50 years ago this week: Friday, February 3, 1961

PRODUCTION ceases today at one of the oldest collieries in Northumberland – that at Broomhill which has been producing coal for 152 years. The last shift comes to the surface at 12.15pm.

The colliery is one of a number being closed by the Coal Board on economic grounds as realistic reserves have been exhausted. In 1959 it turned out 134,000 tons of coal.

Jobs have been found at Shilbottle, Hauxley, Whittle and Ashington collieries for the 400 displaced miners.

And there’s good news, too, about seven of the eight pit ponies at Broomhill which were in danger of being destroyed because of their age.

A veterinary surgeon has certified six as being fit for light salvage work at the colliery and the seventh, who is 19 years old, is to be looked after by Scarborough RSPCA.

The eighth pony is 24 years old and almost totally blind and it has been decided that it would be best to put him down.