Glimpse history through old images of Fishburn Colliery, in County Durham, North East England.
Fishburn Colliery throughout the 20th century was a community of miners, coke workers, and associated industry. Today just a busy road disturbs the peace of this small and quiet village.
US Ambassador Visit 1957
in 1957, US Ambassador Whitney visited the coal mine and coke works at Fishburn Colliery, at a time when the facilities were run by the National Coal Board.
The silent footage shows the important visitors, managers, and some of the miners and workmen.
There are several great shots of the site too, with lots of different buildings and installations shown, and even some of the coke processing in action.
Us Ambassador Visits Coal Mine (1957) – British Pathé on YouTube
The Tidiest Village In County Durham (1960s)
Unfortunately, YouTube channel HuntleyFilmArchives have removed this clip from their videos.
However, you can still view it on the Huntley Film Archives website.
It includes footage of Fishburn Colliery, village and Frank Gibson. You’ll also see a sign declaring it “The Tidiest Village In County Durham”.
The Coke Works Project At Fishburn Primary School (1970s)
Published to YouTube on 14 Jul 2016 by Fishburn Primary. Mr. Eason received the following email:
Dear Mr. Eason,
I worked briefly at the school during my training in the early 70s. Having recently retired I have been having a good sort out. During this, I rediscovered two sets of slides taken whilst I was at the school. These have languished in my garage for many years.
In the main, these consist of slides taken on visits to the now-closed coke ovens. A few are of work in the classroom and a couple are of pupils in the group. These “pupils” will now be about 54 or 55 and unfortunately, I have no idea of their names, though at the time their teacher was a gentleman called Chris Wheeler. It is quite possible that some of these families are still in the area.
I have digitised the slides and cleaned them up to improve them where possible. I have attached a couple. Should there be any interest I will gladly post a DVD to the school with a full set of the slides.
Yours, Brian Steeper.
Durham Miners Gala Concert 1991
Published to YouTube on 8 Nov 2018 by Michael Franey.
This is a two hour home movie showing the Fishburn Band performing to an appreciative audience.
The tunes performed are:
1. Knight Templar
3. Flying Scot (Cornet Solo)
4. Strawberry Fayre
5. Here Comes the Rainy Day
6. Laughter in the Rain (Horn solo)
7. Blue Rondo A La Turk
9. Ticket to Ride
10. Any Dream Will Do
11. Finale from William Tell
12. Trumpeters Holiday (Cornet Trio)
13. Keep Smiling Through
14. Serenade (Euphonium Solo)
15. Tango for Band
16. Whispering Brass
17. Mornings at Seven
18. Manhattan Skyline
20. Harton Lea & Deep Harmony
21. Cherry Pink & Aplle Blossom White
22. Hawiaan War Chant
24. One Voice
National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain (1992)
Uploaded to YouTube on 18 December 2018 by Michael Franey.
On Saturday, 17 October 1992, the Fishburn Band took part in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain (1992) at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
This home movie shows the band playing as they are conducted by Ian Robinson and adjudicated by Markus Bach, David Read, and William Relton.
Established in 1954, the Fishburn Band was previously known as Coal Products (CPL), Fishburn Brass Band; Fishburn Colliery Welfare, Fishburn Welfare; National Smokeless Fuels Band, National Smokeless Fuels (Coal Products), National Smokeless Fuels (Fishburn). They are still going strong today.
Durham Miners’ Gala (1992)
Published to YouTube on 19 Jun 2008 by Roy Lambeth.
The 108th Durham Miners’ Gala too place on Saturday, July 11, 1992, at the Racecourse Ground. In attendance were Tony Benn, M.P., Dennis Skinner, M.P., and Arthur Scargill, President of N.U.M.
This is a home video clip which lasts just under 2.5 minutes.
Fishburn Colliery Band march along, playing the Royal Air Force Regiment March ‘Holyrood’. They lead the Fishburn Lodge Banner and the Fenhall Drift Lodge Banner, used by Thrislington Lodge.
In addition to the band, lots members of the public walk past the camera sporting early 1990s fashion and hairstyles.
More County Durham pages
Thanks to Michael Kauer of Pixabay for the image above, and the YouTube channels credited on this and the following pages.