Archive for October, 2012

Back And Forward

October 27, 2012 2 comments

There are those so dispirited by changes to their local landscape and social environment that they become somewhat morose and overly nostalgic; however there are two further groups: those that are able to compartmentalize unwelcome changes in a positive way and those that sometimes cannot.

I’m in that last group. For me, tender thoughts about long gone loved ones are stimulated by old artifacts and unsummoned ‘sacred’ music. Questions are posed: did I do enough for mum and dad and did they do enough for me? I do more washing up in a week than I ever did for mum but sadly my current work ethic, derived from belated maturity, comes much too late for dear old mum.

The workingmen’s club has gone; it was a source of liquid lubrication that helped transport miners away from tough, dangerous and filthy working conditions into a more colourful world of leeks, roses, tomatoes, anticipated trips to Redcar, Milburn, Shackleton, pigeons, gossip and much more.

The club did struggle against death but many scores of top dog miners were replaced by a few impoverished ex-miners that drank a slower pint, and a sprinkle of young men with little knowledge of a coal mine. The building lost its primary purpose, spirit and economic viability. There is no need to dwell upon its fate: its a familiar story of social and economic loss,  but that is hopefully being replaced by wholesome community renewal and positive progress. Is it?


Categories: Memories

Norman Hope 1931 – 2012

October 24, 2012 Leave a comment

My uncle Norman has passed away peacefully during the night. Some of our very senior residents may remember that many years ago he was a National Coal Board joiner at Ushaw Moor Colliery. In his younger days he followed family tradition by playing cricket for Ushaw Moor; he was a promising spinner  albeit, at times, lacking in sufficient confidence to give the ball some air. He was also an accomplished ballroom dancer and loved every minute of that activity.

I have wonderful memories of our family Christmas celebrations in the 50s and much of that is down to the three uncles: Norman, Arthur Hodgson and Tommy Carse but some of that is already described on site.


Categories: Memories