Broompark Memories

Looking back at life in a Durham Village through photos and lives of residents past and present

Broompark Memories

This BLOG has been designed for the publication of memories pertaining to Broompark, County Durham.

This PAGE came to fruition after the success of Ushaw Moor Memories BLOG and the amount of INFO posted about Broompark.

Decided that Broompark needed a BLOG of it’s own.

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Loves

I have been told this week by someone who lives in Broompark that there are rumours in the village that The Loves will be reopening soon with the bar downstairs and upstairs converted to two flats.

She promised to let me know when, and if, this happens.

I’ll be there when it does – fingers crossed then eh?

Joe Grant in his house in Broompark ’50s


  • Ron Nightingale Could of been next to the cupboard space under the stairs in any of the old houses. Can you estimate a year on both of these photos.
  • Alison Hall Well it was b4 i was born, think its next to a massive fire place as far as i can remember me dad saying cos on a another photo u can see the old gas lamps , up above , I’m guessing sometime in the 50s , i was born in 66 but we where at nottimgham then and had been for some year’s, but think my granda died in his mid 60s cos i never meet him or my gran xx
 Grant (1)
  • Ron Nightingale Hi Alison, i cant remember the name Grant in Broompark but there were lots of families i never knew – like most of front st and the street behind front street. Was this photo taken in Ushaw.?
  • Alison Hall Hi ron this actual photo with me in was taken at Nottingham ham as my dad amd mam move there when he transferred to gelding pit after ushawmoor pit shut down , but the one with my granda was in a house in broompark x

Broompark this week

hello again.

as mentioned in my follow-up comment to Ron Nightingale I am trying to see if this post is noticed

I had reason to go through Broompark last week and had a little time to look around.

The newly installed brightly coloured swings in the old Rec that I mentioned a couple of months ago (did anyone see that post) were not being used – it was a school day and a bit chilly but they do look good. Nearer the road they have sited some gym type equipment too. In one silly moment I thought I should try them out – help my creaky bones a bit but then realised I would be in full view of all passing traffic, including buses and would be bound to make an egit of myself while I got the hang of them. I am not that keen on looking silly, even at this age!!

Needless to say the thought passed quickly and I left them to others – the young are more at home with those things..

The village looked good, all green and prosperous, with one exception – The Loves. It seemed all sad and forlorn and forgotten about. I really hope something happens to it, maybe a Bed and Breakfast that puts a bit of life into it and keeps the building intact. I wonder could someone open up a nice restaurant there even. Now that would be good!!

The Broompark Girls would certainly try it out.

The Outdoor Toilet Experience

I came accross this photo and it immediately reminded me of the toilets in Broompark. Ours in Grant street was just like that except it wasnt painted white.
I recall many times on the freezing cold days or nights having to sit on there and trying to get the job done as quick as possible because the icy cold air was rushing up at you due to the steel lift up doors not being very well sealed. Maybe that was where the saying came from – ” Freeze Ya Bollocks off”.
I know there are no more of these preserved in Broompark (although i am recalling the old houses in main street might have had them and there might be the odd one still in the yards).
Ushaw Moor of course also had them so it wouldnt surprise me if a few havent been kept just to pass a bit of history on to the younger ones.?534808_10151727593820191_872134857_n

Broompark paths

I just realized the paths in one of the photos by Patsy Hopkins.
I remember commenting on this photo Patsy saying it must have been down the allotments LOL.
Now i can see that i was thinking it was taken on the other side but it was on the opposite side of East street up near the little alleyway between the huts and the school wall.
Broompark tracksBecause everyone walked up to that alleyway there were small tracks leading from different parts of the lower village and these tracks can be seen both in front of the kids in the photo and also behind them. the Co-op store wall to the right and the school wall to the left. The air raid shelters would be somewhere directly behind the kids. There was also another tiny little building next to the Co-op but i never saw it opened and do not know what its use was but it had steps and we used to sit on the steps in the dark smoking sometimes.

A Very Merry Christmas from Broompark Memories

Lots of good wishes to all the contributors and readers of Broompark Memories.

Your contributions are highly valued and hope they keep coming.

A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you all.



Photos, some buildings from our time there

Broompark 001

Mum n Dad with me and Bryan, its taken in the front garden at Broom Farm, against the byre wall.

Broompark 002

Trevor Welsh Ian Barass and myself.

Broompark 003

House at the lower end of Front Street and taken in East Street is of Dad with me Bryan and Pauline (Polly now) and probably before going off to church for May Processions. That would be the only reason we were all in white

Broompark 004

Me and my cousin Gerard who visited from Watford.

Broompark 005

Us both again with Bryan too. The chimneys are the houses in East Street.

Broompark 006

One of Welsh’s cows was taken in the field below the hay barns

Broompark 007

My sister Eileen is in the pushchair by Dad’s car, parked near the school wall opposite East Street.

Broompark 009

Mrs Neary and Dougan and mum with Graham Dougan, Trevor Welsh on the left and, we think, the baby in the pram is Patrick Neary. That too was taken in the field below the hay barn buildings.

Broompark 008

I hope this works….Ron and Frank – well I have copied some of our old photos taken in Broompark in the early 1950’s and  which show …a little of the garden at Welsh’s farm, taken near the big lilac tree by the path just outside the dairy, the field below the farm buildings, the house at the end of Front Street, where the road turned into the rows, the school and  the co-op store. I think the shelter would be behind the 3 kids where the school wall shows but it cannot be seen on this photo. Mrs Dougan and I think that the baby in the pram is Patrick Neary.

I included the one of Stonebridge too, from that time. It shows the Chow that belonged to Ivy and Foster Walton and which was the dad of our chow. Dad took me there one day and I chose Suki from the litter lying in the buildings at the back of the pub because she was the same colour as our Mum’s hair, which was red.

I wish these were just the village, less of us, but hope they bring back a few memories of the village at that time. Frank is the fella for the up-to-date ones!!

Passing of an ex Broompark senior.

I have been informed by Linda Graham that her aunty Alice passed away on the 26th of September 2014 aged 92.
Alice Hall (nee Burn) is pictured in this photo in Grant street taken 55 years ago so that would make her 37 in the photo. Also in the photo are her mother – Jennie Burn and her sister Anne Graham (nee Burn).
ladies ~ from left to right are~Jennie Burn, mrs corker, Dorothy Turner, Alice Hall, Doris Dinning, and Anne Graham.
R.I.P Alice, you are now forever with your mother and sister in the peoples collection of the Beamish museum.
Back street -Garden street Broompark.

James and Grant Streets 1971

broompark 001 broompark 002


Hello again.

I was given these two photographs by Jean Clarke ( as she was then) taken of her at different times outside her home in Grant Street Broompark. Its the second one that is dated 1971, the date is on the back of the photo, and shows Jean and her younger sister Sandra.

She also had an older sister Maisie.  Jean is age about 16 or 17 here. We think she is about 10 in the other one. Where she is outside the gate, its a James street gate as these yards were level with the street. The yards in Grant Street were below the street level.

We lived in James street first, well after we lived at the Farm, and we thought at first that the car might be my dads at its about where we lived, six houses from the end, but the date is wrong. We were in Esh Winning in 1971!

The little window behind Jean in the earlier photo is the pantry window, right next to someone’s back door. The little windows you can see higher up in both sides of the street in the other photos were at the top of the stairs. The out buildings on these houses were the coal houses, where there were small doors so the coal could be tipped straight in from the sacks when it was delivered on those flat bed lorries. Was the coal-man called Hardy, or did that name come later?

Its Albert Street isn’t it that shows between the two, the street where the Ditchburn and the McGarr families lived. We used to get in trouble with the woman who lived there when we played ball against that wall, but it was tempting. I suppose the constant noise of a ball hitting your wall over and over must have been irritating.

This back street was the scene of all those games of ”kicky the tin” that I remember

Jean knows I am putting the photos on this site, she still has the same curly hair.

We had planned to do the Broompark walk a couple of weeks ago, over the line and then the bridge over the beck and on to Langley Moor but were told that the path is closed. The bridge was wooden so maybe it has rotted away now. I doubt anyone would be too bothered about replacing it – too low a priority for a council these days.


Durham Miners Gala was held a couple of weeks ago, the Big Meeting – do you remember that Ron?

It was really good and very well supported with lots of banners from all over the country, including unions and workers groups. The city was full of people, maybe helped by it being a sunny day. I went into town early to see it all. It always makes me cry, the banners for villages where the pit was closed years ago, the brass bands, the small bands of folk following their banner keeping a tradition going, all those miners we had in this area and the hard, horrible way they earned their living, and how they were treated. Luckily I was able to cry behind the sun glasses this year, instead of showing myself up. There will be photos on-line if you want to check it out Ron.

I will keep looking for more photos that show the village as it was – trouble is I might be on them!!

Hope my usual contacts, that you Frank and Ron, are both ok, no more illnesses to contend with.