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GUEST,George Henderson - Nenagh Singers Circle Byker Hill: background info anyone? (147* d) RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone? 02 Dec 00

The Wandering Minstrel is correct. And the 37 trolley used to right out the West Road. I travelled on it many times.

Byker pit was one of the wettest pits in the North East. As a result miners were paid about 50% more than their compatriots in other pits. They had difficulty in getting workers even so but those that did work there were very happy with their lot.

There was a circular gravity rail track with inter connected wagons. The weight of full wagons pushed empty ones around. The coal was shipped on these down the hill to the Walker Shore where it was loaded onto coasters which transported the coal by sea to London.

As far as I am aware the Byker Pit gravity railway was the only one in existence but I could be wrong on that point.

Geordie Charltons pig is referred to in other publications (not sure which) but as a result, the verse is probably based on fact.

The only pit still operating in the North East is Ellington Colliery and it stretches some 10 miles out under the North Sea.

Hope this is of interest.

George Henderson.

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