Archive for April, 2013

Two Local Football Players called Norman Wright Plus Local Railways

April 30, 2013 4 comments

Norman Wright number one  was born in Ushaw Moor in late December 1908 and played for Ushaw Moor Council School, Esh Winning Juniors, Grimsby Town, Crewe Alexandra, Manchester City, and Watford. At one time he was an amateur on the books of Newcastle United. He was a prolific goal scorer, especially for Crewe, Accrington Stanley and Watford. I wonder whether he played for the Ushaw Moor school team that won a trophy in the very early 1920s [I believe that team is pictured on this site] or whether he had already left school.

The second Norman Wright is mentioned by Elizabeth Emery. She informs us that he was a lorry driver [much of it for Deerness Railways] and at one time played for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Elizabeth Emery gives an interesting account of the local railways during the period 1943 -1947. You can google it as follows:

Deerness Valley Railways Elizabeth Emery.


Categories: Memories

Colin Tonks

April 13, 2013 Leave a comment

I recall Mr Tonks teaching at Ushaw Moor Secondary Modern back in 1959. My memory indicates that he was a kind and very competent teacher. I believe that he later became a headmaster elsewhere.  

Recently, quite by accident, I came across him on the net. If you google:

Colin Tonks Northern Echo

you see a very clear picture of him taken recently. He is the bearded elderly chap in a dark pullover. You will find a report of his recent clash with bureaucracy. He won, I am pleased to say!




Categories: Memories

Sheep And Priests

April 13, 2013 1 comment

On Sundays my step-father frequently took me for a walk along the top road. It was an opportunity to find a good spot to fly my model aeroplane.  Eventually  the Ushaw Moor Catholic Seminary would come into view. I recall a scene dominated by sheep, golf players and the building itself. It was quite relaxing – being pastoral, peaceful and a preliminary ritual before a walk back to roast beef and Yorkshire pudding; no Spotted Dick though because in our family the great era of the Dick was over. And you can take that as you wish.

I believe that a local paper has reported vandalism to a now derelict seminary; if so I am sorry to hear that. Catholicism in Ushaw Moor stretches back a very long time and it must be very sad news for the faithful. The run down of the building has been put down to falling rolls and financial problems. I can understand the former but not the latter; the Catholic Church is one of the richest organisations in the whole world and therefore if it wanted to keep the building secure it could no doubt find the funds to arrange it. Without proper security vandalism of such a building is inevitable. 


Categories: Memories

Booking Office Drama

April 10, 2013 3 comments

The Shields Daily Gazette reported on Monday June 13th 1887 that on the previous Friday burglars had forced entry into the ticket office at Ushaw Moor railway station. The thieves got away with something like nine old pence. Most fresh faced individuals will know that is written as 9d.

There were 240 d’s in a pound so the thieves did not secure a change of life style. That said  the circa 9d belonged to  Mr Tuck, the station master, and do doubt he had a change of humour, if not a drastic change of life style.


Categories: Memories

A Sunlit Day In August 1900 and 2014 For That Matter

April 7, 2013 Leave a comment

A lovely day and a lot of people loving it. The Ushaw Moor Institute Gala and Sports Day took place in a field near the railway station, and as well as a variety of other activities, much pleasure was got from listening to the Durham County Industrial Schools Band.

Three known attendees from Ushaw Moor were a Mr Thomas Ferguson, a Mr R Hope, and a Mr T Robinson. Tommy Ferguson judged the one hundred and twenty yards foot race and witnessed R Hope finishing in third place[ for which he received a reward of one pound- a lot of money then].  The winner received twelve pounds; second place got three pounds; and for finishing fourth the reward was ten bob. As for T Robinson, he finished runner-up in a quoit handicap.

About a couple of years ago I suggested that the village have an almighty reunion but nothing has come of it YET. Are there a few people up there [up north as my son would say] willing to break sweat and organise it, for a hopefully sunlit day in August 2014?  


Categories: Memories

In 1929 Steep Came To The Aid Of Broompark

April 5, 2013 5 comments

Back in 1929 the Hampshire village of Steep adopted Broompark, which at that time had a population of about seven hundred people. As we know It was a grim period for many, what with  serious long term unemployment and poverty. 


Categories: Memories

Ninety pounds and seventy seven pence

April 5, 2013 Leave a comment

One day in the summer of 1915 the Brough store in Ushaw Moor donated one pound to the War Relief Fund. It does not sound much but in modern money that is worth in the region of ninety pounds and seventy seven pence; that is not a mean sum at all! It very probably donated on other occasions.

The Brough store at Chester-Le – Street raised a massive four hundred and ten pounds,  which equates to about 37,215 pounds and seventy pence now. Bigger place, more employees and surely large donations from wealthy individuals rather than just from shop assistant employees. I guess that is the top and bottom of it. 



Categories: Memories