Archive for May, 2009

Spotted Dick And Journey Into Space?

May 28, 2009 Leave a comment

I think you will find that Journey Into Space is being featured  for a short while on BBC Radio 7. The episode today is at 6pm, as far as I know. If you feel nostalgic about this 1950s radio serial why not Google:  Journey Into Space Radio 7 – or something similiar – you will find it!

 Spotted Dick? Perhaps your other half, if you have one, can toil over the steaming of this dish and you can enjoy it at 6pm? Sexist or what?


Categories: Memories

Ushaw Moor Memories in the Forties and Fifties part 2

May 26, 2009 22 comments

Before I continue with my memories of  the village in the forties and fifties I have been looking at Kelly’s directory’s entries for Ushaw Moor up to 1938 when unfortunately they come to an  end and I thought you might be interested in some of the entries connected with the businesses I have already mentioned.

In 1902 Ushaw Colliery Post office was  run by Mr. Frank Proctor , whose family came to have a close connection with the village in my time.The Russell family had the post office in 1910 and still had in the early sixties.The Bell family ran Cockhouse farm from 1902 with Mr. John Bell running the farm as bailiff to Pease and Partners who owned the colliery.Henry Watson,presumably the forerunner of Stan Watson’s,had a stationery shop in Station Road from 1902.Lizzie Hope established the fishop in Temperance Terrace by 1934 after first opening a grocer’s shop there.Joe and Fred Lowery,Fred Parkinson and Mr. Alderson were all in business by 1925 and Surtees,the greengrocer’s ,was operating as early as 1921.With regard to Joe and Fred I wonder if they took over the business of  the well known local firm of Dimambro who had a shop in the village in 1914.I also noted that back in 1910 Richard Hope had “refreshment rooms” -any link to you Wilf?

I got as far as the Club Hall in my previous account.Behind the club was the “Rec” where we used to pay football and cricket as teenagers.It was a case of using jackets as goalposts and then getting on with a game.When younger the appeal was the swings or the roundabout or the seesaw.There was also a “horse” which as far as I can remember never worked. The best item,however, was something which was basically a plank of wood with provision for seats with steel supports linked to a frame and it was worked by by 2 people,one at either end who forced the plank backwards and forwards through the air and at times it seemed as if it was about to take off.I don’t know what it was called -it was not a “shuggy boat” -all I know it was exciting.Children came from all parts of the village to play there.There was also a community hall in the grounds of the “Rec”.I seem to remember it was a green, wooden hut and I always link the “Over 60’s” with its use.Mr. and Mrs. Jones who lived in Oakridge Road were two prominent members.I never dreamt I would reach an age when I could have joined, but I suppose it is better than the alternative.However,all these facilities have now gone and replaced by a housing estate.I remember there were protests when the housing estate was first mooted but to no avail.It seems that the protests failed on a technical point.In my opinion they were justified as the basketball court which is now there is to me a poor substitute.We did like to play football on the Catholic school field which had proper goalposts but were usually chased off by each and every priest throughout  the years I lived in the village,but we did live in hope we could get away with it!

The “Rec” was separated from the Recreation Ground proper by a fence so you had to go back out and enter via Highfield Terrace.The first thing to note as you went through the gate were two hard court tennis courts which were overlooked by the community hall.You walked down past these to where the groundsman had his office.I remember two groundsmen,firstly Jackie Towns  who I think lived opposite us in Hunter Avenue and  then his successor Billy Ayre,father of Raymond and Valerie. Here you paid for the use of the tennis courts or for a round of putt or a game of bowls.In the late 50’s the bowling green was converted into grass tennis courts as at Wimbledon.Tennis was most popular at the time of the Wimbledon championships.They seemed to encourage people to get out and play.I usually played with friends Robert Clarkson,John Burke and Alan Grainger, but there was an older set consisting of my brother George,George Cowper, who went on to be mayor of Durham, Kenny Snaith, Duggie Dunn, Albert Whitfield, Greta Turnbull,Barbara Shuker and Audrey Wood.The girls who went to the grammar school were always the best turned out,dressed in their whites-Val Cook, Valerie Wilson, Gwen Lewis and Marion Mountain all come to mind..After a game we usually had a small bottle of  Wood and Watson’s pop which was kept in the office.I can’t say we were brilliant players  even though  we imagined ourselves to be Lew Hoad or Ken Rosewall or Pancho Gonzales but we really enjoyed it.The summer of 1959 was one of the best  on record and the tennis went  on through September.The office was at the back of a large hut which also was the cricket pavilion with changing rooms.These were also used for football teams and were entered from the front.There was a ladder to the upper floor where the scorer sat and one of the minions,sometimes me,put the numbers out onto the scoreboard.John Hope,my next door neighbour in Hunter Avenue, was scorer for a while.Mention has already been made of the cricket team on this site but the players I remember best were Gordon Thompson, the professional, Alf Gillespie, George Graham,my cousin,big Frank Proctor and John Mcdermott , who I think modelled himself on Fiery Fred Trueman and really hurtled the ball down.The football team has also had extensive coverage on the site and suffice to say they had very good team for much of the time and drew big crowds in the post-war years.One fixture sticks in my mind when Sunderland “A” team came to play and I found my allegiance stretched.John McSeveny ,who played some games for the Suderland first team,played in the fixture.There is just one last thing to mention in this section and that is the grossly smelly gents’ toilet which was tucked away on the left as you looked down at the pitches.I am not surprised it has gone!
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Categories: Memories Tags: , ,

Rolling Stones Not Fade Away [1964]

May 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Actually I am on about the memories section. Although I am busy for the time being, and cannot resume my contributions just yet, I will help to ensure that the memories section does  “not fade away”. It has never been a one man band so I hope the really good writers, that have appeared from time to time, get weaving with their magical mystery tour of Ushaw Moor memories. Um …a plug for the Beatles as well as the Rolling Stones!


Categories: Memories