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7 And 8 George Street Ushaw Moor 1901

October 15, 2009 3 comments

Richard [a coal hewer] and Jane Brunskill occupied number 7 together with their offspring: Hilda, Hannah, Richard and infant Dora. They had lived in Ushaw Moor for several years.

Edward and Rebecca Heron lived next door at number 8 with their children – Louisa, Thomas, George and John. Like neighbour Richard -Edward was a coal hewer. 

Does any of that jog a memory of family living in Ushaw Moor years ago?

WB

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Categories: Memories

Counting Down To Firework Night

October 15, 2009 1 comment

It will soon be firework night and I sincerely hope that no Deerness Valley resident suffers injury because of it. The obvious thing to do is read the instructions on the box and obey them. Never go towards a firework on the assumption that it has not been lit properly.Even better – consider attending an officially organized display. Those are just three examples of good practice, but there are several more. It is best to think about it and plan for safety. Local councils often give advice in local freeby papers or magazines  – so look for them and take heed.

As you know there is a big history to this: not that long ago there was very nearly a very big bang. We were told about Guy Fawkes at school but I have researched it a bit more. Here is a short extract from one of my ‘uni’ essays for your enjoyment, or otherwise:

Geraint Thomas and his fellow experts from the Centre for Explosion Studies of Wales, Aberystwyth, estimated the number of kilograms of gunpowder used, assumed that it was powder similar to Trinitrotoluene [TNT] and used that information to compare the likely pressure of the blast wave at different radii, by reference to existing damage data tables. Their conclusions were: that within a radius of forty metres everything would have been razed to the ground; within one hundred and ten metres buildings would have been at least partially destroyed and some windows, as far as nine hundred metres away, would have been blown out. Thomas has cautioned that several factors would have affected the calculations e.g. [1] although gunpowder is generally less powerful than TNT, the experts factored into the calculations that the expertise of Fawkes would have brought the powder up to TNT levels and [2] the damage tables assume a blast in the open air, which did not apply to the plot. Thomas felt that those factors would have balanced out. [www.newscientist.com/article/dn4338-gunpowder-plot].  

  A further study, conducted by consultants from the engineering company Arup in 2005, went to great lengths to reproduce the likely power and effects of the intended explosion. They constructed and blew up a precise replica of the 17th century House of Lords, having filled it with test dummies. They concluded that the planned explosion would have killed all those in Parliament and everyone else within one hundred metres of the building. [www.timesonline.co.uk/101news/uk/article584830.ece]. Although the two researches were far from identical, both sets of professionals have reasonably demonstrated that the intended Gunpowder explosion would have wiped out the ruling elite, demolished the parliamentary building, and its environs, as well as killing many more people and damaging more distant property.

 On a much wider front the appalling danger for Catholics, had the plot been successful, is very persuasively put by Professor Ronald Hutton. He argues that the plotters would  almost certainly have failed to secure the support of the vast majority of the Catholic community – they would have been surprised and appalled by the sheer scale of the crime; certainly Henry Garnett, the leader of the English Jesuits, was aghast on hearing of the plot. Hutton maintains that the already existing mistrust of the Catholics and the intensified hatred for them, in the event of a successful plot, would have easily translated into Catholic bloodshed at a level similar to the massacre of the French Protestants on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572. [www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/e-h/hutton.html.]. Consequently any hope of Catholic supremacy would have been dashed.  

I hope that did not bore you. 

WB

Categories: Memories

Reigniting Relationships

October 15, 2009 Leave a comment

I have found the act of visiting Ushaw Moor and talking to old school mates a much easier process than doing it by the more sterile method of e-mail. A face to face meeting helps one to read the eyes and expression of the old mate; the level of their interest can be assessed and a way forward more easily decided. In contrast an e-mail is a medium that can bring misunderstandings and complete misreadings. I can give you an example of a probable misunderstanding; when replying to an old chum I typed something like – I will be glad to put you on my Christmas card list but you can sent me a card bi-annually if you  are hard up – crass writing that – he cannot have seen that it was an attempt at banter – not a judgement that he was very old, poor and perhaps miserly!  

WB

Categories: Memories