Home > Memories > Pied Piper Bus Driver?

Pied Piper Bus Driver?

In my quest to find out when the old village of Broompark was demolished
i found this~ ???.I attended that school as a toddler and went on to St Josephs.
The article was in the northern echo and is dated  April 17 2009.
50 years ago from that date in my calculation would make the year 1959.
Yet i have no recollection of a pied piper bus driver tooting his horn.
We walked to the main bus stop near Loves hotel and caught the bus there.

April 17th, 2009

From the Durham County Advertiser 50 years ago.

The driver of a bus which arrives in Broompark each weekday morning has become known as the modern Pied Piper.
 When he toots his horn, children of the village skip out of their homes and are not seen again until early evening.
 “Very soon their parents will be leaving, never to return,”.
 A villager remarked bitterly to an Advertiser reporter this week.. “A village which loses its school begins slowly to decay.”

At Broompark School, focal point of the life of the village since the beginning of the century, only one of three classrooms is now in use.
 Thirty older chldren were transferred to Ushaw Moor a fortnight ago, but there is still a class for toddlers.
 After the summer holidays, however, even they will probably have to make the mile and a half trip to Ushaw Moor.

As reported in the Advertiser last week, a petition protesting against the closure of the school has been signed by over 200 villagers.
 Parents have already seen the county authorities and the Central Executive Education Committee.
 They intend to fight resolutely to save the school.

It is doubtful, however, whether a reprieve will be granted, for the problem at Broompark is that of many villages throughout the county.

? Compiled with the help of Durham County Council’s Clayport library

Categories: Memories
  1. John Mc Garr
    January 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    `Old Broom Park` i.e. everything except Front Street, Hill Street, and the Old School Building was demolished in 1970. This was in compliance with the County Plan for Catergory D Villages. Under this plan development was only to be allowed in larger villages where shops , schools, doctors etc would be concentrated.
    This policy was overturned in the 1980’s and in 1988 Bellway Builders commenced the construction of Cookes Wood, the first of two small 36 house estates.

    The Old School Building finally went around 2008 to be replaced by housing.

    The Loves Pub closed on 9th Jan 2013 and its future as a Pub looks very uncertain.

    • frank clarke
      January 22, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Hello John I think you must be kin to Jim mc garr who I knew from Broompark in the 60s regards Frank Clarke

      • ron nightingale
        January 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

        Youve got me thinking now Frank as i have been trying to think of this guy called Barry and at first i was thinking McGovern or Mcgee. But then i remembered the McGees were twins from Bearpark. And i am sure my sister had a friend called Maureen Mcgovern. But now i am thinking his name was barry McGarr and he joined the navy or the merchant navy and visited us in Australia.

  2. ron nightingale
    January 20, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Thanks for that info John. Where was hill street. Thinking that must have been the one that ran down between all the houses. We made a slide on that one every year and eventually it turned to pure ice and ran almost the full length of the street from top of the hill to the bottom.
    Shame to hear that the Loves has just closed its doors. Obviously the people of this new estate called cookes Wood are not drinkers and it wasn’t getting supported. I should imagine now that this will also affect the guest houses like Broom farm.

    • frank clarke
      January 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Hello again Ron the mcgee brothers are from ushaw moor George and Thomas I seem to remember also Iknew a girl in broompark called Olive mcgovern

      • ron nightingale
        January 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        Quite right frank. Olive was my sisters friend (still thinking where the Maureen is coming from)and the McGee boys were quite solid for their age but like many twins, one seems to be the stronger or leader and i recall Thomas seemed to rely on George. Also seem to recall they had another older brother that tried to keep them in line, or was it their dad.??
        John Ritchards- (shorty)- wasnt he of dark -tanned complexion.?? – I think his mother is in the photo in the link from the Beamish photo.

      • frank clarke
        January 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        RonTheir brother was quite a bit older and called Joe

      • Olga Bradley nee Jones.
        January 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm

        The Mcgee brothers are still alive and one of them ‘George’ lives here in Bearpark. George is married to Jean Raite. Tom is not in good health and carry’s oxygen around with him and has tubes up his nose . He lives in Ushaw moor and is married to a girl called Pauline Savage. Their older brother ‘Barry’ died many years ago and left a wife and young son. His wife is still alive and lives in Bearpark,their son is called Stuart.

    • frank clarke
      January 26, 2013 at 7:55 am

      Ron this may settle your memory blip august 1973 hit parade The Morning After by Maureen Ncgovern

  3. John Mc Garr
    January 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Ron,
    Hill View (not Hill St) is a 12 house terrace situated behind the west end of Front St i.e. to the Ushaw Moor side of the Loves. Regarding Broom Park drinkers, like all drinkers now they do it at home. Times when most socialising for young and old in Ushaw Moor went on in the `Top Club` or `The Bush Club` (Albion House Club) have long since past (both of which are demolished now).

  4. ron nightingale
    January 21, 2013 at 3:20 am

    So that is the street i have an arrow pointing to in that sketch i drew of the old Broompark.~


    I could not recall the name of that street as i never went there much but i do remember one of the kids lived right down the end of that street and they had Ravens and Rooks and he invited me to see them at night when they were perched in his shed. Most unusual as most us other kids had pigeons. He told me that sometimes those birds would be gone for several days but always returned. Hill View seems like a modern name for a street but i do remember that back in the old days you would have a good view over the fields from an upstairs window.
    I used google earth and printed out a screen shot to do that sketch as the only ones i could find at the Durham council website were very rough and no roads shown and some street names were unreadable which were the 2 at the bottom – Garden and Eastway. I found out from my Aunty that Garden street was where she lived but only guessed Eastway.
    It seems there is very few photos around of the old broompark but my Aunty has some which i will upload when i get them. This is the only photo i have found so far which somehow ended up in the beamish collection and it was taken by my uncle and is at the back of their house in Garden street.~


  5. January 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

    frank clarke :
    RonTheir brother was quite a bit older and called Joe

    I went to school with Joe McKee who came from Broompark. His parents were living in Flass Avenue last time I saw them. There was quite a few brothers and sisters of Joe.I am sure that a lot of people got there surname wrong.The last I heard of Joe was when he run the Loves Hotel sunday morning football team in 1968.Cheers, Alf R

    • frank clarke
      February 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      That’s the very man Alf .He worked for the Water Board and was a studious bloke who thought things out before giving his opinion really nice lad regards Frank Clarke

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