Sections From The Journal Of T. W. Thompson died 21/06 1957.


The following items of interest are contained in a “Journal” kept by the person named above, a resident of Wheatley Hill, I believe all of his life, and a man who passionately believed in progress and science.

He started to jot down things of interest to himself ( and possibly others) in January 1900,

And a lot of what he wrote concerns  longest, largest, fastest and so on.

I have not included any of this in my condensing, all I have written, concerns Wheatley Hill and its residents.


Oct. 25Th 1902 …..Cage accident at Wheatley Hill Colliery No 1 Pit when winding men.

24 men were injured in the decending cage.

Oct.1907. ……Curatage at Wheatley Hill occupied. Vicar C.J. Gray.

March 1910 ……Wheatley Hill Mission Church consecrated to a Pasish Church,

                           Vicar :  P.T.Casey.

Haswell Co.Op. Society conducted tour to London for 2 days. Stayed at the Manchester Hotel, 300 bedrooms Aldersgate Street July 12th 1906.

Cemetry at Wheatley Hill opened. Caretaker: H. Staddon. March 1907.

Road straightened and improved at Throstles Nest on the Wingate road. Aug.1908.

Haswell Co. Op. Society excursion to London, 4 days when the Franco - British Exhibition was opened. Year 1908.

H. Winter and J.Chapman of Wheatley Hill were killed on the railway goods yard at Thornley Colliery Dec 8th 1908.

Thos. Hutchinson, Land Agent to the Wilkinsons Estate Wheatley Hill, died Dec.8th 1908.

Wm. Fenwick Foreman, Mason at Wheatley Hill Colliery, died Dec. 5th 1908.

Walter Wilson’s Shop Wheatley Hill opened Feb. 11th 1908.

Old Age Pensions 5/- per week, age limit 70 years. Jan 1st 1909.

Dr. Ryan & Dr. Russell commenced their practice at Wheatley Hill & removed to Wheatley Hill. Feb. 12th 1909.

Catholic School on the Thornley road opened Sept. 20th 1909.

Electric power cable erected from Thornley Colliery to Wingate 1910.

Miners Hall at Wheatley Hill Colliery opened Sept. 29th 1910.

Robert Fawkes, shaftsman at Wheatley Hill Colliery, fell from the Hutton Seam to Harvey Seam at the No. 2 Pit and was killed. Feb. 3rd. 1911.

Great Air Race with Aeroplanes around England. First Prize£10,000.The Aeroplanes passed over the East of Durham, Nr. Cassop and Thornley in the race.1911.

Weekly Pays for Miners at Wheatley Hill Colliery commenced Aug. 24th 1912.

New Infants School at Wheatley Hill opened Aug. 30 th 1912.

Sherburn Hill Co. Op. Society Branch Store at Wheatley Hill opened April 13th 1912.

Miners National Strike for a minimum wage, lasting 6 weeks and ended in favour of the Miners, ended April 12th 1912.

The National Contribution Unemployment Act came into operation June 12th 1912.

Haswell Co. Op. Society excursion to Manchester, Blackpool and Liverpool. Aug.17th 1912.

Damage to No. 1 Pit shaft, Wheatley Hill by the falling of waterpipes down the shaft, causedthe No 1 Pit to be idle for 8 weeks. Feb. 21st 1913.

Allotment Gardens at Crown House, Wheatley Hill. Cropped the first year. 1913.

Electric Power for hauling and pumping engines, commenced at Wheatley Hill, June 15th 1913.

Journal of T.W.Thompson 2.


The Palace Theatre at Wheatley Hill opened Nov.18th 1913.

N.E.Railway Motor Bus Service between Thornley and Wheatley Hill to Station,commenced Oct. 20th 1913.

The United Motor Bus Company Service between Durham, Coxhoe and Wheatley Hill, commenced Oct.12th 1913.

Haswell Co. Op. Society Branch Store rebuilt at Wheatley Hill. Opened July 12th 1914.

Mr. J. Wilson, secretary to the Durham Miners Association died March 23rd. 1915.

The Theatre Royal, Shotton Colliery , Built and opened July 18th 1914.

Electric Fan Engine commenced to work at Wheatley Hill, March 8th 1915.

“Windy Monday, the strongest Hurricane of wind which swept all of the County Of Durham and doing great damage to property and all. The strongest wind on record Jan 7th 1839.”

Military Service. Bill for all single men came into operation at the age 19 years to 40 years of age. March 1916.

Zeppelin Raid on Sunderland, Hetton, Easington Kelloe and other Colliery places, and the Zeppelin was brought down in flames at Hartlepool and all lost. Nov.27th 1916.

Capt. Burdon, the only son of Mr. Burdon, Castle Eden Castle, Co. Durham, killed in an Aeroplane accident Nr, Leeds Jan.9th 1916.

Durham County Colliery Surface Workers granted a 8 ½ hour day. Jan 6th 1919.National Coal Miners Strike to meet the high cost of living, for an advance of 2/- per day when the Labourers Wages and all wages were14/6 per day and other classes of labour were very high.

Settled in favour of the Miners on condition of Output. The Strike lasting 3 weeks. Strike settled Nov.5th. 1920.

The Wingate Road, between Thornley Junction and the Fir Tree Hotel, Wingate, lit by electric light, by the Weardale Coal Company. Dec.7th 1920.

The United Motor Bus Company extended their routes from Durham to Easington Lane and Bus  companys began to start and spend all the outlying Districts all over the County. Motor Cars and Buses becoming very popular. Dec. 8th 1919.

MR. J.T.Simpson, Chief Engineer to the Weardale Steel & Coal Company at Thornley and Wheatley Hill Collieries, was killed by a runaway Horse & Trap while he was with his Motor Car near Darlington. June 19th 1921.

Wheatley Hill Ambulance commenced Jan 1st 1924.

Wheatley Hill Colliery Houses lit with electric light at the rate of 1/- per week.Oct 9th 1924.

Wheatley Hill Aged Miners Homes, first block opened 1924,second block of houses opened April 1925.

Wheatley Hill Colliery Scheme Houses opened April 1925.

Mr J.A.Simpson appointed Manager at Wheatley Hill Colliery. June 1925.

Wheatley Hill Colliery Nurses Homes opened July 31st 1926.

Wheatley Hill Colliery Welfare & Recreation Ground opened July 17th 1926.

Durham County Colliery Surface Workers working day extended from 46 ½ hours a week to 49 hours a week exclusive of Mealtime. Nov.26th 1926.

Wheatley Hill Colliery Chimney 150 ft. Built 1902, repaired 1926.

New road between Thornley, Ludworth and Haswell.The Northern Bus Company was the first Bus Company to run passenger Buses on the new road.Opened to the public April 23rd 1927.


Journal of T.W.Thompson-page 3


Mr J.A.Simpson, Manager at Wheatley Hill Colliery removed from West House Cemetery Road to Weardale House Church Street. July 10th 1927.

Wheatley Hill Farm, old building on the Rock, repaired and some of the old stables made into a private Blacksmith and Horse Shoeing Shop. Sept. 15th 1927.

New road at Wheatley Hill, near to the Colliery Shops & Pityard, and new Coal Depots for the workmens firecoal opened Oct. 12th 1928.

New Winding Engine & Pithead Gear at No. 1 Shaft Wheatley Hill & new High Pressed Boilers, commenced Dec.8th 1928.

The winter of 1928. Very severe and cold. January and February 1929, snow and frost all the two months and one of the severest frosts known for many years occurred from 10th ‘till 20th of February.Fires were lit at Wheatley Hill Colliery down East Shaft at Bank to keep the frost from doing damage to the electric cables. Also, High Force Waterfalls and all the lakes in the west of County Durham were frozen. Feb. 1929.

No. 2 Pit Winding Engine at Wheatley Hill Colliery removed and altered to High Pressed Boilers of 150 lb  pressure. Commenced to work May 28th 1929.

Mr. Alex Clark, on hearing the cries of four persons trapped in a house fire at Sunderland, went to their rescue and was lost. Great sums of money were collected for his widow and three children and 100,000 people were at his funeral at Sunderland. June 29th 1929.

The Meadow Dairy Company Ltd. Opened at No 6 Granville Terrace, Wheatley Hill Colliery, transferred to the Front Street Wheatley Hill and opened for business Sept 26th 1929.

A record year for potatoes, extra large stocks on the market selling at the low price of 2/- per 8 stone bag, free delivery.

The Aerial Flight erected at Wheatley Hill Colliery for the tipping of stone and refuse from the Pit at the south side of the Pit. Commenced to work Oct. 21st 1929.

7 ½ hours Act for Coal Miners plus one winding time, not to exceed one hour per day or the alternative of the spreadover of 5 days at 8 hours per day and a 5 hour day on Saturday, making a total of 45 hours per week came into operation Dec. 1st 1930.

The Miners Welfare Hall & Pavillion in the Recreation Ground Wheatley Hill opened Jan. 31st 1931.

Washaway Closets and improved sanitary conditions at Wheatley Hill Colliery houses commenced March 1931.

One of the most unsettled summer months for rain & cold weather & especially at the weekend causing great loss to Carnival & Sports. Summer 1931.

One of the worst weeks for Coal trade for many years at Thornley Colliery & Wheatley Hill Colliery. Wheatley Hill Colliery working 2 days & Thornley Colliery working one day in the week. Aug. 29th 1931.

Shaft accident at Wheatley Hill Colliery No. 2 Pit, during coal work, the ascending cage split a guide & came into collision with the descending cage at meetings, doing great damage to the cages & caused the  No.2 Pit to be idle for a week to repair the damage, Sept. 22nd 1931.

After a 30 year controversy in the Houses of Commons, a general tariff on certain imported goods came into operation, thus ending free trade in the British Isles. The Conservative Government in power March 1932. A few goods that was remarkably cheap in price :

Flour ….1/2d per stone , Tea …1/- per lb., Bacon …8d per lb. March 1932.



Journal of T.W.Thompson …page 4


Football: Durham County Junior Challenge Cup competition. A remarkable match between Coxhoe Juniors & Wheatley Hill Juniors, the game played six times before the game was decided. Wheatley Hill  winning . Jan. 30th 1932.

The new coal face & conveying machine called “the Skip” began working at Wheatley Hill Colliery at the No. 1 Pit & after the Pit being idle for two days & a good many scores of coals standing, the No.1 Pit broke the record in scores on the board. The  scores being:

No.1 Pit …13910      No 2 Pit …11100      Low Main …5600       Sept. 9th 1932.

A remarkable fine summer, with a large amount of sunshine, especially the first two weeks in the month of August, when 90 deg. of heat was registered in the shade in London & the north at Newcastle-on- Tyne.Garden crops was a record & in Ireland, the potato crop was a extra large crop. Year 1932.

Moores Stores of groceries and provisions. Shop opened at Wheatley Hill, Oct 1932.

Wheatley Hill Colliery, the Main Coal seam began to be worked by means of a drift from the Hutton Seam in the Greenhills district at the No 2 Pit. Oct. 10th 1932.

The Wesleyan Chapel Primative Chapel & United Methodists Chapels united to one Chapel & called the Methodist Church. Sept. 1932.

The winter of 1932/33 noted for so mild weather until Jan. 14th 1933, when a severe storm of snow & frost came. The rivers Tyne…Wear …Tees were frozen, and the frost resembled the same as the frost in the year 1929. Fires had to be lit at Wheatley Hill Colliery down East Shaft, the frost lasting 14 days.Great sport on the ice all over the North of England.

One of the worst storms of snow and frost for 25 years. The snow falling ‘till the roads were several feet high with snow drifts and all passenger buses etc., were unable to travel, the storm lasting about 10 days. Storm commenceFeb. 17th 1933.

Thornley Colliery Pit Head Baths opened for general use Jan. 10th  1933.

No. 2 Pit at Wheatley Hill Colliery replaced with new guides in the Shaft & finished. May 28th 1933.

The Washaway Closet & Urinal situated in the Colliery Yard, for the use of all workmen at the Wheatley Hill Colliery opened for general use. May 3rd. 1933.

One of the finest summers on record, the temperature often 90 degrees & seven heatwaves & haytime & harvest were finished by the end of August, being a month earlier than usual. People lived a good deal out of doors & Farm Wells & Ponds were all dried up. Many fires in Timber Yards & Moors in the County with the County being so dry.Drought ended Oct. 1st. 1933.

Mr. M. Barrass, the Manager at Wheatley Hill Colliery for many years and afterwards Agent to the Thornley, Wheatley Hill & Ludworth Collieries, making a total of over 30 years connected with the above Collieries, died suddenly after only a few days illness at Thornley House, Thornley Colliery. Age 71 years. Nov.10th 1933.

The early part of the winter in the year 1933 very foggy & rough weather & many accidents occurred with the fog. A ship was lost in the Atlantic Ocean with 30 lives lost, a ship was lost in the English Channel 12 lives lost. An Airship was lost in Belguim with a loss of 10 lives & one of the worst Railway accidents occurred in France, when a Express Train crashed in the fog. 200 lost. Dec.8th 1933.



Journal of T.W.Thompson …page 5

 The Haswell Co-Op Society Ltd. Established in the year 1865, became one of the leading stores in the North. The above Store had holiday excursions to London/Edinburgh/ Blackpool etc. & was very popular until the Miners Strike in the year 1926, when the above Store began to fall off sales & became bankrupt & failed. Sherburn Hill Co-Op taking the whole of the business. Jan 20th 1934.

The alteration in the buzzer blowing for the Pit to be idle at Wheatley Hill Colliery. The buzzer blowing on the Saturday for the Pit to be idle on the Monday, the buzzer blew the first time on the Saturday at 6.00pm July 28th 1934.

The new electric Coal Cutter & Conveyer, the first electric machinery to be used in the Mine at Wheatley Hill Colliery, except for handling engines, pumps etc., commenced work in the Busty Seam, No. 1 Pit. April 17th 1934.

Two new Motor Trolleys commenced to work at Wheatley Hill Colliery, one to lead the workmans firecoal & the other one for general use & to lead coal to private buyers of 1 cwt. Bags of coal, sold by the Colliery. The first household coal to be sold at Wheatley Hill Colliery in 1 cwt. Bags commenced Sept. 1st 1934.

Wheatley Hill Carnival & Sports assisted by the Colliery Company, held in the Recreation Ground & the fields adjoining, for the first time & the weather very warm & fine. Was a great success. July 6th 1934.

Bread & all kinds of cakes & 1d. bundles of firewood, the first bundles of firewood to be sold in Colliery Villages to a large extent. Year 1934.

Poultry Farming with the provision of Poultry and Poultry Houses to help the unemployed was commenced in the land in Cemetery Road at Wheatley Hill Colliery. March 1935.

Record scores of coal at the No.2 Pit Wheatley Hill Colliery for an ordinary days drawing.

Scores on board 15310   Oct. 10th 1935.

The largest funeral ever seen at Wheatley Hill Colliery, when Mr. P. Lee, late Checkweighman at the Colliery, was buried at Wheatley Hill Cemetery. Mr. Lee, being so well known, and connected with many positions in the Unions and Councils Work , was represented at his funeral by Coal Owners Members of Parliament, Colliery Managers & all classes of labour. The Cortage being a mile long. June 20th 1935.

The worst coal depression in the coal trade at Wheatley Hill Colliery & Thornley Colliery when 450 men & boys at Wheatley Hill Colliery & 300 men & boys at Thornley Colliery received 14 days notice to cease work owing to no demand for coal. April 9th 1935.

The first cargo of Petrol, produced from Coal, was shipped at Billingham on the River Tees into the steamer “Ottoman” , 3000,000 gallons. April 1st 1935.

Thornley Colliery celebrated their Centenary of coal drawing, when the first coal drawn from Thornley Colliery was shipped at Hartlepool Docks, which was newly opened on July 9th 1835, the Colliery Company in former years had bad times & the company went bankrupt & failed & could not pay the Miners wages due to them, and there was a (Putt Pay ?).no wages in the year 1884 & after the Colliery being idle over a short while, was opened by the Weardale Steel & Coke Company which had worked the Thornley, Ludworth & Wheatley Hill Collieries for many years & with the present new coal cutters, conveyers and all the modern machinery making 100 years coal drawing & made the District a very popular centre

With all the modern traffic on the roads. July 7th 1935.





Journal of T.w.Thompson …page 6.


The Public Urinal for gentlemen only, situated on the site near the Rock Buildings, Wheatley Hill Colliery, rebuilt & opened for general use. July 14th 1935.

The summer of the year 1935, the hottest on record according to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London. The summer was late in coming after a late & cold spring, snow and cold weather ‘till the end of June, when the heat came and lasting ‘till the end of August& no rain for 6 weeks. Haytime & harvesting finished by the end of August. Year 1935.

Great storm of wind & hurricane at the rate of 90 miles per hour & lasting 2 days, doing great damage at Sunderland and all the North of the Country. Great loss of life at sea & many buildings blown down in the North. Oct 19th 1935.

The Public Telephone Box transferred from the General Post Office at Wheatley Hill, to the site in the Main Street for the public to use the telephone any time, day & night & all the villages & towns the same. The Public Telephone Box being in the Main Streets & popular places & open day & night for the general use of the public. Year 1935.

The new fan engine, electric driven and cotton ropes to the fan shaft at Wheatley Hill Colliery, commenced to work. Jan 12th 1936.

The worst storm of wind and rain on record & in the North East the wind 60 to 100 miles per hour & much damage done to houses at Wheatley Hill Colliery by roofs being blown off & many people injured & killed in the storm. Jan 10th 1936.

The Street Lamps improved at Colliery places & coloured lamps 1000 candle power at the busiest crossings etc. in the County of Durham. The big lamps lit at Wheatley Hill in the street & busy crossings. Jan 1st 1936.

One of the worst winters on record& resembled the winter of the year 1916. Frost & snow on the ground 6 months & the weather exceptionally cold & many storms & one of the strongest storms of wind. Great loss of life on land and sea. Year 1935-6.

Great change at Wheatley Hill Colliery Power Station. The Colliery Company scrapped the turbine electric engines & commenced to buy all the electric current for machinery and everything on the Colliery. All engines had to have new motors for the new current &  the new steam turbine compressed air engine commenced & the Colliery Buzzer to be blown by compressed air. Jan 1936.

The worst Easter Holidays on record for snow. Frost & cold North Winds after a long and severe winter. Holiday resorts deserted & great loss to the Holiday Resorts etc., with the general public having to stay at home. April 10th 1936.

Wheatley Hill Colliery Houses. Slum clearing commenced when; Patton Street, Web Street,

(Friary ? Street) etc., were closed and the tenants removed to Council Houses.Aug 1936.

The summer of the year 1936, following a very cold & late springtime & cold weather until July. Poor haytime ,when the weather improved and garden crops and especially flowers, were a record. Year 1936.

The Illuminations & Floodlights, the first of any importance in the North of England and was visited by many people, commenced at Roker, Nr. Sunderland --1936.

Durham County Surface Workers commenced a 48 hours week, exclusive of meal times & a basic wage of 4/3d per day. May 1st 1937

The longest autumn drought for the last century ended towards the end of October when little rain had fallen for the last few weeks & on the west coast of England the sunniest Autumn ever remembered. Oct. 1937.


Journal of T.W.Thompson …page 7


The severest storms at the early part of December & lasting 3 weeks. Road traffic was all held up in many districts and more snow and ice on the roads than for a number of years. A large number of Roadmen were at work to remove the snow & ice from the roads and many accidents in all the districts. Dec 1937.

The new Workmans Club on the Council Houses Estate transferred from Crows House Estate Wheatley Hill. Opened March 5th 1938.

Durham County Miners & all Surface Workers, Mechanics, Enginemen, etc., commenced a summer holiday of 6 days with pay. 3 days in the summer 1938 and the 6 days holiday each year afterwards to commence year 1939.

The longest drought in the spring of the year 1938 will be long remembered as there has not been a drought to equal it since the year 1865. Spring grown crops etc. suffering very much for the want of rain. Little rain for 3 months. Year 1938

No 2 Pit Winding Engine replaced with a new drum. New steam brake and overwinding apparatus, when the Pit was idle 5 days to do the work.Commencing with the work on Good Friday & all the Easter weekend.The Pit commencing Coalwork on Thursday April 21st 1938.

The new picture hall, “The Regal”, situated on the Wilkinsons Estate, Nr. Workmans Club, opened Sept. 19th 1938.

The new Senior Girls School, situated on the Wilkinsons Estate at Wheatley Hill, opened Oct. 17th 1938.

The Palace Theatre in the Front Street at Wheatley Hill Colliery, remodelled and improved and named “ The Royalty”, opened under the new name Dec. 1st 1938.

The new picture house at Thornley Colliery, “ The Ritz”, opened March 30th 1939.

Wheatley Hill Pithead Baths opened September 16th 1939.

The most severest winter for the last 50 years. The weater very mild until January 1st when a heavy snow storm and the frost, most severe, causing much damage to kitchen boilers to explode and loss of life in the homes. The household water being frozen for 14 days, the storm lasting 31 days. Commencing Jan 1st , Winter 1939-1940.

Old Age Pensions increased to £1/15/00 per week Married People & 19/6d Single people August 1940.

A heavy snow storm stopping all traffic in the roads and railways for a week. The Pits being idle for a week through the snow. Roads had to be cut in the streets and roads for traffic. Storm commenced Feb. 18th 1941.

The Aeriel Flight changed to the new standards for the tipping of stone etc. May 1941.

Wheatley Hill Colliery. The 5/4 Seam of coal re-opened &commenced to work May 1941.

The Cage guides repaired at No 1 Pit and Keps & CC repaired & new Kep Bunting at the No2 Pit Hutton Seam. Year 1942.

The Picture House “ The Ritz”, Thornley, burned dopwn April 1944.

The “Black Out” retriction cut and the Street Lights were put on 17 Sept. 1944.

The worst Autumn for 36 years for rain & bad weather. Rain falling for 3 months, harvest late and a large quantity spoiled with rain etc.. Potatoes could not be got out of the fields and large quantity spoiled and farm work a lot behind time. Year 1944.





Journal of T.W.Thompson ….page 8.


Thornley Welfare Hall, Thornley Colliery, the largest and best public building in the district. Burned down and estimated damage £20,000.0.0d Nov.14th 1944.

One of the worst winter months for many years with storms of snow, wind, thunder and lightning. The snow etc. caused the Pits to be idle two days. Bad weather all the month. January 1945.

Horden Colliery, the largest in the County of Durham, exceeded the coal drawing week ending 15 th Oct. 1945, 22885 tons of coal drawn in one week.

Blackhall Colliery exceeded the coal target. Drawing 12,000 tons for the week ending April 10th 1946.

Durham County Retired Mineworkers, Engineers & Mechanics, commenced to receive free firecoal according to local agreements. April 1st 1946.

Revival of Durham Miners Gala. The above not been held for 6 years owing to the war etc.. The Prime Minister Mr. Atlee, Mr H Dalton, Chancellor Of The Exchequer and other speakers attended. July 20th. 1946.

A late and cold spring 7 a very wet summer causing a lot of damage to corn & the harvest being late. Year 1946.

The Nationalisation of Coal Mines in England, Scotland and Wales. The State owning & working all the Coal Mines began Jan 1st 1947.

Owing to the stormy  winter & snow & rain, no farm work & gardening done until April 15th 1947.

Mr. J.A.Simpson, Manager at Wheatley Hill Colliery. Removed to Crook Nr. Durham .June 1947.

The National Insurance for free Medical, Unemployment, Sickness, Old Age, Pensions etc., commenced July 5th 1948.

Mr. Culine, Show & Amusements etc., visited Wheatley Hill Showground, adjoining the Recreation Ground and stayed 4 weeks ending Nov. 5th 1948.

Mr. T.Kenny, aged 66, Wheatley Hill. The first person in County Durham to win the V.C. in the War 1914-18. Mr. Kenny won the award on Nov. 4th 1915 when he made a vain attempt to save his officers life, while under rifle fire from the enemy. Died Nov. 30th 1948.

Mr. T. Waters, Steeplejack, killed at Shotton Colliery whilst repairing the Colliery Chimney, the second Steeplejack to be killed at Shotton  Colliery since the Pit commenced in the year 1900. Nov. 28th 1948.

A very mild & open winter & no snow & little frost to stop road traffic all winter. Only one snow storm in March. Winter 1948-49.

Haswell Colliery being demolished & the Winding Engine Houses, Beam Pump Engine House pulled down.Year 1949.Records of the Colliery show that the Colliery was sunk in 1838 & a big strike in 1844 & a big explosion Sept 1844, with a loss of 95 lives. The Colliery being the first Colliery to use Pit Cages in the Shaft for lowering men & coal drawing. Jan.1949.

Timber fire causes £1,000,000 damage at timber yards. 30 acres of Pit Timber being destroyed with the fire at Seaton Carew, Nr. Hartlepool. The fire lasting 2 days.

45 Fire Engines, 200 Firemen, 400 Soldiers, 200 Policemen, 20 miles of Hosepiping to be used before the fire was got under control, no lives lost. April 27th 1949.

The new Coal Motor, Rolly End Tipping, carrying 4 loads of workmens coal commenced June 1949.

Death of The Rev. P.T.Casey, Vicar of Wheatley Hill for 40 years. Aug.18th 1949.

Journal of W.H.Thompson …page 8.


The Rev. A. Preston, Vicar of Wheatley Hill, commenced duties , Xmas 1949.

A remarkable summer, following a very mild winter, with little snow & rain, Resevoirs etc. very low. The dryest summer on record, the drought ended Oct. 1949.

One of the coldest & bad weather at Easter, biting cold. Wind and heavy showers of sleet etc. during the holidays. April 10th 1950.

One of the coldest & late spring season for many years.Storms of snow and sleet, cold winds & frost ‘till the month of April, making garden etc. , very late.Year 1950.

Death of Bradbury of the £.Note. Lord Bradbury, the man whose signature gave the name of Bradbury to the Treasury Notes, issued in the year 1914, when Gold Coins were withdrawn. Lord Bradbury 77 years old, died May 4th 1950.

One of the coldest late spring on record. Cold North-East wind for 8 weeks, April & May, when the weather improved & fine weather commenced on the first week of June. Year 1950.

An Electric Clock in Front Street, Wheatley Hill & 2 small brass tablets containing the names of the men who lost their lives in the war 1939-45, a service conducted by the Rev. A..Preston, Vicar of Wheatley Hill & Mr. Thursley, resident Methodist Minister. The unveiling of the clock by Miss A. Hutchinson. July 19th 1950.

One of the latest and unsettled summers on record with rain & bad weather on all the general holidays.Haytime & Harvest very late. Year 1950.

One of the worst accidents of modern times, when an explosion occurred at Easington Colliery, Co. Durham, when 81 lives & 2 Rescue Workers were lost.May 29th 1951 & followed by another explosion at Appleton Colliery with a loss of life a few days later. 92 lives lost in the two explosions.May 29th 1951.

A remarkable fine & long summer with good weather from Feb. ‘till August/September.Good crops of fruit, vegetables & flowers were wonderful.All holidays and Shows a success & harvesting all finished by the end of September. Year 1952.

Trams which commenced in the year about 1900 in all the large towns, London, Newcastle etc., discontinued & buses was used for the service of the public & all tram lines pulled up and scrapped. Year 1952.

With Motor Buses being used for the public in most places, all Passenger Trains ceased to run and all Passenger Stations closed only Main Line open. Year 1952.


Compilers Note.

                        There are several more items in Tom’s Journal, but as his heath deteriorated, his writing became unintelligible and very hard to understand, so I have not included these in this collection.

                                                                                             Bob Ferry.