Rowlands Gill in old picture postcards

Rowlands Gill in old picture postcards

:   Noël G. Rippeth
:   Tyne & Wear
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5225-9
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Rowlands Gill in old picture postcards'

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39. Rowlands Gilt; Allotment Association housing 1905. This short terrace illustrates one of the housing types erected by the Allotment Association in their parcel of land ne ar Strathmore Road. At first sight these appear to be conventionally designed terrace houses for rent by werking class families. This impression is due to the success of the ideas put forward by the 'Garden City' proponents, many of which have been incorporated into planning acts passed by Parliament since the Second World War. Today we take the front gardens on these houses for granted. However, the gardens here are due to the incorporation of a building line in the plans, set weil back from the front of the plot. Such an innovation was then regarded as a novelty in the design of artisan dwellings, Similar houses erected about this time in neighbouring Winlaton and elsewhere had front doors that opened straight onto the streel.

40. Rowlands Gil!; Al!otment Association private house 1905. This card shows a private detached house built, like the houses on card 39, by the Allatment Association. The owner is in his vegetable garden proudly displaying his erop of large cabbages. He is wearing a bowler hat or 'Dut', as they were known locally. Around the turn of the century, and even up to the beginning of the Second World War, most men wore hats when out of doors. The type of hat wam was a reflection of the wearer's social class or occupation. Workers wore cloth caps. Managers, professionals and 'respectabie' tradesmen ware bowlers, while the colliery owners and factory owners or landed gentry had top hats for the city and deer-stalkers or caps for the country. While it was the norm to wear a hat when werking, it is difficult to believe that the householder here is actually going to do any serious digging in his high, stiff collar and tie. Most likely this was a shot for the farnily album, printed up by the chemist in postcard format.

41. Rowlands Gilt; baptism party c1905. The Rippeth family pose for a photograph in the garden of Avon Cottage, on Dene Terrace. The occasion is the baptism of John, the baby in the christening robes. Mr. Rippeth, wearing a 'Dut', was an agent for the Cooperative Insurance Co., and a well-known amateur violinist, much in demand at concerts and church socials. His musical skills were also pressed into service at the newly opened Rex Cinema, when the famiIy moved back to Winlaton shortly after this photograph was taken. The Rippeth name first appeared in a local will in 1570. In the 18th century the family business supplied clothing to 'Crowley's poor'. In the early years of the 19th century, after the Crowley Co. left Winlaton, one branch of the family kept an inn, one of the few in the village with a licence! In the 1920s the three brothers in this photograph built, sold and repaired 'Cats-whisker', wireless radio receivers, applying for, and being granted, one of the first radio licences on Tyneside.

42. Highfield; Whinfield coke works. This card, taken toward the end of our period, shows the coke works and associated railway sidings that stood below the terraces of Highfield vil!age. The coke works were in operation, using local coal, for 98 years. The coke was produced in the ovens that form a line toward the bottom left of the photograph. The 'bee-hive' shape of the ovens, the last of their kind in the world when decommissioned in 1958, produced coke with different qualities to th at formed in the vertical ovens in common use at neighbouring collieries. The coke ovens and the nearby AHoy Works were served by a privately owned siding, which ran up from a point near the Rowlands Gil! station. Railway wagons, displaying the N.E. initials, retained by the L.N.E.R. for goods wagons after rationalisation in 1922, stand empty on the siding in front of the ovens. The coke was used by steel manufacturers in Sheffield as well as by Iocal firrns. Output of coke ran at 1,300 tons a week.

43. Highfield; coke works generator room. The development of Rowlands Gill and Highfield in the early years of the present century corresponded with a growth in the use of electricity for industrial purposes and for incandescent lighting. Initially eaeh faetory or colliery generated its own current, and this card shows the inside of the generator room at the Whinfield coke works, Surplus electricity produced by these industrial power stations was sold to the people living in the houses at Rowlands Gill and Highfield, where it was used for lighting. As all cooking and domestic heating was fueled by loeal coal, na attempt was ever made to set up a gas works to produce town gas. The relative isolation of the area from modem gas main piping meant that it is only in the last few years that the villages have obtained a supply of piped natural gas. So unusual was this lack of gas mains that when the pits closed in the late 1960s, the Gas Board, ignorant of the lack of gas pipes, offered to convert all Blaydon U .D. Council houses in the area to gas central heating.

44. Highfield; workers at the Al/oy Works c1920. The AHoy Works were housed in a small faetory near to the Whinfield coke plant. Here we see some of the workmen posing with the trucks that were used to transport raw materials for the proeess. The proeess itself involved high temperature smelting using eleetrie are furnaees, and was surrounded in seereey. This was beeause the finished product was very hard, shell resistant steel from whieh the dreadnoughts of the Royal Navy were built. When alternative supplies of this steel from Seandinavia were cut off during the Great War, output was inereased. In 1917 further increases were aehieved with extra e1ectrical power transmitted through cables to the AHoy Works from the newly built Dunston Power Station. The shape of the railway truck, sirnilar to some of the smaller wagons used on the loeal colliery lines, gave rise to a loeal nick-name. Such trucks were called 'Chocolates' by the miners and workers, beeause the truck body was the same shape as a piece of chocolate broken from a Cadbury's bar.

45. Highfield; women workers at Alloy Works 1916. The First World War demanded a much bigger army than this country had ever needed befere. Thanks to the Royal Navy's undisputed domination on every ocean, the British Empire, which ruled over a quarter of mankind in 1914, was able to exist and prosper with an army numbering only a few hundred thousand troops. However, the powers in continenta! Europe each had armies numbering millions. As the war on the western front progressed, the demand for volunteers, to fill gaps and expand what the German emperor called the 'comtemptible little arrny', taak men from the factories and mines. In order to support this big new army and replace losses to the navy, wartime industry had to expand. Ta do this wamen left their normal occupations as housewives or poorly paid domestic servants and took up more remunative factory work. This group took over jobs created by the increase in demand or left by the men from the Alloy Works who had gone offto war.

46. Highfield; South View c1922. This postcard was on sale in the years following the Great War. These houses together with Margaret and Olga Terraces formed the nucleus of the new village of Highfield wh en they were built towards the end of the 1900s. The village, which included a new Elementary Board School, was part of the development of the South Smailes Farm Estate, and was named from the fact that it covered the 'Highfields' of the old farm. Just a year or so before this card was produced this area saw the building of some of Blaydon V.D.C.'s first council houses. These were stone built terrace houses. The stone for them was supplied from a quarry that lay a little higher up and off to the right of the road shown here running down in front of South View. The stone was led down from the quarry to the building site using the narrow gauge mineralline that runs by the right side of the road. Blaydon Council acquired a new Garrett steam wagon 10 help in the construction of the new terraces.

47. Highfield; the old school at Victoria Garesfield. This building was erected as an Elementary, one teacher, School in 1883 by the owners of nearby Victoria Garesfield Colliery. It was put in the charge of Adam Srnith, a certified teacher from one of the new Normal Schools. These were Teacher Training Colleges set up to supply the growing demand for teachers following the ]870 and 1879 Education Acts. These acts allowed local School Boards to raise rates to build and maintain schools, and required all children to attend school. As the village of Highfield grew, the school be ca me too smal1, sa in 1905 it was taken over by Durham C. C. In 1907 an infants' wing was built. This proved to be an inadequate expansion and the school was replaced the following year with a much bigger Elementary School, that still serves the community today as a Primary School.

48. Highfield; P.M. Chapel, opening the tearoom 1926. The Primitive Methodist Chapel at Highfield was built during the winter of 1904-5, and opened on Easter Sunday 1905. With the growth of the village over the next twenty years, and the new housing being erected by Blaydon U.D.e. it was decided in 1925 to expand the premises. The General Strike the fol1owing year meant that local miners. whose lay-off for refusing to take a cut in wages had precipitated the strike, were available to give their labour. This they did, excavating under the building so that a tea room could be built below the chapel. This new facility was opened in October 1926. The chapel was horne to Highfield's first soccer team, joined the Methodist Church after the Act of Union in 1932, and celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1955. It closed its doors as a place of worship in 1960 when the society joined the Strathmore Road Methodist congregation. Todayit is a private house.

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