Archive for November, 2012

The Way We Were [The Year 1960 4/4]

November 20, 2012 5 comments

The Durham County Advertiser informs us that in the summer  of 1960 an outspoken and well known speaker from Jamaica, Mr Stuart Hall, was in Durham to address the National Association of Boys’ Clubs. At the end of his speech the audience burst into tumultuous applause. It was clear that he had a profound effect on the audience. Here now, fifty two years later, are some of the points made by him, as reported in the paper:

In the fourth forms of less intelligent streams at secondary modern schools there is a sort of glass screen between the teacher and the children. They take more notice of older boys of 18 than they do of their teachers.

The teenager looks upon the teachers as ”them,” people who order him about, do not give him any feeling for what he has to do. Later on this reaction may be transferred to policemen, youth leaders, priests, and anybody in authority. But go and watch him on the dance floor, the concentration on the dance floor gives them some direct emotional relation between themselves and what they are doing.

The life they are seeking cannot be put into words. This is nothing new; the dreams of their parents were the stars of the screen: Rudolph Valentino stood for glamour; Charlie Chaplin the courage of the little man, and Greta Garbo the mystery of the beautiful woman. Few people had these things, but millions wanted to enjoy them.

Screen Mirror

We have learnt about romance, not from life, but through going to the cinema, or reading books like Treasure Island and Swiss Family Robinson.

Some people imagine there is a sharp distinction between so- called high-brow and cheap entertainment. But there is much that is healthy in low brow entertainment:Gracie Fields was never vulgar, but Liszt the composer of serious music was. Emma Fitzgerald, the blues singer, is poised and gracious, but some artists are less so.

The teenagers search for self- expression has been turned into a money-making business. People between the ages of 15 and 25 spend two-thirds of their incomes in the following ways:

£222m on clothing and footwear £ 120m on drink and tobacco £95m on sweets, soft drinks and snacks; £160m on records, magazines, films, etc.

The paper’s reporter commented that a theme of Mr Hall’s speech is that young people make mistakes because they are trying to find a deeper life. In sex-stimulation they are seeking love and affection, in being cynical they are trying to show that they are mature, in success they hope to find a substitute for real community life and being a worth-while human person.

Meanwhile the Press, TV, juke boxes, fashion experts, and advertisers cash in on their dreams because they at least provide them with feelings which enable them to face life.

Categories: Memories

Mysterious football team- great team of the early 50s? WB

November 9, 2012 8 comments

Categories: Memories

Milkman A. Reay- anyone with more information? WB

November 9, 2012 1 comment

Categories: Memories

”Gala Has Become A Teddy Boys’ Picnic” [1960 3 of 4]

November 9, 2012 2 comments

Such was the Durham County Advertiser article on the eve of the 1960 Big Meeting. The sub heading was”City Licensees expect a good profit – and big expenses bills” It went on:

Durham Miners’ Gala, once described by a leading American newspaper as the greatest show on earth, has become a Teddy Boys’ Picnic, claimed a number of local licensees. They say that the recent galas have turned the city into a wild West boom town.

If the weather is fine tomorrow the city will be invaded by nearly 200,000 miners. Takings from beer alone are expected to exceed 25,000 pounds. Last year, for instance, a small public house in Saddler Street took 600 pounds. Another public-house in North Road topped the 1,000 mark.

About 10,000 pounds will be spent on the racecourse fair. More thousands will be spend on food and toys for the children. Then there is the cost of hiring bands and banner carriers, another 10,000 pounds.

For the city’s publicans and caterers Miners’ Gala is a military operation requiring careful planning. As ten o’clock draws near  tomorrow morning , emergency staffs in nearly 50 public houses will be waiting behind the huge battlements of beer crates. Within an hour the battle will be in full swing.

”Like Sitting On A Volcano”

Many local landlords feel that the gala is in danger of being spoilt, not by the miners, but by the small teenage element to whom the real spirit of the gala means nothing.

To give you the flavour of the rest of the article it mentioned that some licensed victuallers had pressed for a reduction in pub hours for the day  but a narrow majority decided to apply for the usual extension from 10 am to 10 pm. Breakages were a concern and some felt that the publicans have had enough by 9 pm. One commented that the landlords expected a good profit but expenses were tremendous.

On the other hand it was reported that some landlords had noted a decline in gala day drinking on the grounds that  mining folks have more to do with their money – cars, holidays abroad, television – and therefore can’t afford to go mad on miners’ gala day.


Categories: Memories

Ushaw Moor And District – Summer Of 1960 [2 of 4]

November 4, 2012 2 comments


Ushaw Moor got a shock on Wednesday evening when they lost at home to lowly Lands CC. Following the defeat at Etherley this further defeat practically puts them out of the running for the league championship. In thirty overs Ushaw Moor made 94 for 7, McEleavey and Thompson each contributed 20 runs. Lands made the winning hit with the fourth ball of the last over. McDermott took three wickets for 22 runs and Luke two wickets for ten.

Meanwhile the Bearpark C C team was looking forward to playing Oakenshaw at Eppleton Colliery Welfare ground. The prize they were after was the  Echo and Sports Despatch Cup.

New Brancepeth Women’s Institute:

A guest speaker gave a talk entitled ‘This is your life’.

Miss Smith [a relation of a school pal of mine?] gave an interesting report of the annual meeting in London.

The competition for the prettiest wall placque was won by Mrs Humm.

Silence was observed in memory of a former member Mrs A M Johnson [relation of Jack Johnson?]

The Door prize was won by Mrs Humm [clearly a lucky time for Mrs Humm!] I wonder whether her stated name was a typo, that is, was her name actually Hume? Maybe not.


Categories: Memories

The Summer Of 1960 [1 of 4]

November 2, 2012 3 comments

A spare hour spent recently at Durham City library delving into the records of the Durham County Advertiser brought some interesting results and if you like I will share them with you in four instalments. So here is part one.

Homing Returns. This is obviously a pigeon topic but I can only guess what the following information tells us:

Ushaw Moor, Letchworth: Pearson and Partners 1056, Burnham and Sons 1022,

Ryans and Craggs 1020,  Burnham and Son 1019.

Does for example 1056 refer to pigeons returning from Letchworth to Ushaw Moor at four minutes to eleven in the morning or is it maybe some sort of mark for performance?

Ushaw Moor Women’s Institute:

It was reported that an enjoyable talk was given by Mrs Rochester regarding her holiday in Italy. Mrs Thirwell presided and Mrs Moralee read the correspondance [was that Jim’s mother?]. The Oakbridge Group were responsible for the social half-hour which took the form of a whist and beetle drive. Mrs Stephenson thanked the group.  A competition – button hole of wild flowers- was won by Mrs Lough [husband a shoe repairer?]. Mrs Hardy won the lucky number prize.

Ushaw Moor Cricket Club suffered a defeat at Etherley in what was a vital game for both teams. It was a see – saw game that left Etherley as favourites to win the Mid-Durham Senior League championship although Ushaw Moor remained in contention. It was Harry Allen that did the damage by scoring 47 runs and taking five wickets for thirty one runs. Raymond Ayre [39] and G [Gordon?] Luke [34] were Ushaw Moor’s chief batsmen:

A Gillespie 5 runs

G Thompson 10

J McEleavey 11

R Ayre 39

A Whitfield 14

G Luke 34

F Proctor 0

K Thompson 0

K Golightly 0

J McDermott not out 12

J Wood 0

Extras 5

A few days earlier a youthful N Ferguson scored 25 not out in a very low scoring second team game. Ushaw Moor found 57 for 9 more than sufficient to beat Willington’s second eleven.

More soon.


Categories: Memories