The ‘jewel in the crown’

I was brought up in the colliery rows of Ashington in the early 1950s.

Each morning the housewives would stoke up their coal fires which had been banked up the night before.

Hundreds of chimneys would belch out black sulphurous smoke and the smell was overpowering.

On a still evening, a black dome of smoke could be seen over the town.

Three miles to the east, the fishing village of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, with its sea breezes and golden sands.

Making sand castles, searching rock pools for crabs, and, of course, the ice cream cornets, were the excitement of the day.

Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Wansbeck constituency.

Bill Harris