George Patterson

Provided by Mr Eccles and Mr Branfoot. Family life, toilets and using the leek trench or ash heaps instead. Neighbours. The ash heap. Clippy and proggy mats. The house and the beds. The end of world war one - armistice. Fireplaces and heating. Siblings. Tin baths, miners getting clean but leaving their backs dirty. Colliery showers. School, school equipment. Discipline and at school and home, father had a cat o'nine tails and a hammer, disciplinarian. Eventually two of his sons attacked him back and made him stop hitting mother. Layout of house. Water supply. Keeping hens and allotments. Baking. The fish and chip shop. Coal supply. Keeping house clean and vermin-free. Missionaries. Going to the beach. Chapel and Sunday school. Pubs and their leek shows. Father's work leading water to reservoir. Parents courting. Cows around the house. Local tramps, generally not bad people, but one tried highway robbery, more beggars and might pinch a bit of food. Deliveries by horse and cart, but one company used a motor and had to put chains on it to get up the bank. Nicking stuff off the back of carts - one cart electrified. Ice-cream, milk, road menders, police. Door to door sellers. Teasing a Jewish boy. Fights in the pub. Pit reading room, meetings held there. Slates outside houses for time to be woken. Shafts left behind from pits, demolishing chimneys. A suicide and a murder, he knew the murderer. Gambling in the Moorsley Hut. Wireless radio, gramophones. Local singers. Carbide street lamps, the lamp lighter. Starting work in the pit. Pit ponies. Poor conditions. Health problems at work. Led to volunteering for the army. Recruitment in 1932. Various regiments. Conditions during the second world war, in France and in Burma. Women working in the fields when a section of pit collapsed, men coming out of the ground. "The Devils Hole", a place haunted by a big black dog spirit. Another empty shaft, going into it. Fields had names. Going mushrooming. Tape 2: back to 1930s, various army postings. Conditions in the troop ships, lots of details. Shanghai. Malta. 1935 went to Palestine (on a passenger liner). Men excavating tombs in Cairo, visited the sites of Egypt - went into a pyramid. Visit to Bethlehem and Galilee, the Dead Sea. Trouble with the Arabs, compares to modern situation. Convoy duty. Meeting a friend out there unexpectedly. Desert conditions. Others joking about his dialect and accent. Not seeing first child when small because of being posted abroad. Workhouse boy song. Pit ponies and horses. Various door to door traders - insurance men, one who made up rhymes, a south African doctor. Doctor's visits and treatment. Travelling ice cream man, milk float, taxi run up to Moorsley. Verge trimmer. Fish shop lady, had a landau to carry her everywhere, selling fish. Sunderland crab women. People caught rainwater in barrels, softer for washing hair in. Using poss tub for a wash. Door to door cooper, knife sharpener. The pig killer, uses of the pig. Cutting slices to eat from a dead pit pony. Leek shows, prizes. Local man blinded in world war one. Paddy's market, Haughton, stalls. Conditions in the pit. The imperial cinema, better than the Bartons which was said to have rats. Reaction of someone else to first trip to cinema, split his head open on seat. Drinking with his friends, father disapproved. 1926 general strike. Food available then, collecting sea coal. Athletics contests on the sands. A female cobbler. Most men did their own cobbling. Father made soles from car tyres. State handouts, relieving officer could send people to mental asylum. Buying from the Co-op, credit, goods, etc. More on food. Farming tools. Fry up shop. Pigeon keeping. Pitch and toss. Police catching them at it. Cigarettes. Bulls eye windows. Getting beer from an old lady. Accidents in the pit, stretchers. Challenges to fight in the street. Gamekeeper catching pheasant, odd methods. Lots of rabbits. Barber. Saving a man who had had his leg blown off, and learning to use false leg. A crucifix of bullets. A wart charmer, did stroke away his warts. Driving the pit bus, the bus got stuck in snow. Bookies. Open middens.

Location: Low Moorsley, etc
County: Durham
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Photo 192 of 250
Date. 1989
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