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Posts posted by HIGH PIT WILMA

  1. 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!


  2. Correction about the Doctor Pit dumping waste on the aad pit heap...news ti me!

    The Doctor Pit had it's aan pit heaps,another playgrund of us kids..in the early 1950's.

    It was very dangerous ground,constantly burning,and giving off Sulphrous fumes,as weel as showing light pink patches at the sides of the paths we trod.

    Us younger kids were taught to follow the older ones,and to take notice where weeds and grass grew.and where rabbits burrowed under..they were the safe places to walk..and we were taught NOT to venture where the ground was light pink coloured..cos they were the areas where it was still burning hot,no flames,just smouldering hot.

    One day,a was really curious,and just dabbed me foot lightly on a pinky spot,and the ground just sank in like a quicksand,with a red hot plume of dust and fumes spewing out from the hole what was created by my actions..the big lads played hell with me,including my older Brother,who was looking after me..

    I later heard of a wee lassie who was playing along with her friends,one minute,and the next minute,when her friends looked back for her,she was gone..she had fallen into thi "quicksand furnace" and would be incinerated in seconds..tragic story..

    I don't doubt that maybe in the latter years just before the pit closed,that the pit might have run oot of dumping ground,and railed the stone doon ti the Aad pit heap.

    Cos the Doctor Pit didn't pile the heap up like the Aad pit,they more or less spread the waste oot owa a large area.

  3. On a more serious note,a hope everybody on this great site ,are keeping well as can be expected,things are pretty rough here just now,with my Wife's  and my own Health issues,so I can't come on as much as I used to,but rest assured I haven't deserted!

    Sadly for us at home,tomorrow is the third Anniversary of the loss of wor LBJ,[Little Black Jess],who was a treasured member of wor family..and who kept me going for ten lovely years.

    No more 3-0 am walkies....!

    R.I.P. LBJ.

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  4. ...er Anne,a true Geordie will hae  nae botha reading me test text!

    Dinna wurry if ye hae botha,when me Neice was in the Army,a few years ago,she ranked as a corporal..and they were stationed in the Falklands..[after the war was over],and,us being very close,she was pleased to hae letters frae me noo and again.

    Whey,one day,a wrote a full A4 sheet of very fine font,by hand,aboot 2mm high,as a dae when a naturally write owt doon.

    So this sheet of text,was aal geordie slang,wi a load of Pitmatic hoyed in amangst it,wi nae spaces and nae puncshuashon watsiivvor!!

    Aam not kiddin ye,it lukked like a load of hyriglifficks!

    Whey,she read it aalreet,so she sneaked inti thi Officer's Mess one day,and pinned it up on thi Operations notice board.

    Next thing she knew,she was getting her bait wi aal hor Marras in the Naafi [?],[Canteen?]..,when a high ranking Officer waaked in and caaled attention everyone!

    He thundered oot.."and what is this,and who is the person who posted this nonsense on the OP. Board..?"

    HE,and aal thi otha Officers,hadn't a clue wat it was aal aboot!!..and aa sed..THEY are defending wor COUNTRY ...and they cudn't decipher Wilma's pittle-tekkin..!!

    A had put in phrases like .." Tha stannin theor like a brokkin paor o limmas..." ..."Ya as much gud as a Choclit Polis".."thi tell maor lees thin a Collry Polis.."!..etc..

    Me Niece telt them it was just a letter from Uncle Billy in Geordielan in Englind..they warn't very amused,cos a beat thim!! Heh heh!

    Noo aal get barred for ...Digressin...sorry Alan and aal ye kind folks..a cudnt resist it...am back!!

    Cheers! Bill.

    • Like 2
  5. Hi Anne,welcumtithiforruum,itsgreatiseeanuthaaadbedltngeezeronthisgratesitewheorivrybuggaisfriendlyanthasnaeslaavaaswearinglikeuthasitesbutathinkmebbecannylassneedsticumootoretireminttilarnishootitaakproppabutonthiuthahandathinkitsmewhotaaksproppaaalriddyifyeknaawatameanlikemanifyifollamejistlikemanhowww....!

    .......as I was saying,it's wonderful to have you on the forum,and I am sure you will derive a lot of pleasure,integrating with such lovely people who are diligent in  their aims and objectives,of sharing knowledge and understanding to all who participate on the forum....

    .....and mind,ye soond like a reet canny lass...[er sorry,CL...!..slip of the pen...so ti speak!]...aa was born in Guipost in 1944,and lived theor,and Choppingtin,Storey's Bildins ,till1947,when me Family mooved inti thi forst of the hooses in Hollymoont Squaore,number thorteen,so aal me family,three Sisters,ind me aader Brutha aal went ti thi Whitley Schuul.

     Can ye mind Matty Hall? ..Luvly fella,ex-army Boxer,who knew hoo ti use a fower foot lang wood blackboard ruler owa ya hint-end as ye were bent owa a desk..for taalkin in class..whey,ye sharp larnt not ti taak in class!!...he clipped wi,but wi still liked him a lot,cos he knew hoo ti keep ye on his side,wi his lovely manner.

    He had a huge turnoot for his Funeral,he was known by so many folk in Bedlington..R.I.P. Matty.

    We had loads o happy memories of thi aad Whitley!

    A hope ye enjoy being a member,Anne,dinna let my glaaky taak put ye off,wi canna aal be Brain Sorgins ye knaa!!

    Cheers,Bonny Lass!

    Caal me Bill thi gud taaka!! xx

    [ps..Wilma was a daft nickname wat a lad caaled Keith Cooney,Deceased R.I.P. Keith..gave me when we first started the pits from school..in 1959...cos a grew me hair lang and played the guitar.Doon a wet coalmine,me hair used ti be aal straggly like the early episodes of the Flintstones,where Wilma was like a thin scraggy character..caveman's squaw!!...noo that's summik ti write yem aboot...innit?!!!]

  6. Merry Christmas to all my gud friends on wor great channel!...Nice ti see ye back Brian..mind aav been idle an aal...but aam chinkaplonka,it's looking after Cath  full on noo,that limits time for me..nivvor mind,one thing a wud like ti remind ye aal...if ye get tipsy,keep ya phones switched off!!...aam a teetotaller,so aam fully aware constantly......aav had aboot a dozen scam texts and calls owa the last few months,more so this last few weeks..from Lloyds Bank..[supposedly!],Royal Mail wanting 2 quid for a parcel ti be redelivered..[nonsense!]Hermes,[same thing],and just last week and today,a text saying "I think you are in this Video"..beware that one,my marras have fallen for it,thinking it was from old Pit Marras,but it scans all your contacts....I dont know if this has been covered already,apologies if it has,better be safe than scammed!    Cheers and all the best folks!

    Bill and Cath xx

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  7. Merry Christmas,and a happy new year to all,if we get that far!!

    Hope to be seeing you all a bit more next year,past two years have been disastrous ,healthwise,with my Wife.

    The NHS have been absoloutely MAGNIFICENT ,between Wansbeck,The RVI,The Freeman,and The Mount at Morpeth,all the Consultants and Staff,all the way down the ranks,deserve medals,solid gold ones the size of dustbin lids!

    My Wife and me hope the NHS gets the Appreciation,and funding that it deserves Nationally.



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  8. Hi Folks, as a bairn we roamed the area, and played aroond aal thi pits in the area. If ye went UP the Netherton Lonnen from the Choppingtin road, the Francis Pit old Mine shaft and Winder tower stood on the Left side of the lonnen, a way across the land. Us kids used ti shoogle alang the rails that were laid over the open shaft, and throw stones doon the shaft, ti hear the booming sounds of the stones hitting the shaft walls as they went doin aboot a thoosand feet! 

    My Brother in law had the Ranch, on that same land, where he reared Pigs, Geese, Hens, Turkeys, and his Mother Katie Bell lived in the Colliery raas. I was 12 yrs aad in 1956 when a used ti help him on the Ranch after school sometimes. 

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  9. Hi Marra's, I played with, Ronnie Leyland, and Alan Wilkinson, from my first day at the Village Infants School, Church Lane, from 1949,I sat next to Alan in the same desk all our school lives, and played doon the woods after school. They lived next door to each other in Millbank Place. 

    My oldest (Deceased) Sister, played with and went to school with Millie Madison.. a lovely family, they live right across the green at the back row of houses. I knew Alan Maguire well, and grew up with him but were they not Catholics, i. e not Whitley Schoolers? 

    There was a Bob Lyall Electrician at Bates, smashing natured lad, (as was Alan Maguire!) There was over a hundred of us lads from Millbank, the Haig and Beattie roads, the Hollymoonters, the Millfielders, and we aal just got on wi each other.. it was nowt like ye hear nooadays... lassies arranging ambush on a disabled lad and inciting lads to kill him.. what hae we cum ti? Tony, ye are reet thi aad folks used ti say ti us bairns, aye, we had nowt, but we were happy... 

    Whey, lukkin back, we cud say the syem thing! WE had nowt eetha, rations were on, not even a jam sammidge till teatime, but we played oot aal day doon the woods, owa thi opencast mine, doon Barntin Tip... THI TIP!! lukking for pram wheels ti mek a bony!

    They were happy days! 

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  10. Hi Folks, the only thing I recognise, is the Jordans Coach!.. aam I right?! Brian and Rob Redpath were my school, and home friends, lived in Hollymount Square, Brian qas in my class, and on the Infant School 1950 photo, but I never knew their Dad's names.. well, we were brought up with respect, to call older people.. Mr, and Mrs!.. such was life back then! 


    • Like 1
  11. Hi Vic,the reality of losing "Wor" Doreen,hasn't really sunk in,after I got your message,I still think she will be there ti keep ye reet,but even though we haven't seen each other for all them years,ye canna wipe oot treasured memories,they stay here in ya heart forever.

    Doreen and me were like Brother and Sister,along wi Maureen,from three years old,Home Pals,School Pals,just there aal thi time..long Summer nights playing in the square are firmly embedded in my mind.

    My heart goes out to you and your family Vic,my Wife,Cathy,sends her love also,she is suffering ill health also through the effects of Major Seizures,losing her memory is one of the side effects of all this,so she can't remember any of the old days,or her Childhood,and even what happened yesterday,but she does remember me telling her of my old friend Doreen's Passing,and was so sorry to hear the sad news.

    All I can say is,Vic,stay strong,Marra,keep those memories close to your heart,and remember how well liked Doreen was over here by those who were her friends.

    Could you also tell Maureen,we lost another dear old friend recently,Joan Bell..[she was married to Josie Reed,although Maureen might not remember Josie..they were a lovely couple..]

    How can I begin to say Cheers Marra...doesn't seem right...Kindest regards Vic

    Bill and Cathy xx

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  12. Howw Man,wa Geordie folks on this site,[whey...my Son keeps correcting me...wa not Geordies at aal...wa Northumbrians!! ...wat thi hell!!]...wat does toot de sweetie mean in punds shullin's ind pence?!!....n wa not Frogs eetha!!Heh heh...nea disrespect..ignorance is bliss we used ti say!!

    When aa was 15 yrs aad,in 1959,a used ti waak from Hollymoont Square,in the deep snaa,when the Buses were laid off,and waak up the Railway [Tanky]line from the Low Pit,at Scotland Gate,reet up ti the High Pit,a stryght mile,mind that WAS hard work,trudging through Snaa two feet deep and deeper wheor the snaa had drifted![ a total of Fower Miles,afore wi even clocked on!!]

    The point of aal this is,we wad nivvor hae thowt that one day,ye wadn't see the line,for a lovely wood waak,the Friends of Choppingtin Woods have worked a miracle in creating that haven!!

    But a canna help but think,when a used ti gaan up the entrance road from Guide Post road,[the PIT ROAD!!]wi LBJ,a used ti stop where the Pit Baths were,and reminisce,get me bearings reet,the Winder Hoose was owa theor,[a gud aad Steam Winder..100 yrs aad!],the Timber Yard doon heor,and the Lamp Cabin and Tally Cabins owa thoer....!!

    A detested that pit,but noo that a haven't got wee LBJ,ti get me oot,a have luvly memories of gaan doon thon woods in the orly mornin sunleet..Magic!!

    Aye,Alan's the BUGGER ti see if ye waant ti knaa owt aboot Barn'tin!!

    Cheers Folks!!

    HPW.[absent a lot,but still kicking aboot!]

    • Like 3
  13. Eh Alan!,a  appreciate aal ya efforts here,noo gaan off the faded files wat didnt recognise,a think that's wat wud be the case wi me book one,done wi the fineline pen.A used that pen,thinking it wud  mek a neater job,with the intention of only finishing the whole project for me Wife and Two Sons reading only.

    Aav had that much interest from a lot of me extended family,some of who are ex-coalminers also,and a lot of me Marras from the pits aav worked at,plus ye kind folks on wor forum,that a started ti think seriously aboot Publishing it,till a read that the Publishers usually want a few chapters in a Word Document format,or summick like that,ti see if it grabs their attention...then that put me off the idea!

    A think first of aal the original needs preserving before it's too late!

    Wadn't ye think they wud develop a foolproof OCR Program,seein as we can send men and women inti space!!

    2-0 am Alan,as usual,fading hard,aal let ye knaa hoo a scanned copy looks after aav done a few pages.

    Cheers Buddy,Bill.Nite Nite.

    PS..Lilbill,thanks also for your kind suggestions,it's much appreciated!

    • Like 2
  14. Hi Folks! Alan,many thanks for that bed time reading! A think my best bet is to first scan the pages,like it says ,if only to preserve a clear image,as the ink IS starting ti fade. A haven't had books one and two oot the carrier bag in the drawer where they are kept,for a few years..time flies!!..and a took them oot yistidi mornin',ti let wor lass read them,and book one one was written wi a fineline pen,and aam sure it looks faded aalriddy.

    Aa started reading book one ,just ti check it oot, a few pages like,and a got absorbed and interested in thi bugga...and a thowt...it's MY  story,and AA wrote the bugga!![Hoo crazy is that?!!..aav forgotten wat a wrote aboot me childhood,even though aal of it is still fresh in me mind!]

    Aam not that clivvor when it comes ti pdf's word documents etc,aav nivvor done owt at aal wi Word,and a wadn't knaa wheor ti start!

    Mind, aav got a ton o' patience,so sitting printing oot 600 double sides,[ie 1200 sides!..],doesn't bother me at aal,it's just thi time factor involved,it's 24 hour care more intense noo wi me Wife,since she had another big Seizure on May 1st ,at 6-20 am,resulting in a fall from a standing,seized,position,forward onto her face,flat oot,which bust her face aal up and broke her nose.

    So aam waatchin' her like a Haak,and the days just fly by wi being on thi go aal day.

    So,aal hae ti try and dae a bit at a time before thi ink fades and it will aal hae been a waste o' time!

    Cheers Alan,and lilbill,from this Bill!!


    • Like 2
  15. As an afterthought, the problem I have noo, wi getting my book published, is, a started writing with pen and paper, longhand, before I became  Computer literate, and noo have more than 600 pages written! Hoo cud a get aal that published? A think it might be best to create authenticity, by scanning every page of my book, and somehow getting a Publisher to put it all together, like an ancient greek manuscript!! What do you think folks?!! Cheers HPW. 

    • Like 1
  16. Waatcheor lilbill15! As everybody on the forum knaas, aal my recollections of my Childhood and comments on mining years, are totally and explicitly from memory, with nae references  whatsoever taken from books, other than things like the Spec of Bucyrus Eerie, The Draglines, at Ewart Hill, then later, Acorn Bank Opencast Coal Sites. Thanks fo ya kind words, Marra, my time is being taken now, caring for my Disabled Wife, 24/7,so my book has been on hold for a lang time, Book one has been finished for a year or two, which Chronicles my life from as young as Two and a half yrs old, until I leave school aged 15yrs,and begin a new life un an adult world, starting to work underground in the Coalmines. Book Two is also finished, and tells of my early life as a young miner in an atrocious, hostile, wet, rough, environment, down Choppington B Colliery, otherwise known as "The High Pit" (as opposed to it's Sister Pit at Scotland Gate, known as Choppington A Colliery, ((The Low Pit)))... both Pits connected by a dead straight railway line, nearly a mile long). I am busy writing book three, which tells of my years at Bedlington A Colliery, and which will, hopefully tell of my years at Bates Colliery, and finally, Ashington Colliery, when, in 1987,I was made redundant when the thatcher the hatcheter government, nailed the coffin lid on the Mining Industry, and closed Ashington Colliery down. I got re-trained as a Cabinet Maker, and went on to make very expensive hand made furniture, until a bad accident to my hand put me out of action, as well as health problems with my breathing, etc, due to Mining dust on my lungs, COPD etc. So if a ivvor get me life story finished.. it'll be interesting, seeing as half of my Marras in my book are sadly now deceased, and CoalMining is a forgotten piece of History.. kids now have never heard of Coal, and wouldn't know what it looked like if ye gave them a cobble, or a treble.. or a single, for that matter!! Noo hadaway an get ya pipe.. ye'll be be scranny by noo!! Heh heh! Cheers! Bill (aka HPW). 

    • Like 2
  17. seeWow! Kathy, the red box needs to be handled very carefully if you can't open it. I am 99.99999% sure that Granda asked the Magazine (Explosives Store!) Attendant, for an empty box for posterity, but cant be  100% certain!! These boxes contained the Electric Detonators, that were inserted into the sticks of Explosive (Thi "Pooda"), and which, when  connected to the Exploder Battery or Dynamo device, fired the shots. The modern Explosives couldn't be fired without a detonator, it would just burn if thrown on the fire, it was regarded as Ultra Safe Explosive, whereas in the old days, Black Gunpowder would explode with a spark! Noo, these detonators were capable of blowing your hand off iff handled the wrong way, or if static electricity from a nylon shirt sparking, or, more likely, static electricity from Compressed Air equipment down the mine, came into contact with the trailing wires!. If this box has Detonators in it, they will have two yellow wires, denoting that they are "Instantaneous" Detonators. That is, they will explode the moment they are set off. Delay Detonators had different coloured wires, for different purposes, with different lengths of delay between "Fired" with the exploder, and actually Exploding, the delays were determined in Milliseconds, or Thousands of a second. I personally would not rule out the possibility of it having Detonators in it! Remember, there is no such thing as an "Empty" Gun!! Chris Sogorski on Facebook, an old Marra of mine, at Bates, will have a key to open the Det Box, if you get in touch with him,or I can ask him, if you want. Please treat the DetBox with care, prevention is better than cure! It was common in the old days for the old miners to  take "Pooda" (sticks of Powder.. it wasnt Gelignite like the ignorant press would report!), to put around their Cabbages to keep the Slugs and other garden pests off!! It alarmed people who moved into the property and found Pooda in the shed, but it was completely harmless! Just the words "Nobel Explosives" set people freaking out! Aahh, ignorance was bliss!! 

  18. Maggie,nice to hear from you,I have PM'd you just now,only for decency,as the news I bring to you can be discussed on the forum another more suitable time,Jack used to be a regular contributor after I convinced him that this was the best,most sensible and decent discussion forum anywhere online.

    I have found Facebook to be useful,and have re-connected with friends of old,even my Best Man at my Wedding,who I hadn't seen for a lot of years,and my Choppington High Pit Marra Eddy,who features unknowingly in all my 1960's pit recollections,who I haven't seen since 1985,it's brilliant!

    Sadly,what comes with all this good,comes more of the bad,and swearing online in discussions,especially Womenfolk,disgust this old Miner who was brainwashed that ...."Noo Son,as soon as ee step oot that cage at bank,ye switch off,right?!..ye'll get ya lugs clipped if ye swear ootside o' these cage waals...!"

    We were brought up in an age where it was unthinkable to swear in front of a Lady,so when a go on Facebook,and aam faced with this,and it's everywhere,and not just young lasses,older ones as well....but it's a good way to keep in contact with my two Sons who live in London,and Norfolk,so I have to bear the sleaze.

    I am thankful for this site being so incredibly decent and civil,with many a great discussion over the years,by some great friends!



    P.S. Thanks Alan for your help as usual ,Marra,still waiting for another natter at the garden gate!!

  19. Hi Maggie,whey, aav had both me Jabs, so has wor lass, so we feel a bit more protected, but Cath has been ill since Easter Monday, after having three consecutive major tonic clonic seizures, and a bad fall. Can ye remember Jack at West Lea!? let me know if ye were the Maggie who visited his house when you were up to check on yours, please.. bad news aam afraid. Cheers HPW. 

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