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About Haffy

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  1. HPW. It's funny how my simple question has brought a flood of such interesting memories back to you. Unfortunately, I can add only a little to your stories - I was still a lad when I left Ashington so I've never had the experience of living as a 'grownup' in the town and having to endure the fortunes or misfortunes of having a pit house for myself. As a child, all I knew was that the pit provided the house, the pit provided the coal to keep it warm and every few years, my mother would repaper everything.! Life as a child seemed simple. My family lived in 5th Row and then the11th so I didn't know anybody who lived at the Hirst. You mentioned the tub rails and that has brought back what must be my earliest possible memory because I can remember those rails. And I seem to recall the time when they concreted the roads which must have been when they were removing the rails. That would have been when I lived in the Fifth Row so it must have been around 1932 - 34. I can't recall any 'earth' lavatories so maybe the flush ones were installed at the same time as the roads were concreted. Newbedders. Thanks for putting on that map of old Ashington which brought back a few memories. I think I spent half my childhood in that Recreation Ground !
  2. Thanks Eggy that's excellent. Just the lead I've been looking for!
  3. Hi Eggy, Thanks for the reply. In fact I never actually lived in Bedlington - I lived in (dare I say it) Ashington. But (as far as I know) Ashington doesn't have a forum so I thought I would trespass on the goodwill of Bedlington. After all, mining families were all in the same boat. HPW has kindly told me what happened in your locality and I expect it was exactly the same in Ashington. Haffy
  4. Hi HPW, Wey aye man, ye sortinly made me happy with ya fascinatin story of aal the work ye had to dee to your hoose. Ma pitmatic mebbe a bit rusty but Aa knaa it would quickly retorn if Aa ever came back hyem. You certainly showed initiative and did a lot of hard work in renovating the house in West Terrace. Horse hair and lime plaster - wow! I bet that tested your diy skills. I'm delighted that you made a success of the job and I hope that all your hard work turned your hovel into a happy home for your family. Knowing what government departments are like, I expect they were not particularly generous when it came to assessing a price for the property. I only hope that it has turned out to be a good investment over the years. It must have been a terrible time for the mining families when they started to sell off and even demolish the pit houses. All the worry - whether to buy - can we afford to buy - is there anywhere else available. At least those problems are behind us now even if other problems are still coming, Is the working man any better off today? Many thanks for giving me your time. All the best, mate. Haffy PS I liked your comment about the netty and in particular the hurricane lamp. I too had to endure that until the army took me away and introduced me to holes in the desert sand !
  5. I come from a typical coal mining family – the men went down the pit and the girls went to the colliery offices. However I was the exception – in 1949 the King decided he needed my services and I was called up to do my National Service in the army. I never returned to Northumberland except for the occasional family visits, I am now in my dotage and at such a time, one tends to reminisce and to look back at one's roots and where one came from. And there is one thing which has puzzled me for a long time and I haven't been able to find the answer. What happened to the pit houses when the NCB closed down?. Some of the houses may have been destroyed but I know the vast majority weren't destroyed because they are still occupied and even for sale. I wonder if someone would kindly explain the history of what happened – an old man would be very grateful. Haffy
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