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(437 stories)

The Climb (18 June 2014)

contributed by MarkRawnsley
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When I was a teenager a few of us climbed or hiked from West Wallsend to the summit of Mt Sugar loaf. The year was 1969. We found it a good days hike there & back to Westie. There was two ways to get to the summit one was to follow the power lines up to the first cliff then skirt north east around this cliff then up to the summit. The second was to go out to Sea Hampton where the old coal mine not sure of the mines name it might have been Sea Hampton No3 then hike from there in a north west direction up the steep slopes to the summit in those days the eco system was still great & you could sneak up on Liar Birds dancing on their mounds. The main shaft to this mine was concreted over with a pipe cast in the concrete to let the gas escape. That year I lit this pipe and the gas burnt well . I put it out with a brick & wet clay. When I told an old retired miner what I had done he said I was lucky that in that mine the gas was rich & burnt good. If I would have done the at the old Westie Mine where the gas was weak I would have blown half of Westie up & me with it . I stopped watching Red O'dare on T.V after that that's where I learnt the clay thing. By Mark Rawnsley .

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