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Symptoms

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Symptoms last won the day on August 25

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  1. The above reminded me of an earlier post of mine about the SS (as we always called it) and how amazed I was that any Government department could keep records (even trivial stuff) so efficiently for decades. Who transferred the information from our 'green cards' onto Eggy's magnetic tape as I can't recall seeing any computer terminals in the Council Office Annex ... maybe, the counter gadgie had a 'hidden' keyboard below the desk linked to The Ministry mainframe.
  2. An article from the Engineer today about repurposing the old mines into 'green' energy sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/generating-clean-energy-from-the-coal-mines/
  3. I've become a 'dog with a bone' over this Mechanics Institute business ... I've just spent four hours (FOUR HOURS!!!) looking at old issues of the Morpeth Herald reading about it and still more to absorb but as yet nowt concrete. However, to muddy the waters even further there's a reference to Bedlington Station Mechanics Institute, mind that could be just some lazy/confused junior Victorian journo getting his facts wrong. More to follow no doubt .... Perhaps we need a separate thread for this topic? Maybe it's too important to get mixed-up with pubs and inns.
  4. I reckon Inspector 'Canny Lass' Clouseau may have uncovered a dastardly Victorian plot, namely, there could have been two Institutes. The one next to the Sun Inn 'explored' by Sym in the 60s and the Miners' one discovered by Canny wielding her magnifying glass. I have to agree with her that the extension plan I posted earlier does indeed look like the building beside Bedlington A pit. We need to find some old fella who might have supped in the Institute next to the Sun Inn to give us a clue to when it shut as a drinking establishment. Remember, my internal examination of the place in the 60s suggests it was in use unti maybe a short time before I got in there. More digging required!
  5. Here's another snippet from The Freemason's Chronicle (see bottom right):
  6. I read through that Doctoral Thesis (phew!) and found it very interesting but only a couple of mentions about our Mechanics Institute. It was founded in 1848 and closed in 1906 when it had 200 members (the last year when member numbers exist); most Mech Insts in the NE had closed by 1913. It's economic base and benefactor was the Bedlington Iron Works. You can read the Thesis here: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/5614/ but you'll need to download the .pdf document shown at the top of the page ... I can recommend the read as it opens the door for us into the Victorian drive for self-improvement for working men (and it was only for men); all most women had to look forward to was a life of drudgery back then. It clearly continued as a social club but no longer followed the purpose of it's founders, namely the pursuit of technical education.
  7. I've been doing a bit of research on the Mechanics Institute and I'm currently reading a long dissertation some guy did for his Doctorate years ago on the history of Mech Insts. Ours, the one next to the Sun Inn took over the old courthouse and klink there and it was sponsored by the Bedlington Iron Works. I've got more details noted in my study but I ain't there at the moment so can't give dates. I'll try to do a summary and post it so we have some facts listed. The formation of Mech Insts was interesting national Victorian movement ... but more later.
  8. Alan - It was up 'the grassy knoll' behind the War Memorial so your photo above is correct but the building I remember as the Mechanics Institute was behind what is now the Community Centre (perhaps it was an extension of the CC). I recall an open yard behind the building in the photo and a single height building which was the Institute; so, it formed a sort of L-shape with what's now the CC ... perhaps, both building formed the Inst. As lads in the mid-1960s we explored Bedders looking for mischief and once got into the old Institute. As it was a sinle storey there was a hole in the roof (the tiles had been removed) so we climbed up and dropped into the place ... It hadjust been abandoned!!! There were full sized snooker tables covered in dust, tables and chairs, a mahogany bar, mirrored shelves, etc. It was if they'd been supping the night before and just left it. Very strange. I recall another poster here some years ago talking about this too.
  9. Here's a plan for the Mechanics Institute ... I think I downloaded it off the Northumberland Communities site.
  10. Stunning photos! What strikes me is the apparent ranshackle nature of of the scenes, nothing plumb or level, and stuff lying all over. I realise that the guys would have installed the supports, etc. correctly and after a while the ground would have shifted and 'twisted' everything. I wonder if this environment would have been acceptable in our H&S culture?
  11. Hi Sue ... yep, Terry made contact through this Forum. Look at the second post above ... that's Terry; you can send a personal message to him by sliding your curser over his user name TGH and click on message button in the box that appears.
  12. As to Canny's confusion over "... publicans who appear to have had a second string to their fiddle ...". I recall reading years ago that many of the original ale houses were in private dwelling and that the wife of the main breadwinner would brew some jugs of ale* for immediate family. This expanded into to offering the ale to others for a price ... of course this brew had to be consumed soon after being made as it went off (this was before the use of hops to extend the life {and taste} of the ale). So perhaps this activity was formalised and acknowledged in census records. *remember back then that the drinking of water tended to be avoided in case you got ill (likely) and that ale drinking was seen as being a safe option.
  13. Tonyp's earlier post about the vile Worthington E muck got me thinking about a challenge ... That impressive list of boozers elsewhere on this thread could be complimented by naming the breweries that owned them; I know that it'll be impossible to do it for many of them 'cos the old fellas that supped in them are long gone but I'll make a start. The Railway Tavern = Vaux (that vile Mackem stuff) I suppose the Clubs were a type of 'free house' so were able to sell stuff other that Federation Ales. I know there was a Cameron pub (that Smoggie stuff) but can't recall the name of the pub and of course loads of Scottish & Newcastle ones (Blue Star). Go on ... you've got nowt else to do with your time at the moment.
  14. Best wishes to all ... hoping you all have a good Xmas and a great New Year.
  15. The Morpeth Herald is archived at: https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ Dead easy to search for what you want and if you know the exact date of publication you get 3 views for free, otherwise you can pay as you go or pay a monthly or annual sub for total access. Hope this helps.
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