Wheatley Hill memories
Life in The Hill in The 50's-60's
I was born in Stoker Crescent in 1950, for most of my childhood I was brought up by my grandparents George and Annie Thomson. We moved to Cain Terrace and I even spent a short period living in the workmens club as my grandad was the steward and ran the club. School day memories of sitting in Baldersaros ice cream shop drinking hot Vimto and challengng friends to eat dry crackers (I think 6 were the best done), ice cream covered in 'monkeys blood', going to the Regal or Royalty picture house. I'm sure as a child I saw the Brooke Bond chimps at the Saturday matinee in the Regal. The youth club that was run at the recreation centre. Where are the people I hung around with, such as Eric (Dickie) Henderson, Robert (Noddy) Waite, Richard Curry, Robert (Mopsy) Harper, Alan Bradshaw and others. In my day the boys school was seperate from the girls school, my school in the High street and the girls school at the... Read more
Although I was born in Coventry in 1953 my mum and her family were from Wheatley Hill and I spent many happy holidays there visiting my grandparents, aunts, uncles and many cousins. My grandparents were Joseph and Mary Parker who lived at 5, 5th Street. They had 9 children who were Elsie, Annie (my mum) who was known as Nancy, Bob, Bill, twins Joe and Elaine (she died as a toddler), twins Jack and Thomas (Thomas died age 16) and Newrick. My stepfather's parents (surname Oswald) lived at 1, Wheatley Terrace and his sister Anne was married to Albert Baldasera who owned the ice cream parlour at the top of Front Street. I have great memories of times spent with my many cousins (some of who still live in Thornley), and how I used to cry when it was time to return home to Coventry! I remember walking between the two villages regularly,going down to the bottom shop for bubble gum and the shows on the fields just behind that shop. Also Uncle Jack... Read more
My Dad Ronald Peel, Born 1932, Still With us
My dad Ronald Peel was born in 1932 in Wheatley Hill. He lived in Burns Street and he had a brother Tom and two sisters, Florence and Mary. My dad stayed in Wheatley Hill till about 1954, he married Jean Blenkinsop of Cassop. I loved visiting my grandma Peel, called Frances, and my granda called Thomas, who died about 1964. I visited the heritage centre 6 months ago and I am now trying to trace the Peel side but I cannot find any info, my great-granda Tom Peel lived in the railway coaches, even my own father cannot remember his wife's name, terrible eh. My grandma Frances Peel lived her last years in Johnson Street in a bungalow and died 1978. My aunt Mary lived her whole life in Wheatley Hill and married a Leslie Smith, she had one adopted son called Jerald who is now deceased as well as Mary and Les. Florence is still alive and lives in Bishop Auckland. If anyone has any memories of the Peels... Read more
Not A Care in The World.
If anyone were to ask me when I was most happy, I would have to go back some considerable time to those years spent in Wheatley Hill, more especially the late 1940s all of the 1950s and early 1960s. Truly magical times, as I'm sure a lot of those my age will agree. It always seemed to snow at Christmas time and the 6-week summer school holidays were always fine and sunny, at least I think they were! Not for us, the now compulsory TV, games console or I Pod, no sir. Pit heaps, quarries, home made sledges or go-karts were far more exciting and healthier too! Short excursions to exotic places like Crimdon, Seaburn or Seaton Carew seemed far more appealing than Benidorm or Orlando, but even better had to be a weekend to far-away Blackpool for the Illuminations! What fun, a very long journey on a Friday night, first to spot the Tower won half-a-crown. Two nights in a boarding house, a show or two, maybe a trip... Read more
Hi, my name is Shirley Cross, my name was Shirley Stokoe and I lived in Thornley. My dad's nme was Robert Stokoe, he has now passed away. My memories of Wheatley Hill are nice. I remember spending a lot of time there growing up. I used to go to Wheatley Hill School up on the hill, you could see it from Thornley, and I used to love the school, and the school in the front street of Wheatley Hill. I remember we had to have different lessons each day so we used to have to leave one school and walk to the other school, it was fun. Also I remember the pyjama factory that I used to work at just over the road from school. My best friend was Barbara Vest, now known as Barbara Lard. I love her lots in friendship. Wheatley Hill to me is just one of my favorite memories, I love it there xxx. Thanks to all of my lovely friends wherever they are xxx. Shirley... Read more
Memories of County Durham
Pit Village in my Youth
My name is Ken Orton and I lived in Thornley from 1947 until 1974, the year I married. I was born in Shadforth but my parents moved from there to Thornley when I was about one month old. We lived at 72, Thornlaw North until 1967 and then moved to 2, St Cuthbert Road, where I lived until I met my wife and married.
My childhood in Thornley was a marvellous time and I would not have liked to have lived anywhere else than in a pit village when I was growing up. Although we didn't have much, because my dad was a pitman and there were six children in the family, everybody we knew was the same as us and so we never missed what we never had. We always had enough to eat and presents for birthdays and Christmas, although not as much as bairns nowadays. Even my bairns did better that I did but, since we didn't expect to have a great deal, we were never... Read more
My name is Andrew Tate, I was born in Thornlaw South at my grandparents house in 1944. I was a twin and my brother was called Alexander [Aleck]. I have quite a few memories of Thornley, I remember watching a cricket match in the Illey Owley. The players asked my father Billy, to be the umpire and during the game a dog ran onto the pitch and cocked it`s leg on the wicket and ran off, can`t remember the score. We used to try and catch Dragonflies on a pond. We used to pinch turnips out of a field at the top of the Illy Owley but one year they started to fill it in with colliery waste and all the turnips went brown. We used to slide down the pit heap on old shovels. My cousin was called Margaret Williams, her dad was run over by tubs at Kelloe pit, and later died. There was only one comunal tap in the street. We were in the picture house one... Read more
Growing up in Thornley
I was born in Durham in 1969 and grew up in Thornley until I left in 1985 and moved to South Africa. I have been back a few times over the years and have seen many changes my father still lives in Thornley and will never leave the place now.
I still have great memories of the place and a lot of my school friends still live there.
Memories of Thornley
Having read Kenneth Ortons' memories, it brought back visions in my mind of the good times growing up in the loveliest little village I know. When I was born in 1947 my mam and dad lived with my grandma at 60 Thornlaw North so there is a chance that me and Ken may have grown up playing football and cricket in the street together. I do remember the mountain glide to this day I have never seen one as high as the one in Thornley, I wonder if it is still there, or have the Health and Safety idiots taken it down! We lived with my nan for about two years I think, then we moved into one of the new steel house that had just been built in Hillside Crescent, we moved into number 19 and it's garden backed onto my nan's old house. All the kids used to roam the fields, nobody would chase you off because you never damaged anything, we all respected property when we were... Read more
MY MOTHER'S MEMORIES, Olive Stanley
My mother has many memories of Thornley as a pupil at Thornley Colliery Primary School, and other village life, her name was OLIVE STANLEY. She lived at Colinwood Street, No1, with her mother Ethel Tonkin and step father Eligha Tonkin and step brother and sisters. She is 88 years old. Her memory of being a pupil at school was winning a district award for penmanship (copperplate writing). Her writing today is still of a high standard. Edward Stanley
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