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All Lit Up

No names on this photograph when loaned to us by George Pearson; believed to be underground at Lingdale Mine. Rachel Lee and Cathy Hood tell us: ”Far left is our Grandad, John Edward (Nap) Hood of Boosbeck.”

Can you name anyone?

Image courtesy of George Pearson and many thanks to Rachel Lee and Cathy Hood for the naming update.

Going Home

Miners at Lingdale, leaving the mine one carries a safety lamp, others are discarded on the ground along with helmet battery lamps. Was this the Last Shift?. Miners: Bernard ’Bish’ Swinburne, Eric Hatfield?, Joseph Hood, ??.

Ian Swinburn has told the Archive: ”Far left on the picture is my dad Bernard (Bish) Swinburne and it might be Eric Hatfield to his left; not sure about the others”.

Stuart Williamson informs: “I was born in Brotton and spent many happy summers at my grandparents, both there and in Lingdale, where my father was born. His grandmother was a midwife before they became official, and she also laid out the dead.By chance when looking through your archive I came across a photograph of my grandfather, Joseph Hood, leaving the pit”. Stuart also offered his poem: 

A Northern Poem – Stuart Williamson ©
“Clattering boots on grey stone flags
The pit head, a mile away
The Miners wind their weary path
To the stone face
600 foot down
In Yorkshire clay

A coat that’s seen a dozen winters
Sisal tied beneath the knee
A waistcoat worn with pride at weddings
Thick knit socks
Strong fags
Sweet tea

Ironstone, Belemnite, Nautilus rich
Tons of rock propped at the face
The ironstone freed up night and day
Wolf safety lamp
A yellow bird
Just in case

Terraced streets all left behind to wake
Pos tubs, mangles, thumped and ground
Pies and pasties, bread to make
Children washed and dressed 
And fed
And combed

Women left to tend the home
Mending holes and fixing rents
Tatting rugs with prod and poke
Or into service for their sins
Ironing cassock
A sacrament

A ‘job down’t pit’ was all there was
You might go to school of course,
If you did really well
Good at sums and you could spell
If money was found to buy your books
And your boots
And your grey flan-nel”

Identification of the other miners or corrections welcome.

Photo courtesy George Pearson, thanks to Ian Swinburne and Stuart Williamson for the updates.

Final Closure Lingdale

1962 and the final day at Lingdale mine, the miners are coming out of the Shaft Cage for the last time. In the background a miner’s hand can be seen about to pull down on the handle marked Pit Bottom, to tell the Onsetter at the bottom of the shaft the cage is clear. The handle on the left is for the winding engine. Identification of the miners in this image or corrections will be welcomed. Debbie Shepherd advises: “I think the chap in the middle of the photograph is Thomas Watson of Dixon Street. (My Grandad). The chap to the right is Thomas Pluck my Grandad’s best mate. Thomas Pluck was killed one evening walking home from The Bunch of Grapes pub. Scaling; he was sadly hit by a car.
Image courtesy George Pearson, thanks to Debbie Shepherd for the update.

All Smiles

I would have a guess that these men are queueing for their pay at the end of a long hard week down the mine at Lingdale, as they appear to be holding their ”Off Taks”. We asked for help with identification of the miners and Bill Danby tells us: ”My brother in law, Frank Holmes, now aged 88, is the handsome young man far Right. He worked at Lingdale mine for some years. He  was a Deputy when it closed and transferred to North Skelton mine where he worked until the closure of that mine and was the last Deputy out in 1964. He can identify some of the others: The miner next to him is Jim Pearson. The one 4th from right with his hand in his pocket is George “Dacker” Neal. The man in the centre with his back to the camera is Bernard “Bish” Swinburne. The miner eighth from the right in the dark coat is Jack Armstrong. Standing in front of him is Ted Porritt. Behind Ted, [you can just see the top half of his head], is Eric Hatfield, who appears on your recent photograph entitled “I wonder where the next one is coming from”.  Frank recalls that Eric was a good cricketer and once took all ten wickets for Skelton Castle. All the miners named lived in Lingdale. Franks says that the photograph was taken some time prior to the last pay day.”

Image courtesy of George Pearson and many thanks to Frank Holmes (via Bill Danby) for the update.

Lingdale Mine Bricks

A sideline at Lingdale Mine was the manufacture of bricks made from the waste shale. In the photograph piles of bricks are stacked at the right hand side, with pallets of bricks being hoisted and lowered by the rope hoist system in the Photo. Down into the rail wagons below. An excellent description of the plant and it’s working is given in Simon Chapman’s Book “Lingdale Mine”.

Image courtesy of George Pearson.

I Wonder Where The Next One Is Coming From?

A miner checks his final pay packet from Lingdale mine, at the Accounts Office ”Bob Hole”. The flat front on his safety helmet contained a clear shield which was pulled down to protect the eyes whilst drilling or using a pickaxe. We asked if anyone could identify the miner. Bill Danby tells us: ”My brother in law, Frank Holmes, who was a Deputy at Lingdale Ironstone Mine for a long time says the man at the front is Eric Hatfield, who was also a Deputy there. Man at the rear not known.” Paula Miller advises: “The man at the fron is definately Mr Eric Hatfield of Lingdale”; this is further confirmed by Kerry Hatfield: “My grandad Eric Hatfield.”

Image courtesy of George Pearson and thanks to Frank Holmes (via Bill Danby) and Paula Miller and Kerry Hatfield for the updates.

Going Home

Miners leaving the cage on the last day at Lingdale, 23rd February 1962. We asked if anyone could name the men in the photograph. Bill Danby tells us: ”My brother in law, Frank Holmes, who was an Underground  Deputy  at Lingdale mine for a long time says that man at the rear is  “Tibber” Slater, who used to  live just below him in  Scarth Street, Lingdale. Frank cannot presently recall the surname of the man at the front, but his Christian name was Jim. Frank recalls that Jim’s best mate was a man called Alan Forbes, who was involved in the worst pit accident that Frank ever experienced. That is saying something, as Frank was down Lingdale mine at the time of the gas explosion on the 25th August 1953 which killed 7 men and injured others. On the 28th August 1961, when Alan was aged 45, a piece of stone, “the size of a bus”, Frank says, fell on him  from the pit roof. Miners had to stand on top of it to break it up and get to the dead man. Jim never went down any mine again after that. So from that story and in Frank’s opinion,  it would seem that the photograph was not taken on the last day at the mine.”

Image courtesy of George Pearson and thanks to Bill Daby for those updates.

Claphow Shale Bridge

The bridge from Lingdale Mine to the shale tip, this image was dated February 22nd on the reverse, the year is unknown! The tip grew to dominate the village and could be seen from much of East Cleveland. Closure of the mine came in 1962.

Image courtesy of George Pearson.

Oh My Aching Back

Picking belt Lingdale – this must have been back breaking work – an entire shift bent sorting ore!

Image courtesy of George Pearson.

Linskill’s District

Long range view of exposed roof bolts after roof fall in Linskill’s District of Lingdale Mine, with a miner warily examining the situation.

Image courtesy of George Pearson.