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Everything posted by HIGH PIT WILMA

  1. 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?!!
  2. 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?!!
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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!!
  6. 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!
  7. Aye,it's aal gone noo! Fortunately,a went doon each time there was a part of it demolished,and both video'd,and snapped the operations,so aav got a complete file on the whole demolishion project!
  8. Hi all! Does anybody have any images at all of Puddlers Row? McCAFFERTYS,Ellen Ruddy,Harry Craize,The Olivers,Rachel Walker are some of the family names who lived there.Surely someone has a pic or two of thier Granny in thier drawer!
  9. I started the WHITLEY SCHOOL about 1952 and i remember nearly all the teachers,above all Matty Hall cos he was such a great character.Aad Nicky the headmaster caned me both hands three times on each,infreezing weather,cos i put one foot accidentally on the grass ti get the ball.when the grass was out of bounds.Every time my foot hits grass,i get a flashback of Nicky swishing the cane in front of my face to terrorise me.Even Matty Hall said recently to me that old Nicky was avery evil man.Sorry for the rant but it's ingrained into me.
  10. And the lassie that he murdered ,i worked with her Dad,and he walked around in a daze,shattered,for years after,it wrecked him,he used to be always joking before that happened to his young Daughter,no reason to keep facts under the table.
  11. John,i'd love to see the high pit underground pics,you might have the original of my Father at 14 years old,as a young putter,at bait-time wi he;s pony,i uploaded it on flickr,its a rarity taken around 1929-30-ish... I don't know how to even put a pic up here for my avater nivvor mind post them on the site! Get cracking John please!
  12. Hi John,i mentioned Ernie Arkle in that long posting above....mind,i was only 16 years of age,and they were all old men to me then,even though they might have only been in their 30's or 40's.I used to trail all of their girders and conveyor belt pans and coalcutters etc,on the bare ground cos there was no rails laid in the maingates at high pit...it was cruelty for the horses and for us too.Her Majesty;s mines inspectors turned a blind eye to the way roadways were driven so low that horses scraped their backs to the flesh but would fine you for throwing your bait papers down in the goaf.....crazy justice!I knew everybody at the pit before they started transferring men from other pits,they doubled the workforce from 300 men in 1959 to 600 men in 1965...but the output per manshift dropped so they deemed it to be uneconomical...just like all the other pits that followed! Lots of men only had nicknames at the pit,John...there Les..."fingers " Dawson,DaaDaa [Alan Dawson]"Salt" Dawson,Harper [Harry]Dawson,..he came from the low pit when it closed ,there were loads of father's and Sons like the Nicholson brothers,the Dryer family,the Barrats,etc,,,,it sure was a close knit community pit like i never saw ever again.
  13. Above Station store John,it was called "krazy-cuts" in the seventies,but it was the co-op since time began! I used to play Saturday nights in a pop group in the mid-sixties,The Avengers did also,Graham Bell recently passed away,he was the Avengers vocalist, and he was great! There was the Locke Hallabove Bedlington co-op,and the Reay Hall above the Bedlington station co-op. Noo......wat was the name of the hall above Keenleysides? When aa left school in 1959,we aal had ti queue up the stairs ti sign on cos it was the Labour Exchange...[posh name for the dole office!]
  14. John,thanks alot for your reassurance! A sure was frustrated t'otha neet,a sat for more than a hour and ahalf,cos aam a one-finger typer,a told a lot about people and places,and lost it,but aal get there slowly.A am not familiar aboot this wordpad thing,so aal ask me son,he'll keep me reet...a aalwis say,if ye cud cut coal wi a coalcutter....ye cud dae owt heh heh !! A realise noo that aav met ye John,alang West Terrace,aa had the big aad green garage wat was arsoned six years ago. The week a came oot o hospital after recovering from a heart attack. This a mighty gud site John!
  15. Eh Vic!HPW IS Billy!Aav had that daft but now affectionate nickname for over 50 years noo,so aam keeping it cos its unique! Last time a saw Dot and Yasell' was at the shows on the Doctor pit field at the Whit weekend in aboot 1964-5,when we were both courting couples.....lotta waata went under the bridge since then eh?!! Are you still over the water? i heard that Maureen was back,i missed seeing Dot and you last time you came over,i was really gutted. I usually ask aboot ye's and Maureen when a get me haircut,by Alan or John at Bedlington.
  16. Hi Lone Ranger! No,Storey's buildings ran down the right side of the road from the railway crossings known as Choppington Station. Hi Foxy!...That is a blast from the past,and thank you very much for posting this fine pic!!..this pub was at the top of the Storey's street,which is now the entrance to Barrington road. Tait's shop is a quarter mile further on,over the Willow Bridge,and in the centre of Scotland Gate. I lived in number three Storey's Buildings,from almost born..[i was born in Guide Post..],1944,till my parents moved in 1948,to the new "Cooncil Hooses" at Hollymount Square.....a few doors along from my very good old friend and schoolmate, Doreen Dagless,whom i haven't seen for nearly fifty years! Now who do i come into contact with via this wonderful forum?......Vic!!... Hope this clears up the question about Storey's Buildings!! Hi Vic,if you are in there,tell Doreen that Billy Allison is asking after her and Maureen!
  17. Now there was a family of different Arkles,at Hollymount Square,in the 60's,they worked at Bedlington A pit,and had a Daughter who was a beauty queen. The census should show all these people to helpyou with your quest!
  18. Why not visit Flickr and type in "HIGH PIT WILMA'S PHOTOSTREAM"...or Google "BATES PIT PHOTOS"...my pics are on Flickr.and i reserve all copyrights.There's some interesting shots on there ,taken before the pit closed in 1986.
  19. For what it matters,and only for correctness,John Arkle wasn't the backoverman,he was mastershifter,that is,the overman in the nightshift. He kept this shift permanently,starting at 5-0pm till 12-15 am. He was a lovely bloke,as was Chris,but Chris took some getting used to,with his dry sense of humour,which could be slightly sarcastic,with no ill-intent whatsoever...they were both very fair,well-liked blokes,and that's a well-known fact among anybody who really knew them. Chris once caught me dozing off at bait-time,at 3-0am,in foreshift,when i was only about 18 years old,and staying up during the day,with the novelty of shift work,dog tired,having had no sleep,and he knocked me on the top of my pit hat with a prop-end,[ a "heed-tree"],shouting .."Wilma..wake up...yi sleepy-heeded c....!!!!!!!! He should have had me to the managers office to be fined,possibly sacked,as sleeping was a serious offence....but he laughed at my weak excuses and warned me....next time....yi young bugger.......!! Mind,i was always under the impression,from hearsay at the pit,that it was John who was left halfway up the shaft in the cage,not trapped,just "rapped clear" by the onsetter....unless he rapped himself away,and he's two raps of three ["men riding"],to the brakesman,and the banksmen,could have been mistaken by the brakesman as a "six"...which meant .."shaft clear"..in which case the procedure was always to take both cages to the middle of the shaft to equalise the strain on the ropes. It was common knowledge at the pit that he was given the officials job to keep him quiet,but as it was hearsay,i always doubted the validity of the rumour....cause he was in the shaft for fourteen hours,and that shaft had a bend in it when it was sunk. Consequently,all the water that teemed constantly down the shaft,poured into the cages,as they were made out of perforated steel sheet,with inch-diameter holes throughout,for lightness.....four feet square,only room for four men to squeeze in...pretty claustrophobic,cold and soaking wet...he should never have needed to work again..he should have been financially rewarded. It really was a TETTY-PIT...! The other brother was called Ernie,and he was one of the "Fivers men"...a team led by Eddie Halliday,with marra's Harry Undeldorf,[Polish], and Ernie Clough. These lads drove all the new roads,and won all the new coalfaces out,plus any other specialist work such as re-modelling roads,etc.....this is what i did but it was called composite work at other pits. The reason they were called "fivers" was cos they got paid £5 a shift,when the coalfillers only got £4-and five shillings a shift.[ or 85 bob a shift] At one time , i knew every man at the pit,when there was only 300 men worked there. I worked with Pat Purcell in the timber yard,from school,then Ned Cushing,the training officer,took me down once i was 16 yrs,to work with John Wardlow,and John Dickinson..great lads to train under..hard work,on heavy transport. I worked with Dor Dryer,and he's Father,old Dor,and he's uncles Freddie,and Jackie...it was a proper little family pit..with canny blokes,and stinking conditions!
  20. There was a deputy at Choppington B pit,in 1959,called Ronnie twist,probably the same lad. Sad tragedy...kids will always be kids.....
  21. Keith,about the bottles and jars...considering we used to go around the doors asking folk if they had any pop bottles,in the mid 1950's,so we return them to the shops for a small return fee,i think we got threepence a bottle,it would seem logical for hard-up people to use them as an entrance fee,cos the cinema owner would take them in bulk and get a canny penny,so to speak...they were hard times!
  22. Just remembered,the Manager's clerk at Choppington B colliery in the late '50s/early 60's was called Jimmy Marley,and my Wife has a lady friend with the Marley name,whose Husband passed away a few years ago,lives on Wansbeck estate. Hope this is of some help somehow.
  23. Mr [bill?]Marley was my class teacher at West ridge County Secondary School from 1956-1959 when i left at 15 years of age. He wasn't very tall,but was stocky as hell,and i don't mean fat,i mean muscly-stocky! He could quieten the "big lads" in the class,who made all the noise in his abscence,by just opening the door to the classroom,and walking in.....it went deathly quiet....nothing said,no need to shout...just stare at them!! Last time i saw him was at a funeral in Saint Cuthbert's church in Bedlington,a few years ago,and he hadn't changed one little bit..just white-haired! Wonder if he is related to you? The school is now St Bennet Biscop catholic school.
  24. Thanks Keith!I don't know anything about word docs,as i'm not fully i.t. lit.! However my main point was that Storey's Buildngs wasn't where every one thinks....cos i lived there...! Hope it clarifies the subject!!
  25. This is ridiculous! I've just been on an hour AGAIN , and a message tells me i am not allowed to edit my post,and so i've lost it all again....don't think i will bother anymore!! Now the other posts don't make sense...please delete all of my posts thank you. There i was telling a big story of my experiences living in Storey's Buildings from 1944-1948...and its now floating around in cyber-space....!!
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