Archive for September 2008
The Red Lion
West Boldon lies just to the south west of Biddick Hall in South Shields and despite the urban sprawl it still retains aspects of it’s old village atmosphere. These traits are most strikingly displayed near the head of Boldon Colliery with it’s collection of older buildings, pubs, and church close to the road leading to Sunderland.
It is here that I found this public house, The Red Lion, providing a massive infusion of colour with it’s planters and hanging baskets. Having suffered a terrible grey and damp summer they are trying their hardest to lighten the spirits as we head into autumn.
Camera detail; Pentax K100D, 28mm lens, 1/350 second, f6.7, iso 800
The 1839 explosion
The picture shows all that presently remains of the St. Hilda’s Colliery in South Shields where an explosion of methane gas caused the deaths of 51 men and boys in 1839. In total 118 were killed at this colliery during it’s working life, you can read further details – here
They were amongst the high prices paid during the industrial revolution of the British Isles.
A dreadful explosion took place at the St. Hilda pit, the property of Messrs. John and Robt. Wm. Brandling, at South Shields. The first intimation of this sad event was given between eight and nine o’clock on the morning, by a rush of smoke mixed with small coals from the down-cast shaft, which was observed by the banksmen. Soon after this, men and boys, to the number of 100, were brought to the mouth of the pit; but all they were capable of explaining was, that there was an explosion in the west working of the mine. Several of these were nearly exhausted from the effects of “choke damp,” but in a short time many of them rallied, and, attended by some other men who had not been in the pit at the time of the explosion, courageously went down again to make what exertions they could to rescue their unfortunate fellow-workmen and relatives, who were in the immediate scene of danger and death. Melancholy to relate, not a solitary being was found alive !
Taken from Local Historian’s Table Book of Remarkable Occurrences Connected with the Counties of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland and Durham by M.A. Richardson. Published in five volumes in 1844. Extract available on this web page.
Two layers in Photoshop, black and white over the original colour, I used the eraser tool to reveal the poppies.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 30mm lens, 1/125 second, f4, iso 200
St. Hilda’s Colliery, South Shields
St. Hilda’s Colliery in South Shields was opened in 1810 and closed in 1940 and at it’s busiest in 1921 employed over 2000 men, however a disaster in 1839 claimed the lives of 51 men and boys.
All that remains now are the head workings and the wheeel house and one of the winding wheels which took men up and down the Church Pit shaft to it’s five seams.
These replica helmets lying on the floor of the cage represent and commemorate the lives lost in the 130 year history of the mine.
Converted to black and white and tinted with Photoshop
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28mm lens, 1/30 second, f4, iso 200, flash fired.
On the stocks
This is the early twentieth century lifeboat Henry Frederick Swan on the stocks at the North East Maritime Trust in South Shields, she is being completely overhauled and renovated from the keel upwards. Thousands of man hours will be expended on this project as every piece of wood is chosen, fashioned, and shaped to fit, and the small engine and screw will also be rebuilt as she is made seaworthy again.
The North East Maritime Trust is a registered charity in Wapping Street, South Shields
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 30mm lens, 1/30 second, f4, iso 200, flash fired.
Image converted to black and white and tinted with Photoshop
North East Maritime Trust
South Shields has an association with the sea going back many centuries, and for the pastthousand years or more these banks and shore on the River Tyne have been the home to ship and boat builders who relied on the sea for their livelihoods. The North East Maritime Trust in Wapping Street, South Shields is home to craftsmen who are dedicated to the restoration and building of medium sized boats, by hand, and mainly with wood which evoke bygone years when their crafts were in much higher demand.
I found these hand made models in their workshop, miniature works of art displaying the master craftsmen’s work in small scale, each model is made using materials which were available and to hand at the time. Some of these models are over a hundred years old. No kits, no patterns or instructions, each piece made to measure, glued into place, and hand painted.
Tomorrow I will show you the work that is currently in hand for these skilled boat builders.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 82mm lens, 1/45 second, f5.6, iso 400
John Collinson Harrison
The 2nd. Boer War was fought 1899-1902 between troops of the British Empire and Boer soldiers of Dutch descent fighting for independence in the Orange Free State and Transvaal. It was also known as the South African War, the resulting peace eventually led to limited autonomy and the formation of the Union of South Africa.
John Collinson Harrison was a guardsman, a Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys when he died of his wounds near Belfast, Transvaal in 1900 at the age of 31 years, he was buried in Pretoria, South Africa. His father, sisters, and brother paid for this magnificent memorial mounted in Whitburn Parish Church near South Shields, it was made by stonemasons of the Gaffin company in Regent Street, London. It’s craftsmanship is quite superb, and perhaps these days if one of our fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan was to have such a memorial it could only be afforded by a very rich family, or huge public subscriptions.
Camera details; Pentax K100D, 57mm lens, 1/20 second, f4.5, iso 800