CONTINUING our look at the villages that doughnut Durham, we come to Brandon, a little to the west of the Sunderland Bridge area which we have been showing for the past few weeks.

Brandon is classic County Durham mining territory. There's a small, old, rural village there until the railways run through in the 1860s. Immediately, a colliery - Brandon - springs up, surrounded by a new village of mining terraces. This colliery, to the east of the old village, peaked in the 1920s when it employed nearly 1,500 men.

As it went into decline, Brandon Pit House Colliery grew up to the west of the old village, connected to the railway by a colliery line. It peaked in 1965 when it employed 1,284 men.

However, the end was in sight: both collieries closed in 1968, with the combined loss of about 1,500 jobs. Many of the men were enticed to work in coalfields elsewhere, and over the next four decades, most signs of mining were removed: Brandon Colliery station closed in 1964 and its distinctive cutting was filled in; the pitheads were landscaped and nearly all the terraces replaced by modern housing.

All we have left from this industrial age are photographs like these...

If you have anything to add to our Brandon story, please email