This is the first in a series of things that are reminders of the past that you see everyday in The Felling and neighbouring districts.
Let's start with Shadon's Hill which featured big style in the miners', including Felling miners, struggles over many years to get decent wages and working conditions from the uncaring mine owners. In 1831 local lad Thomas Hepburn was prominent in the creation of a collective voice to get better conditions. Sometime later he was sacked to silence him and he lived on the breadline, selling tea, until given a job at Felling pit provided he did not involve himself in union matters again.On 2nd March 1844 there was a mass meeting of 20,000 men who gathered on Shadon's Hill. A month later another 40,000 men accompanied by bands and banners mass met on Shadon's Hill and there were further mass meetings in that place in that year.
Shadon's Hill was twice used for Coronation/Jubilee bonfires... Diamond Jubilee Celebrations 1897 and The Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902 . See pics here
So where is Shadon's Hill? You'll have passed it a thousand times
This is a photo of The Ship at Eighton Banks taken by me standing on Shadon's Hill. Over the back of the Ship is Blackim Hill...stand by for another posting on that and another on the near meeting of two waggonways in this locality
Here's another from Shadon's Hill.When driving on the main thoroughfare thro' Eighton Banks passing the Engine Room, formerly the Lambton Arms on the left and at the defunct level crossing you turn 90 degrees to the right to drive down past the entrance road to the Bowes Incline on the right and on the left, before you get as far as the fishing lake on the right, you'll see Shadon's Hill. Next time you pass just imagine 40,000 men from the Durham and Northumberland coal mines gathered on that hill trying to fight for decent wages and conditions
To read about the strikes in greater detail go here