A flying visit to Hebburn

October 18th, 2017

St Andrews Hebburn


It had been my intention to explore all the blue outlined areas in the zone map above however owing to inclement weather I decided to limit this to a few streets South of the Metro.

We start our journey on a wet and overcast Monday morning in Hebburn among the few remaining streets of C19th housing to the North and South of the Metro station. The South are easily found, they lie just SW of the excellent new Community Hub library / pool.

The Metro stands where Hebburn Station is marked above and although some housing has gone, see below …

Glen Street looking East at former housing land

… several streets remain the most prominent being Tennant Street, once a through road now blocked off with tarmac plinths and raised beds.

In better times to come South Tyneside Council might put gardens and railings where tarmac stands – think how lovely that would look in summer.

Tennant Street Hebburn South Tyneside


On the other side of the tracks stand a few remaining symbols of Hebburn’s past – financial, industrial and ecclesiastical.

This former bank now funeral parlour stands alone on a corner. I couldn’t find a date on the outside nor from staff inside but perhaps Pevsner knows.

To be found on the far left edge of the linked map above from 1947 are St Cuthbert’s Church and the Sunday School from 1882.

Sunday school 1882

Two dreadful photographs but it was raining and that’s not my car parked in front.

Sorry. One day I’ll go back in the sunshine and find a better angle. Any angle would be better than that. Below a better one in sunshine, not mine.

Source http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=130973249


While walking to the Sunday school along Argyle Street I caught a glimpse of something interesting further down the slope towards the river.

It looked vast and fascinating so, despite the rain, I went to have a look.

From Derek Dodd’s Hebburn through time, “St Andrews Institute 1918” now a meditation centre.

Just down from the church by the green on Ellison Street stands an information board:-

Click image for details

This is one of 32 information boards in South Tyneside mapped on this walking leaflet and in this image below copied from the leaflet.

Click image for full version

Further down the hill the rotting offices of Hawthorn Leslie whose long and glorious history will have to wait for another time. Notes -> Andrew Leslie


The colliery promised much from the old maps but delivered little in terms of historical structures. The pit closed in 1931 and all former structures have gone. I was intrigued by historical features from the six inch map series …

… and more so from the detailed 25 inch series showing Simpson’s Hotel …

Click image above for map

… which from Derek Dodd’s “Hebburn Through Time” we learn that the High Lane (Row) Hotel opened in 1919 for workers from Palmer’s shipyard just to the North but by 1998 had been demolished. There are photographs of the interior to be found with a bit of judicious Googling.

Having made a telephone call I have found out the hostel was originally built for seamen whose ships were in drydock in the shipyard and in later decades for former seamen and others who had fallen on hard times.

As a former mariner myself I have stayed in similar places both good and bad over the years and found them mostly to be friendly and well run.


At the bottom of Ellison Street by the wall that runs all the way alongside the former Hawthorn Leslie yard is a small park overlooking the Tyne and an information board here:-

Click image for the whole board

The Waggonways and Waterways walk is linked and the main website here.

Across the river stands a structure I took to be a control tower of some kind until I passed it while driving through Wallsend on the way to North Shields a few days later, it is the viewing platform of the Segedunum Roman fort.


And finally … the nicest row of houses I saw in Hebburn while I was there a I was driving in towards the station. Newton Terrace c1930.

Postscript: Hebburn merits a far better look than I was able to give it. The two books by Derek Dodds are worth reading and a walk around Hebburn greatly enhanced by them. Hebburn today is a residential suburb of Newcastle and its glory days are gone but the landscape still bears the scars of its industrial past which is worth exploring.


Further walking guides

South Tyneside walking trails



Next time

Newcastle C19th housing – a wet walk round Tynemouth

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