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Woodthorpe Ravine memories

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Hi, could people who live or lived in Manor long time ago mention any memories you have of the area or places you usually go to?

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What a magical place that was, I went to St Theresa's school and I loved that place, I can't ever remember if it was ever vandalised, I spent hours playing in the Ravine, making dams across the Carr Brook that ran through it. I lived on Harborough Avenue until I was twenty one and I couldn't believe how the council ended up being the vandals by filling it in and removing every trace of wildlife that used this habitat year after year. Now it's footprint is just a boring empty space.

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Woodthorpe Ravine was actually a bit higher up Tozzin, but most of us called it Pit field and was the area was later used as the playing field of Prince Edwards School. I lived bang opposite what was the spring which is the source of the Carr Brook. During the 1960's and early 70's the Council spent a fortune getting rid of the dams and slag from the Woodthorpe pit mine, which as located just above the St Theresa's playing field. The used big scraping machines which went up ad down the heaps till they brought them down. The water kept forming large pools or dams. These were great for us to explore, when we could get near them! This was because the mud was so thick you would loose your Wellington boots in it! You literally couldn't get them out. Mums use to play hell with us coming home with new boots lost or just one lost! And of course covered in mucky clay. 

Eventually the mud harden and we could reach these ponds. We spent most the time skipping stones across the water. The other thing was to drop lumps of clay into the ponds of water. These would break down and look like small volcanoes! Then you dropped in a another stone to destroy it!

They put all sorts of drains into to take the water away. One day there was only this one big MASSIVE body of water left. They have built a drain to take it away. So we watched this bulldozer go up to a side of the dam and take it out, it then reverse to a sharp right and the MASSIVE body of water came flowing down past the bulldozer and down the drain! I always admired that bulldozer driver for some really good handy work with his machine. As that water could have caused an accident!

The builders of the new estate on the Manor have or or in the process of opening up all the water courses and constructing special ponds to prevent rain water on the estate going straight into the drains. Thus helping to reduce flooding. And the Carr Brook opened up and landscape again to bring back the wildlife! 

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In the fifties there wasn't any kind of ravine from Pit Lane until just before St Theresa's which then carried on down to Hastilar Road South and beyond, I played on what was known as pit hill and I rember the pond that formed at its base. St Theresa's didn't have a playing field in the early fifties, we had to use the Zion  Ground ? down near Boden Homestead Woods, 

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Two shots from a plane in 1929 and 1927. Both show the pit tip that the fire station sits on now. The giant reservoir can be seen on both and was raised up so you could see it from semi-circle road of Queen Mary. The 1927 picture still shows the chimney to the mine. Prince Edward School under construction, both show the colliery managers house, the odd looking one in the wooded area.

The 1929 picture shows the field where the Woodthorpe estate would go. The odd shaped one with the tree still survives to this day as it became the boundary of the estate. The tree was still there in the 70's, but did get chopped down. I suspect there's still a bit of the trunk left! The only houses left today are those under construction on Prince of Wales Road. And the Manor Cinema.   

Aerial View - Manor Estate s12423.jpg

EPW018975 Manor 1927.jpg

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Recent Google images of the area show that construction work has revealed several interesting features. 

The first image at the top some brickwork remains of the pit. Two white rectangles are I think fenced off areas, these could be to do with the works or could be something that they have found, such as pit shafts or drain covers. Notice too the very black soil, indicating the presence of coal dust. The Orange object is an excavotor. The second image shows the school car park recently extended. The third shows the former school fields. Clearly a large collection of clay coloured water has developed in the middle. In the middle of the brown soil area you can see straight lines. These could be field edges if they were not caused by the work itself. 

2019 woodthorpe pit close up.jpg

2019 Queen Mary Road.jpg

2019 pit field.jpg

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