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Archive for April 3, 2012

Demoltion of Cinemas, etc.

April 3, 2012 9 comments

I recently put an entry on the Ushaw Moor Web Site about the demolition of Cinemas and Clubs etc. in Ushaw Moor. I have great memories of the Empire and the Club Hall cinemas. The Memorial Hall on the Esh Winning road and the Big Club on Station Road. Public buildings like these were at the heart of the village and as we did not travel far in those days outside the village people were up to date with everything that was going on around the village. What better place to catch up with the local gossip that waiting in the Cinema queue. You could see who was courting who and you rubbed shoulders with people you only saw once in a while.

I really enjoyed seeing a photograph of Ronnie Allinson and the Facey lads in their Boys Brigade uniforms. The members of the Boys Brigade were always very well turned out and their marching and music were top class.

How does the social life of a village like Ushaw Moor carry on when most of the meeting places where people rubbed shoulders and chatted with one another have disappeared. This includes the places of worship in the village where the congregations have declined over the years. There was Socials, whist drives, beetle drives, pantomones and amatuer shows taking place on a regular basis. These were mostly for adults and not for young people, but they brought people together. The Clubs, cinemas, the Flass and the churches and chapels provided outlets for a lot of people and helped to gel the community together. At a lecture I attended a lot of years ago the lecturer forecast the demise of communities. This was before 24 hour TV and radio but he stated that when large places of emplyment closed and TV was available 24 hours a day as it was then available in the United States the communities would suffer.

I would not like to state an opinion on the cause of the decline of strong comunities. I am not a TV fan but I know that a lot of people know more about what is happening on the “Soaps” that they know about their immediate neighbourhood.

I like a couple of pints down the Iona Club or in a local pub. The patter flows and that is what I like. I am old fashioned? Perhaps I am but I still like to know what is going on in the town and socialising is the way I find the local news out.

I don’t suppose this article is much about memories of Ushaw Moor but when I was through home a few weeks ago I was struck by the demolition of so many public buildings including Wilf Bells’ “Alma Mater”, the Council School on Temperance Terrace. It is a sad day when a local school closes.

Does a mobile phone and 24 hour TV make up for the lack of public buildings which young people of my age group used?

Please comment.

I forgot the Army Cadets where many lads attended at the bottom of Ushaw Villas.

Brian Mc.

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Categories: Memories