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Everything posted by HIGH PIT WILMA

  1. Heh heh!Thanks Maggie! Another thing we set of 12 yr old lads from the old Whitley School could never figure out , was the House system,where you gained [or tried to gain!] "House-Points" ,as rewards for doing homework on time,picking litter up in the yard etc. All 500 kids were split into groups,and allocated a place in a particular house...I was in Bamburgh House,my friend Martin Nicholson [deceased..R.I.P. Martin...]was in Dunstanburgh...and so on. My group of Pitmen's sons - friends all thought they were trying to make the school like a college,what with having a head boy and girl...never been heard of in old Bedlington community before... Mind,the first ever Head Boy,David Lees,was so well liked by everybody in the school-including Staff,that Mr Epsley,the Metalwork Teacher Planished out a small trophy cup,out of brass sheet,[personally],Silver-plated it to a proffesional standard,and engraved it to read..."The Lees Trophy". The Trophy was fought for by the different "Houses",and whichever House gained the most House-points each month, then the trophy was displayed on a shelf in front of that House's Heraldic coat of arms shield.There was a diagonal row of hooks upon which each shield hung,in the order of how many points had been gained overall,and the top-gainer's shield always hung on the top hook, where the little shelf was mounted to stand the Lees Trophy. This display was directly in front of the main doors in the vestibule. See? All this heritage was lost,when the clever for-seeing council of the day,[who also demolished the old hall and keep...a priceless piece of history!!],decided in their wisdom,to hand over OUR school,to the richest establishment in the world!! Eeee...let's keep the entertainment light ,Maggie...eh?
  2. Maggie,i had a heart attack seven years ago,and the life-savers i take each have affected my short-term recall..like i canna mind what i did yesterday,but i hav vivid memories of all my childhood as far back as i can remember the riens my mother put on me when iwas learning to walk....brown leather with three leather and white felted star-shaped decorative "buttons" across the front of the harness. Symptoms,Mr Abrahart left about 1958,not long before i left in 1959,the girls cried when he came to say goodbye,and mind,one or two of the lads,if not all of them,were at least...full,but wouldn't visibly show it of course. Maybe he came back after a while,cos my barber told me the reason he left. Maybe it's not a co-incidence that he was there in '62,precisely when the head had also changed,i'm saying no more!!!! He had taken up a post at Westmoor school at the time. When us kids started the first day,exam gradings had nothing to do with it,i didn't pass 11-plus,,there was no Northern Counties exam. The idea was to stream out potential G.C.E. candidates,of which none of us from the Whitley Memorial School had ever heard of!
  3. J.D.J.1955,did u ever manage to find any pics of Puddler's Raa please? My wife was born there and would love to see any pics at all..whatever condition they are..as long you can make out the place. The Puddler's raked the slag off the molten iron with long-handled colrakes,to enhance the purity of the iron. Wrought iron was made by rolling out sheets and and overlaying them with the grain running at 90 degrees,several layers at a time,like plywood, then re-rolling them,or sqeezing them with a steam hammer or press,to force the crossed grains of the metal to lock together. As you say Wrought iron was very malleable used to make rails etc,while Cast iron was very resilient,could stand tons of steady pressure,as in bearing housings,but would crack if subjected to a sudden shock..like a blow from a mel..["sledge-hammer"] Mr Epsley was a great metalwork teacher at Westridge School in 1956-59..[my years there...]!!!!!! Hey,aam 69 this year,and aav got vivid memories of me schooldays!
  4. Hi Maggie,and everyone else on here! I'm an old Westridge git,one of the pioneers,seeing as Mr Davidson,our social studies teacher at the old Whitley School,took us up during the building of Westridge,to walk around the site,asking questions to the workmen,even up on the scaffolding gangways....health and safety?!!!!!....not even thought of them days. We had to write essays on what we had seen and learnt on the site,the following week. I remember vividly being up on the first lift of scaffolding,asking one fella with a funny-looking machine strapped to his chest,with a cranking handle on the side,like a hurdy-gurdy,and he was spraying the mineral ash chippings onto adhesive which was already applied to the walls,this was around the back of the building. The front had wood cladding on the upper half,is it still like that yet? Noo!!as for being a pioneer,i started the first day it opened and was sent home along with 499 other pupils,cos the stationery hadn't arrived,so we started officially the next day. That was in August 1956,after the school holidays were over...we got four weeks then,but the Grammar School got six weeks,then when Westridge started,we got six weeks also,cos the idea was to upgrade the standards of education in a Comprehensive School,to be on a par with that of the Grammar Schools,G.C.E.Exams etc...so the holidays fell in line also. Westridge was the first new Comprehensive School to be built in Northumberland since the War ended in 1945. It cost £250,000 to build!.....wor aad coalhoose at West Terrace varny cost that much later on!! Mr Hemming introduced all the Staff who were sitting in a line on the stage behind him,and he had us Whitley kids baffled with talk of the "Vestibule",and the "Gymnasium",also the "Biology laboratory",we were simple-minded Whitley School 12-year-olds who hadn't heard of these things before!
  5. Adam,try typing this into u-tube: U-Tube over the Rotang Pass to Keylong Aug 2010 Please let me know what you think of it as far as dangerous roads go!
  6. Hi all! Adam,check oot the biker's journey over the Rhotang Pass in India,on a Royal Enfield 500cc bike,[regarded by "bikers" as rubbish bikes!!!!] It's on U-Tube,i'll try to post it here if i can,or i'll post the exact title for you to check it oot.It's hair-raising! The bike in the video is the off-road version of the one in my avatar.
  7. Wonder if Councillor Alan Stewart,and he's friend Alan Spowart,can remember Mrs Nicholson,asking them to bring their guitars into the next music lesson,and little Alan[?]Dixon[?]"Dicka" as he was known,they all played and Dicka sang his heart out for an hour...no mikes..just straight from his heart! "the story of my life" was in the charts,by Michael Holliday,"he's got the whole world in his hands",was another one Dicka belted oot,with the whole class singing along with him...!! That was the best music class i ever had throughout my school life!! It helped inspire me to take up guitar when i left school and could afford a cheap one,bought at Gallons shop in Morpeth, in 1959,for £7 10shillings.[paid for at 5shillings a week for six months!] Now,in 2013,at 69 yrs old,in July coming,i still plonk on with my beloved instruments..all 15 of them!!!
  8. Anybody remember Mr Epsley,the metalwork teacher,he was very stern and strict,which in a class with a forge burning,and a £600 lathe...[in 1956!]...he would HAVE to be strict......!Taught me a lot, he did! Mr Abrahart,the History Teacher,used to crack the whole class up,we couldn't write owt for laughing,when he was giving us "dictation". He used to take on the characters of Disraeli,and Gladstone,in the wars,and stride back and forth across the classroom floor waving his arms about and shouting the characters words from the book...very dramatic,but very much like Harry Worth,the '60s sitcom comedian. Everybody,including the lads,were really sorry to see him go,when he left to take up a post at Westmoor,Newcastle. Mrs Nicholson,music teacher,was really lovely,so was Miss Thew,art teacher,but she had a temper like you've never seen!She nearly bust my eardrum with an almighty crack across the side of my face from behind,[i didn't see her coming]because i spoke to my friend for a second!...you soon learned not to talk in her class!! Mis Short and Nancy McLean were the P.T. teachers for the girls,also both lovely,i worked with Nancy's Dad at Bedlington A pit,as the years went by,he was a Deputy underground,a real nice bloke,he was. Eeeee,a could gaan on and on aboot the teachers at Westridge....
  9. Hi Maggie! I still have my old school badge with St Cuthbert's cross,and the School Motto embroidered on it...."De Profundis"... which was latin for "From the depths",to indicate Bedlington Community's links and heritage due to CoalMining. I wouldn't part with it,it dates back to the day Westridge School opened in 1956 after the summer holidays ended,we all got sent home the first day cos the stationer's failed to keep contract on time,and we had no books,pens or pencils etc! We started the next day,but all that week we wandered around the school freely,on Mr Hemming's permission,to familiarise ourselves with the layout of the school. "Gymnasium....."???...we from the old Whitley Memorial School hadn't heard of the word,so didn't know what we looking for! It was forbidden to walk in there with shoes on,cos the floor cost over one thousand pounds,a lot of cash in 1956! So what did Wilma do?..i was with a few of my friends,Martin Nicholson,Dennis Green,[his Dad was Engineer at the A pit]... and a few others,and when we saw the gym....i couldn't resist running straight over the virgin floor..[i was probably the first ever pupil to walk on it/!]..caught one of the virgin beautiful thick white climbing ropes,and shimmied straight up to the roof in seconds,using only my hands,my feet dangling loosely.A rough sargent-major's voice boomed up to me.."get down from there...now!!!.......i had just met Danny Douglas,our new P.T. Teacher! Well, i shimmied down quickly,hand over hand,and stood to attention....expecting a few canings,like aad Nicky at the Whitley would have done....but Mr Douglas said " Very impressive boy,where did you learn to climb like that?" I replied that i learned it by climbing trees down the woods from a young age.He said "Well,unfortunately,it's the wrong way,so i'll show you the right way,and if i catch you doing it your way again,you will be in trouble,right?! He never mentioned the fact that i broke rules by being in the gym unsupervised!Danny was A great character,he clipped you,and made friends within minutes....R.I.P.Danny Douglas..the best P.t teacher ever lived.
  10. Aye..!..Wat happens ti the sites?! A came back ti catch up on new postings and thi pics....nowt there!!!
  11. A lad called Ernie Middleton,[i worked with him at the Aad Pit at Bedltn,in the mid-'60's],had a Bond Bug,and if a can mind reet,he smashed it up....in his words......"daeing ninety"......!!!!!!!! Canny lad Ernie,a wonder if he is still knocking aroond..... ....if ya theor Ernie,wi a nom-de plume,correct me if aam wrang wi me musings!!
  12. The skating was on also on Wednesday nights,and it got jam-packed! My first visit was in 1962,and thats where i met my Wife...on skates,!!
  13. Captain Pugwash was great for the little we'ens was't it?....as weel! Aye,great characters they had in them days,not like it is nooadays...wi aal this obscene stuff gaan on...aye,gud aad-fashioned characters like Master Bates,and Seaman Staines..........wor kids loved it...it was SO INNOCENT... wasn't it? Mind,it was my Son,in later life,who wisened me up,cos i was an old-fashioned "green" pitman............ Then there was the gud aad Cornflakes box,recently,giving tickets in a contest to see the new blockbuster film...starring the main character..................... .........Owan Kinobi.......
  14. I was at the Shane Fenton and the Fentones show,at the Clayton Ballroom,i was a big fan of the Fentones on ther own,cos they did some great guitar instrumentals, i played lead guitar in a group and played on that stage on Friday and Saturday nights sometimes,it was a great place to be,cos i met my Wife there on a Wednesday rollerskating night....in 1962!!!! The Fenton show was brilliant,and i certainly don't remember him packing up quick!!...not saying it didn't happen,but i seem to think it went really well,and me,being a lead-guitarist,stood all night with my nose under their lead guitar's guitar...watching like a hawk how he did his riffs..[but they weren't riffs in those days..they were "solo's"]
  15. Aam posting inti thi wrang place again...not my daeing...hoo has that happened?
  16. GGG.....Radio constructor.....Practical Wireless was my thing,in the mid-fifties,i was 12years old,learning aboot triode-pentodes and double-diode rectifier valves... and reyrolle condensers...not capacitors!!! Doon ti Barnton tip ti luk fo' aad pre-war wireless's cos the modern "smaala" sets came in....still the size of a suitcase like!,a used ti pull the aad sets apart ti use the bits ti build two-valve short-wave sets by a was 14 yrs aad!!!! A had nae money,but me aada brutha bought the mag for us both ti use.Aboot 1956-9.
  17. Binks's shop,next door ti thi Whitley Memorial School...!I It was a sweet shop when a was a kid,aa nivvor had any pocket money..[too hard-up...],but the Little aad Mrs Binks used ti sell loose "carbine" powder,for the Doctor Pit Men's carbine [acetylene gas] naked caplamps. SO...!...one of me schoolmates,now deceased.[R.I.P.],used ti buy two oonces of carbine,saying it was for he's Dad's pit lamp,[porky's!],and when we got into the classroom,he'd put a knat's whisker of powder into the ink wells....![on the school desks]. The ink frothed and bubbled up like hell,producing a horrible smell,and covering the whole of the desks with black frothy explosive ink!! When aad Mrs Molden,thi teacher waaked in,we aal got sent ti aad Nicky,[Mr Nicholson],the tyrannical Headmaster,ti get caned across the fingers on both hands... "six of thi best"..it was called...three times on each hand.He wud be jailed if he did that nooadays! It was a gud job that Mrs Molden wasn't smoking,as the teachers did then,or we wud have been blown sky-high!! Then on the way yem after school,my mate wud hoy a handfull of carbine inti aal the pools o' rain-waata,gaan thro' thi park on thi way back ti Beattie Road,where Norman lived,[me mate],and he'd hoy a lighted match inti thi pools....which instantly burst into intense flames!!! Soonds bad!!!...in actual fact,aal thi kids just waaked past laughin',cos tha was nae danger ti anybody,or any trees or owt else,just gud/bad harmless fun!!! The flames died quickly,but any adults wudda been sendin' for the police and fire brigade!!! In fact,it wasn't carbine that injured me at the age of ten,as we were when this happened,it was a flying "aeroplane" firework,set of by another mate's Dad,in a supervised display in the street....and i was burned under my armpit through my wooly pullower,shirt,vest,to the skin..and traumatised by the accident..! Eh,aa cud write a book aboot wa kids tricks in Bedltn in thi aad days...[late-40's.....on]
  18. Noo! What aboot thi forst aad grey buses that Raisbeck ran from the Station,[bedltn Station i..e..] reet up ti Netherton pit village in the 1950's that aa used ti get on sumtimes,ti gaan from Beddy's Market place,ti Westridge school......nae picters o' any o' them..er...IT!,cos they just had the one in them days,if aam not mistyekkin...! Can anybody mind o' the gas lamp doon Bells Place,at the entrance ti Hollymoont Square?,we used ti climb the high waal and pull thi chain on the lever,ti close the gas doon,ti put thi leet oot so we cud play hiddeny,[hidy-seek],in the cooncil shrubbry,cos it wuz reet dark then! That lamp,as weel as aal thi otha lamps like doon aad cobbled Hollymoont Avenue,and Terrace,were lit by coal gas,supplied from the Doctor pit gasometer. Did anybody else raid Waaka's apple orchard,what backed onti thi gardens of Hollymoont Square...they were so soor they med ya eyes waata,but wi still raided them ivry yeor anywheh!! Wat aboot Smaily's shop?...aa used t gaan fo' me mutha's tea and sugar,etc,and while aad Mrs Smails weighed the stuff oot inti little broon paper bags from big tea-chests,aa wud gaze up ti thi big tins on thi top shelf,and wonda wat they were for...they were indian or african,or summick like that,and painted aal in dark exotic patterns...weird-lukkin things thet were! Howwww!!,and can anybody mind aad Gunter Metcalf,wi he's riding breeches,lang riding byeuts,and he's horse whip in he's hand...a strange sight ti see,waakin doon thi street!...He bred the forst Bedltn Terriers in the north,so we were led ti naa,is that reet John Dawson?.
  19. As an old ex-miner,the question arises in my mind,as to why there are so many variations of gradient at all! When extracting coal seams,you "follow" the natural strata "ground". Generally-speaking,the strata rises to the west,and,obviously,dips to the east,with undulations occurring along the way. If in the days when they mined out the tunnels for the underground railway,they didn't have powerful enough explosives to blast through the "cross-measure" of the strata,to keep a level horizon,then they would have had to follow the horizon of the natural base stone ground where they chose to start the first section of tunnel. Am i making sense to everyone on here? On the other hand,bearing in mind London was still very young as a city,they may have had to alter the depth of the tunnel because of the differing intensities of properties they were mining beneath. I am wondering if anyone has any positive ideas about this?...or am i talking silly here?!!
  20. tonyg,where was Phoenix row?,the name suggests to me that this row was built on top of a demolished row from the past...Phoenix rises again...no?!!
  21. My classroom "Upper Remove"[ fancy name meaning nowt!] was situated in the library itself,next door were two private study rooms. Mr Marley was our main class teacher then.1956-9. I got clipped off Danny Douglas lots of times,cos i hated p.e. and used to "forget" my p.e. shorts etc. I've had a few laughs with him about times past, just a couple of years back,sadly he passed away,and i never knew,i would have attended his funeral...he was great fun in the gym..even though i didn't like sport.
  22. Er.....my last posting should have been in the "Musicbox" topic...how it got here i do not know! On the subject of Westridge,i started in 1956,the first day it opened..and left in 1959 to go down the pits. I would love to see any pics of Upper Remove,as my class was called,between them years! Vic,has Doreen got any?
  23. Keith Coultas or Coultiss?,used to go to France in his little van,to seek vinyl albums,as it was then,that you couldn't get in Britain.He got me Elvis's Silver anniversary box set,which was about £25 then....1981-ish?[keep me right here you Elvis fans!],a weeks pay for me!,cos it was completely sold out in Britain. John was our fitter at Bates pit,and used to maintain all our gear,including the mechanical shovel in my Bates pit photostream on Flickr... Lydia,his sister , was my Sister's bridesmaid back in 195-something!!!! The Musicbox was upstairs at that time,in the 70's/80's,they had some rare posters on the staircase walls. The Record Bar was in Bowes street,Blyth,on the corner opposite the health food shop,opposite Argos. When i played in a pop group,we all hung out there at weekends,all the other local groups i mean,listening to the latest hits,and buying the sheet music,as well as the records,to learn to play them...back in 1963-66. "Are you sure" was a great harmony track,by the Allison.s,but i'm bound to say that seeing as i'm an Allison! Holly was a mate who played in the "shades of blue" group,back then,lead vocalist,and harmonica player,he was great,but he left and went to London, still in the sixties,and got into the top ten,with a band called "Toby Twirl"...can't remember the name of the record,but next time i saw him was at the Club Domino,Bedlington Station,in the early '70's,he was top of the bill,i heard he is now back in Blyth,and running his own pub. Sorry folks....i do go on a bit!!
  24. Hi all!..call me Bill..that's my name. Keith,it was called different names,my wife's parents and grandparents,and other relatives lived there,and they called "the puddler's"...as in ...."aye,when we lived at the Puddler's"[example!] We,my wife and me,would dearly love to see any drawings,or photo.'s of the Puddler's row..["raa"]. tonyg,i aint heard of that one marra!
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