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Sunday afternoon Walks

July 17, 2009 9 comments

This is the first blog that I have attempted and this is with Paul’s help via email.   Sunday afternoon was a special time as most of my friends and I worked a 5 1/2 day week so every hour of the weekend was precious.   After dinner on a Sunday we used to go for a walk.  In those days very few people had a car and TV was in its infancy so no Soap Opera Omnibuses or Football to keep us in the house.  These  walks followed various routes.

The most popular walk was along the College Road.  Up the bank towards Bearpark and then turn left towards Ushaw College.  This was the routine both summer and winter.  A bit cold weather did not make us housebound.  The traffic was very light and we walked on the road most of the time.  Sometimes we used the path through Ernie Lang’s farm and down the path towards the Gill which was a piece of woodland leading down towards Bearpark colliery.  There was a pitch and toss session there most Sunday afternoons and there was always the lookouts posted to give the warning to scatter if the Police raided the pitch and toss school.  A few times we saw men scattering in all directions to avoid the Police as these pitch and toss sessions were against the Law.

We would follow the path to the left along the edge of a wood which bordered the College Golf Links.  Usually we would search the edge of the wood for lost golf balls and we usually got a tanner off the golfers for each ball handed over.   Spring time we also used to bird nest.  At the far end of the wood we turned left through a small metal wicket gate and over the Golf Links back on to the College Road.  There we would turn right in the direction of Old Esh.  A “must” most Sunday afternoon was a visit to ” see the pigs” at the College farm.  The pig stys housing the pigs were situated along side the road.  Usually there were sows with litters and we would spend ten minutes or so watching the pigs.  Then down the College bank to the cross roads with the Esh Winning road.  Turning left at the crossroads we set off back towards Ushaw Moor.  Along past Deerness View and Joyce Terrace and past Ushaw Moor Colliery and so back to Ushaw Moor and home for a good Sunday tea of my mothers baking of meat pies, fruit pies and jelly and Carnation milk.   Happy Days.  Reading this in the year 2009 must seem boring to younger visitors to the site.  We made our own amusement in those days.  No telly.  The patter amongst the lads was always good and flowed like a good wine.  We were happy with the free and simple things in life.  We knew the countryside and appreciated it as we never destroyed anything that grew and always respected the laws of the countryside.

The Golf Links was a nine hole golf course belonging to Ushaw College.  The College in those days  housed hundreds of young men studying to become Catholic priests.  There were acres of playing fields and the Golf Links were played on on a regular basis.

This was a short walk as other walks were many miles long.  There was always a good tea to look forward to at the end of the walk.

My favourite walk now is along the banks of the Tyne with the noise of industry on the North bank of the river and the noise of the Metro cars on the railway on the South bank.  It has been landscaped and wildlife is reurning, weasels, woodpeckers, squirrels, rabbits, foxes and owls can be seen on the river banks.

Brian Mc.
>> Hebburn.
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Categories: Memories Tags: ,

Author releases railway walks booklet (From The Northern Echo)

BISHOP Auckland-based author John Swain has released Railway Walks Two: Branch Lines Around Durham City.

The booklet covers Ushaw Moor, Waterhouses, Witton Gilbert, Lanchester, and the former route to Hetton and Murton junction from Durham Elvet.

Copies, priced at £9.50, are available from shops in Durham and Bishop Auckland.

To order from Mr Swain, write to: 38 Rochester Close, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 0RJ, and include £1.50 for postage.

via Author releases railway walks booklet (From The Northern Echo).

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