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Broughs Store

My great grandad Matthew Dickinson is listed in various census as living in Station road the turn of the 20th century. His job was listed as grocers assistant, which at the time seems different from everybody else who seemed to work in mining. Having spoken to my uncle who has lived in Ushaw Morr all of his life, he told me that he worked in “Broughs Store” at the bottom of station road. I remember it being there when I was a kid, but does anybody out there know any history of the store. How long was it there? Was it always called “Broughs”? Does anyone out there know?

Broughs Store

Broughs Store

Categories: Memories Tags: ,
  1. Denise
    February 7, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Broughs..all I remember is that it was there in the 1950’s, there were sides of bacon hanging up, a huge block of butter on the counter and it smelld lovely…of bacon and coffee.

  2. February 7, 2013 at 10:57 am

    READ MORE Broughs >>>HERE<<<

    Check out the Facebook PAGE for more info. on Broughs

  3. February 7, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Denise :

    Broughs..it smelld lovely…of bacon and coffee.

    MMMM Lovely….:)

  4. pat arckless
    February 7, 2013 at 11:56 am

    hi it was still there in late 1960 early 70s i was born 1963 and am now 50 so it was there a long tym i can remember as a kid going in and he used 2 deliver y groceries in them days x

  5. February 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    It was certainly there just before 1914 and there is the well known photograph taken around that time.

    The influence of Joseph Brough is still felt today! There is a Joseph Brough Charitable Trust Fund [unless it has very recently disbanded] and is administered through the Community Foundation – serving Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. The fund was established in 1940 and helps projects in Northumberland and Durham, with a special interest in Methodist causes. So it is reasonable to assume that he was a Methodist. Seemingly he was a man keen to help those in need as far as he could. Does anyone know more about him, or have memories of the store to add to those already on site?

    My aunt Ethel worked there in the early 50s, if not a bit before and her future husband Arthur did a stint at the shop in WW2 and probably a bit afterwards.

  6. February 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Lovely old fashioned shop. They did deliveries to customers weekly by Broughs Lorry. The only lad that I knew that worked at Broughs was Alan Hope. The shop had a beautiful exterior at the front, highly glazed green tiles. It was situated to cater for the needs of customers from New Brancepeth (or Sleetburn) as well as from Ushaw Moor being built at the bottom of Station Road. When the shop was built there were a number of streets built in what was known as the Low Side which was situated below the Old Schools at New Brancepeth which was only a ten minute walk to Broughs The most memorable part of the shop was the compressed air system which took the bill and the money to the Cash Office and then the receipt and the change was returned to the assisant to be handed over to the customer. I was always fascinated by this apparatus. Happy days.

    Brian Mc.

  7. February 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Up until the 1950’s, just as you entered the wood next to Broughs was, as far as I know, the only communal Air Raid Shelter in Ushaw Moor. It may never have been used for its intended purpose but kids at the bottom end of Ushaw Moor were fooled by their parents into believing that a Bogeyman named Sand Shoe Pete lived there. The threat that Sand Shoe Pete “might get you” was used (not always successfully) to kids in at night.
    Sand Shoes were a cheap black canvass shoe really meant for indoor use but in those days were the year round footwear for many. As Brian Mc will remember they were also worn by Altar Boys At St Joes Church.
    John Mc Garr

    • February 10, 2013 at 1:11 am

      John Mc Garr,
      A name from the past, delighted to hear from you. You were right about the altar boys but I was never an altar server. I have a query about the bottom end of Ushaw Moor which you may be able to help me with and I am going to enter a new post which regards the showfield which was on the gable end of your old terrace. However I cannot remember an Air Riad Shelter in the area of Broughs. Can you add some flesh to the bones and give the precise location. I think all kids in Ushaw Moor at that time was threatened with Sandshoe Pete.

      Brian Mc

  8. ron nightingale
    February 10, 2013 at 5:38 am

    I was an alter boy at St Josephs in about 1957/58. I remember wearing sand shoes – i also recall we nick named those – Pumps. We had to be as quiet as possible so i suppose the pumps helped minimise sound although if you didn’t pick your feet up when turning they could let out quite a squeak on the polished floor (thats when the priest gave you that almighty glare – ha.
    Interested to know more about the whereabouts of the Ushaw Bomb shelter and why only one when we had two at Broompark.
    We often walked the woods and the beck all the way to Ushaw and i recall once walking further on than Ushaw and came to an area where there was some remains of what seemed to have been a building. My mind is shady on this area but i seem to recall a high old wooden bridge that looked a bit scary and i think there was an old house on the other side of the bridge and a little old foot bridge going over a pond and unusual water plants. I think there is a picture on here somewhere of that bridge and i left a comment on it .

    • frank clarke
      February 10, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Ron sounds like Broadgate and the photographic image to which you refer was posted by my brother Peter ;It showed myself, my brother and my late sister Gloria and friends Regards Frank Clarke

  9. terry fullard
    February 10, 2013 at 8:56 am

    there was a bomb shelter at the top of st josephs school yard

  10. Olga Bradley nee Jones.
    February 10, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I used to play in a bomb shelter at the left hand side of the driveway up to the Catholic church. In the back street there used to be a fenced off bit of land just behind the first house over the back road.

  11. February 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm


    You are correct about the Air Raid Shelter on the driveway as you describe. This Shelter was for the Infants in the School. I can vividly remember being in the Infants when the Air Raid Warning was sounded and we were all lined up by the teachers, our gas mask in its brown box slung over our shoulders and marched across the schoolyard across the drive and into the Shelter. There were wooden seats around the walls and the lighting was provided by oil lamps carried by the teachers. It was wet, dark, very damp and claustophobic although I have never suffered from this complaint and I don’t suppose many people knew the meaning of the word in those days. The teachers, bless them, kept our minds occupied and the time seemed to pass quickly. Then came the All Clear siren and we would all troop back into our classes none the worse for the experience. We would sing hymns and songs whilst in the Shelter, anything to keep our minds fully occupied. On the far side of the shelter was an old wooden hut where the long distance travellers from Broompark, New Brancepeth and Bearpark used to dine at lunch time. It was freezing, cold and dirty and we would eat our sandwiches as quickly as possible and go out to play in the schoolyard.

    The Air Raid Shelter for the rest of the school was situated in the wood adjacent to the gable end of the Catholic Club now stands. I was never in that Shelter.

    The thing I can remember most about the shelter was the clanging of the reinforced steel door which closed us off from the outside world shortly after we were all accounted for after arriving in the shelter. I cannot remember how many times we used the shelter but it was more than once.

  12. ron nightingale
    February 11, 2013 at 3:12 am

    I am guessing we are again in different time frames here as i have no recollection of a drill for air raids. I wasnt at st Josephs for much more than a year. Also when i say i was an alter boy i should have said i was in training to be an alter boy. I cannot even remember this air raid/bomb shelter.
    @ Frank ~ not the broadgate bridge. The bridge i am thinking of is a very high wooden Viaduct.?? There are no people in the photo i am talking about.

  13. February 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I think the bridge you are thinking about is the bridge which carried the railway over the beck at Ushaw Moor Colliery. This bridge was a high wooden structure. The coal trains would cross the bridge and then reverse into the sidings of the colliery where empty trucks were dropped off and full trucks formed into a train and then hauled back onto the main line and then onward to their final destination. After leaving the Ushaw Moor Colliery junction the main line continued up the valley and terminated at East Hedley Hope Colliery

    There were another two bridges carrying the line over the road between Ushaw Moor and New Brancepeth. The concrete bases in which the timber uprights carrying the bridge were inserted are still in position in this area. I think there was a small low wooden bridge of the same design carrying the line over the beck near the junction for Esh Winning Colliery. I read somewhere that the design of these bridges were unique to the Deerness Valley line.

    The old ruined house that Ron mentions I think was the 16th. century house which stood at the top a small bank overlooking the beck on the path that led up to Hankeys Farm. This house was reputedly built by a knight named Redpath who was said to one of the three men that murdered Thomas a Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury in his own Cathedral. It was again reputedly built as a chapel. He was supposed to have built it to atone for the murder he had taken part in. There was a date, I think it was 1697 cut into the lintel above the front door of the house

    Another item of interest in that area was what we called the “plank”. It was a length of timber of the same dimensions of the timbers in the bridge and was used a footbridge over the beck. The was a steel frame slung from the underside of the “plank “. I could never fathom out its usefulness. If you followed the path up and under the bridge, crossed the rails in the sidings and followed the path up the field you arrived at Deerness View on the Esh Winning road.

    I was down that area a few years ago and the plank has been replaced by a footbridge, the old house was demolished and the triangle formed by the railway embankment and the continuation of the bank on which the old house was built has been filled in with the spoil heap from New Brancepeth Coke Works. To cap it all the beck is only half of what it was as in those days as millions of gallons of water was pumped into the beck daily from the pits further up the Valley. I hope Ron this answered a couple of your queries. There are photos of some of these bridges in the Gallery on this site.

    Brian Mc.

  14. ron nightingale
    February 12, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Thanks Brian, the bridge i recall was massive looking up at it from below. Of course i am seeing it 1n around 1959 to 1962 ? and from a 9 to 11 year olds view.
    We were too scared to walk under it because one of the other kids saw some timber on the ground and said it might be going to collapse.
    I found a photo of it on one of the Ushaw sites and it also showed a small footbridge in the fore ground going over this section of water where i remember the plants did not seem to be native to the beck and might have been planted years before by whoever lived there.
    Possibly some sort of water lilly.?
    Trying to find the photo.

  15. ron nightingale
    February 12, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Still cannot find the photo i am looking for but these pictures in Gallery 5 tell a story.
    Is that other bridge the one at the bottom of the main street in Ushaw.?? I did not think that viaduct was right there at the bottom of town.


  16. February 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Yes the first wooden viaduct from Ushaw Moor heading west, was at the very bottom of station road, http://is.gd/NbPrUs

    You can see the site as it looks now http://twitpic.com/c08yap

  17. ron nightingale
    February 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks, i obviously didn’t splodge too far up the beck did i.??You don’t even have a bridge now. Makes sense as the River Deerness or Beck as we called it was nothing more than a strong stream at the best of times.Easier to just put pipes under a road and forget about bridges.Some suggest that the river was much stronger due to the coal mines pumping water into it.~~??? Where the F were the coal mines producing it from
    If nature turns around and that valley is flooded it could be a different situation, but we seem to have the weather under control~ or it has US under pressure LOL.
    I recall all the kids from Broompark and Ushaw getting together and Damming the beck just east of the Broompark bridge (can still see the location on google earth) and making our own swimming pool where we could dive into the water. Going back the next weekend it had some big catfish in there and some were too scared to swim. Google earth and google maps still give us a second chance of photos both Arial and street view of places demolished such as Ushaw Moor infant school and any other buildings as Google earth seems to be around 2009 with their photography.

  18. February 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Ron, the road bridge is still there at the bottom of Ushaw Moor connecting it to New Brancepeth but yes the railway bridge has long since gone.
    Also, where Google Earth/Maps show the land where the school was…well new houses have sprung up there now! Just little box houses, like many of the new ones are now. I think the development is just about finished now, Theyve squeezed 29 houses onto the site! Link here: http://www.gleeson-homes.co.uk/interactive-siteplans/index.php?id=41 Another bit of history gone!

  19. February 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Found more pics of the viaduct here ~http://www.flickriver.com/search/ushaw+moor/
    along with lots more old Ushaw photos. Also found some photos of an old ushaw moor pump station. Is this still standing.

  20. February 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Ron. There is still one building standing. I’m not sure what it is but i think it might have been to do with a pumping station, yes. I was out walking a few months ago and had a look near it, it had (i think) and old National Coal Board sign on it, and a newer one on there now but i can’t remember what it said.

  21. February 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    If the building in question has an unusual rounded roof and double doors at the gable end nearest Ushaw Moor and is built of red brick then then that is the original pump house. I never saw or heard the pumps in operation. There were two cast iron pipes of about 24″ diameter left the pump house and went up the hill at the rear and went underground just short of the top of the hill. Looking back these pipes may have carried water from the beck to the New Brancepeth Colliery Coke Ovens which were built around the end of the 19th or beginning of the 20th century. They were a German design and the Manager at the Coke Ovens was named Scwartz. Could be a coincidence. When the coke was pushed out the oven by a massive ram it fell onto a tram where the coke was immediately doused by thousands of gallons of water to cool it down before the tram was hauled away up a ramp and the coke was transferred to railway trucks for its onward journey

    This post has diversed from the original query by Michael about his great grandfather Matthew Dickinson. Would Matthew have been the grandfather of Dennis and Tom Dickinson who lived in Whitehouse Court? The children of my family and the Dickinson family were very close as we were all childhood friends.

    Also Paul you are correct that the little house in middle of the picture was indeed the house I wrote about. We called the house LANESES, why I don’t know. The last family I can remember living in the property was named Doran Brian and Michael Doran went to St. Josephe school at Ushaw Moor and they moved from there just after the Second World War to the prefabs which had just been built on the Braunspath (?) Estate at New Brancepeth.

    Brian Mc.

  22. February 14, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Hi Brian, i’ve found a pic of what i believe is the building i saw, and the only building left as far as i could see. It’s here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41238313@N00/2340723661/in/pool-1415306@N20 There are other photos of the surrounding pipework/pumps including one taken of the inside the building. Such a shame this is the only building left.

  23. February 14, 2013 at 9:53 am

    nobody seems interested in the pump house as i also noticed there is still a small pump in there which is just rusting and a coat of paint would make it look better. That pump would most likely have been to prime the bigger pumps as it is way too small to pump water from the beck through those pipes i saw as they are about a 6 inch pipe.
    We have gone off topic and i suppose this should have been a new post titled Ushaw Moor pump house. Although we also went off topic with air raid shelter then the viaduct.
    Is this pump house near the river.? Pumps push the water better than sucking it up so the suction is better close to the water source.

    • February 14, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Hi Ron, this Pump House isn’t too far from the river a short slope straight into it. This as far as I know had been pum,ping mine water from the shaft into the River Deerness, had been operating for quite a while, you could see the Iron Oxide in the water flowing down into the river, I had seen an article about it on the WEB some years ago, stating it was being monitored.

      There is mention of possible damage to environment if turned off, HERE

      I haven’t been down there in a while but I guess it is now stopped pumping.

      clockworklozenge (56 months ago)

      These pumps are inactive, i believe the water in the shaft may be slowly rising ,If so then a new outflow may be neccesary

  24. February 14, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for the photo but that is not the building I had in mind. The building that was the pump house was situated on the New Brancepeth side of the beck about 350 yards upstream from the road betwee the villages. That builing looks like one of the original buildings that were in Ushaw Moor Pit Yard

    Brian Mc.

  25. terry fullard
    February 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

    that sounds like the sight of the old coke ovens

  26. February 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Hello Terry,
    The site of the Coke Ovens was on the left hand side of the railway walk and abour half a mile from the NewBrancepeth road. They covered a huge area and the air was always full of smoke of all hues as the ovens turned the coal into coke. Looking back now I presume these were actually gases given off in the coke making process. The men who worked the ovens would have been breathing in these gases all their working day.

    Brian Mc.

  27. February 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I started off in working as a blacksmith. When using the forge we used a method called -rolling the coal. This is moving the coal in and out of the fire and often damping it with water. The object is to force the gases and other impurities such as sulfur out of the coal without actually letting the coal catch on fire. The result is you have a nice – Gas coke to work with. The smell is mainly the sulfur coming out of the coal, often seen as a yellow smoke and if you remember it often happened in your coal fire and often the yellow smoke often burst into flames.
    I remember in Broompark all that was left of the collier was the pit head. Behind that toward the beck was a pipe quite a ways down the valley and it had amazing colours in the discharge. No pumps so i guess this was a natural leak from the shaft. I tasted the water once and it was very sweet but tangy. The water was crystal clear so i guess it was being well filtered from the levels of coal etc it was coming through.
    I was intending to keep giving Blacksmithing exhibitions in retirement but the gas coke resources are lost and the coal here is crap as it is a brown coal not a black and doesnt produce coke and just crumbles.

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