My two sets of grandparents both moved to Ferryhill at around the time of the First World War, presumably to find work in the mines.
In 1918, the Hopes were living in Magdalene Place and by 1939 they had moved to Cochrane Terrace. Soon afterwards they moved to "Redesdale" in what became the Bridgehouse Estate, where my Aunt, Irene Robinson, lived until her death in 1989. Her father (and my grandfather), Matthew Hope was a long-serving Methodist local preacher.
My father's family, the Joyces, lived in Highcliffe Terrace in 1936 and sometime in about 1940/41 moved to a bungalow they named "Leeside" in Bridgehouse Estate. The adjoining bungalow, "Ashcroft", was the home of Norrie Joyce's brother, Herbert Chapman.
My cousin and I have been researching our family history and she is especially interested in the place where her father grew up. If, in the future, you produce any booklets of the history and old photographs, I should be very grateful if you would let me know.
With many thanks, Kath Standring.
I have many happy memories of Ferryhill Station in the 50s when I was young and frequently stayed with my Aunt and Uncle, Joan and Hugh Hogg at 6 Dennison Terrace.
I remember a small corner shop opposite run by a husband and wife Mr. & Mrs. Kirtley sweet people. If you ran short out of shop hours you could always knock on the back door.
My aunt and uncle were very friendly with the people who had the club at the bottom of Dennison Street; I believe they were called Mitton. I was a friend of their daughter Gloria.
I remember the tiny brick built Fish n' Chip Shop at the bottom of some steps, and at the top I think it was a prefab type building which was a woolshop/ haberdashery it always seemed to be so full of light.
I spent all my pocket money in the newsagents on the corner, comics, sweets and cap guns. I was quite a tomboy!
In the mid sixties my Aunt and Uncle became landlord and landlady of the Commercial Hotel.
Huge, impressive building on the outside, but I think it was a bit grim inside.
Every Sunday, we walked all the way to St. Luke's Church to attend Mass. It seemed like a marathon for my little legs at the time.
I recall one Saturday morning seeing a lot of men collecting outside a pub which I think was the Surtees. They had their banners and were waiting to be collected to go to Durham Big Meeting.
My mother's family came from Low Spennymoor and were all connected with mining, so I felt very proud.
Yours sincerely, Monica Crabtree(Mrs.)
I have a family tree which you may be of interest. As a child I remember being very confused with Aunts and Uncles (Great).
2 brothers married 2 sisters & the resulting off-spring were: Margaret, Harry, Annie, Mary, John Brown, William, James, Ben & Joseph in one family & in the second family there were Henry, John Brown, Margaret, William, Fred, Ben, Annie, Mary, James & all with a Walker surname!
Best wishes, Kate Foster.
I read the Northern Echo every day and have a great interest in Ferryhill as I used to stay at my Gran and Grandad's cottage opposite the cricket field in my school holidays from the mid fifties to late sixties.
Thank you very much. T. Hall.
Ferryhill: the golden age
From Echo Memories By Chris Lloyd , Deputy Editor
Ian Guthrie now lives in Ottawa in Canada, but he grew up in Ferryhill more than 60 years ago. Inspired by Memories 58, he recalls "a golden age"...
I GREW up in Ferryhill in the 1940s and 1950s, and in many ways it was a golden age, a time which benefitted from generations of hardship and sacrifice by countless men and women who had gone before.
Memories 58 brought back many memories, and to write about them is something of an indulgence a wallow in nostalgia!
The photo looking down Durham Bank and across to the winding towers of the Dean and Chapter Colliery reminded me of the army of blackened miners which came across the old wooden bridge over the Cut at the end of their shift a formidable group of men.
The photo also shows Charlie Cornforths woodworking shop on the side of the bank. Many a miner had his final resting place constructed by Charlie in that shop.
At the left of the photo is The Saddlers Arms pub reputedly Durham Bank was so steep and the 46 United double decker buses so slow up the ascent that a nimble passenger could hop off, have a pint at the bar, and then catch the bus again at the top of the hill.
There was also a picture of the Ferryhill Cut in May 1955. In the top left corner is Dean Bank School, which I attended. One of the thrills of our young lives Bwas to cling to the railings above the roadway and watch the gigantic Pickford trucks hauling turbines from Tyneside to power stations in the south. To us, the Pickford flatbed lorries and the turbines represented British strength.
It saddens me that the Dean and Chapter pit heap was flattened and is now only a subdued part of the landscape. The final pit heap was mountainous and a monument to the blood and sweat of the men who had hauled all that waste material from the depths of the earth while providing the coal to warm the nation, make steel and generate electricity. I spent many an hour watching the waste being hauled by a vehicle I think it was called a pig up the trackway to the top of the heap and then being spilled down the side.
Ferryhill at that time, and much of County Durham, had an amazing culture of hard physical work, brass bands, co-ops, chapels and Salvation Army, working men's clubs, the Workers' Educational Association and the miners' union.
There was an immense sense of community strength and bonds, but it was created by a shared danger and hardship there was often a black flag flying from the winding gear to show that a man had been killed in the pit, usually crushed by a fall of stone.
There was every day the possibility of mass fatalities caused by an explosion, such as happened at Easington Colliery.
Work underground was physically demanding which wore away at a man, and eventually many miners succumbed to miners' lung, pneumoconiosis as the medical people would say. I would not like to think of future generations working in such conditions.
Then there were the heroic generations of women who supported their men and brought up the children their fortitude and strength will not be forgotten.