The Washington ‘F’pit museum ~ October 2022

So much of the North East is dedicated to its industrial past, none more so than the mining industry, and my regular reader will have seen various memorials along my photographic journies recorded here. The Washington ‘F’ mine pit has been restored so you can see it in action, and as Sophie was in Spain when it had an open day, I dragged Phil along with me and let him use my fuji XT2 whilst I did the iPhone shots and a couple of videos.

First though, as always,

The History Bit. ☕️ 🍪

In December 1775, a banking and mining tycoon from Sunderland called William Russell, leased all the coal underneath the village of Washington. There were two other leasers, those being the Lords of the Manor of Washington, one of whomst was Robert Shafto. Appropriate name thought I. Shafto ~ mine-shafts, you see? Robert Shafto was a member of parliament who used an old British (possibly Irish) folk song in his election campaign ~

Bobby Shafto’s gone to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He’ll come back and marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!

Anyhoo, I digress. A series of pits were sunk in the leased area, known as “the royalty”, and imaginatively labelled A to I, and they would comprise the New Washington Colliery.

They started hoying out the coal in March 1778 and transported it to Sunderland by waggonway; a horse-drawn railway. By 1786 another waggonway ran to the Tyne, meaning Washington coal could be exported by ships on both the Wear and the Tyne. The ‘F’ pit was sunk about 1777 but got flooded in 1786 after an explosion, and so was abandoned. Roll on 1820 and it reopened, presumably after the water had soaked in, and in 1856 it was deepened 660 feet, (200 meters) to reach the Hutton seam and it became the most productive of Washington Colliery’s nine pits. Seams were given names with a bit more pzazz than the pits. In 1954 it was deepened again this time to reach seam ‘Busty’ 🤷‍♀️. By the 1960’s new owners had taken over and modernised the colliery, and also by then a Labour government had nationalised the coal industry. The colliery was no longer owned privately, but by the National Coal Board (NCB).

By the mid-1960s it was annually producing 486,000 tons of saleable coal and had a workforce of over 1,500. But it was to be the pit’s last hurrah.

The NCB had a programme of modernisation which didn’t include Washington. All of its remaining pits including ‘F’ closed on Friday, June 21, 1968. Following closure the NCB presented the pit’s winding house (the building containing the huge coil of steel rope that raised and lowered the lift) and headgear to the people of Washington to honour their mining heritage. I’m sure they all appreciated that when they were queuing up at the dole. (The dole:- Unemployed and in receipt of state benefit.)

In the 1970s the Washington Development Corporation took up restoration of the steam engine. It’s recognised as a unique example of 19th century mining machinery: a twin-cylinder horizontal type Simplex for one of the earliest colliery shafts in England. In April 2013 Sunderland City Council took over the Grade II-listed building. Visitors can see the steam engine used to wind the lift up and down. It was once steam operated, but now works from an electric motor for demonstration purposes.

On with a few photo’s and a couple of short videos.

artwork in the entrance.
I have no idea what it does.
the huge coil of steel rope that raised and lowered the lift

the flux capacitor
Automatic Expansion Gear
shiny metal bits
more shiny things and the flux capacitor.

Two very short videos of what it looks and sounds like. The twin-cylinder horizontal type Simplex steam engine.

Mining was, is, such a hard and dangerous job even now, I wouldn’t want to spend all day 600 feet underground digging stuff!

All photos can be embiggened with a click.

Anyways that’s it, stay tooned for wherever next!

📷 😊

A Wardley Walk

I took Phil and my iphone with me on my daily stay alive walk, and used the hipstamatic app, which is about the only photography thingy I have on my phone other than it’s inbuilt camera. Can’t wait for Sophie to get back and us to start up our outings again!

Here we go then!

Just outside our house on the drive

Lord Vincent

at the end of our drive are some unruly rose bushes, at least I think they’re roses,

maybe roses

round the corner and back on ourselves, up the pedestrian path and we found blackberry bushes growing amongst the trees by our fence.

jam!

The path that leads to the common has really grown over since last I was here, in summer last year. I used to be able to see to the end of this bit of path.

foliaged

Not sure what little flowers these are, they were all over the wilderness part of the common.

pink flowers

The common is actually marshland, and half of it has been left to go wild, and the other bit has a nicely mown large lawn about the size of a tennis court, maybe a bit bigger, where kids can play footy, and people train their dogs to fetch. In the marshy bit there are 2 ponds which serve the wildlife and birds, but even though we’ve had 2 days of heavy rain last week, the ponds have gone down the road of drought.

pond life

the oak that a few of you might remember, well Pete will anyway 😊, is still going strong, all alone in the ridge between the ponds-that-were.

The Wardley Oak

after the common we got to a path that used to be a road

5

and then we walked back home through the estate. The buildings here are a small busness kind of estate, mostly car fixers and pimpers.

MOT stations

This is the long road that cuts through the middle of this estate, from the metro station and out towards the A1 or A19. The trees are lovely.

This is one of the houses we walk past on the way back and I love the giant cactus in the porch, it’s been there a long time, and whoever lives there decorates it at christmas 🤣.

Cactus – house.

A random flower poking out of someone’s fence, think it’s a honeysuckle but could be wrong.

I like the shared creeper here, I’m thinking it’s liking No.32 best.

32 for the win!

this is the last one, just before we turn into our bit, beyond the trees.

So that’s it, stay tooned in case I do something interesting for next time!

Tynemouth Market ~ August 2022

Regular visitors will have seen a few posts from Tynemouth Market over my past 9 years on WordPress, there’s always something to photograph and it’s a fab place for great coffee, interesting foods, daft purchases and funny looking people. For those who are new here, or have forgotten, the market takes place in Tynemouth Metro station, the station is also a Grade II listed building which opened in 1882 as a railway station. It later became the first section of the Metro network in 1980, making it a great attraction for local history buffs. (Metrospotters?) Anyway with Sophie back in Spain, I decided to go looking for vintage spoons for a photo I need to do, and Phil came along as there are plenty of vinyl record stalls to browse.

I took my Contax of course, so there’ll be a Film Friday post at some point, but I also took my iPhone and used the Hipstamatic app to photograph anything/one I fancied that took my notice.

Just at the entrance there’s a small section of floor tiles that are cracked and blue, which I hadn’t noticed before today

the blues

I love the light in the market, the glass panelled roof makes some great shadows when the sun is shining.

shadows
in the navy.
got the blues
in the pink
decisions, decisions.
wooden hearts.
Bone Idol

I think it takes a fair bit of courage to stand at the top of the steps on your own singing to a herd of people who are not interested and don’t give a monkeys, but she needed to be a better singer to grab any attention. Also The New Seekers songs are a bit beyond 🙄 .

busker lady

I accidentally pressed the shutter at the bottom of the stairs, but I like the result

happy accident

I have no idea what this musical dummy is for, I don’t think it can be for dressmaking judging by the boob area, you could rest your drinks on that ledge!

Booby Doll.

I am not sure why this fellow is dressed in the (pesky) Scottish National Costume, but he does look fetching I think.

Foxy Scotsy
actual health and well being.
Phil purchasing tat 🥴 🤣 ♥️

That’s it for this week! Stay tooned for where/whatever next time!

😊 📱

365 ~ 18th ~ 24th July

This week has been sodding selfie week, but also I have been away since Wednesday visiting my son Ben and his lady Charlotte, and Ben’s son Lewis, so doing pictures for this project has mostly been a quick snap on the iPhone as I wanted to focus on my little family.

On with the pictures! (Warning there’s a swear word in here somewhere).

Day 199 ~ Togetherness. ~ As we start another Picture You Week, remember including yourself in your 365 project is important BUT it doesn’t have to mean a week of selfies! That’s right!  You can share just a little of you or something representative of you! Consider the details of your day as they relate to the prompts.  As you can see from the photo above, I was able to document our get together with the “mermaids” without including very much and the best part of all? No one grumbled about having their photo taken. How will you photograph “just the details” and manage to include yourself too? 

Have to say they didn’t look much like mermaids, I would have thought having a fishy tail would be a necessity, but they all had people legs. In spite of being an AFAC (airy fairy abstract concept) it wasn’t hard to fathom.

togetherness

Day 200 ~ Junk.~ My hubby wasn’t very happy with me when I told him we needed to take a photo with his Bronco for my prompt word “junk.”  His exact words were “My Bronco isn’t junk!!” I just giggled at him and made him play along. He has owned this truck for 22 years but only drove it for 7 of those years, which is exactly why I consider it junk!  When we started dating, we spent countless hours driving around getting to know each other personally (and romantically to be completely honest *wink, wink*) in this truck. To me it’s junk, but special junk for us both. My hubby is holding on to it hoping to one day get it running again.  I hope you’ll be able to share with us something you have that you consider junk but aren’t willing to part with. Or maybe your “junk” isn’t something YOU consider junk – but other people do. There’s a lot of truth to the phrase “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  Don’t forget to include yourself in your photo with your junk today!

Frankly that was more information than I needed to know and seeing their legs sticking out of the front passenger door of the Bronco was just wrong. They had clothes on for heaven’s sakes, if you’re going to simulate car nooky *wink, wink* at least take your jeans off. Also I have to say there is no way that Bronco is ever gonna run again, it’s a shitheap. (That was the swear word) Anyway I don’t have any junk and said as much to Phil, and he said “what about all the stuff in your shed??” I was quite offended.

(not) junk

Day 201 ~ Contentment. ~ I have always considered myself to be content.  I love life and I try to see the good all around me.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  One of the places I feel most content is when I get to spend time with my best friend, Marie.  We have been best friends since the age of 5. We don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like but we do spend a weekend together every summer at her family cottage.  I always have my camera with me when we visit as I like to capture as many details as I can of our time together.  I think the smiles on our faces show how much our friendship means to both of us.  What small things make you happy?  What details can you capture today that represent contentment to you?

Today was not conducive to being content (another AFAC!) as work was full on ~ our office manager treble booked all my appointments for yesterday and today as I’m having 10 days off 🙄 so I worked my proverbials off, then when I got home I had to do ironing and packing for going away as I was setting off early the next day. I didn’t have time to do a ‘proper’ photo but found Winnie embodying contentment at the bottom of our bed. No I’m not in it but I’ll use the something representative of you part of this weeks prompts, and Winnie is my representative.

contentment

Day 202 ~ Heart. ~ What captures your heart? Don’t overthink it.

Congratulations to Mrs. Hypaethral for the shortest prompt ever, non AFAC too! This was an easy one for me. After a 4 & 1/2 hour drive I landed in Leighton Buzzard and got to hug my grandson Lewis. He stole my heart 11 years ago and still has it.

heart

Day 203 ~ Amusement. ~ Google defines amusement as “the state or experience of finding something funny.”  It can also refer to an Amusement Park, something I love!  I don’t know about you, but I can become quite easily amused when I get together with a particular group of friends.  A simple look at one another can send us into laughter. When it comes to having a house full of cats, there is no shortage of funny moments.  Today was laundry day and Lafayette always knows best.  I don’t know what it is, but pets always seemed to be amused by whatever we humans are doing. Please show us what amuses you today.  It could be a pet, an interaction amongst friends, a trip to an actual amusement park, or anything in between.

We decided to visit Willen Lake today at Milton Keynes. It comprises 180 acres of landscaped parkland which surround around 100 acres of water across two lakes. Both lakes are balancing lakes, the southern lake offers a wide range of activities on and off the water, whilst the northern lake offers a more natural and tranquil setting, ideal for quiet walks and spotting wildlife. Actually this was not a great idea. We walked round the lake in 30˚C (86F) heat, having stupidly not taken any drinking water with us. I did struggle a bit, but the kids did OK. Anyway, we thought this picture was amusing, as we always stick our tongues out when being photographed.

amusement

Day 204 ~ path. ~ It is the monthly Where I Stand prompt, it is good to get your feet into the photo, but if not possible don’t worry. I was walking along part of the coastal walk in Cornwall, United Kingdom.  The whole trail is 630 miles long; we only did about 10 miles this day!  I just love all the paths that the walkers create along this bit. Which path are you taking today?

Another nice prompt especially as we visited Rushmere Country Park this day. It was a. few degrees cooler and quite shady what with all the trees so a much better day all round.

path

Day 205 ~ interact. ~ Do you remember what you did on January 9th and April 3rd of this year? Do you remember the photo you took on that day? If not, go back and look because you will need to revisit that spot again today.  These are my photos from the beach in front of my house. I cannot wait to show you what it looks like today in July! Today’s Picture Your World prompt invites you to photograph the same location four times throughout this year documenting the changing seasons along the way.  You may choose a different perspective or choose to include different subjects in these repeating photos, but try to make it obvious to the viewer that they are seeing the same location. It is ‘picture you” week so you may want to include yourself or part of yourself “interacting” in your world. Once you have taken today’s photo, create a triptych using it and your January and April photo.  There are many apps that make creating triptychs simple.  

I’m amazed anyone can forget we are doing this ‘same shot in different seasons’ thing, especially as we’ve already done two, but I guess there may be some senile people doing the challenge. Anyways I hadn’t forgotten. Unfortunately this is the day I travelled back home, and after the long drive back at night I knew it wouldn’t be possible to take it on the day. So for the first time I pre-empted the prompt and went out on Wednesday evening to take the shot. I didn’t want to include myself as I hadn’t in any of the others and wanted a coherant series.

interact

and this is the large version. Interact seems a strange title to me but hey ho, whatever.

interact

Another sodding selfie week accomplished, not the best perhaps, but seeing my boys was the main thing for me this week. Back to normal life now, and this week we’ll be having adventures in ‘still life’ so stay tooned!

365 ~ 7th ~ 13th March

No more selfies for a while but now we are into ‘style’ and this week it’s all about street.

Day 66 ~ Choice. Street photography records everyday life in a public place and usually involves the taking of candid photographs of strangers.  This week our goal is to include street photography in our daily photos. Challenge yourself this week to get out there with your camera and snap a photo of an unsuspecting stranger or two that you find interesting.   As you’re out and about today, photograph a stranger or scene that you think tells a story.

I went on my daily walk around our estate to go to the local shop hoping to come across a stranger. I took Phil with me in case no one was about and I could cheat and use him, but I didn’t need to. I sent Phil to get the stuff and I sat outside on the wall and waited for someone to come out. This chap obliged and he’d bought a newspaper. Stop the press! ‘Man buys Newspaper!!!” Not the most enthralling story but it’s all I got 🤣 And I must say, I don’t see what ‘Choice’ has to do with any of it, but I may be dim.

Choice

Day 67 ~Signal. We are in Street Photography week and it’s Macro Monday. This is going to be a challenge.  See if you can notice people signaling to each other. Or a sign that serves as a signal or warning. A traffic signal. A turn signal. Get creative. You can also stay back and crop in close to get your macro effect. The reason we take macro photos is to notice details. Look for details in your street photography. Get in close.

This was a work day for me and I got home late, so had to do my photo in the dark after dinner. We have a pedestrian crossing on the edge of our estate so I went up there with my tripod and did close ups of the crossing man and bike. They turn red for don’t cross and green for OK to cross so I turned it into black and white so you don’t know if you’re coming or going 🤣🤣 There was a fair amount of traffic so I’m glad it was dark and I couldn’t see the WTF?? look on anyone’s face. Also I think the little man is going to do a Charlie Chaplin waddle.

Day 68 ~ Interesting. These days, I am not out and about taking photos where there is much of interest going on.  The streets I see are limited to those in my neighborhood that I travel on my morning runs.  Though I do encounter quite a few others out for morning exercise, I am not comfortable taking photos of them.  I am, however, quite comfortable photographing people’s trash piles! As you are out and about, look for an interesting object on the street.  Photograph it such that we want to know its story, its history.  You may be surprised by the interesting things you find.

Another work day so this one was a bit naff for me. I decided to do a photo on the way home from work so I wasn’t in the dark again. The lady who did this prompt has no knowledge of Wardley, everyone keeps their trash in bins and not in piles on the street. I dread to think where she lives. In fact there really isn’t anything madly interesting in Wardley, but I noticed up one of the side roads, the council must have planted rows of daffodils and purple crocuses in front of the bungalows there so I took a photo of them. I like that they do that all over South Tyneside, on the verges on main roads, side streets, anywhere there are spare bits of grass, so lovely to see them everywhere as spring starts up. Not sure if that’s ‘interesting’, but it’s very nice. I’m sure my council tax payments could be used for social care and the like, but damn it’s good to see spring!

Interesting

Day 69 ~ Dull. The meaning of the word dull is either:lacking interest or excitement or lacking brightness, vividness, or sheen. So, let us go with the second meaning.  As you know, street photography is meant to have candid photos of people.  This can’t always happen. If this is where you find yourself today, use who you have around; but, do include a person as this gives the photo an interest. Converting it to black and white for today’s prompt word will help, to not make it bright but dull looking!

It was chucking it down when I finished work and there was no way I was going out in it.Luckily I had some post to do at the Post Office, so after I’d done that I sat in the car and waited for people to come along and then take sneaky pictures with my phone. At first I was using the windscreen wipers to get a clear shot, but then I tried shooting through the rain and liked it better. Dull it is though.

Dull

Day 70 ~ Simplicity. Street (candid) photography is an art that features chance encounters and random incidents within public places.  Though people are usually featured directly, a photograph can also be taken that is absent of people and can be that of an object. Take a walk and find a simple street scene of objects that tell a story.

My days off now so I took my usual walk up to the shop and back. Our estate has some small grassy areas for kids to play on, though no equipment like slides or swings. This one is a little bigger than the others and has a single goalpost in it. Reminded me of the simple joy lads and maybe girls these days have kicking a ball about, not much else is needed other than a ball and goalpost.

Simplicity

Day 71 ~ Coin. Find a penny, pick it up and all day you’ll have good luck! You might be hard pressed to find a coin since change has become a novelty. So as we continue on with Street Photography lets also be on the look out for circle shapes. You might find that lucky penny but if not maybe an architectural feature, some colorful street art or a cool manhole cover? Show us your lucky street find today! 

I had no lucky street find today. Wandered about the place looking for circular things, but all I could find were these manhole covers for the underground drainage system. Neither colourful or cool I’m afraid. Sigh.

Coin

Day 72 ~ If you find that you have no mountains high enough to climb in your neck of the woods, maybe take a drive and see if you have a road or bridge that brings you high enough to look over a beautiful view.  If you feel inclined, add some song lyrics to your photo.  It’ll be like we are taking a road trip with an awesome playlist to listen to all day.  

Argh. This was a trial of a day. Firstly I thought I’d pop over to South Shields and take the view from the top of Marsden Lane which has the sea at the bottom. It took me nearly half an hour to do 2 miles. Roadworks, diversions and the sheer volume of traffic which reminded me of those disaster movies where everyone packs up the car and trys to leave before the meteor hits/aliens land/tsunami arrives/zombies get them. I turned around as I got quite fed up and peed off at the knobs on the road. Came home, had a cup of tea and then decided I’d walk up to the nature reserve as that’s at the bottom of a little hill and you can see the lake from the top. This was not a pleasant walk, and whilst it looks all sunny blue skies, it’s been raining for a few days and I just missed a hailstorm before I left the house. So much mud! I hate mud. Mud and clarts everywhere.

This is why I don’t have a doggy.

So I took my shots from the top of the hill and this is the best one.

Enough

On the way back I had a biting cold wind at first head on, and then from the right and my poor ear got battered. I couldn’t figure out what ‘enough’ had to do with anything but realised it works for me as I’d completely had enough by the time I got home! That’s the end of Street week, though really I don’t think it’s very streety, I know street photographers and these are not in that league. Never mind, maybe next time!

I had to choose a song lyric for the last picture, I think that was what the enough was for, so my lyric is as follows

I am enough just as I am
Feel right at home anywhere that I stand
Hold out my heart in the palm of my hand
And I live my life like nobody else can
I am, I am, I am enough

The song is called, “I am enough” not surprisingly, and is sung by Daphne Willis, here it is with a very cool video.

Stay tooned for next week, adventures in Yellow . 🥴

Midnight Snow

For three days it rained non stop, right up to 11pm last night. Then we went to the kitchen about 11.30pm to make a cup of tea to take to bed and through the window we saw

Snow

It’s been a long time since we saw ‘proper’ snow and we ran to the conservatory and opened the door and stood watching, as big clumps of snowflakes floated to the ground, and stayed. It made us smile and wonder. The world was quiet all of a sudden, the traffic noises deadened in the whitening. I grabbed my phone to take some pictures, but it gives an other worldy orange filter to everything

So I took some from all our windows and converted them to black and white

We spent a long time watching it, and were glad that we could enjoy it and not have to go anywhere in the morning. But we got up this morning and it had gone. It left us as swiftly as it arrived, with only a vestige of it’s former self on the lawns and shed roofs. We sighed, our winter wonderland was a fleeting visitor, and I’m glad we didn’t miss it.

Sabbatical

This blog is having a little break. I don’t have enough time to do anymore of the curated series, they take a couple of days to put together, and I haven’t been on any outings with the camera this year. Sophie and I had vaguely planned to meet up this weekend, socially distancing of course, but the weather put paid to that.

Still, you can find me on https://fragglesotherplace.com/ where I post movie reviews and the odd bits and pieces.

I’m doing a photography course which takes up some time and also a while back now I started a project after joining the 52 Frames challenge site and have been posting my pictures to the project section of this blog. These posts don’t show up in the reader for some strange reason, but you can find them here, https://fragglerocking.org/project-type/52-frames/ there’s a post every Sunday and so maybe I’ll see you there!