Joy of local history- an image and background

The joy of local history

Delighted to be contacted by Deborah Crozier

This is a picture of my late Father, John Britton.

He lived at East Law and made this sword for Amethyst Homes, which is on display at a housing estate in Consett set into a rock.

He made it when he was 86/87 years old.

Didn’t know if it would be of interest to The Last Swordmakers of Shotley Bridge.

We thank Deborah for sharing this image and background

The Railways- a Memory Shared

Another “memory” shared by the Leadgate Resident please do comment with you own memories or get in touch with your own memories of Leadgate and local area

It’s the late 60s and I’m living in Sherburn Terrace,Consett the terrace of houses opposite the ‘Horse’,at the start of the row was the coal yard with its office and weigh bridge,to the rear of the yard was a gantry where the shunter engine would push the coal Train into and then one of the workers would release a handle and it would shoot down the hopper into a pile below then the digger would move it into a larger stock pile .

On coming out of our house across the back yard and outside netty(the coldest place on earth in the winter)was the back cobbled lane as kids we had to be careful as not to dirty any of the neighbors washing as it was always hungout in the lane apart from when they were blasting at the works as the red dust went everywhere.

We would climb the high wall,sit on it as this was our view of the station yard and all the sidings,as kids it was so exciting watching the Big trains pull in and drop there loads then uncouple and go and pick  up a empty rack of coal wagons and take them to where ever to be refilled.

Then as I said earlier the shunter would take over moving the different stock wagons around the yard.

My dad(rip) worked for British railways based at Consett starting out as a wheel tapper then worked up to become a guard then in later years working in the station building(now a cafe) on a state of the art railway computer system called TOPS,this system controlled the routing of all rail movements in the top and bottom yard all the way to Tyne dock.

I still remember his uniform,black trousers, white shirt ,a BR tie and a cap with a orange BR logo badge on it.

He also had a BR issued lamp which had a dial on the top which you could set to either clear,red or green and a black leather satchel,this was for his paper work and no doubt his bait.

Dad always spoke fondly of the guys he worked with at Consett,afew names I can recall are a Mr Temperly, Mr Rowell,Mr Pat Rooney Snr  and two Leadgate chaps,Mr Jimmy McCabe and Mr Kevin Richardson (Rip to all of them).

Funny how things in life pan out,my granda on my dad’s side worked on the railways at Rowley St  and after his passing we donated a number of his note books and official books to Beamish Museum

Then my dad worked for them and when my brother left school,any guesses where he went ? and No I didn’t join the ‘railways’.

To the other side of the coal yard was a lane going under the bridge to the Washeries,not sure what happened there but I remember the land around it and the heaps always seemed to be on fire or smouldering and if if you went further along the lane there was a rail line does anyone know where it went to ?

This is just a short recollection of my memories of the local railway as a child,I know there’s a few gentlemen still living in Leadgate who worked for BR locally,let’s hope they read this and add their own memories.

An old gentleman once told me,next time your parents or grandparents are reminiscing don’t dismay what they are saying for one day, you’ll wish you’d listened.How true.

Consett Steelworks Closure – call for memories and pictures

The History of Consett Steelworks (HCSW) Project team would like to ask for people to share memories of the closure of the Steelworks in Sept 1980 and share any pictures

Pictures will be added to the gallery on this page

We look forward to hearing your memories and seeing your pictures

The Size of the Consett Steelworks

When I moved to the North East and just outside of Consett the works had closed and been demolished

Hard for me and probably for many to get a sense of the size of the area the Steelworks covered. It was vast from Blackhill over to Templetown down away through to the Grove and beyond

How would you describe the size?

Is there data with actual sizes- Peter our Mapping Co-ordinator maybe able to answer that and with others is working on recreating the “works” in a virtual way

The Works Are Closing Down- A Video

The song ‘The Works is closing down’ was created as part of the ‘Made of Steel’ project. It is one of five songs that Creative practitioner

Tom Kelly wrote with musician Ian Ravenscroft.

The songs are based upon the stories collected from the drop-in sessions and interviews from members of the community throughout the project.

Lyrics by Tom Kelly Music by Ian Ravenscroft Edited by Andrew Hagan

Cine footage taken by Jim Hall

Photographs supplied by Peter Brabban, Joe Toner and Alan Swinburne.

Video from You Tube

Delves Lane/Crookhall Brickworks Images

Some great images have been provided- at this stage no photographer is known but credit can be added if information provided.

We think they maybe from the Beamish Museum Peoples Collection but need to do more research to confirm

Did you or family work at the Brickworks?

Do you have any pictures or documents to share?

For Brick lovers and for information on North East Brickworks please consider purchasing this recently republished book – information on following link

Donation Thanks to Paul Moore

The History of Consett Steelworks (HCSW) project team have been delighted and honoured to be contacted by Paul Moore son of the late Tommy Moore who worked at the Steelworks and was also part of the team with his wife that ran Derwentside History Society

Paul wrote

Hi Richard, Both my mum and dad were instrumental in setting up the Derwentdale local history group. They have both passed on now and I’ve been sorting out their stuff. I have put to one side anything I have found to do with Consett / local area history / steelworks etc. There is books, videos, photographs, written accounts, slides etc etc. some of this stuff goes back quite a way. Would you like to have it?

Of course with his agreement the HCSW project team said yes and have now collected the items – we will need help to sort, catologue and scan the items. More details to follow on this

This is a great addition to our growing collection and we now will look at ways to share this and other items in a manner of ways from online via the Website, Facebook but also in terms of displays for people to come and see

Another reason that ways should be explored to set up a Consett (Derwentside Museum) to provide adequate space for an archive and display space to be provided for future generations to come. Along with employment opportunities and a chance to set up Guided Walks like in Durham around the Cathedral area is a Facebook group set up to discuss and explore options for a museum

Our thanks to Paul and HCSW are proud to now be custodians of this donation and collection