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Loads of Coal

September 22, 2009 6 comments

A sight which has long since disappeared from the streets of Ushaw Moor is that of loads of coal lying on the road waiting to be carried in and hoyed into the coal house. Men employed at the pit received a quantity of coal free for domestic use. My first memories of coal being tipped was when our family lived at 29 Harvey Street at New Brancepeth.

Across the back steet was a home made wooden coal house next to the gable end of the netty. On arriving at Ushaw Moor in January 1947 the coal house was situated next to the outhouse. If it rained when the coal was lying on the road waiting to be “put in” to the coal house it was very heavy to carry and the coal acted as a dam and the water built up behind the coal. New Brancepeth Colliery coal was delivered by lorry, Tot Sheivels was the driver.

I can remember that coals was from Ushaw Colliery at one time was delivered by horse and a two wheeled cart. The coalman lived in Durham Road. All heating at this time was coal fired. This was long before central heating and the (recent?) arrival of natural gas into the valley I cannot recall the weight of free coal alloted to each worker and I would also query my use of the word free as colliery owners were not renowned for their generosity to their workmen.

In the summer months the coal house was always full but in the winter months the coal house could be half empty. The coal was usally carried off the street and into the coalhouse in buckets. Wooden boards were placed across the front of the coalhouse so the coal could build up behind the boards and there was a gap at the bottom of the boards to push the shovel in to this gap and retrieve the coal and put it into a bucket. On winter evenings two buckets of coal were filled before darkness fell and were ready for use during the evening. Toast never tasted so good as when it was toasted on the toasting fork in front of the coal fire. I can still taste it. Coal was also supplied by coalmen to homes where no one was employed at the Colliery. Rowlands Bros. whose garage was situted at the top of Unthank Terrace at New Brancepeth was one and another coalman was Mr. Grady from Cornsay Colliery. Brian Mc.

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A Date With Destiny 2010?

September 22, 2009 Leave a comment

By all accounts  Durham Cathedral did Sir Bobby Robson well and that is great to hear. Now then what about a five a side charity ‘grudge’ match in honour of Sir Bobby – between the 1959  Ushaw Moor County  and Waterhouses Modern  teams? By their nature these things do not happen by themselves so I expect I will have to put some input into it. The venue? What about that great facility at the current Ushaw Moor school -which I believe Sir Bobby opened or at least visited.    

It could be fun with a significent tinge of rivalry – oh yes rivalry as you have never seen it. Alf and Brian might even turn up [or more] to witness another drubbing for Waterhouses, or more likely, a very close encounter. You can see that the edge is still there. John Weir against the spent sliding tackle specialist could be interesting.On the other hand does David Gerrard remain the better of the two keepers these days? 

There are so many questions that need to be answered, and so much raw rivalry  to extinquish – with a beer or two! Leave it to me.  

WB

Categories: Memories