Happy Childhood Late 50s Early 60s

A Memory of Boldon Colliery

I live in Watford but I was born at 55 South Crescent in 1953, my mother's maiden name was Christlow, they moved to 16 Reginald Street. I remember visiting one time and my cousin Joe Lee used to play the bass drum in the colliery band and I went along to a practice session in the school playground in North Road. My uncle Norman Christlow used to have an allotment behind the picture house. My cousin and I used to go and watch Sunderland when they were at home. When I was in my teens and I was visiting I played for the Villa with my cousin, I can't remember the score but had a good time. My nan was Florrie Christlow. I remember the cobbled stones that ran down the back lanes and the outside privy. The back door always open, it was a very friendly community. I always loved visiting my nan and family. We used to play down the burn jumping diggers, great fun.

A memory shared by Brian Rees , on Jan 29th, 2012.

Comments & feedback

Wed Mar 18th 2015, at 12:13 pm

Malcolm Cook commented:

I was born and raised in London, but I spent the entire period of every school holiday in Boldon, staying with my Uncle Jack and Aunt Sally Bell at 1 Wilfred Street along with my cousins Jean and Yvonne. I knew your grandmother Mrs Chistlow, in fact I was in love with Jean Christlow who sadly died in her early to mid teens. Of course I also knew Joe Lee, but he was only a young lad then, and his father Joe Lee was a lorry and/or taxi driver. I remember him calling in to see my parents at our London home one evening prior to driving north overnight to Boldon. After I'd cajoled my mother into allowing me to, I joined Joe in the cab of his truck so as to spend a weekend on the Colliery. My mother was a born and bred Londoner, whereas my father Fred was the fourth child of my grandparents Eva and Jimmy Cook who lived at 20 John Street. Dad, a locally well known sportsman joined the army at the age of 16-17 and served with the South Staffs for 12 years, 9 in Madras India, 3 years back in the UK with the colours. Dad played football and hockey for the regiment and on leaving the army had offers of pro terms to play for Newcastle United, Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday...but he chose to play for Usworth Colliery for one season, then he never played again. On either side of of my grandparents lived my uncle and aunt Frank and Bella Cook, also aunt Eva and uncle Billy Robson. In Charles and Arnold Street's lived my uncle George and aunt Ethel Cook and my cousins Freddie and Jean Bell. My uncle Joe and aunt Nan lived in Byron Avenue. Although I can't remember cobbles on the back lanes I do recall the central drainage, plus I adored going to The Ranch four nights a week. I remember many people and friends on the Colliery including Tom, Dennis and Florence Smith, Veronica Jenkinson, Valerie Elliott, George Belamey, Marlene Saunders, Joan and Brenda Erskine and many more. There was the very talented singer Muriel Trainer who I adored. And I'm not forgetting shops such as Smiths, The chippies Smurthwaites and Bottoms, Marriots, Dixons etc etc. I even went 'down the pit' one Sunday morning and on another occasion rode on the footplate of the shunting tank engine at the pit-head.

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