Archive for June, 2011

Union Matters

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Back in 1915 the following Durham Miners’ Association representatives from Ushaw Moor colliery were elected to attend the TUC annual conference:

W Hall [check weighman] and the following [all miners] J W Lambton, J W Hall, S Anderson, J Clark, R Hunter, J F Carling, Issac Finlay and R Needham.

Source Durham Mining Museum

Any family connections?


Categories: Memories

Go Compare

June 6, 2011 2 comments

It seems to me that youngsters and parents living in Ushaw Moor up to to middle 1950s  were not subjected to advertising in the manner that became so prevalent. A replica football shirt was not a childish desire and neither was it on the want list of a generously girthed, beery, thirty year old fan;  our local school was not sponsored by an estate agent or some such business; Sunderland FC and Newcastle FC did not have multi changing electronic adverts encircling their pitches and  football programmes did not cost the equivalent of a modern three quid.

But we have much of the aforementioned and a lot besides. It is probably here to stay: our economy relies on consumer spending to achieve growth and something  they call  ‘prosperity’. The trouble is we seem to put up with horribly noisy Go Compare adverts and the like, but should we? The advertising persuaders are making too many of us feel  off colour and perhaps we should not put up with it.

It is complicated. We have life choices and must not be overawed by having so many. I suppose we should decide our taste, spend in relation to our means and  pine for Radio Luxembourg’s  gentler brand of advertising. We can then watch the ship go down. As I say, it is complicated and the genie is probably long gone from the bottle.



Categories: Memories

More On James Marchant MM – Citation

June 5, 2011 Leave a comment

T.Z./2118 C.P.O., James Marchant, MM., Hood Bn., R.N.V.R. (Ushaw Moor.) When the advance of the company was held up by severe machine-gun fire at Achiet-le-Petit, on 21st August, 1918, he displayed great gallantry and initiative in rushing the machine gun and capturing the crew. Later on while bombing another machine gun he was severely wounded, but declined to leave his men until he fell exhausted by loss of blood, and had to be carried from the field of battle. He set a splendid example to his men.



Categories: Memories

It’s The Way We Say It

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I spent my first sixteen years absorbing a North Eastern way of speaking  and it has stayed with me to the present day. Having said that there is no doubt that my accent was influenced, to some extent, by my southern father. I eventually modified my delivery a bit e.g. some vowel work  in the way of pronouncing  book and bath, but being proud of my roots I never felt  a need for much further adjustment.

Sometimes the likes of Kate Adie and the Charlton brothers [of football fame]  pop up on the television and I  pay attention to how they speak; Kate Adie speaks what I call posh NE but she does it in a natural way that is easy to hear and understand and it  fits in with her highly successful professional career. In the case of Jack Charlton I always think he is adjusting his vowels for the media; I say that because it does not come over quite as naturally as Kate Adie’s delivery but I am open to persuasion.

So much for vowel work but what about vocabulary? Does the current generation of Deerness Valley inhabitants still use phrases like gannen yem or why I man? Or words like spuggie? If so are such words and expressions still spoken as frequently and by as many?

My pet dislike had alway been the Channel Four programme announcer with his heavy Geordie twang; it set my teeth on edge and my migraine stimulator into an over-spin but I am getting used to him now.

Although delivery can be influential what you say and why you say  is  surely of  paramount importance and that applies whether you come from Ashington, Sleetburn or the USA.


Categories: Memories