Trimdon Station is an offspring of Trimdon Village which was the original Trimdon. Trimdon Grange is also another branch of the parent village, the three Trimdons being very confusing to strangers.
The word Trimdon is commonly thought to have been derived from the time when King Canute in 1020 got off his horse at this spot, had his head shaved and travelled barefooted to the shrine of St. Cuthbert at Durham. Another version is that the word TREM came from a personal name of a Warwickshire hundred. In the Boldon Buke it was known as Tremeduna an Anglo Saxon version is Trull and dun -hill, Celtic dun fort.
Trimdon Colliery or New Trimdon was included in Deaf Hill-cum-Langdale, (Kelly’s Directory) and lies 591 feet above sea level west of Trimdon.
The rainfall is moderate and the air bracing and clear. An old custom was to take children suffering from whooping cough to stand on the Hilly Howley where it was supposed seven airs met.
Regular school holidays which are now unknown, were Royal Oak Day and Caviling Monday when families hired the local brakes and had a day at Blackhall Rocks. On the former holiday the scholars chanted “The 29th of May, Royal Oak Day, if you don’t give us holiday we’ll all run away.” It has been known that when the children were denied their holiday they locked their teachers in the school. Another faded custom was jarping.
This was at Easter when shopkeepers, publicans, and householders, boiled and dyed eggs with onion skins, whin flowers and other free dyes, then, while the children rolled their eggs on the whinney moors (now ploughed up) the teenagers jarped. This meant gently knocking your opponents Easter egg and whoever retained the whole one, claimed the cracked- one and went on to gain more, some winning eggs could win twenty or more.
.The colliery rows, houses with one large downstairs kitchen and one garret bedroom, reached by ladder-like stairs, were in close streets with the doors , opening straight on to the road. Parents slept downstairs, often in four poster beds facing the door and when there was a death in the house the corpse was laid on the trestles at the foot of the bed. In one such house in Lord Street the sympathisers were all crowded in the kitchen one dusky evening when a young girl looking for a resting place, backed on to the bier and accidentally caused the bier and the corpse to stand up. Needless to say that crowded kitchen was very soon empty.
On these door steps there was often to be seen a flat cake of bread 18 to 20 inches in diameter, resting on the lintel for cooling. These were known as stotty cakes.
What a difference now seeing the men going to and return from the pit like ordinary citizens, having had a bath and a change at the pit head baths. A different picture of the man returning like a black man with his tin can strung over his shoulder and his bait can under his arm. Mother used to have a wood tub or zinc bath waiting on the mat and a pan and kettle of water on the fire for her man’s daily bath in front of a roaring fire. These fires were kept burning night and day, and the round colliery ovens were always warm, with the hearth and underbars whitewashed every day. Open middens were at the back to hold the buckets of ashes which were cleared out daily. The toilets had large wooden seats, which were sometimes left open, resulting in someone’s downfall. These places were known, not as toilets, but as netties.
Continue reading “History of Trimdon Station”