Heaton History Group is for anyone who loves Heaton (the one in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) and is interested in its history. We have an exciting programme of walks and talks  and we’re also conducting research into many aspects of the history of Heaton. Visit our membership and events pages, read the blogs on our home page and follow us on Twitter to find out more. Then get in touch and come and join us!

59 thoughts on “About

  1. Karen Ross

    Hello – I am buying a house in Parkville and wondered if anyone knows when the house was built? I’m assuming all the houses in Parkville were built at more or less the same time? Thanks very much. Looking forward to joining the group when I move in!
    Best wishes
    Karen Ross

    1. oldheaton

      Hi Karen, Not sure about Parkville and hope somebody else will be able to help. According to the deeds, the house I used to live in in nearby Southlands was built c 1927. I’ll include your query in the next email I send to members. Look forward to meeting you once you’re living in Heaton.

    2. Francesco

      Hi there! This seems like a really informative group, great to see local history being kept alive. Does anyone know which street Townsville House in Heaton used to stand in? i presume it’s been demolished now as there’s no record of it anywhere. Any replies appreciated 🙂

  2. Abby

    Hi, I am in the process of gathering information for my English literature dissertation. I am studying suffrage theatre and my lecturer has pointed me to this Heaton history group as I am particularly interested in Suffrage in the north east. Could anyone point me in the right direction to archives or people I could talk to? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. oldheaton

      Hi Abby,

      Sorry to have taken so long to respond. Will get back to you properly after Christmas. We’ve been trying to contact a speaker on the suffragette movement in the North East but haven’t had a response. Will share details but am away until the New Year. Chris, Secretary, HHG

      1. Fred Cockburn

        Hi, I see that you are trying to a speaker on the suffragette movement in the North East. Well, I have a friend who has done a great deal of research on this and has written a book and play on them. He also does talks. Interested ? Then feel free to contact me as below. PS I too was born and raised in Heaton.

  3. Abby

    Hi, I am really keen to be put in contact with your friend who has researched suffrage or attend a talk. How can I go about doing this? Thanks so much for your help, my dissertation is focused on suffrage plays so I would love to speak to him. Abby

  4. Amanda Squires

    Hello. My father, who turned 90 this week and has lived in Heaton all his life and still does, has today told me about a man who lived in Heaton who had two heads. He says he saw him once. To say that I was surprised at hearing this story for the first time is a bit of an understatement! Does anyone know anything more about this person?
    Many thanks, Amanda Squires

    1. oldheaton

      I used to think it meant ‘high town’, although this didn’t really make sense. High Heaton is quite high but the original township? Not really. A quick look at the Tyne and Wear Historic Environmental Record (HER) website and an etymological dictionary, lead me to this answer, which sounds more plausible:

      Heaton, first appears as ‘Hactona’ in 1157 and in 1279 as ‘Hoton’. This is taken to be the same as ‘Haughton’, the village on the ‘haugh’ of the Ouse Burn. ‘Haugh’ is apparently a Middle English word of Scottish origin for a low lying meadow in a river valley. Apparently even older Old English words (pre 900) are: halche, hawgh, healh

      – but perhaps somebody has an alternative explanation or can add to this one with more authority?

  5. Chris Wild

    Hi. I am interested in the site of an old farm at the end of Meridian Way, off Redhall Drive. Some say this is Benton others that it’s Heaton so I’ve got my fingers crossed you can help. I moved into the Cottage Farm estate in 2001 and have spent quite a while trying to find any pictures of/or identify the name of the farm. A number of taxi drivers who have driven me home recall the farm as it had out buildings/lock ups where they used to get their taxis fixed. Any help would be gratefully received. Thanks,

    1. oldheaton

      Hi Chris, Heaton History Group’s informal eastern boundary is Benfield Road / the railway so you’re borderline (!) but happy to help by setting the ball rolling. The 1894 OS map shows Benton Hall on the opposite side of what was then Little Benton Road (now Red Hall Drive) just to the south with what looks like the site of Meridian Way along its northern edge leading to Little Benton Cottage just the other side of Coxlodge Wagon Way. Have you looked at more recent OS maps in City Library or Tyne and Wear Archives. I’m sure they’ll help.

      There’s also a couple of photographs of Benton Hall in ‘Northumberland’s Lost Houses: a picture postcard history’ by Jim Davidson (Wagtail Press, 2008). The book says it was built c 1760 and demolished c1950.

      But hopefully other readers will be able to add to this.


      1. Chris Wild

        Hi Chris
        Thanks so much for your prompt reply, appreciate it.
        Some good leads for me there so off I go now to do some more digging with old maps etc
        If I find out any more I will let you know
        Thanks again!

    2. Tw

      The farm was where the nufc academy building is now..the footpath crossing the railway bridge is in the same position as it was then ,and ran straight through the middle of the farm.
      They kept lots of horses there, and there were outbuildings and stables ,can’t remember the name of the farm..seem to remember the access to the farm was along a track off coach lane ,where the footpath today runs along from benton road crosses over coach lane and carries on behind Haydon grange…walked along there many times in the late 70s.

  6. Jon Brennan


    Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but I really need some outside help!

    I am currently trying to find photos of The Journal cup final that took place between Heaton grammar and St Mary’s schools on the 29th April in 1964. My Dad played for St Mary’s and as a birthday present I am desperately trying to find some information about the match. I have found the relevant article in The Journal, but it only has one photo and that is of the winning team (Dad lost 2-1). I have contacted The Journal and they are going to look at their archives to see if they can find anything extra, and I also as a long shot contacted St Mary’s school which still exists to see if they had any old photos of this type of thing.

    Both seem like pretty long shots, but maybe someone in this group can suggest another way of finding pictures of this event? any help you can give would be hugely appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,


    1. Alan Hynd

      JohnI know it’s very late but. Played in that match scoring both Heaton goals do you need any I’m
      Formation I only have a photograph of the winning team also

  7. Ally Walker

    Hi, I am distantly related (via marriage to the Herbert Pledger mentioned in thiw article- thank you- you solved a family history mystery for me! Ally

    1. oldheaton

      Glad to be of assistance! If you can know any more about Herbert that might be of interest to others, please feel free to add it here. Chris (Secretary, Heaton History Group)

  8. Ally Walker

    Herbert was born in Chippenham,Cambridgeshire in about 1869, son of Parents
    William Pledger
    Emily Pledger nee Cowley

    Kate Westgate nee Pledger 1864–
    Anthony John Pledger 1865–
    Albert Pledger 1867–
    Herbert Pledger 1869–
    Maggie Pledger 1870–
    Ernest Pledger 1871–
    Gertrude Emily Pledger 1872–
    Mabel Pledger 1875–
    Stanley William Pledger 1876–
    Lilla Pledger 1878–
    Victor Pledger 1879–1962

  9. Donna Parrett

    I have recently tracked my great grandfather’s final resting place to Byker and Heaton cemetery, he was a soldier in the Great War who died in Newcastle in 1919 in one of the war hospitals, can anyone tell me if there was a particular hospital which used this cemetary?
    Any information would be appreciated. His name was William Wallace he was a Driver with the Royal Field artillery #112051.

  10. Graham Coffer

    Having failed the 11 + I attended Chillingham Road school for a couple of years,just wondered when this was built ?

  11. Graham Coffer

    Many thanks Chris,I attended in 1966,still remember the dreaded metal work class……took me almost a term to make a pastry cutter!!

  12. Judith

    Does anyone know of or have contact with (the family of) Elsie E Mason living at 14 Westwood Ave, Heaton in June 1948? She would have been about 18.

  13. David Armstrong

    My best friend at school (Northumberland Road Secondary schools for Boys) during the 195Os was a Norman Rackham. Norman had two brothers Kenneth and……….?and used to live in Mowbray Street, Heaton. Any info would be greatly appreciated of either Norman or the long gone Northumberland Road school..

  14. David Armstrong

    Can anyone also tell me Who was Paddy Freeman ? Regarding Paddy Freemans Park. (High HEATON). Thank You all for your time and patience.

    1. oldheaton

      Hi David,
      Very sorry it has taken so long to appprove and reply to your messages. They somehow got lost in the admin section.

      Freeman was the name of the family who kept the water mill in Jesmond Dene and farmed at High Heaton for many years. There’s some information here. http://www.jesmonddeneoldmill.org.uk/mill/history.html Other people may be able to add to this.

      Chris (Secretary, Heaton History Group)

  15. Wendie Beck


    I would be very appreciative if somebody could tell me, why is there a break in Hotspur Street Heaton. Somebody said that it happened during world war 2, I know this not to be the case as I lived there in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and there weren’t any houses missing then.

  16. Alan Corrall

    Hi. Anyone help?
    My fathers wedding certificate informs he lived as a child at 138 Bolingbroke street Heaton.
    Born 30 Aug 1918. John George Corrall.
    I’ve had a visit to Bolingbroke street today. Bolingbroke street seems to end at number 92 – 92A.
    Was there a continuation to this street which has been pulled down? Was it to make room for the primary school?
    Any reply appreciated. Thanks and kind regards.
    Alan Corrall.

    1. oldheaton

      Yes, that’s right, Alan. The demolition was in the early 1980s. Just this spring, the children of Hotspur Primary School did a history project inspired by the idea of people from the demolished houses time travelling 100 years to the present day. The children told them what had happened in the intervening years! Chris (Secretary, Heaton History Group)

      1. Alan Corrall

        Thanks very much for the reply Chris. Much appreciated.

        Old photos of Bolingbroke street pre 1980’s?

        Can you think of anywhere i may start to look for these ?

        Thanks and kind regards.


      2. Tish Gibbons

        Thank you from me also. I had traced the Davidson family to 159 Bolingbroke St in 1912 and wondered what happened to them since. Now at least I know they can’t still be there. Must take a look at that school project. Thanks again.
        (researching Mitchell family of Crathie, ABD Scotland who moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne – Mcintosh; Pybus; Davidson are the surnames of interest).

  17. Patricia Bell

    Hello, I’m hoping someone here could help but if not I thank in advance. I have been researching my fathers family and have found that they were in the heaton area since around 1901-ish. Has anyone got any memories of the Bell family (I think the less famous Bells of Heaton). I know a Edmund lived at 81 Warwick, Albert and Grace moved a few times around the 1950s but lived at Grosverner Place and did settle at 1 Swindon Terrace. Albert and Grace had a son Dennis. He was apparently a Dr and his wife was Nora.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated in regards to the Bells.

  18. Sian Fox

    Hi, my name is Siân Fox, Community Events Officer at Beamish Museum. It would be great if someone could let me know the best email address to use to get in contact with your group please. Many thanks.

  19. n girling

    My Husband’s Great Grandfather was a Parkeaper at Jesmond Dene from 1900 we have a great photo of him in his uniform ane one of his daughter below Armstrong Bridge how do I pass them on to you

    1. oldheaton

      Very sorry to have taken so long to reply. For some reason, I didn’t receive notification of your message and have just seen it. Would it be possible to email a copy to chris.jackson@heatonhistorygroup.org ? If you could tell me his name and anything you know about him, it would be lovely to feature him in a future article.

      Chris (Secretary, Heaton History Group)

  20. Jonathan Jeeves

    Hi, I’m giving a TEDx talk on the changing High Street and would like to use some of your images in the presentation. Would the be alright?

  21. Andrew Everett

    I have a number of presentations which cover local interest. Details available on my website details below

  22. Joan Leggett

    Through your interesting website I have just learnt a lot about Alexander Denholm Brash of 92 Heaton Road (brother of my Great Grandfather Francis Banks Brash). Thank you!

  23. Ruth

    Hi, I’m trying to find some information on the history behind the name of the Lochside pub on Redhall Drive. Looking at old maps of the area it seems to be around the site of the Now demolished Benton Hall, and that there was some sort of water feature in the grounds. Does anyone have any definitive information on this at all?

    1. oldheaton

      Hi Ruth,

      Sorry to have taken so long to approve your message. I’ll also put your query in our members’ newsletter and hopefully someone will know.

      Chris (Secretary, Heaton History Group)

      1. Ruth

        Thanks for this. I was discussing this with a friend that lives near the pub and we are both intrigued to find out the andswer!

    2. Tw

      Later in its life I think benton hall was developed into a public botanical gardens,which would have presumably included a lake or loch water feature, the 1894 o.s. Map shows a footbridge over what looks like a large expanse of water ,.maybe the pub name derives from this.

    3. Tw

      Just found something else concerning the lochside..
      Opened in1958 by James deuchar and sons ltd,the pub gets its name from the 2 steamers ,lochside and lochside 2, ( both built at smiths dock , South Shields) which brought the beer from deuchars brewery in Montrose ,Scotland to tyneside .

  24. Karen Coatsworth

    Hi I live in Australia and I am researching our family tree and have been able to trace back as far as Peter Coatsworth, who was born 1805. Peter and his wife and children lived in Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1841, 1851 and 1861 census. Peters parents were John Coatsworth and Tomasin Davison, and he had a sister Elizabeth (among several other siblings) born 1802 and sadly died 1808. The burial service was performed at the Primitive Methodist Church in Ballast Hills. I have 2 questions, the first is I tried to look up the church and apparently it opened in 1820’s. Where did the church meet prior to this time? The second is who would I contact to see if they keep old records from 1700’s? I am searching for a birth certificate for John (born 1765). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. oldheaton

      Hello Karen,

      A good starting point would be Tyne and Wear Archives. They are closed at present due to the coronavirus pandemic but will hopefully reopen soon. Good luck.

      Chris (Secretary, Heaton History Group)

  25. Angela Kershaw

    Good afternoon
    Apologies first & foremost as this must be a very basic question about Byker !- but could someone please tell me what “Byker Bar” is referring to around the 1840/1850s -my GGF was mentioned in a newspaper article of the time as belonging to “Byker Bar” – was it a district in Byker? He lived along with many other people in Gardeners Buildngs at the time.
    Many thanks.

  26. sarah wigham

    Hi, I’m making a documentary which features a section of using Jam jars in cinemas in Newcastle. Would I have permission to use some images/ comments from your website to feature? I will give credit. Many Thanks.

  27. Vivien Hawkey

    Hi after researching J. D. Edgar on the internet and coming across your history page I thought you may be interested to know that I have discovered that an old hickory golf club that has been in the back of a cupboard for years has the inscription “J.D. Edgar” embedded into the top of the shaft. I would attach photos but I don’t think I am able to in this form of contact. Kind regards Viv Hawkey.


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