Home > Memories > Memories of Ushaw Moor in 1947

Memories of Ushaw Moor in 1947

I seem to be in the dark a bit where the site is concerned with Twitter and Facebook now available on the web site as I am not familiar with these systems.

I have been going over the site and one name Sheila Hall caught my eye and her memories. Is this Sheila Harrison that lived in Hall Avenue? It is now many years since I left Ushaw Moor but it still retains a place in my memories.

My first memories of Ushaw Moor date back to January 1947 when the family moved from New Brancepeth to 38 Victoria Court. We were only in the house a couple of weeks when the vicious winter of that year set in. On one occasion after a blizzard overnight the snow had blown in a drift to the level of the bedroom window. It was a time of austerity just after the war but as kids we were more than happy with what we had. Sweets were on the ration and the best sweet shop in the village was Dents the Bakers next door to Stan Watsons. The shops and stores in the village sold everything that a family required. Leisure facilities were two Cinemas, the Empire and the Club Hall, both buildings sadly demolished recently, the Albion Club (the Bush) at the bottom of Station Road and the Big Club also on Station Road and the Flass and the Station Hotel. One of the highlights of the year was the arrival of the “shows” or as they say on Tyneside the fair. The show ground was a piece of waste ground situted on the left of the road leading to the railway station. Their arrival created great excitement amongst us kids. The trailers were pulled by huge lorries and just after the war also by a couple of traction engines. It was usually a Friday night when the shows opened and the noise of the music and the generators and the bright lights were magic. There were the usual stalls with slot machines, hoopla, rifles, throw the darts and roll your pennies. There were shuggy boats, roundabouts, Waltzer, Flying chairs and the Dodgems to ride on. The shows were a dose of glamour, noise and music in a very, very austere period of our lives.

On one occasion whilst walking to school from New Brancepeth there was the wreckage of an aeroplane on a low loader parked on the same piece of waste ground. It was guarded by armed RAF sentries. I cannot remember whether it was a German aircraft or an RAF plane. Certain shops had their own smells. Winters the Chemists was situated at the bottom of Station Road. Mr Winter the chemist always wore a spotless white dust coat. It was an old fasioned chemists with small wooden drawers with the name of the contents on the front of the drawer. Large glass jars containg ingredients for the medicines prescribed and the smell in the shop was of cleanliness and herbs. There was the smell of fresh bread in the three bakers in the village and the beatiful smell of fish and chips wafting on the breeze most nights of the week from four fish shops. New Brancepeth Co-op Store (Mc Cormicks shop) had different smells for every deparment from the cobblers to the hardware department. Stan Watsons shop on Durham Road had the only two petrol pumps in the village and the pumps were hand operated. Unfortunately the years quickly rolled by and schooldays were finished and the world of work beckoned at the age of fifteen years serving my time as a joiner. Five years in the Army followed, postings in East Africa, the Middle East and Germany then I left the Army and joined Durham County Police. On the amalgamation of the Police Forces in 1974 with the establishment of the new County of Tyne and Wear I stayed on Tyneside with the newly formed Northumbria Police.

Much water has passed under the bridge since I left Ushaw Moor but I think my upbringing in the village turned me into an honest man who is prepared to accept another persons opions and beliefs.

By Brain McLoughlin


Categories: Memories Tags: , ,
  1. WB
    September 9, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Yet another lovely article from you Brian and thank goodness for your contributions. Although I no longer have time to write articles for this site I still try and find time to read others. Just one smidgeon of a point: I think it is right to try and respect a person but do you really believe that one has to automatically respect that person’s opinions or beliefs? Let us not fall out over this smidgeon!

  2. Peter Clarke
    September 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Wilf! Brian said that he was able to ACCEPT that another person could have a different opinion, not RESPECT that opinion. Anyway nice to see you on the road again. Peter Clarke.

  3. Sheila Hall
    September 15, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Hello Brian, my name before marriage was Sheila Dodds. My Grandmother lived in Hunter Avenue. I left Ushaw Moor in 1975, married and settled in London. I now live in Essex but visit Ushaw Moor very regularly because my Mother still lives locally (in Hamilton Row, Waterhouses). I have been very busy recently but will contribute to Ushaw Moor memories in the very near future. I was born in the mid 1950s therefore my memories are mostly of Ushaw Moor in the 1960s and early 1970s but I definitely remember a lot of what you described in your entry onto this site – keep up the good work!

  4. September 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

    brian thanks for the write up on your younger days it was a joy to read ,and brought back such good memory’s ,

  5. WB
    September 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Thanks for your comment Peter.I deserve a slapped wrist – all I ask is that it does not leave a bruise.

  6. noodles29
    September 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    After almost 30 years in my old job you can become very cynical or I hope a more understanding person. Sometimes I think that accepting another persons opinion makes the world go round a little smoother. Keep subscribing Wilf, the world is not that busy you cannot spare a few minutes. I am over the moon at the number of comments my article attracted. Thanks Sheila, Peter and Myra.

  7. WB
    September 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Brian,
    I also spent decades dealing with a cross section of the public and most of them were fine; however when you broaden it out and include some aspects of the ‘great’ religions, the worst examples of capitalism, Tory politicians,the American Tea Party, aggressive USA foreign policy [they are not alone] etc I realise that one has to be careful and discriminate. Of course there are times when diplomacy is best and benefit of doubt should be granted; the quiet life can be attractive, but the world is largely smoke and mirrors and I suspect that most people do not realise a tiny fraction of what is really going on. Should we, for example, agree with Chinese labour policy that turns a blind eye to gross exploitation of workers? Of course we cannot often do much, and sometimes it is only a safety valve when one mutters and moans about inhumanity to fellow beings, but we need to kick up a fuss now and again!

    Not that your comments are not valid. I know that at the time you were thinking on a one to one basis rather than the global stage! The one to one basis is very important and usually where one can more easily persuade – so yes indeed I see where you are coming from.

    Very best regards to you Brian. As you know I have much respect for you and your writing skills.

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