Coquet and Coast Forum

Coquet and Coast Forum (
-   The Lost Villages, Radcliffe and Chevington Drift. (
-   -   'The Colliery Polis' (

jumpy shore 13-06-2018 05:26 PM

'The Colliery Polis'
I was fascinated to hear recent recollections of the 'colliery polis' (colloq). I'd never heard of such a law enforcement officer, even in my mining days, but apparently they were once a force to be reckoned with!

Does anyone remember them and what, if any, powers they had? This recollection was specific to Radcliffe and Hauxley but I can't imagine they only existed here?

Coquet 14-06-2018 07:12 PM

I recall the security officer at Whittle. I can picture the guy but cannot remember his name. He spent a lot of time in the powder magazine? Did he have two jobs or just like it in there?
Only ever went in the powder magazine once with Ronnie Cadwallender*, electrician. We were mucking about with the lights for some reason.

(*who can remember him? I went to Ellington Colliery and ended up working in the same 'continuous miner' flat with his brother Freddy Cadwallender, also an electrician. )

Coquet 14-06-2018 07:33 PM

There are a number of incidents of minor crime recorded on colliery premises making it to court and thus published in the press. I can see reports from the 50s and 60s where the 'colliery security officer' generally gets a mention. It's mostly petty theft and vandalism. Nothing specific for our local collieries but I'm sure they are there somewhere.

jumpy shore 15-06-2018 08:54 AM

I remember Ronnie very well, I learned lots from him and Sid during my couple of months in the Electrical Workshops at Whittle. (interesting and unusual surname I always thought).

I have no recollection of a security guy at Whittle! Who was he? I do remember a guy who shared the training office with Dougie Waller the training officer but never knew who he was. He was often found in front of the fire in the Joiners shop where you had to knock to get in, it was locked from the inside!

The only time I went to the powder magazine was when I did my face training (Y62 topside) to collect the 'powder box' for the days shot firing, never got inside though!

Alan J. 15-06-2018 06:14 PM

Was Peter Mattison not the security officer for Whittle ?

Coquet 16-06-2018 08:52 AM


Originally Posted by Alan J. (Post 7404)
Was Peter Mattison not the security officer for Whittle ?

Could be. He was ex-police or ex-army I seem to remember.

Did Shilbottle have one?

Coquet 16-06-2018 09:24 AM


The only time I went to the powder magazine was when I did my face training (Y62 topside) to collect the 'powder box' for the days shot firing, never got inside though!
You and I did our face training on the same face probably withing months of each other. Were you with a filler called Dickinson from somewhere over Wansbeck? I recall the more I filled off the slower he went!

We are probably among the youngest in the country to have done the 'old style' longwall mining. Nearly all the other collieries were mechanised by that time. Quite an experience really. I've been around a bit since then; oil refineries, offshore rigs, power stations - nothing even comes close for the unique experience, it's like nothing else.

Derilda 16-06-2018 02:28 PM

Re Broomhill Colliery polis.
I have recollection of a George Caruthers as 'The Colliery Polis'. I can't add any more to that. It is just a name I was 'Threatened with' when my mother told me not to get up to any mischief. As if?

Alan J. 17-06-2018 06:36 AM

The Colliery Pollis for Broomhill,Hauxley and the old Newburgh pit was Billy Carruthers. He had been an underground worker at Hauxley and got the job because he was a special constable and the previous occupant, an ex policeman, called Appleby retired. As for Shilbottle having one I would think the Whittle man would also cover there too.

jumpy shore 18-06-2018 11:48 AM

'Salty' Dickinson is the name I remember he was from Bedlington and I had the same experience the more I filled the less he did! I think face training lasted a month, I wonder why it was only filling and not bumping, drilling or cutting?
I too travelled widely, African mines, Ships, platforms, petro - chemical plants, then the Fire Service and Civil Service - who'd have thought it? Not what I expected when I was waiting for Smiths bus at 2130 on a Sunday evening to do my face training on Y62!

jumpy shore 18-06-2018 11:54 AM

I remember Peter Maddison now that you mention him, I never knew what he did! I thought he was a van driver as thats the only place I ever saw him other than I once met him at Brotherwick Sidings (in his van) when I was helping repair train. Ken Middlemiss was driving it he used to live near me in Amble.

jumpy shore 18-06-2018 11:59 AM

The name Caruthers seems to come up quite often, wasn't the chap in the Radciffe TV clip of the same name?

Digvul 22-06-2018 04:54 PM

The man in the Radcliffe video was Temple Caruthers. His father was called Sam. I think Billy Caruthers was Sam's brother and Temple's uncle but I'm not absolutely sure. I remember all three of them very well.

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:51 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.