blaa'ing like an aad cuddy,and as much gud as a nrokken paor o' limma's!!heh heh!!
  22. 25-4-2022 update..Still nae response from anybody in Local Council or Government to refute my claims and take me up for slander...cos its aal true! Noo,Alan,we need Musky ti invest and follow up Nicola Tesla's free energy from Space-generated and transmitted-to-earth Electricity project! Howw,Alan,a few years ago Cath n Me were at thi Lake District,and oot on a run.We came across a Country Event at a big mansion and gardens like Cragside. There were several exibitions stands like the RSPCA etc. One stand was the Water Board..and among the exhibits was a stall selling Wind Turbines. A wee one for the garden ti charge ya car batteries was aboot £200..! Cath said ,Billy,ye cud buy a lot of Batteries for £200! A big yin ti power aal ya hoose was a few thoosand quid! A said ti thi canny guy,a just want boil thi kettle man,a divvent ti buy a power station! THAT was aboot 20 or more years ago! Cheers Alan!
  23. Update..4-2-2022...and no-one from govt or any other official body has come on to dispute me about Archbold having a personal vendetta againdt Bates Colliery in the 1980-s..Now the Russian President Putin has invaded Ukraine,and is cutting oil and Gas supplies off to the West,our energy prices are rising by thousands of pounds a year,it will be interesting to see if we re-open some of the drier pits in Nottingham and other places...gotta dae summick!!
  24. I have pics I took of the bandstand doon the picnic field,aroond 1962-ish,when I got my new Halina 35x Camera for Christmas off Cathy,my lass..[now my Wife of 54 years married!]. I took the pics as a reference to learn how to drive the camera,cos it seemed complicated,at the time!! It hadn't been built very lang,then I took more pics after it was restored and the Murals were painted in recent years..aal post them if a can find them.
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