Durham

March 18, 2009

Coal Mine Closures in Durham

Industry and The Spiritualty have been entwined in Durham more than any other place in the world. The monks in the prince bishopric at Finchale abbey owned the nearby mines. West Boldon church spire overlooking Boldon Colliery is the only 13th century one in Durham and mining was well underway then. Coal seams exposed in the Tyne Gorge were the first exporters. Heworth, Hebburn, and Jarrow pits flanked the un-dredged Tyne. In the 1970’s no culture spread more throughout England than through Geordie miners heading south.

A network of cycle tracks gives physical access to Durham. The absense of evidence of pits, villages or winding shafts heightens the sense of time passing. Time passes!
Diagonals link Middlesborough to Durham via Castle Eden. Hartlepool vertically to Sunderland. Bishop Aukland to Durham. Darlington to Northalerton across the moors. Lucky to cycle through Durham County on a summer’s day.

With it’s epicentre in Grantham Margaret Thatcher’s birthplace, maybe the worst far-reaching cultural earhquake, for the 1970’s generation was the closure of coal mining in England. Over 25 years the landscape was removed of evidence of mining.

Northumberland and Durham Pit closurers

1950s – ‘Axwell Park, Bildershaw, Blaydon Burn Bessie, Blaydon Burn Mary, Castle Eden, East Hedleyhope, Greencroft Tower, Harbour House, Little Burn, Montague (Newcastle), New Brancepeth, New Delaval, New Hartley, Ramshaw, South Shildon and Throckley Isabella.

1960s – Addison Colliery, Barcus Close, Barlow Towneley, Beamish Mary, Bedlington F, Bedlington Doctor, Bowburn, Brancepeth, Brandon, Burnopfield, Cambois, Chester South Moor, Choppington A, Chopwell, Clara Vale, Crofton Mill (Blyth), Crookhall (Lanchester), Deaf Hill (Trimdon), Dean and Chapter (Ferryhill and Chilton), Dinnington, East Tanfield, East Walbottle, Esh, Hamsterley, Handenhold, Harraton, Harton, Hazlerigg, Heworth, High Marley Hill, Kimblesworth, Lambton D, Lanchester, Leasingthone, Linton, Lumley Sixth, Longhirst (Ashington), Mainsforth, Malton (Lanchester), Middridge (Ferryhill), Newbiggin, New Shildon, Pelton, Randolph, Ravensworth Anne (Gateshead), Ravensworth Park, Ravensworth Shop, Rising Sun (Wallsend), Roddymoor, Ryhope, Seghill, Sherburn Hill, South Pelaw, Staindrop Field House, Stanley Burn, Stanley Cottage, Stargate, Tanfield Lea, Thrislington, Trimdon Grange, Tudhoe Mill, Tudhoe Park, Ushaw Moor, Washington F, Waterhouses, West Auckland, West Thornley, Wheatley Hill, Whitburn, Wingate Grange and Witton.

1970s – Adventure Pit (Rainton), Bardon Mill, Bedlington A, Blackburn Fell (Gateshead), Burradon, Elemore, Fishburn, Hylton, Kibblesworth, Langley Park, Medomsley, Metal Bridge, Nettlesworth, Shotton, Silksworth, Thornley, Usworth, Washington Glebe and Whitworth Park (Spennymoor)

1980s – Ashington, Bearpark, Blackhall, Boldon, East Hetton, Eccles (Backworth), Eden and South Medomsley, Eppleton, Herrington, Horden, Houghton, Marley Hill, Sacriston, Seaham, Shilbottle, South Hetton and Woodhorn.

1990s Dawdon (1991), Murton (1991), Easington (1993), Westoe (1993), Vane Tempest (1993), Wearmouth (1994).

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