Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Alexander Bolton, Shop owner of Burradon

This appeared in the Morpeth Herald during 1904 and refers to Lay Preacher and shopowner of Burradon Alexander Bolton. A well-known local character he owned a shop and post office on Burradon Road near the school - now a men's hairdresser. his son Joseph took over the business shortly after this date and was still being listed on trade directories in 1938. Joseph also had a spell as manager of the Co-op.

Friday, January 25, 2013

1798 - Tenants sought for Burradon Farms

This advert appeared in the Newcastle Courant during October 1798 inviting prospective tenants of Burradon Farms to submit proposals to the landowner William Ogle.

It is curious in that Ogle is prepared to let both farms, even amalgamating them, which is what eventually happened in the mid 19th century. Both of the tenants that were currently occupying the farms were willing to move on and were seemingly happy to show prospective tenants the estate.

John Lumsden, who occupied the West Farm, had been a tenant farmer since at least 1767. The Charlton family, occupiers of East Farm, had been resident as farmers since at least 1734. It seems, however they did move on as in 1806 Thomas Spraggon and Thomas Bell are listed as tenants. Fourteen men between the ages of 15 and 60 are listed on a muster roll of 1798 as residing at Burradon with four carts and eight horses available. William Ogle died in 1804 to be replaced by a namesake. A map and survey of the lands was produced in this year.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Burradon Colliery 1970

Burradon Colliery in the summer of 1970

Burradon Colliery in the summer of 1970 embedded from a photostream on Flickr.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Useful North East History Links

National Archives + A2A
Catalogue of the national archives and a partial catalogue of local archives

Society of Antiquaries (Newcastle)
Search facility to the contents of their publications

North-East Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers
"Custodians of the Industry's Heritage". Online library catalogue. The library houses many important and unique collections, although some are on loan to the NRO

Trade Directories

Published Family Histories, Census, Parish Reg, Civil Reg and more...

National British Newspapers online

Mackenzie View of Northumberland 1825

Photos of SE Northumberland

Superseded Ordnance Survey Mapping

Home page from the "Keys to the Past" site. This site unlocks the secrets of the archaeology of Durham and Northumberland. It also includes a feature where maps from any historic period can be compared. A link is provided to the "Past Perfect" website where 3D reconstructions can be viewed from five periods in North-East history including 20th century Woodhorn Colliery in nearby Ashington.

Sites and Monuments for the whole country

Tyne and Wear Museum Collections Online
Objects, photographs and prints (including a Burradon Colliery token)

Collieries of the North East
Extensive database of information on collieries (including Burradon and Weetslade) with a collection of photographs of colliery locomotives (including locos used at Burradon) and some archives not available elswhere online (1872 Our Colliery Villages from the Chronicle and 1842 Royal Commission on Children in the coal mines)

Structural Images of North East England
Photographic collection of aerial shots and buildings with a kids interactive learning zone

Local Histories of Towns and Villages in Northumberland
Through maps, documents, photos and brief text

Newcastle on Tyne local studies services

North Tyneside local studies service

Northumberland CC local studies services

British Pathe Newsreels

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

J Baxter Langley Biography

J Baxter Langley was a pivotal character in the narrative of the Burradon Mining Disaster of 1860. As editor of the Newcastle Daily Chronicle he had become personally acquainted with a number of Burradon mineworkers. He was to champion their causes with vigour, before and after March 2nd 1860. See http://burradon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/1860-disaster-campaign-for-compensation.html for more detail on Lanley's involvement. The article below is from a New Zealand newspaper of 1867. It gives a biography of Baxter Langley and helps us to appreciate why he was such an influential figure in the Burradon Disaster story...

The rest of the article can be viewed here Colonist, Volume X, Issue 699, 8 January 1867, Page 4

Monday, July 2, 2012

Charles Carr: Viewer of Burradon Pit in 1860

Pictured is Charles Carr the viewer and part-owner of Burradon Colliery in March 1860, the time of the terrible explosion which claimed the lives of seventy-six. This photograph was taken in 1862 at New Hartley Colliery during rescue efforts at the infamous disaster which killed over two hundred men and boys (There is a theory that this photo was staged at a slightly later time). Charles Carr was also the viewer of New Hartley in 1862. A deputation of men, after the New Hartley tragedy,  actually conveyed their commiserations to Carr on his double misfortune. But Roy Thompson, in his book "Thunder Underground", has the view that Charles Carr "walked on water", and I agree with him.

"Thunder Underground is a fascinating read which examines the politics surrounding the mine disasters investigated by by Northumberland coroner Stephen Reed between 1815 and 1865. It also gives biographical accounts of the main characters involved with Stephen Reed being examined in some detail. The book describes the mining operations in place at the time.

Lawyers for the mineworkers tried to prove culpability on the part of the owners of Burradon Colliery. This was in the hope of being awarded compensation for the families of the victims.

Despite hearing scientific evidence that the mine was not adequately ventilated, all safety measures available not employed and that Carr had misled the jury, a verdict of accidental death was recorded at the conclusion to the inquest. Was the verdict because of class unity or a pragmatic decision on the part of Stephen Reed, who realised that many men relied on the output of the colliery for their livelihood. It was recognised, however, that having financial interests in a mining operations was a conflict of interest in the safe management of collieries.

After March 1860 Carr's involvement in Burradon colliery diminished and as previously mentioned went on to suffer an even greater loss in 1862.