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Memories of Ushaw Moor in 1947

September 9, 2010 7 comments

I seem to be in the dark a bit where the site is concerned with Twitter and Facebook now available on the web site as I am not familiar with these systems.

I have been going over the site and one name Sheila Hall caught my eye and her memories. Is this Sheila Harrison that lived in Hall Avenue? It is now many years since I left Ushaw Moor but it still retains a place in my memories.

My first memories of Ushaw Moor date back to January 1947 when the family moved from New Brancepeth to 38 Victoria Court. We were only in the house a couple of weeks when the vicious winter of that year set in. On one occasion after a blizzard overnight the snow had blown in a drift to the level of the bedroom window. It was a time of austerity just after the war but as kids we were more than happy with what we had. Sweets were on the ration and the best sweet shop in the village was Dents the Bakers next door to Stan Watsons. The shops and stores in the village sold everything that a family required. Leisure facilities were two Cinemas, the Empire and the Club Hall, both buildings sadly demolished recently, the Albion Club (the Bush) at the bottom of Station Road and the Big Club also on Station Road and the Flass and the Station Hotel. One of the highlights of the year was the arrival of the “shows” or as they say on Tyneside the fair. The show ground was a piece of waste ground situted on the left of the road leading to the railway station. Their arrival created great excitement amongst us kids. The trailers were pulled by huge lorries and just after the war also by a couple of traction engines. It was usually a Friday night when the shows opened and the noise of the music and the generators and the bright lights were magic. There were the usual stalls with slot machines, hoopla, rifles, throw the darts and roll your pennies. There were shuggy boats, roundabouts, Waltzer, Flying chairs and the Dodgems to ride on. The shows were a dose of glamour, noise and music in a very, very austere period of our lives.

On one occasion whilst walking to school from New Brancepeth there was the wreckage of an aeroplane on a low loader parked on the same piece of waste ground. It was guarded by armed RAF sentries. I cannot remember whether it was a German aircraft or an RAF plane. Certain shops had their own smells. Winters the Chemists was situated at the bottom of Station Road. Mr Winter the chemist always wore a spotless white dust coat. It was an old fasioned chemists with small wooden drawers with the name of the contents on the front of the drawer. Large glass jars containg ingredients for the medicines prescribed and the smell in the shop was of cleanliness and herbs. There was the smell of fresh bread in the three bakers in the village and the beatiful smell of fish and chips wafting on the breeze most nights of the week from four fish shops. New Brancepeth Co-op Store (Mc Cormicks shop) had different smells for every deparment from the cobblers to the hardware department. Stan Watsons shop on Durham Road had the only two petrol pumps in the village and the pumps were hand operated. Unfortunately the years quickly rolled by and schooldays were finished and the world of work beckoned at the age of fifteen years serving my time as a joiner. Five years in the Army followed, postings in East Africa, the Middle East and Germany then I left the Army and joined Durham County Police. On the amalgamation of the Police Forces in 1974 with the establishment of the new County of Tyne and Wear I stayed on Tyneside with the newly formed Northumbria Police.

Much water has passed under the bridge since I left Ushaw Moor but I think my upbringing in the village turned me into an honest man who is prepared to accept another persons opions and beliefs.

By Brain McLoughlin

noodles29

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The history and antiquities of the … – Google Books

The history and antiquities of the … – Google Books.

The history and antiquities of the county palatine of Durham:- Page 419

Ushaw is a village three-quarters of a mile east from Esh. A hamlet called Hilltop, recently erected, is principally occupied by tailors and other tradesmen employed by the students of Ushaw College. An act was passed, 2 George III., 1760, ” for dividing and enclosing a certain moor or common, called Middlewood Moor. or Ushaw Moor, within the manor of Lanchester, in the county of Durham.” This moor is described as containing upwards of 600 acres, and as being partly in the chapelry of Esh, and partly in the parish of St. Oswald, and intersected from north to south by the Scotch Dyke and Holywell Syke, the parochial boundaries. The allotments were to be subject to a clear yearly rent of 6d. per acre to the bishop.

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