Archive for April 20, 2009

1998 And All That

April 20, 2009 Leave a comment

It all began in 1998, or perhaps a little earlier. I stopped a man in the street and asked the whereabouts of Mr Vasey’s home. “You mean John’s place?” he said and I nodded. Directions given I knocked on the door with great expectancy;  the door opened to reveal a man that I could clearly identify as being John Vasey and no other. “Are you the lad that ran down Ushaw Moor County’s right wing?”  Of course it was and I have kept in touch with him  ever since. John took me around the village to several ex miners’ homes for a chat. My hope was that some of them might remember my grandfather Dickie Hope. Of course they did. How could you forget one of your overmen? There was a hint from one of them that the colliery manager was rather taken with my grandmother Ethel. Actually it was more than a hint. Although I am certain  there was no affair admiration was clearly not in short supply. 

I indicated to John and the miners that I wished to publish something about Ushaw Moor. Is it fair to say that I have now accomplished that? The work is not a conventional book; it is rather more akin to a modern device which youngsters might call an electronic book.  Either way I am referring to the many posts/articles that I have published on Paul’s site. 

At my age I feel that I probably understand Ushaw Moor and its history. I also feel that I understand just a bit about how  the world ticks. Not enough mind you! As I see it the world at large is generally ruled by heavy hitters that create smoke and mirrors; in contrast the inhabitants of  an ex mining village rarely generate smoke or bring out mirrors because, apart from anything else, they are too busy striving to earn a living, feed their children and live an honourable life. No doubt a few people will have an affair and perhaps  the annual leek show requires close scrutiny, but I bet that there are no bankers living in Ushaw Moor to create exotic and dodgy financial instruments on a scale that leads to financial misery for millions of people. Hitters versus the rest has no doubt gone on right back into ancient times and I do not think that will ever change much. Perhaps an honourable dictator is not such a bad thing, but the risk that we end up with a less than bright Adolf, or an almighty poser like Mussolini, is perhaps a risk too far for us. Looking further a field others are of course living through that kind of misery right now.

I have a list of things to do that must be done. They really must be done. They are vitally important! I will be back briefly in November with an article that hopefully you will like. Meanwhile enjoy the warmer months and take care. 


Categories: Memories