Archive for October, 2009

Proud West Stanley FC

October 16, 2009 1 comment

The full FA Cup record of Ushaw Moor FC is elsewhere on this site but tonight let us have a brief look at some of West Stanley football team’s FA Cup exploits. I believe that West Stanley played in the South Moor area – if anyone can give any useful information regarding that I would be thankful.

Back in the 1905/6 season they drew at home to Northampton 1-1 before losing the replay 3-0 away. A few years later they lost against Watford by 4-1.

Perhaps its best season was in 1919/20:

Leadgate Park [Home] 2-0, Rotherham County [H] 1-0, Gillingham [H] 3-1 and then Tottenham H [A] 1-4 defeat. Yes West Stanley played against the Spurs! During that season Tottenham finished up champions of the Second Division [now called The Championship]. The Gaumont Cinema showed clips of the match a few days after the event. In the FA Cup that season Spurs also beat Bristol Rovers 4-1 West Ham 3-0 but finally lost to Aston Villa 1-0. In the following year Spurs actually won the FA Cup, beating Wolves 1-0 in the final.

Acknowledgements to the FCHD for much of this information.


Categories: Memories

14 and 15 George Street 1901

October 16, 2009 3 comments

Jimmy and Eliza Turner lived at number 14 with their offspring Margaret, James, Robert and Alfred. Mr Turner was born in Lancashire and his wife was born in Willington, County Durham. All four children were born at Brandon Colliery.

Tommy Rodgerson [coal hewer] and his wife Mary were at number 15. Tommy was born in  Northumberland and might be related to me [I will look into that]. Their offspring at this time was: Edward [coal hewer], Elizabeth, Mary and Thomas.  

So Alf and Tommy just missed each other- but by how many years? Whatever Alf might say the number of years was small compared to eternity! In other words Tommy got on the bus  of life  just before the one Alf caught – as it were. Just humour me!


Categories: Memories

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?


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. [].  

  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. []. 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. []. Consequently any hope of Catholic supremacy would have been dashed.  

I hope that did not bore you. 


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!  


Categories: Memories

Please Get Me Out Of Here

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment

No one can claim to have mastered an understanding of the world and I have failed miserably, just like everyone else. Having said that, now and again one can meet people, or study their writings or sayings, and be inspired; it is as if there is some sort of brief illumination in an otherwise dark place. At such a time we all have to be alert and wary before feeling good about a received message: afterall we have all got our pet ideas – some are probably original- but perhaps most are gathered from newspapers, or other media products, that do little more than reinforce out own existing mindframe of prejudices and bigotry. Do I hear ‘speak for yourself?’ 

Assuming that I have been careful what do I then find? Lots of good people, a smattering of brilliant people and a fair selection of tacky people. Sadly tacky people tend to dominate and poison the world’s well. Much of the world is in an economic mess and although some of it is misfortune, a lot of it is caused by naked exploitation. There are starving millions, many of them  being handed false dogma instead of a plate of food  and often their predicament is compounded by bad governments and other opportunistic organisations. On the other hand better off people are being fed messages that  potions and creams will always make them look younger, and what is more, they are worth it and should take care. 

Ofcourse you can always pop into Summerfields because the choice is so wide and much of it is good for you. Then there is that other supermarket – I have forgotten the name – that will refuse an adult the opportunity to purchase wine if they are accompanied by an underage youngster. Help me.

Earlier I said that some people are capable of illuminating the way through the tacky dark wood, or words to that effect. Well if you have not already done so try Richard Dawkins and his associates. Also try Johann Hari. Listen to Channel 4 news – it does not take prisoners and can often be relied upon to ask the very questions that you are wanting to put.  

What has the above got to do with memories? Well it is the almighty contrast with another world: Ushaw Moor and Sleetburn c 1954 -1960. It such a world we can conjure up innocence, sunshine, regular work for the uninjured Ushaw Moor miner , bluebells, the baker’s van with its custard tarts, Stan Watson and his wide selection of fireworks, lost school caps, Harry Barlow,  Soccer Gleghorn, Sherburn County School being battered 11-0 by Ushaw Moor County and on and on. Was it  better then? No sir, the big world outside of that six year valley bubble was probably even worse then, for many, than the big world is today. 

I always look forward to discussion and argument. Sadly even the mention of  Richard Dawkins fails to activate a storm in this particular wild wood. That is so sad. Still there are other woods.


Categories: Memories

Never Mind X Factor – Entertain Us!

October 9, 2009 1 comment

I have been ‘posting’ articles since April 2006. I prefer the word writing to the word posting – but that might be a form of personal deception.  Now might be a good time for you to entertain our known contributors!  It is your turn! Show Brian how you can cartwheel. Show Alf how to clean up pigeon mess and give Peter a lesson in village history. Sheila might give you an audition – for what I am not sure!


-A Binatone telephone receiver – calculator -A box  with the words ‘oil filter’ written on it -my wife’s spectacle case – the PC – the printer come copier and scanner- two Dell speakers – a digital camera…..


– A wet evening

-13 cars down the avenue 


Politics – go to Johann Hari on the web – he will give you an insight into Tory incompetence in a way far better than I could achieve.


Categories: Requests