Archive for March, 2013

Local Colliery Band

March 28, 2013 2 comments

Hi does anyone know if Ushaw Moor had a Colliery Band ?,  of course Bearpark and Esh Colliery band is well known and still going today.

Had an email from Gavin Holman


Dear Sir/Madam,

Did your village, town or community once have its own brass or silver band?

I am carrying out research in the history of brass bands in local communities, and would like to ask if you know of any information about any such extinct bands in your area.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were the “golden age” for these bands numbering, it is said, up to 40,000 distinct bands at their peak. Many of these bands were associated with local industries, often being a “works” band. Others provided a musical focus for many small towns and villages in the days before the gramophone and the wireless. Today, in contrast, only some 1,500 or so are left active in the UK.

Sadly many of the bands left little in the way of information about their existence, and what does exist is widely scattered with individuals, local archives and national collections.

Part of my research is to identify these lost bands, to collect together material to provide a central database of information – containing a mixture of primary information as well as references to material held elsewhere (e.g. in local archives).

Any information you can provide would be gratefully received. Whether actual information or pictures of any bands, or pointers to resources, or sources for further investigation. Even knowing that a particular band existed is significant!

Currently much of the information I have collected is available online, as a freely available resource, at  – in various locations, for example, in the Reference section under “Extinct Bands” or “Vintage Pictures”.

With best wishes for your continuing research in local history,


Gavin Holman
The Internet Bandsman’s Everything Within

Brandon Colliery Station – 10 May 1965

March 22, 2013 3 comments

Brandon Colliery Station 1890265 8edbedea

Brandon Colliery Station (remains).10 May 1965
View NE, towards Durham; ex-NER Bishop Auckland – Durham line. The station looks rather decrepit in 1965; it was closed to passengers on 4/5/64, to goods on 10/8/64; the line closed finally on 5/8/68.

Not quite Deerness Valley but interesting none the less.


Disused Stations: Bearpark Station (formerly Aldin Grange)

March 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Date opened: 1.6.1883

Location: On the north side of Auton Style

Company on opening: North Eastern Railway

Date closed to passengers: 1.5.1939

Date closed completely: 1.5.1939

Company on closing: British Railways (North Eastern Region)

Present state: Demolished – no trace of the station remains

County: Durham

OS Grid Ref: NZ245432

Notes: Ironworks were established at Consett in 1841 but in the 1860s Consett needed better access to the iron town of Middlesbrough and the neighbouring Ironstone of the Cleveland Hills. There were some circuitous rail links between the two towns but a direct route was required. The Browney valley provided the ideal setting for such a line.

In February 1861 construction of the North Eastern Railway’s Lanchester Branch commenced and it officially opened the following year. It was initially a single-track line with stations at Consett, Knitsley, Lanchester and Witton Gilbert.

The Lanchester Branch opened up mining possibilities along the Browney Valley. In 1870, Lord Lambton who owned land in the valley accepted an application to search for coal and the following year coal was found. The NER doubled its track in anticipation of colliery demand and collieries soon opened along the line at Bearpark, Malton, Lanchester and Langley Park. An additional station was added at Aldin Grange in 1883 and renamed Bearpark on 1.5.1927.

via Disused Stations: Bearpark Station.

Aircraft on Low Loader

March 21, 2013 9 comments

When I started school my family lived at 29 Harvey Street, New Brancepeth, and this meant a daily walk to St. Josephs School at Ushaw Moor. On the way we parted company with my Dad as he took the road leading to the Pit Yard at New Brancepeth Colliery on his way to work. We walked down the Big Bank as it was then known and then over the road bridge over the beck as we called it or, to give it its correct title, the River Deerness. On under the two wooden railway bridges and once under the bridges we turned sharp right, through a gate and then up a path by the side of the railway embankment arriving at Ushaw Moor Railway Station. Emerging from the path you could see the whole of the field which was then known as the Show Field as this was the area where the Shows came annually for a week.

One morning I can vividly remember an RAF low loader wagon carrying the fuselage of a crashed aircraft standing parked on the field guarded by an armed member of the RAF. We stood looking at the scene for a couple of minutes and then resumed our journey up the back of Station Road to school. Our teachers in those days would have frowned on us for being late for any reason.

I am hoping that John Mc Garr, who I know reads this site can come up with an answer for me. Can he remember this incident or can he remember his Mam or Dad speaking of this incident. If my memory serves me right John lived in the gable end house nearest the Show Field in what I thiink was Middlefield Terrace which I think was demolished years ago. My query is was the aircraft German or an RAF plane. So please John can you put me right. I think it was German and must have been shot down. If so how did it arrive at the bottom of Ushaw Moor. Perhaps the driver of the lorry was an Ushaw Moor lad who called at home unofficially to see his family.

If you do read this John just to let you know that the Bushing Company on South Drive is no more. It has been demolished over the past month and there is only a large empty area where the factory stood for eighty years. I never knew you worked there until my next door neighbour, Michael George,mentioned your name a few years ago by which time you had left.

Brian Mc

Categories: Memories

Aldin Grange Station

March 21, 2013 1 comment

This post brings back a lot of memories. There was a brother and sister attended St. Josephs School at Ushaw Moor named Margeret and Michael Dickinson. There Dad was employed by the LNER and they lived in the Station House pictured.

As well as coal being carried on this line there were also iron ore trains which carried the ore up to the Consett Steel Works. The weight of this ore must have been very heavy as the train was double headed and despite this the number of wagons that made up the train was very small in comparison to a single engine pulling a coal train. The ore came in to the country by ship to the Jarrow Iron Ore Terminal at Tyne Dock (South Shields) where the trains were made up. As young lads we would go train spotting at Relly Bridge and you could tell when an iron ore train bound for Consett was pulling up the gradient from Durham Station as the smoke and steam from the two engines hauling the train was shot straight up into the air from the chimneys on the engines. There was a curve on the rails at the top of the gradient to the right and the train was hauled round the curve and onward to Bearpark and Consett.

Brian Mc.

Categories: Memories

Patricia Stiles nee Baker – Sharon McCreesh

March 18, 2013 1 comment

I am trying to find a school friend, Patricia Stiles nee Baker.

I have located Sharon McCreesh, who is possibly her daughter, in your town but have no other way to find out if she is. Can you help in any way to verify that Sharon is her daughter?

If she is would Sharon be willing to contact me. I’m using my maiden name so Patricia would know who she is talking about.

Thank you for any help you can give me and her schoolmates at Godolphin and Latymer in Hammersmith, London who would love to hear from her.

Posted on behalf of Jill Rose

Samuel Cody Landing nr Pit House | From Original Memories BLOG

March 9, 2013 18 comments


It is fairly well known that in 1911 Samuel Cody landed in a field near Pit House reservoir but perhaps fewer people can relate the landed plane’s location to a modern map. Today the plane would be located on the outer edge of Vicarage Flats which are adjacent to Silver Court at Brandon Hill. Not far away is Sawmills Lane . I note that no one has yet responded regarding the identity of the New Brancepeth couple who provided Mr Cody with breakfast. Incidentally I believe that he was a friend and admirer of ‘Buffalo Bill’ not an actual relative.

Wilf B

via A New and Improved Trip 1900 – 1959 | Ushaw Moor Memories.

Categories: Memories Tags:

Site of Bearpark (formerly Aldin Grange) Station, Bearpark

March 3, 2013 14 comments

View NW, towards Blackill; Lanchester Valley line (Durham – Blackhill). Called Aldin Grange until 1/5/27, this station was closed entirely on 1/5/39 when the passenger service ceased, but goods continued and the line was not closed until 20/6/66.

Bearpark Station


Site of railway bridge looking towards what was once site of Station.