Antiquarians mine a rich seam of local knowledge in talk

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Morpeth Antiquarian ­Society

At the March meeting of Morpeth Antiquarian Society Mr Mike Walton began his talk on Winning the Coals by introducing dialect words associated with mining.

He went on to describe the history of local coal mining and different types of coal. He named many well known collieries and some of the disasters, such as explosions and flooding, which had taken place in them.

Mr Walton pointed out that thousands of mines have been replaced by open cast mining. Only three deep mines still exist in the UK, which now relies heavily on imported coal.

Chris Hudson thanked Mr Walton for his interesting talk with local relevance as many members had friends or relatives who had worked in the pits.

The MAS Museum Group is working on its exhibition to be held in the Town Hall on June 13 and 14. It is based on the First World War and Morpeth up to 1915. Maurice Teasdale asked for information on the names on the Morpeth Cenotaph. The group’s project on the First World War with students from King Edward VI School is going well. John Sadler had presented a well attended lecture, the third in the ongoing series linked to this work.

An exciting three-day festival of street entertainment, indoor events, music, dance, craft, dialect and traditional fun is a description of the 48th Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering. Held this weekend, from Friday to Sunday, this year’s theme is War and Peace. The Chairman of the Gathering Kim Bibby-Wilson showed posters illustrating some of the events.

The Reed Neet Supper, Northumberland’s answer to Burns Night, has been organised for Saturday, April 25. Pre-booking is essential. Details from 01668 281462.

Visitors are welcome at the next MAS meeting, the AGM and a short talk followed by a pooled supper, on April 24, at 7.15pm, in St James’s’ Centre.