Ashington is a town and civil parish in Northumberland, with a population of 27,864 at the 2011 Census. It was once a centre of the coal mining industry; the town is 15 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne, west of the A189 and bordered to the south by the River Wansbeck. The North Sea coast at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is 3 miles away. Many inhabitants have a distinctive dialect known as Pitmatic; this varies from the regional dialect known as Geordie. The name Ashington originates from Essendene, referenced since 1170, but may instead have originated from Æsc, a Saxon invader who sailed from Northern Germany to the River Wansbeck and settled in the deep wooded valley near Sheepwash, but it could have come from "Valley of Ash Trees" - these would have lined the valley and the Saxon word Dene means valley giving the name'Ash Dene'. In the 1700s all that existed of Ashington was a small farm with a few dwellings around it; the Anglo Saxon theory is the most likely. The suffix "ington" denotes a settlement belonging to an Anglo Saxon.
There are numerous "ington's" nearby that would seem to discount the "Ash tree" theory as well as "Essendene". Examples are: Bedlington, Cramlington, Whittington, Stannington etc; the first evidence of mining is from bell-shaped pits and monastic mine workings discovered in the 20th Century during tunnelling. Ashington developed from a small hamlet in the 1840s when the Duke of Portland built housing to encourage people escaping the Irish potato famine to come and work at his nearby collieries; as in many other parts of Britain, "deep pit" coal mining in the area declined during the 1980s and 1990s leaving just one colliery, Ellington which closed in January 2005. In 2006 plans for an opencast mine on the outskirts of the town were put forward, although many people objected to it. During the heyday of coal-mining, Ashington was considered to be the "world's largest coal-mining village". There is now a debate about whether Ashington should be referred to a village; as coal mining expanded, more people settled in Ashington.
This led the Ashington Coal Company to build parallel rows of colliery houses. Some newcomers came from as far as Cornwall to make use of their tin-mining skills. With the growing coal industry came the need for a railway link. Ashington was linked to the Blyth and Tyne Railway in the 1850s, to the East Coast Main Line near Ulgham; the railway was used by passenger trains until the Beeching Axe in 1964 closed the railway station, called Hirst railway station, which had opened in the 1870s. The railway line runs south towards the steep-sided River Wansbeck valley crossed by a wooden viaduct, replaced by today's steel-built Black Bridge. In 1913 the original Ashington Hospital was built, it was about 1/4 mile from the town centre. The hospital was expanded in the'60s with large new wings; this hospital was closed in the mid 1990s and replaced by the new Wansbeck General Hospital which opened on a green-field site on the eastern edge of the town with better links to the A189 Spine Road. The last of the old buildings were demolished in 2004.
Traditionally the area to the east of the railway was called Hirst and that to the west was Ashington proper. Although collectively called Ashington, both halves had their own park: Hirst Park in the east and the People's Park in the west; the colliery-built houses followed a grid plan. The streets in the Hirst End running north to south were named after British trees, such as Hawthorn Road, Beech Terrace, Chestnut Street; the east-west running streets were numbered avenues, starting with First Avenue near the town centre, finishing at Seventh Avenue towards the southern end. After the 1920s houses in Ashington were built by the council and were most semi-detached houses, such as Garden City Villas; these occupied much of the fields in the Hirst area. New estates were built in different areas; the biggest building programme was in the late 1960s and saw Ashington extend south from Seventh Avenue opposite the Technical College towards North Seaton and south eastwards towards the A189. Some of the houses at the north end of Alexandra Road were private homes.
During this building programme several new schools were built, for example Coulson Park, Seaton Hirst Middle. Community shops and a social club were built off Fairfield Drive; the late 1970s and early 1980s saw construction of Nursery Park opposite the North Seaton Hotel. The late 1980s and 1990s saw the building of the Wansbeck Estate between the River Wansbeck and Green Lane as well as the large Fallowfield Estate. In the late 1960s the area by the railway station was developed into Wansbeck Square, housing a supermarket, council offices and a public library, built over the railway line. In 1981 the Woodhorn Pit closed and its chimney was demolished. In the late 1980s this became a museum. In 1988 Ashington Pit is now occupied by a business park. In the early 2000s maisonette flats in various parts of Hirst were demolished and parts of the Moorhouse and Woodbridge estate opposite Woodhorn Pit were demolished; the railway was used until by the Alcan Aluminium plant, to transport coal to its adjacent power station in the nearby town of Lynemouth.
The plant closed in late 2015. The line was put in use again from mid-2017 to transport materials to Lynemouth, for the conversion of the coal-fired power station to produce power from biomass. There have been calls to restore the railway station for passenger use with services to Newcastle. Plans are underway, but may be subject to alteration due to B
North East England
North East England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It covers Northumberland, County Durham and Wear, the area of the former county of Cleveland in North Yorkshire; the region is home to three large conurbations: Teesside and Tyneside, the last of, the largest of the three and the eighth most populous conurbation in the United Kingdom. There are three cities in the region: Newcastle upon Tyne, the largest, with a population of just under 280,000. Other large towns include Darlington, Hartlepool, South Shields, Stockton-on-Tees and Washington; the region is hilly and sparsely populated in the North and West, urban and arable in the East and South. The highest point in the region is The Cheviot, in the Cheviot Hills, at 815 metres; the region contains the urban centres of Tyneside and Teesside, is noted for the rich natural beauty of its coastline, Northumberland National Park, the section of the Pennines that includes Teesdale and Weardale.
The regions historic importance is displayed by Northumberland's ancient castles, the two World Heritage Sites of Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, Hadrian's Wall one of the frontiers of the Roman Empire. In fact, Roman archaeology can be found across the region and a special exhibition based around the Roman Fort of Segedunum at Wallsend and the other forts along Hadrian's Wall are complemented by the numerous artifacts that are displayed in the Great North Museum Hancock in Newcastle. St. Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland and St. Pauls in Jarrow hold significant historical value and have a joint bid to become a World Heritage Site; the area has a strong religious past, as can be seen in works such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The work of the 7th-century Cuthbert and Hilda of Whitby were hugely influential in the early church, are still venerated by some today; these saints are associated with the monasteries on the island of Lindisfarne, Wearmouth – Jarrow, the Abbey at Whitby, though they are associated with many other religious sites in the region.
Bede is regarded as the greatest Anglo-Saxon scholar. He worked at the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow, translating some forty books on all areas of knowledge, including nature, astronomy and theological matters such as the lives of the saints, his best known work is "The Ecclesiastical History of the English People". One of the most famous pieces of art and literature created in the region is the Lindisfarne Gospels, are thought to be the work of a monk named Eadfrith, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne in 698; this body of work is thought to have been created in honour of Cuthbert, around 710–720. On 6 June 793 the Vikings arrived on the shores of north-east England with a raiding party from Norway who attacked the monastic settlement on Lindisfarne; the monks fled or were slaughtered, Bishop Higbald sought refuge on the mainland. A chronicler recorded: "On the 8th June, the harrying of the heathen miserably destroyed God's church by rapine and slaughter." There were three hundred years of Viking raids and settlement until William the Conqueror defeated King Harold at Hastings in 1066.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle notes the change from raiding to settlement when it records that in 876 the Vikings "Shared out the land of the Northumbrians and they proceeded to plough and support themselves" The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria extended from the Scottish borders at the Firth of Forth to the north, to the south of York, its capital, down to the Humber. The last independent Northumbrian king from 947–8 was Eric Bloodaxe, who died at the Battle of Stainmore, Westmorland, in 954. After Eric Bloodaxe's death, all England was ruled by the grandson of Alfred the Great. Today the Viking legacy can still be found in the language and place names of north-east England and in the DNA of its people; the name Newcastle comes from the castle built shortly after the conquest in 1080 by Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror's eldest son. North East England has an oceanic climate with narrower temperature ranges than the south of England. Summers and winters are mild rather than hot or cold, due to the strong maritime influence of the North Atlantic Current of the Gulf Stream.
The Met Office operates several weather stations in the region and are able they show the regional variations in temperature and its relation to the distance from the North Sea. The warmest summers in the region are found in Stockton-on-Tees and the Middlesbrough area, with a 1981-2010 July average high of 20.4 °C. Precipitation is low by English standards, in spite of the low levels of sunshine, with Stockton-on-Tees averaging only 574.2 millimetres annually, with the seaside town of Tynemouth recording 597.2 millimetres annually. The summers on the northern coastlines are cooler than in the southern and central inland areas: Tynemouth is only just above 18 °C in July. Further inland, frosts during winter are more common, due to the higher elevations and distance from the sea. After more than 2,000 years of industrial activity as a result of abundant minerals such as salt and coal the chemical industry of the Northeast England is today spread across the whole of the region with pharmaceuticals being produced in the north of the region and fine chemicals spread across the middle of the region and commodity chemicals and petrochemicals on Teessi
Northumberland Park Metro station
Northumberland Park Metro station is a station on the Tyne and Wear Metro Yellow Line. It serves the Northumberland Park housing development, is situated between Palmersville and Shiremoor, close to where the single-track freight-only Network Rail line diverges northwards towards Ashington; the station has proved popular with over 320,000 passengers using the station in the 2008-9 period. The Metro station began operating on 11 December 2005 and was opened on 13 December 2005 by Prof Tony Ridley, the first Director General of Nexus; the station is purpose built for Metro and is the first new station to be built since the Sunderland extension in 2002. It is located west of the site of the Backworth railway station, which closed on 13 June 1977 and was demolished prior to the construction of the Metro. Backworth was the only station on the North Tyneside Loop not included in the system, apart from Heaton station; the station is served by bus route 19 which links Northumberland Park with the Cobalt & Silverlink Business Parks, Royal Quays and the Shields Ferry.
There is a multi-storey car park adjacent. The station is a bus interchange. In the 1990s local councils were considering the feasibility of restoring passenger services linking Ashington and Blyth with Newcastle Central; the proposal would not include reopening the branch to Blyth, but by building a new station at Newsham. In 1998 the Railway Development Society endorsed the proposal. Denis Murphy, the Labour MP for Wansbeck, expressed support in the House of Commons in an adjournment debate in April 1999 and again in a debate in January 2007. Denis Murphy. "Ashington and Tyne Railway". Parliamentary Debates. United Kingdom: House of Commons. Col. 135WH–139WH. In 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies published a £34 million proposal to restore passenger services from Newcastle Central to Ashington along the freight-only line that runs alongside the Metro lines through Northumberland Park. Northumberland County Council is developing plans aimed at reopening this line to passenger services.
In June 2013 NCC announced that they had commissioned Network Rail to complete a GRIP 1 study to examine the best options for the scheme. The GRIP 1 study was received by NCC in March 2014 and in June 2015 they initiated a more detailed GRIP 2 Feasibility Study at a cost of £850,000; the GRIP 2 study, which NCC received in October 2016, confirmed that the reintroduction of a frequent seven-day a week passenger service between Newcastle and Ashington was feasible and could provide economic benefits of £70 million with more than 380,000 people using the line each year by 2034. The study suggested that a new heavy rail platform should be constructed opposite the existing Metro platforms at Northumberland Park so as to allow easy interchange between the proposed Newcastle to Ashington/ Woodhorn commuter rail service and the existing Metro Yellow Line. If funding for the £191 million scheme can be raised, it has been suggested that detailed design work could begin in October 2018 with construction commencing four months and the first passenger services introduced in 2021.
After receiving the GRIP 2 study, NCC announced that they were preceding with a GRIP 3 Study from Network Rail. Train times and station information for Northumberland Park Metro station from Nexus Route 19 website
Benton Metro station
Benton Metro station is on the Tyne and Wear Metro Yellow line between Four Lane Ends and Palmersville. The railway station serves Benton in North Tyneside, just north of Newcastle upon England; the station opened on 1 March 1871 by the North Eastern Railway. Since 11 August 1980 it has been served by Metro trains. Benton was the original terminus of the now defunct Red line, although short workings continued to operate as Yellow line services between Pelaw and Benton - in peak hours and during Saturday shopping hours. Since the opening of Northumberland Park station most of these short workings continue to Monkseaton. Train times and station information for Benton Metro station from Nexus
St James Metro station
St James Metro station is a station on the Tyne and Wear Metro, in the west end of the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The station is situated next to St James' Park, the stadium of Newcastle United F. C.. The station, which opened in 1982, is one of two terminals of the Yellow line of the Metro system; the interior of the station is distinct, as the walls are decked out in black and white stripes and depicts Newcastle United players and managers past and present. However, when it was first opened, it was finished in the same colours as the other underground stations on the system, it has two platforms. In 2008-9, the station was used by around 246,000 passengers. Train times and station information for St James Metro station from Nexus
South Shields Metro station
South Shields Metro station is the main Tyne and Wear Metro station for South Shields, England. In 2008-9 the station was used by over 1 million passengers; the station is located on a bridge above King Street, the main shopping street in South Shields Town Centre. The Metro station is located about 200 metres down the line from the former South Shields railway station, which it replaced; the station includes a sandwich bar at ground level. The station can be accessed via the main concourse by either lift or stairs from King Street or Keppel Street Bus Station; the station can be accessed via the Mile End Road concourse by ramp. The original two-platform railway station closed on 1 June 1981, when the line was closed for conversion to Metro standards. However, the Grade II-listed station building survived for many years, housing a newsagent and a barber, but has since been demolished; the Metro line continues beyond the station and through the site of the BR station to some engineering sidings.
The new Metro station was opened on 24 March 1984 and completed the initial Tyne and Wear Metro system. It was the terminus of the Green line, but is now the terminus of the Yellow line. In June 2015, plans were unveiled for a new transport interchange to be built, featuring a new Metro station and enclosed bus station; this development would replace the existing Metro station, the adjacent Keppel Street Bus Station. Building work started in 2018 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019; the opening date has not yet been announced. Train times and station information for South Shields Metro station from Nexus
The Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside is a metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England, is part of the Tyneside conurbation. The borough council's main office is at Cobalt Business Park in Wallsend; the local authority is North Tyneside Council. North Tyneside is bounded by Newcastle upon Tyne to the west, the North Sea to the east, the River Tyne to the south and Northumberland to the north. Within its bounds are the towns of Wallsend, North Shields and Whitley Bay, which form a continuously built-up area contiguous with Newcastle; the borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the county borough of Tynemouth, with the borough of Wallsend, part of the borough of Whitley Bay, the urban district of Longbenton and part of the urban district of Seaton Valley, all of which were in Northumberland. The following places are located in North Tyneside: Annitsford Backworth Battle Hill Benton Burradon Camperdown Cullercoats Dudley Earsdon Forest Hall Holystone Howdon Killingworth Longbenton Meadow Well Monkseaton Moorside Murton New York North Shields Northumberland Park Palmersville Percy Main Preston Seaton Burn Shiremoor Tynemouth Wallsend Wellfield West Allotment West Moor Whitley Bay Willington Unlike most English districts, its council is led by a directly-elected mayor Labour's Norma Redfearn.
As of March 2016, the council is Labour led, Labour having 51 councillors, the Conservatives 7 and the Lib Dems 2. The council is elected "in thirds", with one councillor from each three-member ward elected each year for the first three years, the mayoral election being held on the fourth year. With three councillors elected from each of 20 wards, there are 60 councillors in total. Riverside By-Election, 4 July 2013 - Labour hold Wallsend By-Election, 16 November 2012 - Liberal Democrat gain from Labour For earlier results see North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council elections. North Tyneside lies in the coalfield that covers the South-East of the historic county of Northumberland, it has traditionally been a centre of heavy industry along with the rest of Tyneside, with for example the Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend, export of coal. Today most of the heavy industry has gone, leaving high unemployment in some areas; the borough is the 69th most deprived in England, out of 354. However some parts function as wealthy dormitory suburbs such as Tynemouth.
Recent growth has come in the A19 corridor with retail parks. Two key roads serve North Tyneside: The A19 which leaves the A1 north of Newcastle and runs through the borough and through the Tyne Tunnel to South Tyneside and towards the South; the Coast Road runs from Newcastle to the coast. For most of its length it is grade-separated. North Tyneside is served by 17 stations on the Tyne & Wear Metro on a loop from Newcastle through Wallsend, North Shields, Whitley Bay and back to Newcastle. Trains operate at least every 15 minutes, with extra services in the peak hours. Most of the stations serving North Tyneside fall into fare zones B and C. There are no National Rail stations in the borough, despite the East Coast Main Line and Blyth and Tyne routes passing through; the nearest National Rail station is Newcastle, served by the Tyne & Wear Metro. North Tyneside has an extensive bus network, with most areas benefiting from direct services to Newcastle. Many areas have direct bus services to Blyth or Morpeth.
The principle bus operators in the area are Arriva North East, Go North East and Stagecoach in Newcastle. The Shields Ferry links North Shields to South Shields, in South Tyneside. There is an international ferry terminal at Royal Quays in North Shields, with a service to Amsterdam. Segedunum Roman fort is in Wallsend; the Stephenson Railway Museum in New York, named after George Stephenson and Robert Stephenson who hailed from Tyneside and lived in West Moor in North Tyneside 1802–1824. Tynemouth Castle and Priory North Tyneside includes coastline covering Tynemouth and Whitley Bay Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth St. Mary's Island in Whitley Bay North Shields Fish Quay, Clifford's Fort and the High and Low Lights of North Shields Frederikshavn in Denmark Mönchengladbach in Germany Oer-Erkenschwick in Germany Halluin in France Klaipėda in Lithuania Coatzacoalcos in Mexico Charlotte in North Carolina Archives of North Tyneside (including boroughs of Tynemouth and Whitley Bay and Longbenton Urban District are preserved and accessible at Tyne and Wear Archives Service Wallsend Town Information regarding the town centre and areas covering Wallsend in North Tyneside can be found here