Newsham and New Delaval (1873)
Seaton Burn (1873)
East Holywell (1873)
Scremerston, Shoreswood, Billy Law and Felkington, Northumberland (1873)
This is the first part of a series of articles that appeared in the Newcastle Chronicle during 1872 and 1873 detailing life in the many Northumberland, Tyneside and County Durham colliery villages. The Chronicle was a newspaper with working class sympathies and readership. Life in the pit villages was not well known to outsiders. The vast majority of would have no business that would take them into a pit village. In fact, the reporter for the series mentions that even the poorest labourer in many areas may be shocked at the living conditions of the mineworkers. We are sure you will too when you read these detailed accounts.
Here's an example from the reporter and he had this to say about Cambois Colliery and its superior housing in the piece he wrote about it: “After passing through the garden, the kitchen entered by an approach of two or three steps, and is a fair sized room, with nice fireplace, oven, and pot. Behind the kitchen a wash-house is formed and out of the wash-house a staircase with hand-rail leads to the upper storey, which contains two decent sized bedrooms, to say nothing of a sort of lumber room outside the bedroom doors and immediately under the slates. These bedrooms are vastly different places from the garrets of Seghill and Killingworth, and much better than even the new houses in the course of erection at Burradon, indeed, the lumber rooms of Boca Chica would make far snugger bedrooms than any of the garrets of Seghill. Outside, and at a good distance from the back doors, is the privy for each house, with its accompanying ash-pit.”
These accounts make interesting reading to anyone interested in their heritage and they are accompanied by various images from a time long gone.