Memories of  WASHINGTON

Who runs this website?


Meet The Editor
James Gill  BSc CEng MIET
Proud to be a Pitman!

Yours Truly

Did Our Paths Cross in the 1950s / 60s ... or later, at The Pit?

1.  Born 1947 in my Grandmother's house - 40, Tyne Gardens.  I spent my first year at The Squatters - 55b, Hostel Estate.

2.  Playing in the muck outside our new prefab - 30, Usworth Green.

3.  Getting a bit of practise in for when I bought my first motor bike - a Panther 250.  I used it to travel to Wardley Colliery.

4.  The least said about that outfit, the better!

5.  Living in a 'real' house now - 15, Don Gardens - with my wonderful little sister, Vivienne.  She's the gregarious one!

6.  Why was I all spruced up?

7.  On the south bank of the River Wear near the Victoria Viaduct.  (This time I know why!)

8.  Up an old tree in a clearing beside Oxclose Burn, in the middle of Oxclose Dene.

9.  Retired and thinking what to do next.  Create a website, perhaps!

Schools:  Usworth Colliery Junior Mixed School & Washington Grammar School (1958 intake).


1. Wages Clerk, NCB NE Area, 'A Group' HQ  ('F' Pit, Glebe, Usworth & Wardley) based at Usworth Hall (1963-64).

2. Apprentice Colliery Electrician / Colliery Electrician at Wardley / Follingsby Colliery (1964-68).

( ONC in Mining Engineering, followed by ONC in Electrical Engineering, gained at Hebburn Technical College during Apprenticeship. )

3. 'NCB Engineering Student' studying Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Sunderland Polytechnic. (1968-71).

( 4 Years, comprising 6 months of full time College ( U/G Electrician's Wages! ) followed by 6 months of Engineering Training. )

4. Appointed as an Engineering Trainee at Boldon Colliery (1971-72).

5. Technical Assistant to the Unit (Chief)) Electrical Engineer, Boldon Colliery (1972-75).

6. Deputy Electrical Engineer, Vane Tempest Colliery (1975-76).

7. Deputy Electrical Engineer, Murton Colliery (1976-82).

8. Assistant Electrical Systems Engineer at NCB / British Coal, NE Area HQ, Coal House, Team Valley (1982-86).

9. Area Electrical Systems Engineer (1986-89).  ( Reporting to the Area Electrical Engineer, who was directly responsible to the Area Director. )

10. Electrical Engineer - Technical Support, at British Coal, NE Area HQ, Grangetown, Sunderland (1989 - August 1994, Rtd).

Mining Unions:

1. Wages Clerk - NUM COSA - Colliery Officials and Staff Area (Clerical Section).

2. Apprentice Colliery Electrician / Colliery Electrician - NUM DURHAM MECHANICS (Colliery Craftsmen).

3. Engineering Trainee - BACM - British Association of Colliery Management.

Professional Qualifications:
Registered as a Chartered Engineer by the Engineering Council on the recommendation of

the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) - later, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Scores of people have contributed images and memories to this website.
On behalf of all our visitors ... Many Thanks.



James & Vivienne

Jim & Vivienne Gill ( later, Bell )

( Vivienne set the Website ball rolling!   More about my lovely sister at  What's Where / People / Bell - Vivienne. )


Grandma Gill and Cousins

For My Lovely Cousins ...

Grandma Ethel Gill holding Valerie Carroll.
Clockwise from the top: Marie & Linda Carroll with Jacqueline Gill wearing the ribbon.