The History of Blaydon and Winlaton part 5 1800-1849

Collected from information from the internet By Dennis Shaw


1800 Stargate Pit opened

1800 Garesfield Pit opened by the late Marquis of Bute and Miss Simpson of Bradley.

The depth of the shaft is 25 fathoms, and there is also a day level at the eastern part of the workings. Theroyalty is partly in Winlaton lordship and partly in Chopwell royalty ; and the seams worked are the stone coal, the five-quarter, and the Brockwell, the last being

the lowest in the Newcastle coal field.

1801 The Winlaton Brass Band was formed in about 1801 and linked to the 5th Volunteer Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. "Coffee Johnny" was a long time follower of the band but does not appear to have actually played in it. At his funeral, on the 7th April 1900, his body was brought to Blaydon station to be met by the Band who marched him up the hill to St Paul's cemetery. At his request they played "When Johnny comes marching home." Coffee Johnny has almost mythical status due to his appearance in the last verse of Blaydon races. This conferred on him a sort of immortality. Yet he was a real man, who was born, married and buried in Winlaton.

1802 Greenwell Mill, the pond was formed by damming the Blaydon Burn. First

shown on plan dated 1802 , and infilled between 1858and 1898.

1803 The Press Gangs Because of their experience of handling boats, the keelmen were considered useful in times of war when the Royal Navy required seamen for its warships. During the French wars of the late eighteenth century, the Naval Impress Service would have liked to impress as many keelmen as possible, but the keelmen were officially protected from impressment. However in 1803, during a time of crisis, the Tyne Regulating Officer captured 53 keelmen with the intention of impressing them into the navy despite their exemption. In retaliation, their wives took up whatever was handy (shovels, pans, rolling pins) and marched to North Shields intent on using any means to rescue their men, whilst the rest of the keelmen went on strike until the captured men were released. A compromise was reached so that 80 ‘volunteers’ (one in ten keelmen) would be accepted into the navy and the rest would be exempted from impressment. A levy was to be paid by the coal-owners and keelmen to provide a bounty for the keelmen who joined the navy. A similar situation existed on the Wear, except that the keelmen there were treated less generously. They had to provide a similar quota of recruits with two landsmen counting as one prime sailor. ( From Roly Veitch)

1804  Hedgefield House built.

1885 The brothers Benjamin and George Raine took over the old Crowley works at Winlaton Mill in 1885 and later moved to Derwenthaugh, producing colliery (girder) arches and other materials for the mining industry, light railway track, fish plates, iron and steel bars, angles and other general sections and rivet iron for ships.

1806 born on the 6th July, The Hursts came originally from the neighbourhood of Manchester, and settled at Winlaton about the closing years of the seventeenth century. Robert, the father of Blythe Hurst, married Susannah Gibson, who belonged to one of the old families of Swalwell. Blythe was sent to school when four years of age, where he learned to read the New Testament ; and at seven he was sent to work in one of the smiths' shops at Winlaton. Until he was fifteen, he attended the Sabbath-school established by the Venerable Arch- deacon Thorp. When about eighteen he was seriously afflicted, which led him to think seriously about religion, and to surrender his heart to God. He soon after joined the Wesleyan Methodist body, and became an acceptable local preacher. He says : " On particular occasions I have addressed upwards of eight hundred people at once." When about nineteen, he began the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties of the most arduous character. In his daily labour he was employed from six o'clock in the morning till eight in the evening, with only an interval of two-and-a-half hours for rest and refreshment His -wages were small, and few books were at his command. Having determined to master the Greek language, and being possessed of one shilling and sixpence, he set off to Newcastle, and purchased a Greek Grammar at a second-hand book-stall. Having little time to spare, he wrote the declensions of nouns, and the conjugations of the verbs, upon the flame-stone which hung before the smith's fire to preserve his face from the heat ; and by this means he got them off by heart He afterwards purchased a Greek Testament, and, at the age of twenty-one being in possession of a pound-note, he secured "Parkhurst's Greek Lexicon" at E. Charnley's shop in Newcastle. Mr. Hurst subsequently became an adept in Latin, Hebrew, and Syriac. When about thirty years of age he left the Wesleyan Methodist body, and joined the Methodist New Connexion, still labouring as a local preacher. In the latter end of 1839 and the beginning of 1840, Alexander Campbell, one of Robert Owen's socialist missionaries, visited Winlaton, and lectured in the village. Mr. Hurst wrote a pamphlet entitled, '* Christianity No Priestcraft," in reply to Mr. Campbell's lectures. Unfortunately for the writer, he was unable to sell his pamphlet, which brought to his assistance the Rev. H. Wardell, rector of Winlaton, who took all the remaining copies off his hands. Mr. Wardell sent a copy of the pamphlet to the Rev. Dr. Maltby, Bishop of Durham, who, after reading it, requested Mr. Wardell to supply him with particulars ot the author's life. The bishop wrote next to Mr. Douglas, rector of Whickham, to ascertain Mr. Hurst's ability to make ready application of his acquirements. Mr. Hurst had previously severed himself from the New Connexion body, and on the suggestion of Dr. Maltby, he determined to enter the Church of England. The bishop had an interview with him in Newcastle, and made arrangements for his ordination. On the 9th of July, 1842, the Winlaton blacksmith proceeded to Auckland, where, after passing the necessary examination, he was in due course ordained a clergyman of the Church of England. In a short time he was appointed curate of Garrigill, near Alston. On leaving Winlaton, Mr. Hurst was presented with a purse of gold as a mark of the esteem and respect in which he was held in the village. He was afterwards appointed to the living of Slaley, near Hexham ; and in the year 1854 he was promoted to the vicarage of Collierly. After Mr. Hurst became a clergyman, and had at his command time for study, he became a linguist of the highest order. In addition to his complete acquaintance with the modern European languages, he was master of the Hebrew, Syriac, Sanscrit, Chaldaic, Persian, Arabic, and other languages of antiquity. Mr. Hurst delivered several lectures in the Church of England Institute, and in the Blaydon Literary Institute, on Semitic Inscriptions, and on Egyptian Hieroglyphics, displaying great information on those abstruse and difficult questions. In recognition of his scholarly attainments, the degree of Ph.D. (Doctor in Philosophy) was con- ferred on him by the University of Rostock, in Germany. After a long life of usefulness, the Rev. Blythe Hurst, one of the most distinguished men of his day, died on June 24th, 1882. His remains rest in the cemetery at Winlaton, where a handsome granite tombstone is erected to his memory, bearing the inscrip- tion — Affectionate Remembrance of the Rev. Blythe Hurst, M.A., Ph.D., Vicar of Collierly, In the County of Durham, Who died June 24th, 1882, Aged 76 Years.

1808 MASSEY’S FORGE This corn watermill probably built in the 1700s became a forge in the early 1808.

1809  The last service at St. Annes' chapel in Winlaton was performed.

1809 Winlaton, Sharpes Joinery Works Single storey stone building with wooden extension between Knowledge Hill and Parliament Street, formerly a forge. Hearth and bellows survive, together with the antiquated joinery equipment. These are the only active remains of the cottage industry on which the whole settlement was originally founded {1}. By Ordnance Survey second edition this site is called a "nut and bolt works".

1810 The workmen employed by Crowley were governed by a code of laws instituted by the worthy founder, and put in execution by a Court of Arbitrators, held in Winlaton every ten weeks, for hearing and determining cases among the workmen, by which their differences or claims to justice were settled in an easy and expeditious manner, and they were secured from the expense ot law-suits, the fees being fixed at a moderate rate. The compulsory power consisted in expulsion, which included a forfeiture of the claim on the fund to which they had been contributing while in the society. One regulation particularly merits notice : no publican could sue in the courts for debts contracted for drink. "Crowley's Court" was the chief tribunal of the factory, and from which there was no appeal. At the "Court" a tradesman might sue a workman at the factory for debt ; and if he sustained his claim, the debtor had no other choice than to submit to a regular deduction from his wages. If he questioned the ruling of the "Court," and rebelled against its authority, he sacrificed his employment. The "Court" was held in the office at Winlaton. The social arrangements of this community deserve the highest commendation, especially their scheme of old-age pensions. When any workman was ill, he sent a note to the Court, and, after being considered by the Arbitrators, and found to be a deserving case for assistance, a sum of money was lent to him until he recovered. When disabled, or unable to work through old age, the workmen received from the Court the sum of five shillings — and in some cases seven shillings — weekly. The super- annuated were known as "Crowley's Poor," and wore a badge with "Crowley's Poor" on the left shoulder. On the death of a workman, the widow either received a weekly allowance of 2s. 6d. from the Court, or was provided with employment in the factory, usually to make nail bags.

From the following entry in one of the books of the Court, we ascertain how the money for the use of the "Poor" was provided: — "17th January, 1810. Ordered — That all workmen in the service may be allowed the privilege of the Court. All workmen employed in the service as non-domestics, but paying 5d. per pound, are allowed the benefit of the Court and school for their children. All workmen employed in the service paying 8d. per pound, after a year's service, are considered as domestics in every sense of the

word." A surgeon was appointed to attend the whole body of workmen.

From the following entries in the books of the Court, it will be seen that all complaints, disputes, and misdemeanours of the workmen were dealt with by that Tribunal. "March nth, 1807. John Ayre, being 63 years old, a report being prevalent that he is going to marry a foreigner, it is ordered that in the event of his superannuation, this committee consider nothing for his wife, or in the event of his death, the widow so left will not be entitled to relief from the poor box."

"April 22nd, 1807. Jos. Smith's note requests to have his son bound apprentice. "John Whitfield requests to make the poors' clothes."  Deer.7th, 1807. Stephen Hobbner's note to have his grand-daughter educated at the Fife School. "June 8th, 1808. Jos. Greenfield not being able to work any longer, humbly requests the full allowance."August 15th, 1810. Jos. Greenfield to be allowed a coffin." "October 3rd, 1810. Thos. Moralee requests a superannuation allowance for himself and wife (7s.), granted." "March 4th, 1812. Margaret Ayre having been put into the Court for scandal, it was agreed to by the Arbitrators that in all such cases, provided a mulct be awarded the plaintiff, the defendant, although a widow, must pay the Court charges." This Margaret Ayre was probably the foreigner married to the John Ayre mentioned above. "March 3rd, 1^3. William Rippith requests the following pay for Edward Co wen, viz., repairs his shoes, is. ; also a piece of cloth to make him a waistcoat breest, and an allowance of 6d. to pay for buttons and thread for the same." "John Lee requests a loan of 4s. (granted)." "August nth, 1813. John Passmore requests a coat." "April 6th, 1814. The workmen who attend the poor's funerals kindly request an allowance of one pennyworth of bread each man. This #nay be allowed to twelve men only." "September 29th, 181 3. Thos. Biggins, Robt. Parker, information being made against these persons by Jacob Bolt, for trespassing in the Company's turnip field, and taking from thence sundry turnips. We have examined the parties and find it to be fact, we therefore mulct them 2s. 6d., one half to the informer and the other to Winlaton Poor." "January 15th, 1814. John Smart's salary to be stopped till he appears to Arbitrator's Court for going a begging." "July 6th, 18 1 4. Thomas Biggins, Thomas Jobling. These persons having been detected in borrowing and lending iron, contrary to law 51 and verse 1 and 2, they are therefore mulcted 8s. each, to be collected at 6d. per week, for the benefit of Winlaton Poor." Bastardy cases were also settled at the Court1815 Winlaton was abandoned by the Crowleys, the chapel fell into decay and was demolished; then in 1816

1812 June 12th "Harry" Clasper was born at Dunston, When young, his parents removed to Jarrow, and Harry was sent to work in the pits. After a time he returned* to Dunston and worked as a cinder-burner at Derwenthaugh ; and when about twenty years of age he became a wherryman for the same firm (Garesfield),

removed to the scene of his future triumphs, and became the host of the Skiff Inn. One of his earliest attempts at boat-building was the " Five Brothers," which he built at nights after his day's work was done. In this boat, the crew, consisting of Harry, Robert, William, Edward, and Richard, he was for years victorious at the annual gala on the Tyne, commonly known as " Barge Thursday." On the 1 6th June, 1842, the Clasper brothers were defeated on the Tyne by a London crew named Newall, Coombes, and J. and R. Doubledee. The Clasper brothers on this occasion rowed in the "St. Agnes" (No. 1), built by John Dobson of Hillgate, which was a clumsy and unwieldy boat, and no doubt contributed not a little to the defeat of the Clasper brothers. Harry, who had

improved the shape of the skiff, and had built "The Hawk" in 1840, and "The Young Hawk" in 1841, with which he won at Durham Regatta in 1842, now set about improving the four-oared boat On December 18th, 1844, he was defeated by Robert Coombes of London, in a skiff race on the Tyne for ;£ioo. In 1845, his new four-oared boat, named "The Lord Ravensworth," was finished, and on June 26th, at the Thames Regatta, Harry, with his brothers William and Robert, and his uncle Edward Hawks, won the champion prize of ;£ioo, and for the first time

the championship of the world was wrested from the Thames. On the 29th of September, 1845, Harry defeated Thomas Carrol on the Mersey; and on November 25th, defeated W. Pocock of London on the Tyne, each match being for £200 ; in the same year he won the skiff race in " The Hornet," at Shields Regatta. Early in the following year, 1846, he was defeated on the Tyne by Robert Newall in a match for £200 ; and on the 2nd November,

1847, by Anthony Maddison, in a race for £200. In 1848, in the famous "St. Agnes" (No. 2), Harry and his brothers, with J. Wilkinson, won the champion prize on the Thames. On July 2nd, 1849, at tne Royal Thames Regatta, the champion prize for four-oared boats was again won by the "St. Agnes," the crew of which

consisted of Robert and Harry Clasper, and R. and S. Coombes of London. In 1849 Harry removed from Derwenthaugh to The Close, Newcastle. On the 9th September, 185 1, he and James Candlish rowed on the Tyne for £1oo a side; a collision took place, when Candlish claimed and obtained the stakes. On the 1st January, 1853, " Harry," with his brothers, were defeated by the celebrated Elswick crew, namely, Oliver, Bruce, Winship, and Spoor. On the 8th August, 1854, at the Thames National Regatta, the champion four-oared race of £100, was won by the Elswick crew ; the eight-oared race was won by a crew exclusively composed of Newcastle men ; a match for £100, between Robert Newall and Harry Clasper, was won by the latter ; the Clasper crew gained the landsmen's prize, and Harry Clasper, with Pocock of London, won the waterman's pair-oared match. This was the last time the Clasper brothers rowed together, the name of the boat being the "Lady Kilmorney." On July 22, 1858, Harry won the champion- ship of Scotland, defeating Robert Campbell for £200, and again

defeated him on October 6th, in another match for £200, on Loch Lomond ; but on November 9th, 1858, he was beaten by Thomas White on the Thames, in a match for ^200. He took part in several races afterwards, but age began to tell upon him, and meeting younger men, success did not crown his efforts. He was closely associated with the famous champion, Robert Chambers, in the early part of "Honest Bob's" career, and died on July 12th,

1870. On the Sunday following, his remains were brought by river to Derwenthaugh, after which they were conveyed to Whickham Churchyard, followed by a multitude of people such as has never been seen in the quiet village before or since. The boathouse at Derwenthaugh has been removed, and the pond filled up, and at

the present time nothing remains to indicate the site of the once famous establishment.

1812 Gibside chapel is completed.

1813 Stella House This house stands at the east end of Stella, and at the bottom of what is known as the old Leadgate. It is two storeys high, with projecting attic windows. It was built about the beginning of the eighteenth century, and was evidently smaller at one

time than it is now, as the ends of the house appear to be of a more modern date than the centre. It was probably erected for the accommodation of one of the managers at the staiths. At one time it was the residence of the Siivertop family. Robert Edington, who wrote in 1813, "A Treatise on the Coal Trade, with Strictures on its Abuses, and Hints for Amelioration/' says : — " On the east side of Stella, close adjoining to the river, facing the rising sun, is the seat of the late George Siivertop, Esq. From its beautiful situation the keelmen call it by the name of the * Rising Sun.' He was one of the leading coal owners of his day, was of extensive knowledge and of strict honour and integrity ; he had

travelled and had been introduced to all the foreign courts of Europe, was so much respected that his famous Whitefleld coals had the preference of all other collieries on the continent. By his industry he had accumulated an ample fortune honourably got." The Silvertops lived at Ryton in the sixteenth century. There is the following entry in the parish register :— ''1608, April 17th. Anne Siivertop, widdow, of Ryton towne [bur.]." The family seems to have left the village of Ryton about that time, and removed to Stella.

William Siivertop of Stella, married Ann Galley. They had a son, Albert Siivertop, born February 16th, 1667. The Ryton parish register contains the following entry : — " William Siivertop of Blaydon, and 17 more, buried 28th May, 1682. These 18 were drowned 28th May, 1682." This William Siivertop, who may have removed to Blaydon after his marriage, was probably the father of Albert. Albert Siivertop married Mary, the daughter of Joseph Dunn of Blaydon. He died in 1738, and left a son, George Siivertop, born 22nd February, 1705, who married Bridget, daughter of Henry Whittingham of Whittingham Hall, Lancashire. He purchased the estate of Minsteracres, built the Hall, and founded a mission on the estate in 1766, for the use of the family. He was succeeded by his only son, John Siivertop, who married in 1777, Catherine, second daughter of Sir HenryLawson of Brough Hall, Yorkshire, by whom he had issue — first, George Silvertop, born January 6th, 1775; second, John, who died young; third, Henry, born 28th May, 1779, married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Witham, Esq., niece and heiress of William Witham of Cliffe, Ebor, Esq., on which he assumed the name of Witham, and had a numerous offspring; fourth, Charles, born 16th January, 1781, colonel in the Spanish service; fifth, Mary, died young. George Silvertop visited Napoleon at Elba, and it was partly on account of a conversation that Silvertop had with Napoleon that the latter was induced to quit the place of his imprisonment. O'Meara, in his " Voice from St. Helena," says, " He (Silvertop) visited Napoleon at Elba, and in the course of conversation related that he had dined a few weeks before with the Duke de Fleury, with whom he had a conversation relative to the sum of money to be allowed the exile annually by France, according to the agreement that had been signed by the ministers of the allied powers. The Duke laughed at him for supposing for a moment that it would be complied with, and said they were not such fools. 'This,' said that extraordinary man, Napoleon, 'was one of the reasons which induced me to quit Elba/" George Silvertop thus was an indirect factor in bringing about the Battle of Waterloo, for had Napoleon not been induced to quit Elba, the famous struggle at Waterloo would not have taken place. It was George Silvertop who invited John Graham Lough to his beautiful mansion at Minsteracres, and showed him several works of art by Michael Angelo and Canova. Those art treasures were probably the first that Lough saw, and no doubt would produce a powerful impres- sion on the mind of the young sculptor. George Silvertop died on the 20th February, 1849, and was buried at Ryton. No member of the Silvertop family resides at present in the township of Ryton. Stella House, in the year 1828, was the residence of Edward Emerson, iron founder. Afterwards it was occupied by Thomas Young Hall, mining engineer, and subsequently by Mr. Joseph Cowen, late M.P. for Newcastle-on-Tyne. At present it is the residence of Mr. Joseph Roberts.

1813 High Mill Blaydon Burn

advertised to let in 1813 in the Newcastle

Courant‘a mill situated at Blaydon Burn, the property of the late Robert Paddison, lately deceased,has been employed in the manufacture of flint for different potteries, in an extensive line,together with flint kiln, a good dwelling house and all other suitable conveniences for carrying on the same’.

1814 ROBBING  

The following account in the Newcastle Courent May 7th 1814 appears to make Winlaton Mill unsafe for travellers. “£50 reward – whereas last night, between the hours of 10 and 11 o’clock, as Mr John March of Greenside, cattle dealer was returning from Darlington Market, he was attached by two men in the lane leading from Winlaton Mill to Winlaton, one of them middle-aged, the other stout made, who struck him with a bludgeon on the left arm and head, which unhorsed him and, after receiving several bruises, was robbed of £340, principally £5 Darlington and Durham bank notes.  A reward of £50 is hereby offered by the Stella and Winlaton Association for the Prosecution of Felons; also a further reward of £20 by the said John March, to any person or persons giving information as may lead to the conviction of the offender or offenders”.

  Stella 27th April 1814

Apart from this, there have been remarkably few robberies in Winlaton Mill.

1815 William Cochran Carr, the founder of the business was born 30 August 1815 at Blaydon, the only son of John Carr and his wife, Dorothy (nee) Cochran. His father's occupation was probably farmer. The 1841 Census return for Blaydon describes William as a farmer in 1841, but by 1850 he is described in trades directories as farmer and firebrick manufacturer. There is evidence to suggest that his interest in Benwell Colliery dates from 1848, so his brickmaking may have begun at the same time, although his first works were at Blaydon.Around 1854 he took over South Benwell Brickworks from Emerson and Milner, steel and firebrick manufacturers, but continued to live in Blaydon until the mid 1860s when he and his wife, Isabella, moved to South Benwell House. The 1871 census return for Benwell describes William as "Colliery owner employing 264 men and 59 boys; fire brick manufacturer employing 35 men and 40 boys; farmer employing 6 men."In 1874 he formed a partnership with others to operate Elswick Colliery, but this partnership was dissolved in 1880. In 1881 the Elswick Coal Co Ltd was formed in which he also had an interest.William died 26 October 1889. His widow ran the business until 1905 when William Cochran Carr Ltd was formed and her son, also called William Cochran Carr became head of the firm.Brickmaking and colliery operations continued to be the mainstay of the business until a financial crisis in 1934 led to a restructuring and the launch of a new company - William Cochran-Carr (1934) Ltd, concentrating on brick and tile manufacture at the Fenham Brick and Tile Works, Two Ball Lonnen, Newcastle. Benwell Colliery closed in 1939 and Elswick Coal Co Ltd went into receivership in 1940. William Cochran Carr junior lived at Lower Condercum House, Benwell until 1934 when he moved to Corbridge, Northumberland.

1816 The Ryton Savings Bank was the first established in England.

The whole of the Charitable Institutions belonging to Crawley's manufacturers at Winlaton, Winlaton-Mill, and Swalwell (which had been supported by voluntary contributions of the workmen under regulations already mentioned), ceased in 1816, during a season of unparalleled distress amongst the commercial classes

1816 Winlaton chapel having been abandoned by the Company, it fell into decay. In 1816 a large school-room was erected upon the same site, by subscription, aided by gifts from the National and the Diocesan School Societies, and from Lord Crewe's trustees. On a stone inserted in the west end was inscribed: — Cur a Caroli Thorp, m.a., Ryton, 1816, but the hand of time has erased the inscription.

1816  Crowley Millington son of Isaiah came of age. One of his first actions was, due to the prevailing economic climate to close the Winlaton factory.

1816 150 of The unemployed Iron workers from Winlaton are paid one shilling per day to repair the roads of Ryton.

1816 Soon after the closure and because the benefits system of the Crowleys Poor was stopped, the blacksmiths of the village organized the `Blacksmiths Friendly Society' to help those in need. The society held its' meetings at the `New Inn' which stood opposite the Crown and Cannon on the Sandhill. Skilled workmen left the area and settled in Rotherham and Sheffield.

1817  The artist Turner is comissioned by Bowes to paint two scenes of Gibside. One of these looks north west down towards the Derwent valley from above the banqueting hall. The other looks southeast up the valley and clearly shows the column, Goodshields Haugh and the Race Dam or High Dam at the start of Crowleys mill race as seen from the `Scari Heights'

1818 July Stargate made the local newspapers as a result of a particularly nasty burglary which must have provided a talking point for many weeks among the local mining families. Thomas Snowdon of Stargate and his wife Jane had gone to visit friends at Greenside and, as the "Hoppings" or local fair was being held there, they stayed late and did not return to Stargate until around midnight, To their consternation they found their home had been burgled and they had lost all their clothes and bedding and, what must have been their most valuable possessions, some silver spoons. The worst aspect of the affair was that, to get past Snowdon's dog, the intruders had stoned it to death, leaving the room strewn with stones. Eventually a man named Parker was arrested and pleaded guilty at Durham Assizes, for which he was sentenced to death, though it seems unlikely that he was actually executed.

1819  Dr. John Lingard (5 February 1771 – 17 July 1851[1]) was an English Catholic priest, born in St Thomas Street in Central Winchester to recusant parents and the author of The History Of England, From the First Invasion by the Romans to the Accession of Henry VIII, an 8-volume work published in 1819. He also authored the very popular Catholic hymn to the Virgin Mary titled Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star.........Sang this hymn in church today but did you know he wrote it in the Board Inn in Stella.

1819 The keelmen went on strike, and one of their demands was an extra shilling per keel for every foot that the side of the collier exceeded five.

1819 Gerry Armstrong's blacksmiths shop, Winlaton. George (Geordie) Armstrong’s forge stood on the left side of Rectory Lane, opposite the old rectory. It is not known whether these premises were in use during Ambrose Crowley’s time but in 1954 the Blaydon Courier said it was the oldest building in Winlaton at over 400 years old.

In 1819 it was occupied by Thomas Hodgson a silk weaver.He was the leader, with Joseph Cowen ( later Sir Joseph ), who marched with 700 Winlaton men to a protest meeting on the Town Moor, Newcastle to protest against the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester when 7 were killed and 400 wounded by the Yeomanry Cavalry.Over 80,000 people gathered on the Town moor. Thomas Hodgson was one of the main speakers.The Winlaton men marched with blue banners made by the women of the village. The Mayor of Newcastle like the rest of the richer class was scared – he wrote to the home secretary :

“700 came prepared with arms,concealed,to resist the civil powersthey came from a village some miles from town ..and there is strong reason to suspect their arms are manufactured there”.

These were ‘Crowleys Crew’, they had pikes, primitive hand grenades and caltrops (known as craa-foot) – four pronged which when thrown would make cavalry ineffective. The presence of ‘Crowleys Crew’ meant a repetition of Peterloo was impossible. On many other occasions their presence prevented interference from the authorities.

When Armstongs began to use the building as a forge in the 1820’s they had to remove several looms left by their predecessor.

1819 Joseph Cowen was introduced to brickmaking by his brother in law Anthony Forster, FireBrick maker, and took over the Blaydon Burn pit and works.

1819 Library Established at Winlaton by Joseph Cowen

1819 "Amen Corner "Winlaton is seen on the east side of Church-street. A lane leads from this spot to Park Gate; and just at the commencement of the road, on the east side, there is a blacksmith's shop, which was formerly a dwelling house and the residence of Thomas Hodgson, weaver.

1820 George IV became King of England.

1820-1832 Gibside Mary Milner, now Dowager Countess of Strathmore, lived at Gibside and eventually married again in 1831. Her second husband was Mr William (later Sir William) Hutt, who had been her son's (John Bowes') tutor. She was 44 and William Hutt 24. Hutt was M.P. for Hull from 1832- 1841 and M.P. for Gateshead from 1841-1874. He was knighted in 1865 and later became an important figure in politics. Mr Gladstone and Lord John Russell were guests at Gibside. In 1860 the Dowager Countess of Strathmore, (the former Mary Milner), died and her body was placed in the crypt under Gibside Chapel beside that of her first husband, the Tenth Earl of Strathmore. Sir William Hutt continued to live at Gibside until 1875. He later married again and went to live in the Isle of Wight.

1821  Considering the number of keelmen that lived at Stella and Blaydon, it is not surprising that some of them should be first-class oarsmen. William Galley of Stella, in the early years of the present century, was champion oarsman of the Tyne. At the celebration of the coronation of His Majesty George IV., July 19th, 1821, a great boat race took place from Walker Quay to the Tyne Bridge. Thirteen boats started, including the "Laurel Leaf" (William Galley), Stella. The "Laurel Leaf" arrived seventh in order, but a dispute having arisen, the race was deferred till August ist (the anniversary of the Battle of the Nile), when the competitors pulled from Hebburn Quay to the Tyne Bridge, in the following order : ist, "Laurel Leaf " (William Galley), 6 sovs.; 2nd, "The Swallow'' 3 sovs. ; 3rd, " Lord Ravensworth, ,, 2 sovs. ; six boats competed. William Galley belonged to one of the old Stella families, William Silvertop having married a Galley of Stella in the 18th century. There were also a four-oared and a six-oared crew, formed by the keelmen of Stella and Blaydon.

1822 Sir Joseph Cowen married, Mary, daughter of Mr. Anthony Newton, of Winlaton, a workman at the Garesfield Colliery.

1822 Bagnall Engineering Enterprises. R.S. Bagnall and Sons Ltd. was the successor to a business established in 1822 with works at Winlaton and, latterly, at Hylton. In 1920 the company went into voluntary liquidation for reconstruction as two new companies: R.S. Bagnall and Sons (established 1822) Ltd. at Winlaton and Bagnall's Forge and Engineering Co. Ltd. at Hylton. At about the same time the Bagnall Sheet Metal Co. Ltd. was established at Winlaton in association with R.S. Bagnalls, with Bagnalls and Cook Ltd. as agents for them in Newcastle. In 1924 an unsuccessful attempt was made to reorganise the Hylton business as the Hylton Forge and Engineering Co. Ltd. to avoid total collapse.

1823 , An act was passed for dividing and inclosing Barlow Fell, Beda Hills, Blaydon Green, and the other.

Barlow Fell, Blaydon Green, Beda Hills, and the other waste lands in the manor or township of Winlaton, were divided and enclosed in pursuance of an Act of Parliament passed in 1823, Thomas Bell of Newcastle being the sole commissioner employed, who made his award of the division, June 29th, 1829. The lands divided, exclusive of that portion allotted for roads, quarries, wells, watering-places, &c, were declared by this award to contain

394 acres, 1 rood, 13 perches; of which 3 roods 26 perches was allotted to the rector of Ryton for a churchyard or cemetery, for the use of the township of Winlaton. Winlaton church was built on that part of the "fell" allotted to the rector of Ryton. Formerly the sports connected with Winlaton Hoppin — which included cock-fighting, bull-baiting, and horse-racing — were held on Barlow Fell. Horse-racing was last held there in 1854.

1823 George Silvertop claimed ‘Dockendale Steel Forge, Messuage &

Grounds’ of Messrs Emerson & Co., and received £1.1.0d. from Falconar & Co. for ‘a damHead in Blaydon Burn’.

1824 Sir Henry Augustus Clavering, Baronet born at Axwell Park, by, Blaydon.

1826 Stargate pit explosion. The youngest victims of the 1826 explosion were in fact, ten years old.

 Between two and three o'clock in the morning of Tuesday 30th May 1826 chinks of light could be seen in the windows of the cottages in the Stargate area as the miners stirred, lit their candles and prepared for an early shift at the pit. Some would prepare themselves carefully and quietly So as not to waken other members of the family who were not needed in the pit until later in the day. Others would be anxious to ensure that brothers, sons and fathers were also awake and about, as family groups often worked together, boys in particular often worked on the same shifts as their fathers, albeit at different jobs. Perhaps a father who was a hewer would be taking a young son in to work as a trap boy or an older son to be a putter. Whatever their precise jobs, all would have to get up at that unearthly hour, ready for a three o'clock start.


On this particular morning there would be many w ho would find it more difficult than usual to rise from their beds. The pit had not worked since the previous Friday and the miners' muscles had had three days in which to relax and soften. As there was no pit village as such at this time, it was unlikely that the miners would have had the services of a "knocker-up" as was often the case later in the nineteenth century. Will-power and the fear of missing a shift's pay would alone have had to drive the men on,


 Not everything connected with the pit had been idle over the weekend however, for the furnace which induced the draught through the workings would have been tended regardless of whether or not the pit was actually being worked. Every man knew that parts of the pit were "fiery", that is the working of coal caused Methane Gas, or "Firedamp", to be produced and that, if this was allowed to collect and then come into contact with a naked flame, an explosion could occur Such an incident, in the confined space a coal mine, would have devastating effects.


The key to safety was recognised as being good ventilation and to this end the furnace was kept burning day and night inducing a draught of fresh air down one side of the shaft and then in a zig-zag course through all the workings, emerging up the other side of the same shaft. The vertical division of the shaft into two sections was effected by a wooden partition and other partitions in the workings served to ensure the air travelled to every part of the pit. These partitions were called brattices and, wherever it was necessary for miners on their way to or from their working places, or for putters with their ponies to pass through them a trap door was provided, worked by a trap boy who was usually one of the youngest employees of the pit, often only six years old.


Great pains had always been taken at Stargate with the ventilation and, in spite of occasional incidents such as the fatal explosion of 1815, there seems to have been a sense of security around a false sense as events were to prove. Davy lamps had been used in the pit in the past and it was generally recognised throughout the coalfield that a Davy, or some thing similar, such as a Geordy lamp, was essential for working gassy seams. Nevertheless the recent practice in Stargate had been to trust the ventilation and use nothing more complicated than the simple candle. Candles, which the miners would have to provide themselves, out of their wages, had proved reasonably safe in the past and no-one expected any trouble that morning.


James Hall, the viewer, certainly did not expect trouble. True, he had not actually been in the pit himself for about a fortnight, but he had daily reports from his under-viewers. These had left him satisfied that the pit was in excellent condition and "uncommonly well ventilated".


As long as the furnace was kept burning the ventilation of the pit would be adequate. Everyone knew that, and everyone also knew that the furnace had been burning ever since Friday, so there was nothing to worry about. No-one apparently gave a thought to what might happen if a fall of stone in some remote part of the old workings were to block an airway and allow gas to accumulate. No-one gave a thought to it but that, or something similar, is what must have happened and some fifty men and boys were now carrying naked candle flames into an explosive mixture of Methane and Air.


Because of the way the miners rode the rope down the shaft, they would arrive at the shaft bottom one at a time. It would be thus singly, or at most in small groups, that they would make their way into the Brockwell seam workings east of the shaft.


Although it is recorded that the workings were east of the shaft, they could not have extended very far in that direction as the boundary of the Stella Freehold Estate — outside the Grand Lease — would soon have been reached. In a south-easterly direction the ninety fathom dyke, a major geological barrier, would have rendered any extensive working impractical, but to the north-east there was plenty of untouched Grand Lease coal and that is probably where the workings were.


The long line of men stretched right through the Brockwell seam workings, such that, as the first men drew near to their workplaces amongst the "bord and pillar" workings then used, the last were still riding the rope down the shaft. It was three o'clock.


That was when the explosion happened, when everyone was in either the main tunnels or the shaft, and hardly anyone had any shelter to deflect the blast. That blast swept back effortlessly through the workings, tossing aside and burning brattices, men, boys, ponies and all else that lay in its way. As it focussed on the shaft it raced up, carrying with it more brattices, ropes, corves and men, finally erupting out of the mouth of the pit with a mighty roar which told the local inhabitants only too clearly what had happened. Behind it the explosion left chaos. Everything which could be torn loose had been blown about and burned, In several places the roof had collapsed and the bodies of men, boys and horses were everywhere. Of the fifty or so miners that had descended to work, over thirty were dead, about a dozen were injured most of them seriously, and only four or five remained unharmed. For the survivors there was another danger to be faced; apart from the prospect of being buried alive by roof falls there was the "after-damp", deadly choking gases which follow an explosion and can quietly kill any man unlucky enough to be caught up in them.


No doubt local people, woken by the noise, would soon rush to the shaft top to find out what had happened and to see whether anything could be done to help. It must have been a terrible scene which greeted them. Corves full of coals which had been waiting at the shaft bottom since Friday had been blown right up the shaft and with them had come broken brattices, ropes and some dead ponies. Three men and a boy, who had been in the act of descending the shaft at the time of the explosion, were also blown right out of it, as was one man, John Grey, who had actually reached the bottom. Grey and two others, Thomas Stokoe and his 15 year old son Matthew, were killed outright, but, miraculously the other two, although injured, were expected to recover. The scene at the shaft top was described in the diary of a Winlaton man, in the flowery style of the day:


"This was such a sight as was never seen in the neighbourhood,

the clouds as it were, stood still,

the very earth was said to wonder to hear the cries of the people"


Rescue work would begin immediately and we can be sure that there would be no shortage of experienced miners volunteering to help. It soon became apparent, however that there were precious few alive to be rescued amid the underground chaos which once was Stargate Pit. The job quickly resolved itself into one of bringing out the bodies, a job which was seriously hampered by roof falls. Slow but steady progress was made throughout the Tuesday and Wednesday and on the Thursday, June 1st, twenty-seven of the victims were buried in Ryton Churchyard. A further six burials took place on Friday 2nd June and four more on Saturday 3rd June, a total of thirty-seven miners (nineteen men and eighteen boys). As it was stated on the Monday evening, 5th June, that thirty-eight had died, it seems likely that by then Matthew Newton, a 41 year old man who had survived the explosion but had been badly injured, had also died, Matthew Newton was buried at Ryton on Wednesday 7th June. Only two of the victims are commemorated today on a gravestone in Ryton Churchyard. These are John and Thomas Robson, two brothers whose names appear in their family gravestone, to the north of the main path, The other thirty-six victims all have unmarked graves.

1826 The last bull baited in Winlaton. Bulls were baited on a  piece of ground called the bull-ring, on which Winlaton church  now stands, and which at that day formed part of the common  lands of Winlaton.

1826 The Winlaton Blacksmiths Friendly Society formed for ‘The mutual relief of each other when in distress, and for other good works.’

1827 The death of John Crowley , Crowleys Iron works gradually lost both character and prosperity, and the welfare schemes were dropped one by one.

1828, a joint stock company was formed for building a chain-bridge over the Tyne, from the township of Winlaton to Scotswood in the county of Northumberland, and for makings convenient roads and approaches thereto.

1828, Blaydon was still one of the smallest villages on Tyneside, although a few manufactories had commenced, William G. Hawdon had an iron foundry ; Emerson and Milner, iron and steel foundries, and a fire-brick manufactory ; and the Beaumonts, the lead-yard. Blaydon House had been built, and was occupied by Mr. John Mulcaster, agent to Thomas Richard Beaumont, Esq. The village possessed eight public-houses. The dwellings of the keelmen, who comprised the most numerous class of workmen in Blaydon and Stella, occupied nearly the whole of the houses in the village.

1828, John Cowen, Charles Dixon,James Hurst, Robert Laycock and Sons, Richard Parker, Robert Ramsay, William Renwick, and George,Cuthbert,and Andrew Thompson, are described as manufacturers at Winlaton. These firms were all offshoots from Crowley,Millingtonand Company, the members of which represented

the oldest families in the village.Afterwards a great many of the Winlaton smiths and nailors obtained shops of their own, and worked for other manufacturers. They received from their employers iron,and orders as to the kind of ware required.After bein made, the goods were conveyed in panniersover the backs of donkeys,to their destination.Many of the nailmakers,with donkeys and carts, travelled through Durham and Northumberland, and hawked their ware. The nailmakers and patten-rinmgakers, in their best days,could earn no more than 3s. a day; bed-screw makers and ladle makers, 4s. ; makers of small chain,4s. ; and largechain,5s. When we consider that the day'swork commenced at five in the morning and lasted tilleighto'clock at night,there was littlechance of the

workmen becomingmillionaires. Females were employed in nailmaking the last two girls worked in a shop near to Amen Corner, in 1835. It is worthy of remark that one of the girls afterwards was married to one of the most successful manufacturers on the south side of the Tyne.

1828 Blaydon main Pit opened.

1828 Robert Belt is running Ladywell Bleaching Works Winlaton ( Ladywell Road)

1828, High Hedgefield House was the residence of Mr. Edward Martinson, parish clerk, schoolmaster, and overseer for the parish of Stella. In the year 1880, the Right Rev. Monsignor Canon Thompson removed from Esh to High Hedgefield, and occupied the house till his death in 1893. At the time of his death, Canon Thompson was the patriarch of the Hexham Clergy* He was born at Stella, on the 17th May, 1811. His early youth was spent at Darlington. He was sent to a junior school at  Scorton, in Yorkshire. At the age of fourteen he went to Ampleworth College, where he completed his classical education. Subsequently he went to Rome, where he lived until 1841. In the year 1839 he was ordained priest. While at college, a life-long  intimacy sprung up between him and the distinguished Dr. Wiseman. After his ordination, the young priest became the colleague of Monsignor Witham, incumbent of Esh ; and after Mr. Witham's removal to Berwick, Mr. Thompson was placed in charge of the mission, remaining there without change for forty years; it was his  first and his last mission. On the 23rd Nov., 1880, he sent his resignation to the Bishop. From this time until his death he resided at High Hedgefield, where he died on the 17th August, 1893. Tradition states that a public-house once stood on the site

of the present residence, and that the road to the ford at Newburn passed through the grounds attached to the house.

1828 The Blackett-Beaumont refinery at Blaydon closes as The last Silver is refined at Blaydon it opened in 1729.

1828 Winlaton St. Pauls Parish Church opened. The Church was consecrated on September 9th,1828, by the

Bishop of Durham. The buildingis in the Gothic style,by LBonomi, Esq.,and cost ,"2,500.

1828 Robi Hust is The Landlord of The Highlander Winlaton, Richard Parker is The Landlord of The Crown and Cannon, Edward Rippith is the landlord of The Smiths Arms, Andrew Liddle is the landlord of The Corner House

1829 George Stephenson built "The Rocket" Steam Engine

1829 Winlaton The first Congregational chapel was built in The Garth in 1829 and known as ‘Providence Chapel’.The project of a new church was decided by the Pastor Revd. Tebb.The Chapel was built on the site of the former national school at a cost of £2000. This site is one of the most historic in Winlaton.A chapel dedicated to St. Anne was the first place of Christian worship in Winlaton.The chapel stood until 1569 when it was destroyed by the forces of Elizabeth I during the rebellion of the northern Catholic Earls.The first Congregational chapel was built in The Garth in 1829 and known as ‘Providence Chapel’.The project of a new church was decided by the Pastor Revd. Tebb.The Chapel was built on the site of the former national school at a cost of £2000. This site is one of the most historic in Winlaton.A chapel dedicated to St. Anne was the first place of Christian worship in Winlaton.The chapel stood until 1569 when it was destroyed by the forces of Elizabeth I during the rebellion of the northern Catholic Earls.

1829 Each child would have to pay 2 pence per week to attend school.

1829 Scotswood Bridge Started The spot chosen for erecting this bridge is about 800 yards west of the hamlet of Darwent* Haugh, The first stone of the land abutment on the south side was laid under the direction of Mr. Green, the architect, and in presence of Messrs. Grace and Ramsay, two of the committee^ on July 21, 1829" The coffer dam of the north pier was commenced in September following, and the first stone laid Oth February, 1830. Puring the high flood that occurred 14th October, 1829, the works were ei^dangered, and a large quantity of timber was carried away; but the damage was promptly repaired, a^id many keel loads of chalk ballast were deposited, so as. to protect and strengthen the abutments.

1829 Barlow Fell, Beda Hills, Blaydon Green, and the other waste lands in the manor and township of Winlaton, were divided and inclosed in pursuance of an act of parliament passed in 1823; Thomas Bell, of Newcastle, being the sole commissioner employed, who made his award of this division June 29) 1829* The lands divided, exclusive of that portion allotted for roads, quarries, wells, watering places, "c., are declared by this award to contain 394 acres, 1 rood, 13 perches; of which 3 roods, 26 perches, was allotted to the rector of Ryton, for a church-yard or cemetery, for the use of the township of Winlaton, and on which Winlaton chapel has since been erected. Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont obtained by exchange the messuages standing upon the Fell.

1830 LANG JACK In connection with the exploits of Crowley’s Crew, John English has been mentioned.  Under the nick-name of ‘Lang Jack’, this member of the notorious band became almost a legend – many and varied are the tales told about this giant of a man who was 6’ 4 1/2” in height and of prodigious strength.

Jack came from Chester-Le-Street in 1830 to work on the erection of Scotswood Bridge.  He was a stone-mason, and it would be his job to erect the stone pillars supporting the bridge.  He also erected the pillar in the centre of the old ‘Butterfly Bridge’ over the Derwent at Eelsheugh in 1842, and his name carved on the top most stone of the pillar which still exists and supports the new bridge.

Jack came to the notice of the Lords of the Manor of Axwell because of his interest in local politics.  To mark their esteem they gave him a piece of land on Axwell Manor, right at the boundary of Axwell and Hollinside Manors, he built his cottage.  The blocks of stone he quarried himself and carried on a bogie, normally drawn by horses, up some of the steepest hills in the district from Blaydon Burn Quarry.  In his garden he erected a stone pillar adorned with a bust of himself, designed and carved in 1854 by John Norvell of Swalwell.  The monument was unveiled to the cheers of many people who had come from miles around.  After the ceremony they marched in procession to the ‘Three Tuns’ Inn at Whickham, led by the Whickham Brass Band.

Jack died in 1865 and is buried at Winlaton in the old churchyard beside the church. His pretty old thatched cottage was burned down in 1912, and all that remains is a weather-beaton old statue without a name, and a few of the massive slabs of stone which testify to his strength, but the name of Lang Jack is still remembered, and paintings of his cottage still adorn many homes in the locality.

1830 May 30th Stargate Colliery, A serious explosion occurred at this pit  when thirty-seven men and boys were killed. Messrs. Dunn were at that time owners, but in 1833 the lease expirto Rytoned, and the colliery having been laid in soon after the accident was not used until 1840

1830 A new road built from Stella toi Ryton.

1830 May 30th Thirty-seven men and boys killed by the expflosion at Stargate colliery,

1830 William IV became King of England.

1830 Plans for Blaydon Railway. its embankments will be increased about £1000- From the foot of the south plane the Railway will be continued upon an embankment across Blaydon Haughs, to the east end of Blnydon, where the Parliamentary site is now occupied by the now turnpike road from Scotswood to Blaydon. The Railway line must accordingly be deliverted at this place, and passed through the row of Mr.

Townleys cottages on the south side of Mrs. Beaumuont’s lead works, and resume its site on the west of those work It will then pass over gardens, across the road to a public landing across Blaydon Burn, through the north end of Messrs. Edington and Mark’s malt house,over the south aide of the London Lead Company's along the south side of Stella Lower Wharf, through William Forster cottage and garden, and three other adjoining gardens, along the shore lately walled up by Mr. Townley, east of Stella coal staiths, along the south side of those coal staiths, and under Sllella scar or shore west of them, where the Railway should he supported by a high river wall upon a foundation of piles. From Stella Scar the line passes over the south side of Stella Upper Wharf and through the lands of Mr. Townley, to the road leading from Blaydon and Stella to ‘Newburn, from whence it passes generally along the foot of the high lands to Ryton, Stanners’ House, Crawcroolt Mill, and across Stanley Burn to the oust side at Wylam Scars.

1830 Bleach Green, or Lady well Bleachery. In the year 1830,the placewas used as a bleachery by Mr. Robert Belt of Winlaton, whose mills were situate at the foot of Pandon Dene, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Mr.Belt's garden was at the high side of the Green, in which there was a fish-pond, supplied with water from the Ladies' well,or

Ladywell, at the south side.

1830 Saints Mary and Thomas Aquinas. new church was proposed. Hull, then approaching his eightieth year, retired, and he was succeeded by the twenty four year old Thomas Edward Witham, nephew of George Silvertop of Minsteracres, and brother of Mrs Emma Dunn (nee Witham) of Hedgefield House, the principal Catholic in the congregation. The well-connected, newly ordained priest was clearly the best available man to effect the necessary changes in this large and prominent mission. The investment of the Eyre fund had by this time increased the money available to £950, and that was brought up to £1,500 by 'a number of sums contributed by the Catholic and Protestant Ladies and Gentlemen in the neighbourhood', and that was sufficient to begin building the church. The 'neat' church, dedicated to Saints Mary and Thomas Aquinas, designed by a local architect, J. Green to seat three hundred people, was opened in October 1832.

1831 The Catholic mission of Our Lady and St. Thomas Aquinas was established at Stella. It was the only Catholic Church between Hexham and Newcastle covering a parish of 150 square miles. The population grew significantly with the advent of the railways, improvements to the River Tyne and the influx of Irish immigrants flowing the famous potato crop failures in Ireland in the 1840's. Canon Wrennal set up several schools in his large parish. One in particular was built in Blaydon in 1870, it is still in use today as the Parish Hall. This School was also used by worshippers as its mission church. On 31st July 1898 this old school was opened for divine services for the new parish of St. Joseph, Blaydon. The architect, John Green, who designed Stella Church, also designed Scotswood suspension bridge. John Green and his son also designed Greys Column, the Theatre Royal and the Literary and Philisophical Society in Newcastle as well as designing Penshaw Monument. The original cost of the church was £1500.

1831 Scotswood Chain bridge built. The Scotswood Suspension Bridge was opened with great jubilation on16 September 1831.A signal gun was fired from the Castle Keep in Newcastle to start the proceedings. A grand procession of about 90 carriages and gigs left theAssembly Rooms in the city. It was headed by the Mayor of Newcastle and other civic dignitaries, and followed by numerous gentlemen on horses. Bands played and banners were waived along the five-mile route to the bridge.When they arrived, a nine-gun salute was fired. The cavalcade moved onto the bridge carefully. Weight was a concern as a similar structure in Middlesbrough had collapsed a few weeks before. Half way across,the procession stopped while the Reverend Charles Thorpe dedicated the bridge. The parade continued to Blaydon and back to the Newcastle Assembly Rooms where a huge banquet was held. During the banquet,a silver tankard was presented to the architect, John Green, in recognition of his outstanding design. As soon as the bridge was opened it was crowded to excess. 3000visitors crammed themselves onto the section between the two suspension points, with a further 2000 more on each of the endsections! Throughout the day ships on the river decorated their boats with bunting and blasted their horns. Churches all over the area joined in the celebrations with peals of bells.

1831, January 9th On account of the sudden melting of the snow, aided by a strong South-West wind, the River Tyne, the Teams and the Derwent rose to an unusual height.  The whole of the low ground in the vicinity of Swalwell and Dunston was under water.

1831 The Blaydon, Gateshead and Hebburn Railway (BG and HR) was formed in 1831 to construct a line linking those towns to carry coal to the staiths at Hebburn, dispensing with the use of keelboats

1831 Joseph Cowens eldest son, Joseph,who was born at Blaydon Burn, July 9th, 1831. He attended a private

school at Winlaton, first under the Rev. Mr. Kitchen,and afterwards under Mr. Lee. Mr. Kitchen was a man of great and varied ability and his school was attended by nearly all the gentlemen's sons in the neighbourhood.Mr. Cowen subsequently attended Mr. Richard M. Weeks' private school at Ryton Park. The school at Winlaton having been given up, the Ryton school became the centre for young gentlemen

1831 Summerhill The old summer- house of the Widdringtons still stands on the hill which bears its name ; but for many years it has ceased to answer its original purpose. A figure of Garibaldi, placed there by the late Mr. Robert Eadie of Blaydon, stands on the north side of the summer- house. Part of Summer-house Hill has, for a number of years, been used by the people of Blaydon and Stella, as a recreation ground.

1831, the Catholic mission of Our Lady and St. Thomas Aquinas was established at Stella

1831 Oct 17th SIR JOHN FIFE (1795 - 1871)The eminent surgeon lived in Prudhoe Street. He opened a Hospital for Diseases of the Eye in Brunswick Place in 1822 and over the next nine years, 7,000 patients were treated. This institution moved to Prudhoe Street and later to Saville Row. In 1832 Fife and Thomas Headlam helped to found the Newcastle School of Medicine and Surgery.

Fife was a prominent Reform Bill agitator (called an 'idol of the mob') and spoke at the great meeting on Cow Hill, with 50,000 present on 17 October 1831. Thomas Hepburn (q.v.) was also on the platform. On 25 October Fife was among the 300, mostly ironworkers from Winlaton, who marched to prevent intimidation of a meeting in Durham. The Marquis of Londonderry had threatened to break up the gathering with the Durham Yeomanry - his 'lambs' as he called them. After becoming members of the first reformed council, Headlam and Fife turned on their former radical allies. Fife was mayor of Newcastle in 1838-9 and again in 1843. He was knighted in 1840 for suppressing a Chartist outbreak the previous year. It was noticed that when Fife returned from London by ship, his baggage was conspicuously labelled 'Sir John Fife, Newcastle upon Tyne'.

Fife, with the assistance of Robert Glover (q.v.) carried out the autopsy on fifteen-year-old Hannah Greener of Winlaton, who had died under anaesthetic. She is regarded as the first victim of chloroform anaesthesia.

1832 Winlaton St. Paul Church Built.

1832-1885 Gibside was owned by John Bowes, but not used permanently. In 1854 he married a French lady, Josephine Benoite, Countess of Montalbo. She was an actress and an artist and they spent a great deal of their time in France, but he did bring his wife to Gibside occasionally on visits. (The life of John Bowes is dealt with fully in Charles Hardy's book, "John Bowes and the Bowes Museum". During their marriage they bought many paintings and Objets d'Art, intending to build a Museum in Calais. Because of the unsettled state in France however, plans were changed and a site was chosen in 1864 near Barnard Castle. Foundations were laid in 1869. Josephine was much younger than her husband and thought that she would outlive him, .so a pent-house was planned to be built on top of the museum where she would live and be in charge of the development of the project after John's death. However, in 1874, Josephine died and her body was placed in the crypt at Gibside. John Bowes arranged that a wreath of flowers should regularly placed on her coffin. In 1875 the foundations of a Catholic Chapel in Bowes Museum Park were laid. This was eventually to be the last resting place of Josephine (who was a Catholic) and her husband. The Chapel was partly built, but objections were raised by some trustees of the Museum and building was stopped. It wasn't until 1927 that the partly built Chapel was pulled down and re-built outside the grounds of the Museum.

1832 Thomas Young Hall of Stella House invented The Miners Cage.

1833 Feb 25th The Rev. Henry Wardle replaces Archdeacon Thorp at St. Pauls Church Winlaton.

1833 H. L. Pattinson at his workshop in Blaydon invented the prosess to exctract silver from lead. Silver could be extracted from the lead ore (when it was present) using a special process caled crystalization which was developed at Blackett's Lead Works at Blaydon on Tyne in 1833.

1834 Of great significance in the development of industry along the Burn was the construction of the eastern terminus of the Newcastle - Carlisle railway line, the section between Hexham and Blaydon being completed by November 1834. The line was opened nearly four months later on the 9th March 1835, when two locomotives,

the ‘Rapid’ and the ‘Comet’, ran return trips to Hexham. The following day a regular train service was established.

1834 Flood (January 28). Newcastle and the neighbourhood was visited by a severe storm, of wind and rain, as were all the western parts of thecounty. From the circumstance of the Tyne risingto an enormous height and overflowing its banks, the whole of the district below Blaydon, including Derwenthaugh, Scotswood, Dunstan, &c., was completely under water, and in many of the houses it was nearly up to the second floor. At the time of high water at Newcastle in the evening, the Close and the Quayside were completely flooded, the water extending on to the Sandhill and a considerable distance up the Broad-chare. Many cellars and warehouses in those situations were filled with water,

1834 The bridge across the Burn was built.

1834,Blaydon Burn  J. Cowen & Co. were operating 7 Newcastle kilns here, the site being known as the High Yard, or High Works.

1835 Roman Catholic church in Stella St Mary and Thomas Aquinas, opened

1835 Newcastle and Carlisle railway Great interest was excited in Newcastle and the adjoining district, by the opening of a portion of the Newcastle and Carlisle railway. The morning was uncommonly fine, and at an early hour numerous groups of persons were seen bending their .sleps in the direction of Blaydon, from which place the procession was announced to start at ten o'clock. Two trains were prepared for the reception of the intended excursionist. At a quarter In t'ore eleven the first train left Blaydon, drawn by the Rapid locomotive engine, and was followed by the Comet engine leading the second train, at six minutes before eleven. Both these engines were made in Newcastle ; the former by Messrs. Stephenson and Co., and the latter by Messrs. Hawthorn. About half-past one the party reached Hexham, where banners, triumphal arches, &e., had been prepared for the occasion, and the whole of the passengers were provided with refreshment, at the various inns, at the expense of the directors. At twenty minutes past three the trains left Hexham, and returned to Blaydon in one uninterrupted trip of seventeen miles, in one hour and ten minutes. Throughout the. whole of the line, the adjacent country poured forth its inha- bitants. and nothing could exceed the interesting spectacle which the villages and cottages presented. Bands of music, flags, the ringing of bells, the firing of cannon, and the hearty cheers of the !led multitude, gave a joyous welcome to this first and .auspicious journey on the Newcastle and Carlisle railway. A dinner was held in the evening in the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, the mayor (J. L. Hood, esq.,) presiding, and about 80 gentleman siit down to commemorate the interesting proceedings of the day. On the following day the regular passenger trains, four in number, commenced running daily between the two places ; passengers from Newcastle being conveyed to Blaydon by omnibusses, and goods being forwarded to the same place by a steamboat, which departed

1835 10th Mar Blaydon Railway Station The station was constructed by the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway

1835 Blaydon station opened i to service the line from Blaydon to Hexham. The line was later continued to Red Heugh and later over the River Tyne to Newcastle. One of the original stipulations of the act to allow the line to be built was that no engine should be erected or steam seen within 1000 yards of Stella Hall. The average speed of trains when the line first opened was around 15 miles per hour. Blaydon has had a number of stations, the first being a wooden construction. The later Victorian stone station was replaced in 1911-12 after complaints from the local health board. The first 2 train loads of passengers were pulled by the locomotives named Comet and Rapide.

1835 Blaydon Lighted by Gas

1835 Mr. Laycock built the present Winlaton Hall, the residence of H. W. Grace, Esq. Mr. Laycock was engaged in the iron trade at Winlaton, and in the manufacture of railway waggons at Stella, by which he became a wealthy man. He was Mayor of Newcastle in 1858, and was a Justice of the Peace for Durham and Northumberland, and for many years Chairman of the Blyth and Tyne Railway. Mr. Laycock bought the Low Gosforth estate, and built Low Gosforth House, where he resided until his death on August 2nd, 1881.His only son, Robert Laycock, Esq., born in 1833, married Anne, daughter of Christine Allhusen, Esq. He was M.R for North Lincolnshire. His principal seat was Wiseton Hall, Nottingham- shire. He died August 14th, 1881.

1836 G H Ramsay built Park Head Hall, Winlaton on his father's farm. Park Head Hall (originally Derwent Villa) was called by Fordyce "a pleasantly situated mansion, in the Elizabethan style of architecture". It was built in 1836, and was the seat of George Heppel Ramsay (1790-1879), industrialist. His mother was descended from German steelmakers who came to the Derwent in C17. Ramsay was succeeded by his son John T. Ramsay and grandson G.R. Ramsay. In St. Pauls Church a window represents Mary sitting at the feet of the Saviour, and bears the following : — " In affectionate remembrance of Mary, wife of George Heppel Ramsay, of Derwent Villa, Parish of Winlaton, County of Durham; died February ist, 1869, aged 73. Also of George Heppel, their youngest son, who died September 14th, 1860, aged 31."

1836 June 28. That portion of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway between Hexham and Haydon Bridge was opened with great splendour. Two trains, one drawn by the Hercules locomotive, manufactured by Stephenson, and the second, consisting of six railway coaches and eleven trucks, drawn by the Samson engine, manufactured by Messrs. Hawthorn, left Blaydon about eleven o'clock with the directors and their friends, and the party arrived at Haydon Bridg.e a little before two. At various parts of the line flags were hoisted, and discharges of guns took place as the trains passed, and scarcely a spot on either side of the river which commanded a view of the procession was without its group of spectators, who by their acclamations testified the interest they took in the scene. The numerous company spent a delightful day without the slightest accident.

1836 Winlaton workhouse sold to R.S.Bagnel. Gateshead Poor Law Union formally came into existence on 12th December, 1836. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 30 in number, representing its 9 constituent townships as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):

County of Durham: Crawcrook, Gateshead (10), Heworth (6), Ryton, Ryton Woodside, Stella, Whickham (4), Winlaton (5).

1836 Winlaton Wesleyan Methodist The 1st Chapel built. The chapel was made of corrugated iron and was commonly known as 'The Tin Mission'. It was replaced with a larger stone building in Litchfield Lane in 1868.

1837 June 19. A melancholy accident happened at the Short Sands, on the north side of Tynemouth Castle. About nine o'clock in the morning, Mr. John Smith, of Winlaton, and Mr. Hodgson, draper, Gateshead, went to bathe, and unfortunately got out of their depths and were both drowned. Their bodies were almost immediately taken out, but life was extinct. Mr. Smith was a single man, but Mr. Hodgson left a wife and six children to lament his untimely end.

1837 March 1. That portion of the Newcastle and Carlisle railway, about 3 miles in length, extending from Blaydon to Redheugh, was opened by a procession and much rejoicing.

1837 October 31. One of those exhibitions which occasionally disgrace this kingdom, a prize fight, took place at Middleton Bridge, near Cambo, Northumberland. The combatants were a black, who called himself young Molyneux, and a man of the name of Renwick, who resided at Winlaton, near Newcastle. The black, who was visiting Newcastle on a " sparring tour," was challenged by his opponent to fight for 25 a-side. Owing to the interference of Thomas Anderson, esq., of Kirkharle, the fight did not commence until five o'clock. The contest lasted an hour and a half, and an idea may be formed of its severity from the fact that 87 rounds were fought with half a minute rest between each round. The black darkness having come on in the latter part of the fight butted his antagonist with his head. He won the battle, and the Winlaton man was left on the field nearly dead ; he was dreadfully punished.

1837 The Stella Coal Company became proprietors of the Stella and Towneley Collieries.

1837 Victoria became Queen of England.

1838 Blaydon Burn (Tithe ASC) shows the Winlaton side of the Burn divided between two farms: Dockendale Farm to the north-east, leased to William Cochrane and others, as wasalso Blaydon Farm. On the east bank of the Blaydon Burn, between the Burn mouthand the bridge, a quay is shown. The inlet of the Burn was navigable to keels at thistime. In the river to the north, on what became a small island at high tide, was‘Blaydon Green Public Quay and Landing Place’ with a warehouse.

1839 May 31st, the line from Newcastle to Blaydon for minerals, and on October 21st, Newcastle to Blaydon for passengers. The keelmen were not the only class of men whose trade suffered by the introduction of the railroad system : the " British Queen" coach, which started from Hexham, and called at "The Beehive," Blaydon, at half-past ten in the morning and at half-past four in the afternoon, to take up passengers, was compelled by the cheapness of railway travelling to retire from the road, and the jolly coachman of sixty years ago has disappeared for ever.

1839 The Peoples Charter 1.Universal suffrage for all men over 21 2.Secret ballot 3.Payment of MPs 4.Abolition of property qualifications for MPs 5.Equal electoral districts

6.Annual elections

1838 Cowens Brickyard Opened

1838 The railway bridge just west of Scotswood Bridge was first opened in 1838. However it was built of wood and burnt down in 1860. built of timber in 1839. Designed by John Blackmore it was damaged by fire caused by hot ash from a passing train in 1860 with a wooden replacement opening in 1861, which in turn was replaced by a temporary single track bridge in 1865 until the fourth bridge was built on this site in 1871 (costing £20,000) carrying the railway. In 1839, a new railway bridge over the Tyne was opened. It was intended to be a temporary structure, having a wooden trestle (framework) and a wooden deck resting on stone abutments. Despite its temporary nature, for over 20 years this bridge carried a regular stream of passenger and industrial trains. Workers began to complain that the bridge was not safe. The structure was dilapidated, its timbers were decayed, its joints rotted and its bolts loose. Ice collected around its base and boats regularly collided with its somewhat fragile frame. In response to safety fears, it was decided that only one train at a time should be allowed on the bridge. A Board of Trade inspector, Colonel Yolland, was summoned from London to examine the bridge. He spent a morning watching trains moving across it, testing its strength and stability. He suggested that the bridge was safe and left at midday to prepare his report. 30 minutes later, a mineral train from Carlisle to Newcastle dropped hot ash from its engine onto the tracks. Within three hours the ensuing fire had totally destroyed the bridge.

1839 Aug 13th Some of the amusements and pastimes of "Crowley's Crew" were cruel and demoralising. Poaching was carried on to an alarming extent. Sometimes a gang of poachers would number twenty or thirty men, who naturally produced terror wherever they went. A desperate affair took place at Alston Moor on August 13th, 1839, between a number of men from Winlaton and the neighbourhood, and the gamekeepers connected with an estate at Alston. Among the poachers was Will Renwick, a well-known Winlaton man, and an ardent sportsman. The poachers having secured their booty, retired to a public-house for refreshment, when the house was surrounded by the keepers, who satisfied themselves with watching till the poachers made their appearance. The Winlaton men understanding the state of affairs, on leaving the house made a tremendous rush, Renwick taking the lead and felling several of the keepers with his gun, thus enabling his com- panions to reach the outside, where a long and terrible conflict took place, in which one of the keepers was so badly injured that he afterwards died. All the poachers escaped.

1839 Saw Winlaton turned into an armed fort. Large numbers of hand grenades, pikes, spears and caltrops were made. The caltrop or craa foot was an iron pronged instrument designed to be placed on the road if cavalry were expected. Every entrance to the village was closed off and armed guards were placed there. Fourteen cannon were placed on the Sandhill. The expected armed troops of the government did not arrive. If the troops had come the likely outcome would have been disaster for the village. In Newport in November of that year armed chartists had marched into the town and came under fire by the militia. Several chartists were killed. The leaders of the Chartists were charged with treason and sentenced to death.{Note 3) Eventually a reprieve was granted and they were instead transported to Tasmania for life.

1839 On the 15th of July,a man named Jacob Robinson,belonging to Winlaton,was brought up at the policeoffice Necwecastle,and charged with being disorderly,and on being searched,two pike-heads each eighteen inches in length,were found on him ; he was immediately imprisoned.

1839 The field in which the Hall Farm stands, and known as the Hall-Garth, was formerly the Winlaton Race-course. In 1839, on May 20th and 21st (Whit-Monday and Tuesday), a Sweepstakes of 3 sovs. each p.p., with 20 added by the Town, free for all horses, was won by Mr. R. F. Johnson's ** Nancy Banks."

1839 Charles Clavering Wardell, better known in the dramatic profession as Charles Kelly, was born at Winlaton on January 4th, 1839, and was the son of the Rev, Henry Wardell, M.A., rector of Winlaton, He became an officer in the English army, but quitted it for the theatrical profession. He made his first appearance at the Theatre Royal, Hull, in 1868, in the character of Montano in "Othello." In London he played at the Surrey, Holborn, Globe, Queen's, Royal, Court, St. James's, Adelphi, and Haymarket theatres in many parts. In October, 1873, at the Globe Theatre, Mr. Kelly sustained his " original " part of Richard Arkwright, in the drama of " Arkwright's Wife," by the late Tom Taylor, first performed at the Leeds Theatre Royal, his acting on this occasion being highly praised. Having previously appeared in Charles Reade's plays of "Rachel the Reaper" and "Griffith Gaunt" at - the Queen's Theatre in Long Acre in 1875, Mr. Kelly accepted an engagement at the Court Theatre under the management of Mr. Hare. On Saturday, March 13th of that year, Mr. Kelly appeared there as Lord Melton in an originalcomedy by Charles F. Coghlan, entitled "Lady Flora," in which he won high honours. In January, 1876, at the same theatre, in the first performance of "A Quiet Rubber" (C. F. Coghlan) adapted from the French "La Partie de Piquet," Mr. Kelly played Mr. Sullivan. In December of the same year, at the same theatre, in a revival of u New Men and Old Acres" (Tom Taylor and A. Dubourg), the part of Mr. Samuel Brown was sustained by Mr. Kelly. The revival of this play was very successful, and remained on the "bills" of the Court Theatre for 250 consecutive nights. At the same house Mr. Kelly appeared as Darnley in "The House of Darnley." At St. James's Theatre, in "Such is the Law," he gained further reputation by his careful acting of Tom Goacher. At the Adelphi Theatre, in 1878, he played for a time the part of Pierre Lorance, in "Proof." The same year, on Monday, December 2nd, at the Haymarket Theatre, in the first performance of ''The Crisis" (James Alberry), adapted from M. Emile Augier's "Les Fourchambault," Mr. Kelly presented in a remarkably able and finished way the character of John Goring.

1839 2nd of August, a considerable number of special constables were sworn in,in the neighbourhood of Winlaton. During that year (1839) great excitement prevailed in the north of England, it being feared that the Chartists would come into collisionwith the forces of the Government. So bitter was the feeling of the Chartists against the reigning powers, that many of them began to smoke herbs instead of tobacco to reduce the

revenue, and thus " bring the Government to its senses." The "sacred month" (August,1839) was perhaps better "observed by the Chartists of Winlaton than by those of any other village in England. At the " Battle of the Forth," " Crowley'sCrew,"attended by the Winlaton Brass Band, was there in strong force and whatever may be said about the humiliatin part played by some of Crowley's workmen who lived at other villages in the ambelme or-

"battle" " perhaps"rout" would be the better word to use "during the same month (August an event occurred at Winlaton which shows that the preparation made by the Chartists to oppose any hostile force were both extensive and dangerous. A report reached Winlaton that a number of dragoons intended visiting Winlaton.

1839 The First Scotswood Railway Bridge constructed 

1839 The lease of the Grand Lease collieries was taken up by John Buddle, T. Y. Hall, and A. L. Potter, under the name of the Stella Coal Company.

1839 Oct 31st The "Meteor opened the line from Blaydon to Newcastle. The man who was fireman on this engine at that time thus relates his experiences : — -" The * Meteor ' engine was sent to Redheugh Station to work the passenger trains between that station and Blaydon, also coal trains and other things, with this tiny engine about eleven tons all told. We formed the connection at Blaydon with all trains to and from the west. For this new arrangement of running I was to be called out of bed by a watchman close after two o^clock each morning, to gather up my fire bars, put them into the box, and get a fire as best I could as usual, and have steam ready by 5 a.m. to take our first train from Gateshead to Blaydon at 5.20 a.m. I had also to clean most of the

little engine, the driver doing part. I had to clean up the shed, take all ashes out, coke the tender, etc. To turn the engine the tender had to be taken off, and pushed on one side to get past it, and reunited as often as we made a short trip. There is nothing like it in the divorce court. For this work my pay was 2s. 8d. per day, commencing at 5 a.m., when my driver made his appearance, little overtime being allowed, and we did well to finish by 8.45 p.m. I

worked about 18 hours daily, with one exception, weekly, and on this particular time we had our boiler to clean out, and had to fill by hand buckets this after our train work was finished. Water being a little scarce in the shed, it was frequently necessary to haul out of the river Tyne and carry to the shed, and pour into the boiler by the safety valve or man-hole by the driver, the fireman having the honour of carrying it from the river quay.

1840 Influx of Irish immigrants flowing the famous potato crop failures in Ireland

1840 1st Jan Cowen concluded an agreement with Peregrine Edward

Towneley of Stella, whose family had inherited the Stella estate and extensive

property in Winlaton from Edward Standish, which granted him wayleave down the

side of the Blaydon Burn for the construction of a waggonway. The way was to be

made ‘so as not to injure the supply of water to the water wheels’. The Blaydon Burn

Waggonway established a rail link between Cowen’s High Yard at the south end of

the Study Area and the Newcastle-Carlisle railway at the north end, with branch and

loop lines serving Cowens’ pits and mills, allowing more rapid transportation of the

products of the Burn to the point of storage and distribution

1840 Blaydon Waggonway opened at Blaydon Burn 1840, Peregrine Edward Towneley and Joseph Cowen entered into an agreement giving the latter way leave to build a waggonway down the side of Blaydon Burn.

1840 Hedgefield House buit. Home of The Mining Engineer John Bell Simpson.

1840 The Derwent Iron Company was formed.

1842 The Childrens Employment Commision Report.

William Ritson.

Going to 13. Is a half-marrow. These two boys are brothers and put a tram together. John has

been down more than 7 years. William has been down about 3 years. They get up about 2 o’clock

every morning, leave home about 3 o’clock, or quarter to 3. Go down the pit about half-past 3 o’clock;

starts work in about half an hour. Generally they come up about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Now they

are working at off-hand work, leading stones, &c. and come up at 12 o’clock [mid-day] only working

8-hour shifts. John has worked many times double shift the year before last, i.e., he worked 20 hours

without coming up at all, more than ten times. Does this when the master tells them. [This, the underviewer

says. only occurs on pay Saturdays when anything very particular is wanted - as sending up

rubbish, &c., to bank]. When he was at Blaydon Main last year he was in a place about 30 inches in

height and there he rubbed the skin off his back now and then when he was putting a corf of 10 pecks

by himself. The corf often stuck against the roof there. It is harder to put here because the tubs are

heavier. The air is bad enough and he is now and then sickish and feels his head ache. Can read only

very easy words; cannot write. Goes to Sunday-school; goes to chapel now and then. Wm. Ritson

knows only his letters; cannot write. Goes to Sunday-school and to chapel now and then.

Father is a shifter. An older brother is putting.

John Scott.

Aged about sixteen and a half. Puts in the same way as preceding witness. Is sometimes a

headsman and has no helper-up, and no assistance. Whiles he is so beat by his work, that he cannot get

on. There is a difference of places. Mostly puts the full tram up. The height of the places is about a

yard. in some places a bit more; has never measured it. Skin is rubbed off his back sometimes. Almost

ever day he hits his back against the roof. Whiles they may drop down upon their knees. There is no

palling with soams here. There are a few helpers-up. Is in the New Pit. There is good air. They are

working more in the broken than the whole. Whiles he puts in the broken, whiles in the whole. Is

often off work; was off two days last week with sore feet and very bad of his inside. Has spewed up

his victuals now and then. His head and back works sore very often. Works from 4 in the morning till

4 or half-past 4 in the pit every day. Cannot read or write at all. Was once at Sunday school. Never

goes to any place of worship regularly. Has been in the pits many years.

William Jefferson.

Aged about 12, does not know rightly. Has been in pits about three years; in this colliery a

year. Drives; gets 1s. 3d. a-day for that. Is called at 3 o’clock. Goes down the pit at 4 o’clock, and

rides at 4 [p.m.]. Does not go far in by. Was cut on the cheek by a stick of a corf catching him and he

was off a fortnight. Is comfortable in the pit. Came from Crow Trees, five miles beyond Durham.

That was a bad pit. The air was bad, and made him sick very rotten; perhaps twice in a week or so and

made his bead work and his belly work. Was in that pit two years. His father removed, because the air

was so bad, to this Colliery. At Crow Trees he kept a switch. His father is a hewer; his brother, ten and

a half years old, drives down this pit-the New Pit. Can read a little. Cannot write his name. Goes to

Sunday-school sometimes; never to a night-school now, but did in winter. Attends the Ranters’ chapel.

1842 Blaydon Main BLAYDON MAIN COLLIERY. Ann Mills.

Thirtyfive years old. Has 3 children living; has had 7. Her husband is a hewer at Blaydon Main Pit. Her son, Samuel Mills, first went to keep a door in the pit at 7 years and 8 months old; then got lO pence. a-day. Is now 8 years old, and getting the same. Matthew Mills first went to work at 6 years and 4 months old. on account of her husband’s bad health; is now l0 years old, and gets l5d. a-day as driver. She would not have sent him to the pit but he would not go to school. He preferred the pit, but now comes to school on idle days. The health of these boys is not at all affected by the pit work; they are

fresh-coloured. The boys leam to swear a little in the pit, and one received last week from his father a severe beating for swearing. Matthew has not had a doctor to him since 2 years old. Samuel never has had a doctor. Sends them to Sunday [national] school regular.


Alexander Gray.

Eleven years old; files bars of gridirons. comes to work at 6 o'clock a.m. and goes away at 6 p.m.; lives with his parents, goes home to his meals, from 8 o'clock to half-past 8 for breakfast. from I2 to l for dinner and from 4 to half-past for tea. His wages are Ss. per week and his work is not hard. Cannot spell. read, or write; goes to no day or night school; rarely goes to Sunday-school or the chapel.

James Forster.

Ten years old; files gridiron bars, for which he gets 4s. a-week; works as the preceding 9

witness: cannot spell. or read (attempted some easy words). or write.

Thomas Gray.

Eight years old: blows the bellows. gets 3s. a-week. lives with his father and mother: goes to no day or night-school: goes to the Methodist Sunday-school; cannot read. or write. or spell: knows nothing at all of what he leams at Sunday-school: has heard about God but does recollect what.

These 3 witnesses are dirty and poorly clad, but healthy. The manager of these works says, the parents of these children are keelmen. a most ignorant race.


Mr Laycock, owner of several of these blacksmith s shops.He states that the principal part of the work at Winlaton. of this kind. is done by persons receiving the material (iron) from the masters to manufacture into various odd ware and ironmongery.on premises found them by the masters; in some few cases on their own buildings, many industrious

persons having obtained a little freehold. a house and a shop. These goods are return as soon as doneor required. Hence the children are mostly under the control of their parents. in their various occupations and are never over worked. Regrets that few boys go to places of worship or Sunday-school and hence are ignorant very unmanageable. Methodists are somewhat numerous here -Kilharnites. Wesleyans. Ranters. These have a good moral effect on the population.

Ne-.605 William Lamb.

Aged 15. &c.; makes staples for hasps - b]acksntith's work. Comes at 6 a.m.. goes away at 6 o'clock p.m.; is an apprentice, gets Ss. a-week. Sometimes works over-lime. never more than a day and a-half per week. Paid by the hour for over-time. always well in health, never over worked; reads. writes. and spells well. Goes to no day or night school in summer; and goes to Sunday-school (Methodist); regularly attends worship (Methodist): appearshealthy.

No.606 Henry Short.

Aged 1 l: les. strikes and does odd jobs in the blacltsmitlfs shop; gets 3s. a-week: home to meals, half hour breakfast. hour for dinner, gets plenty to eat. is comfortable: with parents. reads and writes pretty well, has been to night-school. does not go now. was 7 years: goes regularly to church Sunday-school: there are not many good boys in the village. there is much swearing: few. except very small boys. go to church; the big boys do all sorts of mischief on the Sundays and often ght. (A very healthy boy).

No.60? George I-lutchinson.

Eleven years old: does odd jobs in blacksn1ith‘s shop: comes 7 o‘clock a.n1.. goes away at 6 p.m.: goes home to meals. full time allowed; gels 2s. a-week. gives it to mother: never has the doctor. has no father: cannot read. or write. or spell: goes to the Renters‘ Sunday-school. learns a b c there.

No.608 Four boys, respectively of 14, 10, l1,l8 years old.

They were at a neighbouring similar shop. None of them could read. write. or spell. Three

regularly frequented Sunday-schools but did not seem to have received any religious instruction. Numerous witnesses were examined with similar results. The remarks rnade upon the works at Swalwell (No.528) are to a great degree applicable here. workpeople of both have obtained a distinguished place in the local annals ignorance and mischief.

1842 July 10. At an ordination held this day, at Auckland Castle, one of the successful candidates was Mr. Blythe Hurst, till lately a blacksmith in the village of Winlaton, Durham. After the toils of his laborious trade were daily concluded, he acquired, without any assistance, an acquaintance with English, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, French, and Sanskrit, and also taught himself to write. At a time when socialism was making much progress in the village, Mr. Hurst published a little pamphlet, entitled " Christianity no Priest craft." This work having fallen into the hands of the Bishop of Durham, his lordship caused inquiries to be made concerning Mr. Hurst, as to his mode of study, and desired Mr. Douglas, the rector of Whickham, to pay the blacksmith a visit. Mr. Douglas found him toiling the whole day to support his family, pursuing his studies while at work, having his lessons on his flame stone. Mr. Douglas conversed with him, and subsequently made a report to the bishop, who eventually gave the poor scholar the means of following that course of life for which he had long pined. Mr. Hurst passed his examination with the highest credit, and remained some days on a visit to the bishop at Auckland Castle, shortly after which he entered upon his

1842 The Butterfly Bridge and Winlaton Mill was built The Butterfly Bridge was originally built in 1842 by John English. Lang Jack, as he was known, stood 6 feet 4 inches and worked as a stonemason on the old Scotswood Bridge before he built the Butterfly Bridge. The new bridgewas built in 1950. Near the bridge are the remains of George Eavan's house, the miller of the flour mill. This ruin is all that remains of old Winlaton Mill. The village was very attractive with white-washed cottages and a stream running through the centre. Winlaton Mill was founded by Saxon families who chose to settle there after the Romans left the area.

1844 Blaydon Alkali factory opened

1844 Thomas Richardson industrial chemist, and industrial historian began at Blaydon the manufacture of superphosphates.

1845 St. Cuthbert's Church Built it was Designed by George Pickering and seats 350 people.

1845 Emma pit started.

1846, Jun 22nd the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway advertised a special train running along the south side of the river, following the race being rowed on that day.on the Tyne involving the famed Harry Clasper, James Renforth and others.

1847 W. Tench a Winlaton Grocer is made bankrupt.

1847 Sept The Mechanics Hall, which was established in 1847, was for many years the centre of Blaydon’s social, educational and political life. The subscription was 1 and a half pence weekly.  The foundation stone was laid by J.B. Blackett of Wylam on the 15th May 1852 The building in Tyne Street was taken over by Blaydon Co-operative Society after the demise of the Mechanics Institute in 1877. It was demolished in the 1970s. The sign that was above its door for many years is now in Blaydon Library in the aptly named Ridley Room. It reads“1853-1877 Blaydon and Stella Mechanics Institute”.The building on the right was the caretakers house.

1848 Fifteen-year-old Hannah Greener of Winlaton died under anaesthetic in the surgeon's office, while undergoing a routine operation for toe-nail removal in Newcastle. She is regarded as the first casualty of chloroform anaesthesia. Sir John Fife and Robert Glover carried out the autopsy.

1848 Mr Tweddle set up a Butchers shop in Church Street Blaydon.

1848 BLAYDON, a village, in the parish of Winlaton, union of Gateshead, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 4 miles (W.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne; containing 1114 inhabitants. This place is situated on the south of the Tyne; the soil is generally light, but produces good wheat, turnips, and potatoes, and the scenery is varied with hill and dale, wood and water. The river affords great facility for the conveyance of coal, of which immense quantities are sent in keels from the Townley-main, Blaydon-main, and Cowen's collieries, to the shipping at Shields. There is an extensive manufactory and depôt for lead; the lead is brought from the Allendale and Weardale mines, where it is smelted, to the works here, where it is manufactured, and shipped for the London market. At this place are also some white-lead and sulphuric-acid works, established in 1839; an iron manufactory for chains, nails, &c.; a cast-iron foundry for ovens, stoves, engines, and other articles; a coke and lamp-black factory; a steel and iron forge; and a fire-brick manufactory. A good road from Newcastle crosses the Tyne by an elegant suspension-bridge at Scotswood, and forms a junction with the Gateshead and Hexham turnpike here; the Newcastle and Carlisle railway, also, has a station at which the trains meet from Newcastle and Gateshead. A church, for which a site was given by Mr. Beaumont, was consecrated in August, 1845; it is called St. Cuthbert's. There are places of worship for Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Methodists of the New Connexion.

1842 Buterfly Bridge Built by local strongman and stonemason Jack English, popularly known as 'Lang Jack'.

1844 Blaydon Alkili and Manure works opened, owened by Thomas Richardson. Making Superphosphate.

1848, a number of the working men purchased about four acres of ground, in

1846 Aug. Joseph Cowen sold Loup Farm Blaydon.

the healthiest part of the village, from the Hon. H. T. Liddell, at a cost of 370/., exclusive of deeds. The plotwas parcelled out into eighteen allotments, neatly laid out, on which several good houses have been erected ; it is called California.

1845 a new glass house was erected at Blaydon and although originally intended as a crown glass works, it was taken over by a bottle manufacturer, A. Thatcher, under the title The Durham Bottle Company.

1845 Emma Pit opened On the south side of the Hexham turnpike is the Emma Pit, belonging to the Stella Coal Company, sunk in 1845. It has two shafts ; the Emma being eighty-three fathoms deep. The houses of the workmen are built in rows at the north side of the pit.

1847 The Red Lion Blaydon was sold by auction when The Owner John Gardner died.

1848 BLAYDON-BURN, a hamlet, in the parish of Winlaton, union of Gateshead, W. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 6 miles (W. S. W.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is picturesquely situated on the Tyne, at the confluence of a small rivulet or burn; and has an extensive establishment where fire-bricks, fire-clay retorts for gas-works, flint for potteries, and almost every article of which fireclay is susceptible, are manufactured: the first fire-clay made into bricks in this part of the country, was produced at these works about 80 years ago. A colliery is in full operation, employing from 200 to 300 hands; and there is a private railway winding through the romantic dell of Blaydon-Burn, opened in 1841, and extending to the Tyne, whence goods are conveyed by wherries to Newcastle and Shields, and there shipped.

1848 WINLATON (St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Gateshead, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 5 miles (W. S. W.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne; containing 5326 inhabitants. This parish was formed out of Ryton in 1833. It comprises the townships of Winlaton and Chopwell, and consists of about 9000 acres, of which the chief part is arable, with 2000 acres of woodland; the soil is a strong clay, producing excellent crops of wheat. Considerable seams of coal are found in both townships: the principal are situated to the east, at a depth of from 20 to 50 fathoms, the strata rising towards the west, where they approach the surface. The proprietors of the mines in Winlaton township are its lords; and the lessees are, the Marquess of Bute, George Heppel Ramsay, Esq., and J. Cowen, Esq.: the mines in Chopwell belong to the marquess, who works his own coal, and to the crown, whose lands here are to the extent of 1000 acres. The coal throughout the parish is thought to be of the best kind for making coke, and its freeness from sulphur renders it valuable for smelting iron, and for smiths' use. About 100,000 tons are annually raised by the marquess and Mr. Ramsay, who have extensive cokeovens at Derwent-Haugh. There are excellent freestone quarries, and also some superior clay, great quantities of which are made into fire-bricks for furnaces and gas and other works, for which purpose Mr. Ramsay and Mr. Cowen have large premises.

The place has been long famous for its manufacture of iron and steel goods of every description, from an anchor of the largest size to the minutest article. About the year 1690, Sir Ambrose Crowley removed hither from Sunderland, and established some iron-works, to which the village, occupying an elevated site between the rivers Tyne and Derwent, owes its rise: he afterwards extended them to Swalwell and Winlaton-Mill. In the village are now several iron-factories, where anchors, chaincables, pumps, and cylinders for steam-engines, are made, as also edge-tools, nails, &c.; they employ, when in full operation, about 1000 men and boys. On the bank of the Tyne are works for refining lead, and at Blaydon is a wharf for embarking the produce. The Newcastle and Carlisle railway passes through the parish, and divides at Blaydon, one branch crossing the Tyne to Newcastle, and the other proceeding to Gateshead. There is also a magnificent suspension-bridge across the Tyne, built in 1829-30, by subscription, and connecting the counties of Durham and Northumberland.

A chapel was built in 1705, on the site of an ancient one said to have been demolished in 1569; but having been suffered to go to ruin, a spacious schoolroom was erected on the spot in 1816, in which divine service was occasionally performed by the rector of Ryton, until the church was built. The living is a rectory, in the patronage of the Bishop of Durham: the tithes have been commuted for £347, and the glebe consists of 22 acres, with a good house. The church, consecrated September 9th, 1828, is in the early English style, with a tower and pinnacles, and contains 800 sittings, of which 400 are free; it was erected at an expense of £2300, the Church Commissioners contributing one-half, the Incorporated Society £400, and the rest being raised by subscription. There are places of worship for Wesleyans, Presbyterians, Primitive Methodists, and Methodists of the New Connexion; and four parochial schools, in connexion with the National Society. Near Axwell Park, on the bank of the Derwent, the seat of Sir T. J. Clavering, Bart., is a sulphureous spring, much resorted to.

1849 Stella school The following account is recorded from a school inspection which took place in 1849. "There were 31 boys and 34 girls in attendance on that day.He found the desks and furniture fair, books and apparatus good, organisation mixed, the master he found diligent and studious, not highly qualified, but conducting his school in a creditable manner. He also reported that it was impossible to keep the children at school in consequence of the great demand for their labour, which commences in the coal pits at 7 years of age. In general he found it a pleasing school and creditable to the teachers and managers. The demeanour of the children was particularly gentle, and they appear to recieve with great willingness the instruction provided for them, though mental arithmetic had been hitherto neglected."

1849 4th April Black Boy public house sold at Blaydon. Royal Oak Inn Sold at Winlaton.

1849 Sept. The Land where St. Pauls Church now stands was bought from Lord Ravenswoth by George Andrew and Cuthbert Thompson.





Press gang Crowleys Iron Works Scotswood Bridge

Scotswood Chain bridge 



Site of Massey's Forge, Blaydon Burn

Site of Massey's Forge, Blaydon Burn

Stella House

Stella House, Blaydon

Winlaton Chapel

Winlaton Chapel

Blaydon Main Collery

Blaydon Main Colliery

Cowings Brickyard

Cowings Brickyard

scotswood railway bridge

Scotswood Railway Bridge

Charles Clavering Wardell

Charles Clavering Wardell

Wylam Dilly St Mary and Thomas Aquinas

St Mary and Thomas Aquinas Stella

Blaydon Station 1858

Blaydon Railway Station

Blaydon Gas Works

Blaydon Gas Works

The 1st Scotswood Railway Bridge

The first Scotswood Railway Bridge

Butterfly Bridge

Butterfly Bridge

The Mechanics Hall

The Mechanics Hall



William IV

William IV

George IV

George IV

1817 Turners Painting of Gibside

1817 Turners Painting of Gibside B Hurst

Blythe Hurst

George Silvertop

George Silvertop

Press Gang

Crowlley's Works Swalwell

Gerry Armstrong's blacksmiths shop

Gerry Armstrong's blacksmiths shop

Red Lion Blaydon

Red Lion Blaydon