Can you remember ?

Posted on 12th May 2016 | in Community , Opinion

Can you remember when Amble UDC and Joint Burial Board had a very good workforce. Shortly after Dad began working for the Burial Board in 1939 he was called up for the army, on his return he became cemetery superintendent working with Bill Grey and Joe Nicholson, digging the graves, cutting the grass, keeping the footpaths tidy, clearing some of the autumn leaves in the cemetery and West Avenue, also keeping the east cemetery tidy.

In 1945, he transferred to the council as foreman overseer for the workforce of the refuse dept., street sweeping, grass cutting, the street lighting, the water system, clearing street drains and the town clock maintenance.
The grassed areas were Bay View Promenade, Hall Bank Well, War Memorial Garden and the Caravan site. The team also helped Mr Henderson, the welfare caretaker, cutting the grass for the Amble Feast handicap race day. I believe Tommy Lawton, a Newcastle footballer won one year. There was a good team of council workmen, the refuse collectors were Tommy Dixon, Albert Mossman, Ernie Bocking, Bill Lillico, George Hindhaugh, and Harold Braithwaite; there were still earth closets at this time. Other workers were Geordie Wood, Bill Grey, Tommy Donachie, Jack O’ Keefe, Ronnie Scott, Bert Isham, George Aitman and Mr. Clark who worked on street sweeping, checking street lighting, providing cover on all sections of the council work areas.

My father had to visit Hazon/Morwick reservoirs on a regular basis to check the Amble water system established in 1896-97. He was sometimes called out at night when it was high tide as some houses flooded at the harbour area, the tidal backwash at the sewer exit at the little shore caused the flooding. There was very little he could do (he was no King Canute) Father wrote the enclosed poem which he sent to Mr Rodgett, surveyor and overseer for the council.

Dad retired in 1972 after about 27 years of service with A.U.D.C/Burial Board. On the day before his retirement, he pruned the roses that he had bought and planted at the top of the Wynd, memorial garden and the A.U.D.C caravan park.
I apologise if I have forgotten any of the workers names. Could some of the funding generated by the development centre be used by the A.U.D.C to employ some men to carry out some of tasks in Amble.

Joan Shepherd

A new Broom   A poem written by Dad

My days are past and over
I’m sorry I cannot do any more
So will you please buy another
To sweep the dirty road-floor

When next you go Newcastle way
And to the stores you come

Just go inside and say
I’ve come to buy a broom

This is from Jack & George
With us you must agree
For in your pocket you have to search
It’s a new broom we want you see