Chester-le-Street in old picture postcards volume 2

Chester-le-Street in old picture postcards volume 2

:   Gavin John Purdon
:   Durham
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5487-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2-3 weeks (subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.


Fragments from the book 'Chester-le-Street in old picture postcards volume 2'

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19. 'The Cyclists' rest'. Biking around Chester-Ie-Street District could be a tiring business. Many an armchair planner found that being in the saddle was another matter to sitting at home on the sofa pencilling the route out on a map. H's all toa easy to forget th at miles are 1,760 yards long and for many the road up Pelaw Bank was just one bank too many to tackle all in one day. No doubt this !ittle lodging house just at the bottom of Pelaw Bank did a roaring trade when tired-out cyclists looked at the big hili in front of them and then at the much more welcoming sight of the lodging house. The lady in the picture is Miss Emma Gibson,

20. Tickets please! Drivers and conductors of the Northern Company parked on the Bums, just across from Chester' Breweries. The cream and scarlet livery colours of their coaches with the bus company name handsomely picked out in gold leaf roman lettering cut a dash as they sped between the villages of Chester-Ie-Street and neighbouring districts. The crews wore khaki and red coats set off by jaunty white-topped yachting caps. Many a young boy's ambition was to be a driver 'on the Northern' and among their most treasured possessions of favourite marbles, conkers and cigarette cards you would find a Northern bus driver's cap badge. Treasured though it was, why that badge should show a chariot wheel surrounded by a horseshoe magnet and lightning bolt was beyond understanding and the cause of much speculation.

21. The Old Mill Race on the Pelton FeIl road in the year 1915. Known as Marty's Field to local youngsters it was a magnet, wh at ever the we at her. It was the best sIedging bank for miles around in winter and great for racing little boats down the Burn in summer. The flat wide-open space in the middle of it was champion for home-made bow and arrow competitions. Half-wild rag men's horses grazing there would often scatter the archers in mid-contest and as low-flying pigeons and bowmanship didn't go together the men from the nearby pigeon crees would sometimes chase you too, but that was all part of the fun.

22. In the old days Chester-Ie-Street District had no shortage of landed gentry or well-to-do industrialists, so large rural estates were quite thick on the ground. Big country houses sat in splendid isolation behind a screen of parkland trees and rhododendrons. The only public view of their privileged way of life tended to be the start of a long gravel drive up to the big house, usually with a gatehouse or lodge set like a sentry box to guard the entrance way. Some of these little cottages still survive today, among them Whitehill Lodge shown in th is old view. Some have disappeared altogether, others have been modernised and extended or fallen into disuse. As the town expanded, what were onee remote country gatehouse locations were swallowed up and surrounded by housing development, such as the North Lodge of the Lambton estate, which left its name to a housing estate at the north end of Chester-le-Street.

23. No doubt Sepp and Jossy would have paused a while to cast a critical eye over Pelton Colliery. There was much local rivalry between mines and miners in Chester-Ie-Street District. Neighbouring miners would of ten goad each other by calling one another's workplaces a 'taytee pit', meaning coal was so easily won th at it was more Jike potato picking than real mining. Yet the traditional greeting between neighbouring miners of 'are the' makkin much at thy pit?' suggests a wilJingness to change aJlegiances if it ca me to the crunch. Usually the stock reply to their enquiries was 'county average', because if good money was being made, the local pitmen weren't inclined to teIl outsiders.

24. Any half-respectable pit village was not complete without its Colliery Inn and as this view illustrates, Pelton FeIl was not an exception to that rule. If a postcard sender left the village name off by mistake and addressed it to the Colliery Inn, County Durham, local postmasters had to take it in turn to redirect it until the card eventually gat to its destination. There is still a Colliery Inn in Pelton Fel! today, and a Colliery Hotel next door to it, although in ot her villages around Chester-Ie-Street District the public houses are there but their names have changed with the times.

25. Pelton Feil people have always had a practical streak that has served them weIl. When they built two village war memorials for their Great War dead, they didn't go for the idea of a marbie warrior in heroic pose or a classical Roman cenataph to record the passing of men who never returned to the pit village from war. Instead they built a crescent of good quality housing for the widows and orphans left behind and needing a decent roof over their heads. They also built the memorial hall in this picture, that has served the needs of the community weIl for decades.

26. August 1907. Pelton Station in its heyday when Sepp and Jossy were bath coal hewers and cycling around Chester-Ie-Street District in their spare time. Like most pitmen they both appreciated a tal! tale told weil enough to be believed, but if anyone had told them the rails of the great Pontop South Shields Branch Line pictured in this postcard would be torn up and their bed turned into a track for pedal cyclists and ramblers to enjoy the scenery of Chester-Ie-Street District from, th at kind of nonsense would have seemed just toa far-fetched for words.

27. Outside Pelton Chureh. Are they waiting for the baby or the bride? It was onee eustomary at Durham weddings to have a 'hoy oot', as the throwing of great handfuIs of pennies into the waiting erowd was ealled. Even frugal bridegrooms were generous. as the last thing they wanted was a gang of children following them down the street shouting 'shabby wedding'!

Homes for Aged Miners, presented by

Mrs. foicey to The Miners' Institute, Peuon.

28. Visiting granny and grandad. The aged miners' homes at Handon Hold. The little bit of stone wall on the far left of this photo is still there but the houses have gone. Such rows were and still are quite widespread about the Chester-Ie-Street District. Built as an alternative to the work-house for old miners and their wives they were a rare example of sustained cooperation between mine owners and their workmen's representatives in times when conflict, ill feeling and mistrust were aften the order of the day in industrial relations.

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