The Sportsmans Arms

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The Sportsman’s Arms now Known as the Scullery

The Sportsman’s Arms closed on the 05-02-2010 when it closed it was left empty for a few years until a plumbing business opened up a showroom and office in the premises the company owners decided as they were not using all of the building so decided to rent out the old lounge at the rear of the pub

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The Sportsmans Arms Silksworth was once one of the most important buildings in Silksworth

Images taken by Dave Bell

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I took these images from the bottom of High Newport Allotments in May 2010 when the Sportsman’s Arms sadly closed and ended one of the last places that was used and built for the miners and their families of Silksworth very little remains of the miners heritage in Silksworth nowadays

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The once proud sign of the Sportsman’s Arms now looks tired and weary

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Notice the boarded up windows and The Sportsmans Arms sign still swinging as if everything was ok image taken on a wet and windy very cold day

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Close up of the sign on the rear wall of The Sportsmans Arms which closed in May 2010 because of lost revenue caused by very few local people using the public house

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The Sportsmans Arms puplic house built for the miners of Silksworth in 1871 as Silksworth Colliery grew new houses were built for the miners and their families and not forgetting why The Sportsmans Arms built for the miners when they had finished their shifts and to socialise when not working

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Silksworth Colliery shaft was sunk in 1869 In 1871, according to the Census there were approx 800 people living in the Silksworth and Tunstall areas, the local area was mainly farmland and where most people worked on the land.

Tomato’s Grown on High Newport Allotments

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Gardeners Delght seedlngs sown on the 23-02-18 seed bought from Wilkos

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Image of the aluminium greenhouse where I grow my tomato’s the greenhouse is very old and I have been using it for about fifteen years

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I was preparing the tomato’s for the coming season and you can see I have got about half of the greenhouse planted out the seedling are in the background amongst the chaos I have created

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The tomato’s in this image have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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Notice the grape vine growing on the right hand side

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Close up of the tomato’s which have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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The tomato variety shown in this image are my favourite Gardeners Delight which to grow very well and are not suspetable to many growing problems or diseases

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The tomatos look happy enough and seem to be growing well in their grow pots I always use grow bags as the base component for gowing them in

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Notice the grape vine which is a strawbery tasting type in the back ground its looking really healthy and the main thing it tastes great and there are no pips

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It normally takes about a week to get all the tomato plants into their grow pots and the other containers I use

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Sunday, 25 October 2020

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Murton Village

History Further information: History of County Durham

The discovery of coal beneath the fields of East Durham during the 19th century transformed the tiny hamlet of Morton into the thriving township of Murton.

Decades later, however, the decision to close Murton's successful colliery almost, but not quite, succeeded in turning the close-knit community into a ghost town. Millions of pounds in Government and private investment is now being pumped into Murton, changing the face of the former pit village on an almost daily basis.

Fewer than 100 people lived in the village of Murton before 1830 but, following the sinking of the mine in 1838, the population grew to 1,387 by 1851. Miners flocked to Murton from across County Durham and Northumberland in the early years, with people later uprooting from Devon, Cornwall and Ireland too. Many of the road and place names reflected the original roots of these pitmen, like the Cornwall estate, and dozens of different accents could be heard in the streets.

Work on the colliery – one of the pioneering mines of the East Durham coalfield, began on 19 February 1838 but it was five years before the first coals were drawn. Problems with pockets of shifting sand and the depth of the magnesium limestone overlying the coal delayed the work, making the project hugely expensive. Late shifts were even introduced for the first time so that excavation could be carried out around the clock to finish the three-shafted pit as quickly as possible.

Just five years after the colliery opened, however, there was an explosion on 15 August 1848, near the Polka East shaft, which killed 14 miners. The tragedy left villagers shaken, but the village itself continued to flourish. Indeed, by 1856 Murton was almost unrecognisable from the hamlet it had once been. Scores of terraced houses had been built to house the miners and the village now boasted three pubs, a new school, plus gas and coke works. As prospective miners continued to flood in, so the number of tradesmen grew, with Murton Colliery Co-operative Society helping to serve the village by 1890.

As the village flourished, so too did the colliery. It was modernised after World War I and, in 1922, a Koepe friction winding engine was installed in the West Pit. New pithead baths followed in 1939, described as being "of especially pleasant design," and Murton's swimming pool was opened in 1961.

But, despite high productivity and a loyal workforce, the decision was taken to close the pit in 1991. Campaigners fought against the plans, but failed to stop them. The Koepe winding engine was transferred to the Bowes Railway following the controversial closure and, in 1994, the colliery's winding tower was demolished. Murton's once-thriving pit community was now no more. Timeline

1830: Population 69
1838: Work on pit starts
1843: First coals drawn
1851: Population 1,395
1889: Electricity first used in pit
1892: Murton toll gates removed
1902: Three putters killed in pit, two aged 14, one aged 18
1906: Colliery draws 4,131 tons of coal in one day
1910: Miners strike over Eight Hours Bill
1913: Foundation stone laid for first council house
1914: First public telephone for Murton, based in post office
1922: Cenotaph unveiled
1923: Coal drawn from West Pit for first time
1927: Bus service to Sunderland introduced by Northern buses
1930: First "talking pictures" at Murton Empire
1931: Flush toilets put in colliery houses
1935: Miners started carrying electric lamps
1939: Pit head baths opened
1950: X-ray van visited Murton for the first time
1953: The first paid annual holiday leave of two weeks was introduced
1957: A new library was opened in Barnes Road
1958: Murton Brickworks closed
1961: Murton's swimming pool was opened
1982: First memorial service held to commemorate fatalities at Murton pit
1990: Miners fought to keep the pit open
1991: Murton Colliery was closed
1994: Pit winding tower demolished, despite being listed as a historic building