Archive for October, 2008

What Your Money Used To Be Worth In 1959

October 30, 2008 1 comment

By reference to take home wage packets we can see how things have changed:

7 pounds then is like receiving 112 pounds and 91 pence now

10 pounds then is like receiving 161 pounds and 30 pence now

16 pounds then is like receiving 258 pounds and 08 pence now

If you were left a thousands pounds in a will by your Aunty Ada  in 1959

It is like being left 16,130 pounds now.


Wilf Bell

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John Thomas Hope

October 30, 2008 7 comments

‘Tot’ Hope 1934

In September 1934 The Durham County Advertiser and the Durham Chronicle printed a report of John Thomas Hope’s funeral under the headlines ‘Well Known Sportsman – Funeral of Mr J T  Hope at Ushaw Moor’ This article is typed from a photocopy that has  one or two words that are difficult to establish but here is ‘99%’ of what was reported:

Many mourners attended the funeral at Ushaw Moor Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon of Mr John Thomas Hope, aged 50, of Temperance Terrace, Ushaw Moor. Mr Hope has lived in the village all his life, and was employed at Ushaw Moor Colliery for the past 36 years. For over 17 years he was a chargeman and deputy at the colliery. In former days he captained both Ushaw Moor cricket and football teams, and he was also a successful sprinter. He was at one time treasurer of the Ushaw Moor Workingmen’s Club. He is survived by a widow and one daughter.

A service was conducted in St Luke’s Church, Ushaw Moor, by the Rev. J. H. P. Welby, after which the large cortege, headed by the Ushaw Moor Miners’ Lodge banner and officials, proceeded to the cemetery, where the last rites were performed. The chief mourners were: Mrs R Hope [daughter], Mr and Mrs Wood [brother in law and sister], Doncaster; Mr and Mrs G Hope [brother and sister in law], Tynemouth; Mr W Hope [brother], Durham; Mr and Mrs R Hope, New Brancepeth; Mrs Parker, Middlesborough; Mr and Mrs W Hope, Thornley; Mr J Hope, Ushaw Moor; Mrs J Knox, Ushaw Moor; Mrs Hodgson, Spennymoor; Mr Harper, Cornsay; Mrs Smith , Catchgate; Mrs Finegan, South Moor; Mrs Martin and Mrs Maddison, Sunderland; Mrs Frances, Quebec; Mrs E Smith, Sherburn; Mr Bell, Pity Me; Mr and Mrs J Wallhead, South Moor, Mr and Mrs P George, South Moor; Mrs Walker, Annfield Plain; Mrs Hobson and Mr Palmer, Greencroft; Mrs Stoddart, Mr B Palmer; Mr James Graham, Annfield Plain; Mr and Mrs J Smith, Mr and Ms Mecalfe, Mr J [or L ?} Stewart, Mr and Mrs F[?]ennick, Mr Lewis, Mr and Mrs J  W….? and Mr Russell. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr R W Alderson of Ushaw Moor.

‘Tot’ had scratched his thumb on an iron nail whilst working underground and died of septicemia several days later when in the Royal Victoria Infirmary at Newcastle.

Wilf Bell

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Working Mens Club and Empire

October 30, 2008 3 comments

I lived in Ushaw Moor for the first 30 years of my life and I have always missed it since moving away. I see they have demolished the club and the old Empire or Winnings, and have built new houses all over the place, did the Bush shut down as well if so the Flass must be the only pub left open; it seems as if all the old places in Ushaw Moor have to be knocked down and new houses built, did they build houses on the “rec” behind the club as well, I know things change and things don’t stop the same but to me they have spoiled Ushaw Moor, they will be building on the allotments next if the powers to be get there own way. Did they build on the old Institute, used to have some good times in there playing snooker in the 60s never mind I could go on but I still have my memories of the old working class pit village that it used to be.


Harry Oughton

Ray Jolly

October 30, 2008 2 comments

Hello, am wondering if you can help me please am after some information regarding Ushaw moor as my Grandad, Ray Jolly, working there when he was a boy. He is 76 now and would like some information about some people who worked there and some pictures. If you could help me I would be most grateful if you could reply to

Thank you very much this is the closest link to what i was looking for.

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Melvyn Gray Ushaw Moor in 1938

October 30, 2008 5 comments

I wonder if anyone can help at all? My father was born in Ushaw Moor in 1938 and lived there till he was a teenager in High View, I think it was called. His name’s Melvyn Gray and he was the only child of Bill and Peggy Gray. His best friend was George, but I don’t know his surname.

My sister and I are organising a bit of a birthday do for him as he reaches 70 this year and we’d love to have something from Ushaw Moor from the time he lived there, even if it’s only a memory from someone or a photo of the village at the time. He and my mum live near Durham, so they’re not a million miles away, but my dad’s memories of UM are all of his childhood and it would be great to do something related to that for this milestone birthday.

Any help posted on here would be much appreciated!

Thanks, Rachel Green.

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Ayres and Graces in Jubilee Street, New Brancepeth 1901

October 30, 2008 2 comments

Grace Naisbitt

Aged 36, lived at 31 Jubilee Street with her mum and dad [George [58] and Elizabeth [56]. Also there were Grace’s brother Joseph [31] sister Mary Ann [34] and sister Elizabeth [20].

Grace Reddon

Aged 34, lived at 8 Jubilee Street with her husband George[30] and their children Jane [5] John [3] and Richard [2].

Robert Ayre

Aged 27, lived at 14 Jubilee Street with his wife Annie [27] and their son William [4]

There were other Grace’s around e.g. Grace Fairless – aged 3 months and living with dad Thomas [38] and mother Mary Ann [34] at 47 Eshwood Street. Siblings were: Elizabeth [8] George Naisbett Fairless [13] and Aaron [10].

Wilf Bell

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My Ancestors the Vasey’s

October 30, 2008 2 comments

On the 1891 census My  ancestors the Vasey’s were living at 22 Cockhouse lane, on the 1901 census they were living at 31 Dale st. When my Grt Grandad married in 1909 he was living at 343 Broompark. I remember my Grandad who was born in 1911 saying his dad was one of 13 children and looking at my findings he was right.

I wonder if there are any vasey’s still living in Ushaw Moor today.

Regards Edward Vasey.

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Yet Another ‘Coach Tour’

October 30, 2008 5 comments

‘Coach Tour’ sounds a bit more interesting that a timeline don’t you think? I hope that some of the names dropped are of interest to both family history enthusiasts and residents in general.

Here we go:

1905 George Bertram Joslin of Ushaw Moor died on 13/01/1905. He had served as a porter at Durham Railway Station for many years.

1921 Ushaw Moor Colliery employed about 870 workers at this time.

1932 Several local men attended the funeral of Mr William Browell Charlton, a distinguished chairman of the Durham Mining Board. The local men were:

W Shellett,  A Tindale and F Pattison [all three from New Brancepeth and representing the Colliery Enginemen’s Association], G Hume from New Brancepeth [representing the Durham Winding Enginemen’s Association], Mr J Shield [Ushaw Moor] and Mr J H Paul of Bearpark. I wonder whether Mr Shield was a member of the family that was living at 26 Front Street, Browney in 1901.

1950 Ushaw Moor Colliery employed about 340 workers at any given time during this year whereas at New Brancepeth Colliery the figure was about 470 [under the managership of Mr G Watson].

1952 Wilf Bell did not win the New Brancepeth Primary School 50 yard dash. He was winning but stopped at what he thought was the finishing line [it wasn’t]. Who won it then?

1955 A local MP brought to Parliament’s attention the need for a post box to be sited on the new housing estate at Bearpark.

1957 Many elderly residents of Ushaw Moor are already familiar with the name Jack Joyce – one gentleman of that name had his portrait on the Ushaw Moor banner and another was a local historian living in Whitehouse Lane, albeit I believe with the surname Joice. Now we have another Joyce: Mr Anthony Joyce, of Wardley. He moved from Ushaw Moor in 1911 and went on to give excellent service as secretary and treasurer of the Follonsby Miners’ Lodge.   Like Jack Joyce of Ushaw Moor he had the privilege of having his portrait painted on a colliery banner.

1958 A local MP informed Parliament that the parents of pupils taking the Northern Counties School Certificate had to pay exam administration fees whereas the parents of pupils taking GCE did not.

1973 An Ushaw Moor lad, John George March, scored 64 for Durham County against Northumberland.

1974 Cllr. L Dodds was appointed chairman of Brandon and Byshottles Council – the following year Cllr. J H Turner held the same position. Both were local to Ushaw Moor.

1991 Colin Albone [born in Ushaw Moor in 1954] shared in a partnership of 291 with Dennison Thomas to assist South Moor to compile 357 for 4 wickets against Seaton Burn in the Tyneside Senior League. It can be said that Colin was very much the one that got away as far as Ushaw Moor are concerned.

2006 Shaun Ellis of New Brancepeth Primary School won a prize in a schools’ painting competition.

2008 Capitalism is tottering but you can still buy a pint and fish and chips in Ushaw Moor.

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re Joe West

October 30, 2008 1 comment

I am looking for any information that anyone may have of my dad JOE WEST.    I was born when my Mum and Dad lived in 21 Arthur Street, Ushaw Moor.

I don’t have a lot of information about him he passed away when I was 9 years old.  Which will be about 1965.

I do believe he was a Football Referee and he worked on United Buses at the time.

Before moving to Ushaw Moor he  went away to war in the 40s and he got injured in Burma.  I believe he spent a long time in hospital and didn’t come home with the rest of the troops.  His then wife (don’t know her name) didn’t wait for him (perhaps she thought he was dead I am just guessing here – as he didn’t come home) and went off with another man.

I have e mailed you because of some of the stories on your web site,  I must admit it has brought back a lot of memories. many thanx to Wilf Bell for that.

Someone must remember him or even have a picture of him.

John G West

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Two Florence Nightingales living in Ushaw Moor in 1901

October 30, 2008 1 comment

Florence Nightingale Number1

The younger Florence, aged 9 and born in Waterhouses, was part of the Nightingale family that occupied both 2 and 3 West Street Ushaw Moor.

Her father was John Nightingale a 42 year old colliery Undermanager; born in Northumberland he had gained his manager’s certificate on 26/02/1893. His managerial experience included overseeing the ‘Busty’ which would be abandoned 43 years later – well after his involvement!

Florence’s mother was 35 year old Sarah who was born in St. John’s Chapel in Durham.

Florence had a lot of siblings: Alice [born in Waterhouses], Edith [b Esh], James W [b Waterhouses], Margaret [b Ushaw Moor], Mary J [b Waterhouses] and Phillis [bWaterhouses].
Read more…

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