Chester-le-Street Heritage Group

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At the Drop-In

Tuesday 31st October, 2017.

Visit from the North East Environment Agency.

At the Drop-In today, we received a visit from the North East Community Engagement Officer of The Environment Agency, who was particularly interested in the effects of flooding that had taken place in Chester-le-Street over previous years.

Information was required to show which parts of the town had been affected and what work had been carried out to try and reduce the effects of flooding reoccurring.

The Group’s photographic and video archive was accessed to show examples of flooding which had taken place in recent years, as well as in the past. Particular reference was made to one of the most recent events that took place in 2012, where video clips and still photographs were plentiful.

Further research is to be undertaken on this project by contacting Beamish Museum and Durham County Hall Records Office and a return visit is planned so that we can supply more information and for the main areas affected by flooding to be visited.

Visit from Mr. Anthony O’Neil.

Following a recent conversation with Dave Gardner, Anthony O’Neil visited the Drop-In today and brought with him a CD full of photographs. Anthony’s main interest is Consett and the surrounding area and is apparently willing to share his collection of photographs with the Heritage Group. He also has a friend who is interested in the same area and seemingly has many thousands of photographs. Although Consett and the surrounding area are generally outside the usual scope of our Group’s remit, there is no reason why we should not help their cause by adding their collecting to our archive. We look forward to future visits from Mr. O’Neil and also his friend.  

New Equipment Purchase.

Earlier this year the Group received a donation from Mrs. Julia Wiesner to show her appreciation for the warm welcome she received at the Drop-In when we presented her with a collection of her Barrett family photographs that had been recovered previously from a skip near Stockport.

After much consideration and wishing to have something to show for her £500 donation, we today ordered a new CZUR Document Scanner - see picture opposite.

The problems we experience when scanning documents, books, newspapers and magazines etc., is the length of time required to complete such tasks. Therefore, this document scanner should help to speed things up considerably, as well as giving good quality reproductions. It is claimed that pages can be scanned using this equipment every 1.5 seconds. In addition, the included software allows OCR (Optical Character Recognition) so that text can be digitised and converted straight into Microsoft Word for editing. Also, the software is claimed to be able to flatten the spine of open books and convert them into separate pages. We are expecting to take delivery of the new equipment on Tuesday so hopefully we can test it out at the Drop-In.

If the operation of the document scanner proves successful, then it will be made available to all Group Members to help with  work on projects.

Click on the link below if you would like to learn more about this new equipment:

CZUR Document Scanner Return to Members Page

Tuesday 7th November, 2017.

New Members.

Two new Members joined the Heritage Group today, Alice Armstrong and Freda Hunter, who I’m sure you will all welcome and straight away make them feel at home. Freda, as you know, has previously been a “Friend” of the Group, but has now become a Full Member.

Also, Angus McGregor who joined the Group a few weeks ago called in to collect some photographs that he had requested, and he together with his wife helped put some additional names to the 1963 Grammar School Class Photos.

New Equipment.

The new CZUR Document Scanner has arrived and was tested out at the Drop-In today. Initial thoughts are that the set up needs a little getting used to, but should be capable of speeding up the recording of books, newspapers and magazines. Dave G, has kindly agreed to put the new equipment through its paces and has taken Dorothy’s “Chester-le-Street Terriers” file to digitise. Thanks Dave.

Consett Photographs.

A collection of Consett photographs and scanned booklets were added to the Group’s archive today, thanks to Anthony O' Neil and Dave G..

Tuesday 14th November, 2017.

Mrs. Maureen Cruthers brought in two Chester-le-Street Football shields to be scanned and added to the Group’s archive. Her husband worked for three years at Harraton Colliery and also was a pupil at Pelton Schools in 1948. We’re hoping that he has been persuaded write down his memories of his time at both of these locations so that they can be added to the archive and the Collieries Project.

Mrs. Alice Armstrong brought in some photographs of the Wolf Cubs taken at Pelton Schools and Barnard Castle, along with some postcards to be scanned and returned.

Dorothy brought in some items from Audrey Watson’s collection to be scanned and added to the Group’s Archive, which Malcolm S, has kindly agreed to record.


Dave Gardner is continuing to get to grips with the new CZUR document scanning and is currently recording the details from one of Dorothy’s  “Terrier” Files.

The Peter Hay Charity Cup 1909-1910

Runners Up Shield.

Tuesday 21st November, 2017

Dave G, took over the scanning operations with Malcolm today. Will find out later what kept them so busy.

George N, brought in some postcards and invitations from an album he’d recently acquired that were of particular interest to me. They were related to Huntly’s Garage, which was the forerunner, to C.F Rymer and then H. Young (Motors) Ltd.. There was also a photograph of Gladys Johnson who worked at Huntly’s and C.F. Rymer before joining H. Young when they took over in 1923.

There was also a newly published Sunderland Book which featured two photographs of H. Young (Motors) Ltd., branch at Roker Avenue, Sunderland which may well have been obtained from my own collection.

Drop-In 28th November, 2017

Colin Clark from Pelton Fell History Club, brought in some photographs, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia from his time when he was involved in the Chester-le-Street Scouts. These will all be added to the Group’s archive.

Chester Chronicles.

To help members researching the new project “Chester Lads & Lasses of WW1” the Chester-le-Street Chronicles for the years 1913 through to 1918 have been transferred a single memory stick/flash drive and will be available to those who wish to be involved in the project.

Drop-In - 05-12-2017

Hard copies of the December 2017 issue of the Newsletter are available to collect at the Drop-In today and next Tuesday 12th December. They should also be available at the Heritage Group’s Christmas Night on the 13th December at the Lambton Arms.

Mrs. Mary Brown brought in a photograph of a colliery, which she has donated to the Group. However, she did not know which colliery it was, so can you help us identify it?

George Burlison brought in copy of Dog Licence dated 2nd December, 1985. Failure to produce a dog licence to a Police Officer attracted a fine of £10. George had also brought in a copy of a newspaper article entitled “Death of the North Durham Coalfield”.

Heritage Trail Round School Plaque Missing.

It has been noticed that the Heritage Trail plaque associated with “The Round School Wall” has been removed. If anyone can help locating the plaque, please contact Dorothy, Thelma or Alec.

The next Drop-In Session on 12th December will be the last one this year. Drop-In’s will restart on 9th January 2018.

Drop-In - 12-12-2017

A quieter day at the Drop-In today, mainly due to the cold weather and icy conditions.

Waldridge Colliery Miners Tokens:

Bob Burlison brought in some Miners Tokens that were used at Waldridge Colliery. There were 13 tokens altogether and two of them are shown opposite.

Pelton Modern School Class of ‘62 Reunion Photographs:

In 1993, the Class of ‘62 from Pelton Modern School held a Reunion at Birtley Golf Golf Club, which was well attended. The following year another Reunion was held at Beamish Club. Many photographs were taken at both of these events and these were kindly made available to the Heritage Group by Mrs. A. Armstrong. These photographs have all been scanned and added to the Group’s Archive.

The next Drop-In Session will be held on Tuesday 9th January, 2018.