Communities > Cramlington > Sound About  Contact

Cramlington - Sound

Oral History Recording of Billy Wilson (5th July 1976)


Search The Site



Ordnance Maps


Printed Material


Census Information

Play Sound

Transcription of an interview with Billy Wilson recorded on the 5th July 1976.

During the full interview Mr. Wilson talks about his employment at Cramlington Colliery. He also recalls various aspects of life in the villages around Cramlington.

During this extract he talks about his childhood. He remembers when he, along with his friends, would make a kite to fly off the pit heap, and how the making of the kite would leave his mothers washing bench unusable.


In the summer holidays we would make a kite. Go up to the store and get the hoop off an apple barrel, and it was soaked in your own rain barrel for about three days, and then we got into someone's wash house and made the kite.

The hoop round it and the lat down the middle and of course the thing was tied up with string, then the worst part about it when you came to paper it, course you got some flour and water and mix it up into a batter, and your mother couldn't wash on the bench for three or four days after, it was all cluttered up with this paste, but we got the job done, and then you got about fifty yards of string, got up onto the pit heap and got the kite away and of course it would be flying with about fifty yards on when arguments used to crop up, that'll be over on the town moor now and this sought of thing, and you got a little bit sag on the string.

Then we used to send a telegram up, was just a round piece of paper, clip it in there, put it on there, and of course the wind used to take up the string and of course if you got three or four telegrams sent up you were doing well.


This tape recording comes from the large collection of oral history recordings held by the Northumberland Archive Service. Interviews were conducted by Record Office staff from the early 1970's right through until the mid 1980's. The purpose of the recordings was to capture the essence of life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many different subjects were covered, including coalmining, farming, fishing, domestic life, World Wars and entertainment. Over 350 recordings have been collected comprising approximately 700 hours of recollections.