For men born in the 1950s the landscape of North East England has changed so dramatically perhaps it will change again. The bowsers (Bowes) line penetrated via Kibblesworth and Sunnyside into the North East Durham hills. There is an active steam train beyond Kibblesworth. Even now there is some derelict land. Cycle here from Jarrow via Hebburn and return via Prudoe and Scotswood to North Shields. There is a train to Newcastle and Carlisle passing the the tidal reach of the Tyne upstream from Dunston Staithes. If arriving from Scandanavia try the Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel from Howden on the Wallsend north side. Coal could be extracted from under the north sea with technology not quite available yet. This would be a resurrection. Optically as in Boldon Colliery landscape change has biblical overtones. There is nothing quite like seeing young miners naked from the waist up as far as the miners helmet and encrusted lamp leaving the Saturday shift in a blazing June in 1964. In June 1964 very colourful (not black and white) mining village marching jazz bands massed on Primrose Jarrow opposite the Neon Social Club. With even wippet racing asides these were visual Philip Larkin scenes. Even now and in the future in Nottinghamshire and elsewhere the coal working stock look very strong and extracting coal is a young man’s game not for auld gadgees.
Easington Sunnyside KibblesworthJune 1, 2009