Archive for April, 2010

Hanging Up The Washing

April 28, 2010 1 comment

Remember the old days when  Ushaw Moor Modern  offered domestic science, woodwork, and gardening? Not everybody wanted to write sparkling essays about Charles the First but they could go on to make the world go round. Where would we be without City and Guilds cooks, woodworkers, plumbers and the rest? Lots of clever people went to Secondary Modern e.g. Delia Smith and David Jason –  and they certainly enhance many people’s lives.

Well that is all so well and fine but sadly I was not taught how to hang up washing on the line. Am I doing it right these days? This is what I do – please put me right if I am not doing it correctly:

Shirts and blouses —- hang upside down by the side seams

Pullovers                 —– upside down using four pegs

Trousers                  —-    hang by the legs

T Shirts                    —-   hang by the bottom

Socks                        —– hang by the toes

Dresses and knitted garments —- hang them in  their original shape                  


Categories: Memories

Daily Quotations

April 26, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s great that Paul puts the sayings – usually about memories- up on site. Some ring true but others do not, or at least seem incomplete. Memories in your travel bag? That is certainly a good idea because your memories are fundamentally you. Imagine not being able to hang washing on the line because you have forgotten to memorise the location of the pegs, and  you have forgotten whether to hang trousers up by the legs or the waist – don’t laugh the latter tested me a bit this morning.

Imagine having  memories but not the mental equipment to analyse them. Such a situation would render one akin to simple Simon – not that I am knocking mentally afflicted people because to do so would be insensitive, unjust and unkind; in any case I am truly one of them at times. We are all on a journey and should be helping each other to make it interesting and civilized.

I believe it was Socrates that emphasised the importance of living the considered life, rather than letting things  just happen to us. If we are to achieve a mature considered life some analysis of  memory [experience] is required – as well as some research into what really happened in the past and why.

I guess we all rationalise our experiences. I have recently done so and came out on the right side. We can be too hard on ourselves at times: I imagine most of us have been fickle at one time or another or perhaps even worse. Appreciate your memories, learn from them, live in the present and look forward to the future.

Do you agree with me?


Categories: Memories

BBC – Radio 4 Memory Experience – In My Pram I Remember

April 23, 2010 1 comment

In My Pram I Remember

Mariella Frostrup900 of the memories we collected in the Memory Survey were very early “preverbal” memories – some from as early as 6-11 months old. This result has shocked scientists and academics who believe that adults do not remember memories of childhood before they can talk. Research agrees that the mean age for true autobiographical memories is 3.5 years – but it appears that the nations’ memories and scientific study disagree.

via BBC – Radio 4 Memory Experience – In My Pram I Remember.

Categories: From the WEB, Memories Tags:

Time For A Quick Chat?

April 21, 2010 3 comments

Well I might not have chosen the correct format for a chat but what about a comment? As Robbie Williams once said, at one of his big gigs:  ‘is there anybody out there?’

I dislike the Go Compare advert shown on television. It is a big shout and seems witless to me. What do you think ?

A few years ago I was one of a handful of work colleagues visiting a hotel bar in Brighton, after a training course. We sat down and found that not six yards away was a group of soap actors from  East Enders enjoying a drink. We all decided to leave them in peace – just as I had done back in about 1979 when Bruce Forsyth popped into a bar and sat down a few feet  from me.

About two months ago I was sitting on a seat at Reading  railway station, late at night, waiting for my train, when a well dressed chap walked by. I looked at him and said to myself – that’s Michael Howard! For those not into politicians he is a Conservative  and led the party for a while. He looked at me and my response was to make sure the paper I was reading had its front page facing him. Ah – the Independent – the message I wanted to convey was  – look mate I am not a grubbing Conservative! I can now  reveal my occasionally ridiculous personality – I ensured that he saw my none Oxford ‘uni’ scarf – the message being I am not an Eton cum Oxford toff so go forth and multiply! I do not suppose that he cared! Mind you in this case of personality spotting I can only claim to be 95% certain that it was Michael Howard.

There is a good chance I will be in Ushaw Moor in July but  it depends on others so I cannot confirm it yet.  However I  do expect to be in Ushaw Moor Cricket Club at some point this Summer. What’s the beer like there? 


Categories: Memories

Ushaw Moor Historical Website – Commandments

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Ushaw Moor Historical Website – Commandments.

During the Ryhope strike of 1932 feelings of animosity of the men towards the ‘masters’ was expressed in this composition:

The Coal Owner’s Ten Commandments

1. Thou shall have no other Master but me.

2. Thou shall not make for thyself comforts, nor the likeness of anything to thine own interest, neither on the earth above or the mine beneath. Thou shall bow down to me and worship me, for I am thy Master, and a jealous Master, and I will show you no mercy but endeavour to make you keep my commandments..

3. Thou shall not take the name of thy Master in vain, lest I sack thee at a minute’s notice.

4. Remember that thou work six days with all thy might, with all thy strength, and do all I want of thee, but the seventh day thou shalt stop at home and do no manner of work, but shall do all thou canst to recruit thine exhausted strength for my service on Monday morning.

5. Honour thy Master, his steward, and his deputies, that thy days may be long in the mine down which you work.

6. Thou shall have no unions.

7. Thou shall always speak well of me, though I oppose thee. Thou shall be content if I sometimes find thee work, and pay thee what I think.

8. Thou shalt starve thyself and thy children if it is to my interest.

9. Thou shall have no meetings to consider thy own interests, as I want to keep thee ignorant, and in poverty all the days of thy life.

10. Thou shall not covet thy Master’s money, nor his comforts, nor his luxuries, nor anything that is his.

Categories: From the WEB, mining Tags: ,

Ushaw Moor Historical Website – Aged Miners Homes

April 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Once the miner had become old and unable to work at the pit, he was forced to leave his tied cottage, and though he might receive something from the Permanent Relief, for many the workhouse was their only prospect. In 1896 one of the great philanthropic movements of this country took root, with the aim of providing a free house and coal supply to retired miners – a ‘haven of rest’. The scheme was started by Joseph Hopper, aided by Henry Wallace, Canon Moore Ede (later Dean of Worcester) and John Wilson of the DMA. It brought together both colliery owners and miners to provide these things. The coal owners gave financial support, land and materials.

Sir A.F. Pease, when laying the foundation stones of eight houses at Randolph Colliery in 1924, said:

“There could be no finer work, surely, than to provide for the comfort and happiness of a aged miners who had spent nearly all of their lives in daily toil in that district, and other places.”

The miners too contributed from their pay towards the aged miners’ homes.


via Ushaw Moor Historical Website – Aged Miners Homes.

In the Cold Light Of Day

April 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Very occasionally I am unable to get a good night’s sleep and last night was such an occasion. So what did I think about during the night? Well I can recall thinking that Raich Carter and Peter Doherty were fine footballers in their time. That lead me on to think about  – what’s his name? – Messi of Barcelona [is that right – Barcelona?] because he is said to be the best footballer that ever lived. 

I then had the thought that cigarette manufacturers are more honest that religious organisations – in that they at least say that their products can kill and can back it up with sound evidence. Religion promises an after life – especially for those in a bad state in this one – without much evidence to back it up. Back I went to thinking about those cigarette makers – they are forced by legislation to admit their products are lethal so perhaps it’s not so much a question of their honesty.

I wondered about how I had got to where I was. Which of my ‘heroes’ had influenced me the most? That sort of thing! Well I mused on a few: Professor A C Grayling for clarity of thought and purpose; Professor Richard Dawkins for clear water thinking about  religion and young Johann Hari for informative and cutting edge comments.

After a while I decided to put the radio on – with head phones of course – because I wanted to be allowed to live the following day. Classic FM entertained me for a while – one piece composed by Paul McCartney and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra was interesting – I think it was called Heavy and Light Years or something like that. Beethoven cropped up, but he would on that station. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring popped up and made me think it might be suitable for my funeral, but  I hastily withdrew that thought when it dawned on me that we had that at our wedding – in any case I am now a Humanist!

As the night went on I developed some significant confidence regarding the future – there was some gentle mapping out of the way forward – but that is not for current key tapping – maybe for sometime in the future. 

Have a good Saturday.


Categories: Memories

Ushaw College – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Ushaw College – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ushaw College (St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw) is a Roman Catholic seminary, founded at Douai  as the English College, Douai in France in 1568, which moved to Ushaw Moor, four miles west of Durham in England  in 1808 and became a Licensed Hall of the University of Durham  in 1968. It is independent of the University but offers courses validated by the University. Both Church and lay students study at the college.

Some of the college’s buildings are no longer used, but some have been converted into a conference centre. The main college buildings are grade II listed, however the College Chapel is grade II* and the Chapel of St Michael is grade I. The Refectory was designed and built by Pugin, as was the original chapel although this was later dismantled and replaced by the present building designed by Dunn and Hansom. The original college buildings (1804-1808) were designed by James Taylor.

Early drawing of Ushaw designed (1804-1808) by James Taylor

Has Our Past Messed Up Our Kids’ Future?

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

‘Our past’ refers to those of us born between 1945 – 1965 ish. Are there too many of our group that are, or will be, relying on a much smaller group, the young, to look after us? Have we spent and squandered the kids’ inheritance? Let us have a look at some of the points held against us:

– We had lots of things going for us, for example, the benefits of the 1944 Education Act, free university courses, and the ability to apply for equity release from our homes.

– We caused the economic mess in so far as we opened up world markets that, in effect, depressed the wages of many of our young people

We are hell bent on spending our big gains from housing speculation without much concern for the young

-We are the cause of the climate change problem!

-We are expecting our kids to pay student’s fees yet there are not enough graduate jobs for them when they come out of university

-Kids cannot plan and often have no job

So how does that make you fellow boomers feel? Are you upset or puzzled or both?

Let me say that the 1944 Education Act was not that good. It did help some working class boomer kids to get a grammar school education – but few of them made it to university in those days – there were not enough places!

Generally speaking we are better all round parents that our parents. Some of us are constant CAB type advisors to our young – more so than our parents. Our parents had to graft hard just to keep things together. We are likely to be child minders on the cheap ‘for love’, and that is understandable, but it should be recognised.

Continuing with the defence – what about the boomerangers! They keep coming back to stay and naturally we welcome them because we are loving parents.

For some youngsters we are the bank of daddy and mummy!

Many pensioner boomers are willing to work on and that point should not be ignored!

How many  Ushaw Moor boomers are deserving of  criticism? They did not really cause the problems: it was surely a mixture of the Establishment, the financial industry and yes – the politicians – that ought to be in the frame. No it is not a problem brought on by the working class, and in many cases even the so called middle class, so let the blame be allocated elsewhere!       


Categories: Memories

Ushaw Moor Historical Website – New Brancepeth Colliery Yard

April 11, 2010 Leave a comment

New Brancepeth Colliery Yard

This is a pic of the two steam engines in New Brancepeth Colliery yard during the removal of the coal stocks in 1964. Roy Lambeth pic. credit, the late Stephen Dent of 22 Whitehouse Lane, Ushaw Moor.

via Ushaw Moor Historical Website – New Brancepeth Colliery Yard.