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Everything posted by HIGH PIT WILMA

  1. Heh heh!..Derek ye aad bugga!!Hoo are ye keeping? A can picture ye as a young whippersnapper on the Butt on R22's alang wi Geordie Burt on the other Butt, Fishy,The Womble, Sandy,Brian,and tha Marra's up the pig cree of a Fyess that was 22's!! Aye the work and conditions were atrocious,but the banter and Comradeship were second ti none weren't they? Cheers! Billy Allison the ex-Deputy!
  2. Tragic isn't the word for it is it?...makes me wonder if,at that time,it was so commonplace,that they would expect at least one part of their family to die young,and also if they became so despairing,that they just accepted it, whole communities would be affected by plague etc,we were the lucky ones to have been born and immunised against so many of these terrible diseases. St Cuthbert's Church has a few VERY interesting headstones from the old ages..the oldest I can think of is one where I took photos of in the 1960's,pleased I did cos last time I saw it,just a few years ago ,it had weathered so much,that the inscription was barely legible. It has a Skull and crossbones in the centre,with Gargoyle's carved at each side of the Skull..and it was dated 1760 if I remember correctly. I have often wondered what was the cause of death,and why such a gruesome looking Headstone?[ Death by plague?...or similar?] When our two Sons were just wee Bairns,we went to Scotland a lot of times for Summer Holidays. One place we stayed at was up in the Mountains called "LeadHills"...an old Leadmining village...absoloutely ancient. We went to the Churchyards,while we visited the old Churches,and almost every headstone had lists of very young children,who had died from Lead poisoning..a lot of them were employed from six years old,to climb up and sweep the flues clean,cos an adult wouldn't be able to fit into the narrow flue ways. Made me wonder..why didn't they just build them so adults COULD get into them!! Stinks of greedy Mine-owners,employing cheap or free child labour. That place had an eerie presence that Cath and me both felt..it was creepy..dilapidated looking buildings...not a soul to be seen..the whole area just one big slag heap,not like coalmining where at least we had a big pit heap....but just ONE!..this place was slag heaps everywhere we looked around us..obviously ancient and no organised transport system like rope haulage or owt like that to transport the slag waste. We never went back!!
  3. Aye, and wa STILL GUD MARRA'S,ownly wi nivvor see each otha these days! A wish a had ye for a Nybor Eddie,wadn't it be great....pit taak,jam sessions when Cath's health permitted..bike taak......theor a gaan! Noo!Wheor dae a start?!! Tha's that many points a wud like ti discuss on these great pics by Aad Grundy,a divvent knaa wat ti taak aboot forst! Ed,forst of aal,welcome ti this great forum,ye winna find any muppets on here,like otha places,just aal canny helpful folk. Wor aad Chep's Family members worked at the Winning Pit,which was the nickname for West Sleekburn ,shown here,but aa was too young ti knaa any of them .Noo if anybody cums up wi nyems,aal knaa them,just as nyems,not fyesses. Eddie,No 4 pic,luk like tha waiting on ye and me tekking a new fyess motor cyebble inbye for them....!! Nice conditions,like a palace,as we used ti say undagrund,nowt like where me and Eddie used ti be wading through up past the knees,sometimes at waist height,the waata level,in 100 yard lang swalleys..!! Edie,aav telt aal me stories aboot thi High Pit,if ye get a chance ti read some of the topics,ye might kindly add some more wat a might have forgotten aboot,and confirm also that a haven't got a vivid imagination!!..it's aal as true as if we were still there amang it! The seam is aboot three feet high,on a few pics,nice hard clean coal,could be the Yard Seam,and the others are in aboot four feet high coal,cud be any other seam,cos seams varied in height and geological conditions from pit to pit. Where Eddie and me worked,at the High Pit,we were up in the Beaumont Seam,where it went from ten feet high ,filthy coal,full of bands,on one face,and reet doon ti 18 inches high,and full of water on the faces and roadways..in the other side of the districts. Noo at Bates Pit,the Beaumont was aboot 3feet 6inches high,clean coal,nae bands,straight and level,and bone dry..just the opposite,and it was miles oot under the sea!!..[thi High Pit was way oot west,heading owa Hepscott way..and rising quickly ti the surface.]..[it was 25 feet from the surface when they stopped the 2nd West Face....remember that one Eddie?!!...turnips and rabbits running aboot...they used to tell strangers ti thi pit!!] Notice the corrugated steel "Straps"..or "Planks",keeping the roof up?...aa carried one of them from owa the fields aback of me hoose,it was part of the farmer's rickety fencework,it came from the Bomarsund ["Thi Bomar"] Pit heaps,when the Cooncil landscaped the heaps and forrested it,god knaas hoo it ended up in the fence,many years ago,but noo it's at thi bottom of my garden as a curio..bent ti 90degrees wi roof pressure underground on the coalface,and probably came oot on a pit tub and was ditched. They didn't ditch them at the High Pit,they had a portable hand-operated hydraulic-ram straightener. It was a monotonous job,working a handle back and forward aal day lang..tekkin and hoor ti stryten one steel plank! Notice the Driller has stood he's Carbine lamp up on the left side,on the stone strata,facing away from the camera,so as not ti spoil the exposure? Taaking aboot the camera,Eddie,if my memory is correct,Grundy had a Rollieflex [twin-lens reflex ] camera,when we were Marra's..[and just for the record..off-topic like..but dae ye still have the Oris wristwatch ye used ti hae on yor wrist!!?] A still have the Halina 35X [35mm film] camera wat a tuk aal your Photo's wi,in thi 1960's!...which are still in my albums!!..[ye knaa thi ones!] and that is the camera a used ti tek pics doon Bates Pit in 1986!![Check the Bates Pit Gallery oot Ed,tha's sum great pics on there!..including big Bill Etheridge] Cheers folks! Hungry and tired..! Stay safe and alert! Bill.
  4. Aahh! Thanks for your kind greeting Canny Lass! Aav missed aal thi crack ,ye knaa wat it's like bonny lass,caring for your loved one..full time just noo for me..in fact it's treble time withoot owatime pay! Cath is gaan through a really bad patch,so a haven't been able to come on as much,wat time a dae get afore bedtime,aav been settling doon wi a u-tube music video ti relax. Anywheor frae rock-n-roll music..ti opera,and classical organ works..a recently discovered a wee lassie from your end o toon,[whey,she ain't a wee lassie NOO..!..she is a big bonny lassie,caaled AMIRA..[ [ Holland''s Got Talent winner aboot 2013]. She was nine years aad,singing "Nessun Dorma,and Ave Maria" like a seasoned adult opera singer! A daein't watch telly at aal,but she came up in my google search for Nessun Dorma by Harry Secombe,from the 1960's!! Anywheh,I digress!..a hope you are both keeping weel and stayin' safe as weel!! Noo,Can ye mind o' the Chinese takeaway that Tony is on aboot? Alan,thanks ti ye also,a PM'd ye just noo. Is the "Ginny's" Fish shop ye mentioned,opposite the Black Bull pub?..when aa was aboot five years aad and growing up,Bill and Jean Gates had that fish shop,and in them days,when ivry otha property in the street was a pub or Working Men's Club,tha was queue's a mile lang at hoyin' oot time...ivry neet!!.. Cheers folks,Stay safe and alert.!
  5. 50 yrs ago,in 1970,a shifted ti Stakeford,and a had aalriddy been living in wi me Angel Mother in Law,for 2 years..doon at Grange Park. So a was oot o touch wi Bedlington itself. We had a Chinese Takeaway starting up next door ti the Lord Barrington,on Gleggie's corner. A think it was caaled The Monsoon,but stand to be corrected on that one. A was famished one neet and went up ti hae a luk in ti see wat a cud get. A was faced wi 2000 choices of Chicken this and that....wi Beansproots..etc etc! A settled for an English mixed grill. A waited aboot 20 mins,taaking ti the young Chinese kid aback o the coonta. He was the loviest natured kid ye cud ever wish ti meet. His Brother Jimmy Lee,painted this huge picture of a Leopard in the Jungle...it was like a photo..hangin' on thi waal above the serving hatch..it was aboot 6 feet by 4 feet high,and magnificent! He said do you llike paintings?..I show you some more what my Brotha Jimmy has done.. He pulled a stack of Artist sized drawing pads...like 2 feet by 18 inches or maybe bigger..they were all of big Cats..amazing. A got me mixed grill on a foil dish,it was that big a had ti carry it wi both hands stretched oot,and me arms were aching by the time aa got doon yem...aboot 200 yards. Mind,that,was what aa caaled ...a dinner!! As years went by they moved,and new owners came in...then aal the cats in the neighbourhood went missing...including two of ours...[at different times]. Whey rumours flew thick and fast,and it was reported that they were raided and there were cats and rats in the fridges! The rumours came oot aboot every Chinese restaurant that ever opened!!...after that..the poor guys had a really hard time ti get a decent reputation. It's unthinkable nooadays,but even the Kam Tong was raided and closed doon for the same accusations,in the early 1960's,it was the first time I ever stepped into a place like that ,and only cos we had been playing at the Big Club in Blyth,and me Marra's in the group suggested it. Aa was green as grass..nivvor been owa the plate-ends in me life,so a was that famished,a had Chicken and chips,just that..[nowt else!]...but ordered a second lot after finishing the forst lot. Me group Marras thowt a was a greedy sod,but aa was,and still aam,used ti having a big plateful of tetties ,baigie,cabbage,carrots,peas,and broccoli,wi meat and yorksha puddings...!! This Chinese Chicken meal wadn't o fed me little Black Jess..that's hoo a ahad ti hae a second helpin' !! Me aad Marra at Bates Pit,was a Butcher by trade,afore gaan doon thi pits..[a knew a few gud tradesmen who went doon the black hole for better pay in the aad days..],and he telt me that the only difference between a Cat,and a Rabbit,was the shape and size of their Kidneys,and both could be flavoured and cooked ti taste like Chicken. Whey aav had me share of Rabbits in me lifetime,and aal tek sum convincing that ye cud possibly cook a rabbit ti taste like Chicken..but theor yi gaan! Aam back again folks!,canna cum on like a used ti,me Wife isn't weel at aal,and aam full on caring for her,just gud ti put me oar in again...!!! Stay Safe folks..Cheers! Bill.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Jammy,it's late and aam buggaad,aal hook up wi ye thi morn! Cheers. Bill.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. 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!
  14. 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!
  15. 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!!
  16. 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!]
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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'!.......
  21. Thanks Alan...much appreciated!
  22. 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.
  23. Hi Alan ,again!..also please pass thanks to Peter Jones as weel for his comment. Cheers Bill.
  24. 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!!
  25. 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.
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