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Memories of Jesmond Vale

During the August members’ walk, Ann and Maggie mentioned a book which is available for reference in the Local Studies section of Newcastle City Library. The full details are:

Memories of Jesmond Vale” by Emley L. Ellison compiled by Cora Sanderson Geordieland press, 1980.
ISBN 0950353963

It also pops up from time to time in second hand bookshops and online.

Below are a couple of vintage photographs of Jesmond Vale, the top one of which also shows the houses around Stratford Grove and up to Warwick Street in the distance. The bottom one shows Armstrong Bridge, which is no longer visible from that spot because of the much larger trees now in the vicinity.

Image of Jesmond Vale from an old postcard
Image of Jesmond Vale from an old postcard
Green Water Pool, Jesmond Vale. Postcard published by Alexander Denholm Brash
Green Water Pool, Jesmond Vale
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  1. I recently came across a gold Club Champion Medal awarded in 1912 to a R.A. Gardner of the Jesmond Vale Harriers. I thought I would try and do a little research into the club and possibly even the recipient.
    I thought this would be a fairly easy task, but the only reference to the club I have found is a runner listed in the 1904 Newcastle Open race.
    I wondered if anyone might have more information. Any morsel of information would be gratefully received. I am assuming Jesmond Vale Harriers did not last long and perhaps some of their members moved to other local clubs or possibly they amalgamated with Heaton Harriers.

    • The Jesmond Vale Harriers. I have a medal that was presented to my grandfather in March 1908, for the North Eastern Counties Cross-Country Championship. He left Newcastle in 1911 to start a new life in Adelaide, South Australia. His name was John McDonough and married an Archbold. This is an old thread, but here’s hoping. Regards Michael.

  2. Did a quick search of the British Newspaper Archive and found a few references, all in 1914. The Newcastle papers in the years 1901-13 haven’t been digitised yet. 1915 and 1916 have though so it sounds like the club might have ceased operation at least in WW1.

    There’s some info apart from runners’ names: the club’s HQ was the Cradle Well Hotel. President – Councillor A B Plummer; Honorary Sec – Joe Craig. They were referred to as the Valers.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  3. Thank you, very interesting and may provide some new leads. I agree they probably ceased as a club in the early days of WWI, I guess most of the members would have been ideal recruits for the war.

  4. Hi my mother wrote “memories of jesmond vale ,” as far as I can remember what my mother told me they moved to top of Newton road behind the small shops , heaton harriers does ring a bell unfortunately mother passed away in 1996 she was the last remaining “tate” of that era sorry I can’t help more her book is correct as far as local history including “the flint mill” being in jesmond vale not jesmond dean
    as recorded by some, I have her birth certificate that proves it

    • Hello Maureen, Thank you very much for getting in touch. Your mother’s book provides valuable insights into the history of Jesmond Vale. Thank you for letting us know what it says on your mum’s birth certificate about the flint mill.

  5. Your welcome I have the painting as pictured in the book, done by my late sister of the vale looking towards woodbine terrace from “the big lamp” if you should ever want to see it just let me know

    • Maureen, Really sorry but this comment went into my spam mail and I didn’t spot it until just now. That would be lovely. Can I get back to you a bit later in the summer? Chris

    • Hello Maureen, I’ve lived in the (new) vale for years. I love it down here! I have your mother’s book, and it’s a fascinating read. There’s not a great deal of information about the old village, so her book is a valuable resource. I’m fascinated by her tale of “the boojum”. Did she ever tell you anything more,about it?

      Best wishes, Mark.

  6. I wonder if anyone has 19th century maps of Jesmond Vale that identify street names. In the 1841 census my great-great-great grandfather was living in North Street, which was immediately followed in the census by Jesmond Vale so must have been in the same area. I can’t find any reference to North Street on maps like this 1858 Ordnance Survey . Can anyone help?

    Incidentally, on the comment above about the flint mill, I think there may have been more than one flint mill. This map shows the flint mill at High Heaton Farm. Perhaps the mill in Jesmond Vale switched to milling flint at a later date.

    • Regards to the flint mill jesmond vale.all i know and can confirm is that my mother Emily Lee Ellison was born at the flint mill in jesmond vale in 1906 although mum always said she was born in 1907 ! and i have her birth certificate to prove it. Also north street was situated behind the blue bell pub i can remember going to a shop in north street when i was little with my aunt. i .it was in the front room of on of the houses. Regard M Brown

      • Thanks so much for the rapid reply. It’s really useful to hear from someone who has personal knowledge.

        When you say North Street was behind the Blue Bell pub, can you identify which exactly was North Street? Looking at the 1858 map (click on the first link in my message above) there’s a block of buildings a few paces to the north of the pub in the same block. And then a little further north there are four parallel rows of buildings, one of which is half the length of the others. And there’s a Post Office marked at the end of the row furthest north. From its location, I’d be inclined to guess that this one (where the Post Office is) was North Street! But perhaps not. Can you remember which it was?

  7. Hi Maureen I live on Stratford Grove . And I have tried to purchase your mums book . But it is out of stock , and they don’t know if they will get it back in . I would love to read this book . Do you know of any way I could purchase this book from another supplier . Many thanks Pauline speight xx

    • Hi Pauline,

      Chris here from Heaton History Group. Last time I checked Newcastle City Library had at least 1 copy. Other than that it might be a case of trying to buy it second hand. Good luck!

      • Thanks Chris , I have asked a few friends to keep an eye out for it . I have tried quite a few sites but nothing comes back about it . I also would love to know some of the history on Stratford Grove . When it was built who lived here etc do you know any books available on this subject . Much appreciate you quick reply to my former enquiry

    • Hi Pauline unfortunately i don’t know where you could get a copy of mum’s book. You may find one in a second hand shop. I have a personal signed copy but wouldn’t part with it. Interesting to know that you live in Stratford Grove. From the 1960 mum lived in Stratford Villas before moving in the mid 70 to Stratford Grove . Wouldn’t it be weird if you live in the same house (no3) regards Maureen

  8. Funnily enough we’ll be publishing an article on Stratford Grove soon, hopefully in a couple of weeks. Not a comprehensive history but it’ll look at some of the Grove’s first residents. With luck, it’ll generate some comments and memories.

  9. My Grandfather co-owned a business I believe down in this area around the time during the second world war. Bough & Williams. My Dad who is now in his 80s remembers living down in the vale as a small boy, he would love to see any pictures or stories from this time and wondered if any of you have any or if there is anything written in the book that was previously mentioned?

    • Hi Simon,

      The book is out of print but Newcastle Libraries have copies and it can sometimes be found secondhand (although I haven’t manged to get hold of a copy unfortunately). Can anyone else help Simon?

      Chris (Secretary, Heaton History Group)


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