Archive for February, 2011

Did Your Dad Do Any Chores In The House?

February 27, 2011 1 comment

Following on from my orange drizzle cake triumph I  find myself wondering whether the men did anything at all in the olden day house. It would have been especially helpful many decades ago, when domestic conveniences were either non existent or too costly.

I suppose any historical survey of men’s domesticity in Ushaw Moor can be split into three main categories: underground miners, colliery surface workers, and the rest.

Underground miners were thirsty and tired when they got home. After a wash in the bath tub and a meal, courtesy of his wife, the miner went to the ‘club’, or the pigeon loft, or any number of things, if the season and time of day allowed it. They socialized, wound down, or even fought men if their alcohol intake was excessive and a bee was in their bonnet. So the women of such men were neglected most of the time. Well that is how the story generally goes but is it true?

Surface workers may have got dirty but often their jobs were less tiring; what was their excuse for downing eight or so pints, or excessive whippet racing, if that is what they did? In what way, if at all, did their domestic performance differ from the underground miners?

Then there were the none mining workers. Did the male grocery assistant take delight in helping his wife vacuum or sweep the floors? What did pine scented liquid mean to him?

So was your dad a domestic slave or something else?


Categories: Memories

Domestic Science Would Have Made A Man Of Me Much Earlier

February 25, 2011 1 comment

Back in the late 50s and early sixties a large majority of children were fodder for essential but often dull and uninspiring employment.  Much potential was thwarted by misconceived education theory. Woodwork was all right if you were chipper and liked wood but gardening would do little for the  important university interview experienced by the few. Then there was domestic science.

Domestic science was never offered to any male pupil that I knew. In the culture of that time it might have had such a pansy image that any offer of that subject to boys could well have led to shame and a refusal to co-operate. But I would have co-operated;  I would have liked to have captained the school football team at the weekend and then produced an orange drizzle cake on school premises [and scones if there was time] on the following Monday.

As a matter of fact I produced a half decent orange drizzle cake not two hours ago. 51 years late. I greased, base-lined, creamed,  folded and turned like a man possessed of…… little confidence.

Confidence is a funny thing; armed with it the world is yours and mine but without it there are tears, self doubt and a broken promise. My cake looks good. Very good. A little saggy in the middle mind.

I reckon it needed another ten minutes.

If there is any man out there that needs to drizzle just drop a comment. We can grease and cream by gentle direct learning whilst our better half paints the ceiling.


Categories: Memories

The 1,000th house

February 23, 2011 9 comments

The 1,000th house to be completed at Ushaw Moor, July 10th 1953.

Think it is White House Court

Alan Burdess – i think it looks like oakridge road

Does anyone have any more info. on this photo.

Location: Ushaw Moor
County: Co Durham

From The Beamish Collection

Glittering Prize:Two Books And Two Pints

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

It is being offered by WB  as a reward for the person writing the best  original article or short  essay entitled: My memories of the Deerness Valley.  The piece must be between four hundred and five hundred words long  and, for obvious reasons, entrants should be at least 18 years old.

Your entry must be published on this site on or by July 1st 2011. WB will enjoy reading and judging your efforts. Good luck.

Details of the choice of books available, and pub venue for pint quaffing, will be announced later.


Categories: Announcements, Memories

Overcrowded School Buildings In The 50s

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

This topic was raised in the House of Commons on 26/05/1960. The records show that Mr Blyton put it to the then minister, Sir David Eccles, that in light of the fact that his Department had cut the building programme for Durham County Council over the previous seven years he should therefore be decent and apologise to that council.

Sir David Eccles revealed that nine secondary Modern schools schools had been deleted from the 1956/7 building programme, namely: Hartlepool, Stockton, West Auckland, Egglescliff, Peterlee, Spennymoor, Durham, Ushaw Moor and Seaham Harbour.

In the event the Ushaw Moor building was started a little later and was up, ready and open in early April 1959. Harry Barlow had taken us to  have a look around it in about autumn 1958.


Categories: Memories, schools Tags:

Pit Ponies

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Many young people have no concept of what a pit pony was or how it lived &  worked.  Pitponyman has uploaded a few video shorts onto YouTube of 1990’s Pit Ponies in Wales.  Search you tube for pitponyman videos and enjoy.


Posted on behalf of Roy @

Categories: From the WEB, Memories, mining Tags:

Railway Photograph 62059 Ushaw Moor Station on eBay (end time 20-Feb-11 18:31:54 GMT)

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment