Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne
Entrance to Walker Park, Walker
Tyne and Wear UK location map.svg
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Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne
Location within Tyne and Wear
OS grid reference NZ289648
  London 242 miles (389 km)
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NE6
Dialling code 0191
Police Northumbria
Fire Tyne and Wear
Ambulance North East
UK Parliament
List of places
Tyne and Wear
54°58′41″N1°33′00″W / 54.978°N 1.550°W / 54.978; -1.550 Coordinates: 54°58′41″N1°33′00″W / 54.978°N 1.550°W / 54.978; -1.550

Walker is a residential suburb and electoral ward just east of the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The population at the 2011 census was 11,701. [1]



Perhaps the most historic fact about Walker is contained in its name, which refers to Hadrian's Wall which passed along its northern edge. The place-name 'Walker' is first attested in 1242, where it appears as Waucre. This means 'wall-carr', that is to say, 'the marsh by the Roman wall'. [2] Hadrian's Wall is not visible in Walker today, although a small fragment can be seen in Shields Road in Byker to the west, and Segedunum fort is a major site at the end of the Wall in Wallsend to the east.

Large-scale coal-mining began in the area in the early 1700s, with up to ten collieries in operation in the Walker area. A wagon-way was constructed during this period to facilitate transportation of coal to the riverside staithes. [3]

Walker used to have a large shipbuilding industry, particularly the yard of Armstrong Whitworth [4] at High Walker, but this has declined over the past 50 years and the area has suffered as a result, with many jobs being taken away from the community.

From 1809 to 1883, Walker was home to an iron-making company, Losh, Wilson and Bell (known towards the end as Bells, Goodman and finally as Bells, Lightfoot).

History of Walkerville

Walkerville was developed as a model housing exhibition along the lines of the Garden city movement held under the auspices of the National Housing Reform Council in 1908 and is an early example of small-scale town planning prior to the Housing, Town Planning, &c. Act 1909. [5] One of the prime campaigners behind the exhibition was Councillor David Adams (1871-1943), who later became an MP and Lord Mayor of Newcastle. [6] The chosen site was Corporation estate, Walker, and the gold medal for the horseshoe layout of the site was awarded to Watson and Scott of Newcastle. [7] The exhibition was of a range of 'model cottages' for working people of different types from two to three bedrooms, by different architects and backed by a range of patrons including Wallsend Cooperative Society, at that time a provider of mortgage capital for its members. Newcastle Corporation also built homes as part of the exhibition. The Gold medal-winning architects were AT Martindale, White & Stephenson, Edward Cratney and TE Davidson. [8] David Adams described the planning and development of the Walker and Willington estates in a series of articles for The Northern Echo . [9]


Generally speaking Walker is an area between Welbeck Road and the banks of the River Tyne, although the modern city ward of Walker incorporates Pottery Bank and St Anthony's. When most Geordies refer to Walker they also incorporate the areas of Daisy Hill and Eastfield. Walkergate, located between Welbeck Road and the Network rail line are sometimes considered parts of Walker. Other parts of Walker are Walkerdene (which is situated south of 'Fossway' and north of 'Welbeck Road', west of 'Waverdale Avenue' and east of 'Scrogg Road') and Walkerville (which is located under the railway bridge and to the right, these houses are mainly private stock whereas other areas of Walker are council and ex-council stock). Other areas included are Daisy Hill and Eastfield which help make up the city Ward of Walkergate.

The area is notable for Walker Park, [10] the Walker Riverside Park, [11] and the Lady Stephenson Library (now known as 'Walker Library') as well as the Lightfoot Sports Centre, which is set to undergo a £2.5m refurbishment. Alderman Sir William Haswell Stephenson, built the library in 1908 [12] in memory of his wife Eliza, who died in 1901. [13] The library closed on 29 June 2013 and contents have been relocated into a purpose built area within Walker Activity Dome in July 2013 (The Lightfoot Sports Centre). [14] Walker Park received a Green Flag Award in 2019. [15]

Walker is served by the Tyne and Wear Metro, with a station at Walkergate, and has a main bus terminus on Walker Road, although this is quite dilapidated and badly serviced.

Most children attend a local primary school, These are St Anthony's CE, St Vincent's RC, Tyneview, [16] Welbeck Academy, West Walker, [17] Walkergate and Wharrier Street. The two main Secondary Schools which service the area are Benfield School, a specialist Sports College, and Walker Riverside Academy, a high performing specialist technology and visual arts school for 11- to 18-year-olds.


Newcastle City Council's Walker Riverside regeneration scheme launched in 2003 aims to revitalise the area with new houses, schools, jobs and community facilities, environmental improvements, and a new neighbourhood centre to be known as the Heart of Walker. [18] The scheme has its own newsletter known as the "Walker Eye", which goes to almost 7,000 homes and businesses locally.

Much of the older and run-down housing stock along Walker Road is in the process of being demolished and replaced with new homes which are a mixture of council and private housing. The stated aim was to build 1,600 new and replacement homes over a 15-year period. [19]

As part of the new Heart of Walker development, plans have recently been unveiled to open a new state-of-the-art primary school on a site next door to the redeveloped Lightfoot Centre, where the old Wharrier Street Primary School was. The £7.5m project merged Wharrier Street and St Anthony's Primary Schools in Autumn 2012 to create the new Central Walker Church of England Primary. [20]

Plans for the area's regeneration were approved by the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Ruth Kelly.

In August 2018 it was announced that two high-rise blocks, Titan House and Hexham House were to be demolished. The flats and neighbouring Church Walk shopping centre will be replaced by a new housing development and shops. [21]

Notable people

Cheryl Cole, singer, born on 30 June 1983, [22] lived in Walker and Heaton, attending Walker Comprehensive School, Middle Street, [23] before she found fame with Girls Aloud. [24]

Walker is the birthplace of Eric Burdon, lead singer of The Animals, who later recorded with War at the beginning of that band's career. The Animals recorded a song called "Gonna Send You Back to Walker", a repurposed version of a song by American R&B singer Timmy Shaw, "Gonna Send You Back to Georgia (A City Slick)." [25]

Another Walkerite, the author, journalist and broadcaster Keith Topping, titled one of the chapters in his novel The Hollow Men , The St. Anthony's Chinese Takeaway Massacre. The novelist is co author on Dr Who: The Hollow Men (1998) with Martin Day.

The Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi grew up in Walker, where he played for Walker Central F.C., launched in 1988 by the Wallsend-born former Newcastle United footballer Lee Clark and ex-club scout Brian Clark (no relation). Lee Clark has since gone on to become a manager at both Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City.

Stan Anderson, rugby union player who made one Test match appearance for England in the 1899 Home Nations Championship.

David MacBeth, an English pop music singer was born in Walker. [26] Despite releasing a string of singles on three record labels between 1959 and 1969, MacBeth's only chart success was with his version of "Mr. Blue", which peaked at number 18 in the UK Singles Chart. [27] MacBeth took part in the 1963 Roy Orbison/The Beatles Tour. [28]

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Newcastle upon Tyne City and metropolitan borough in England

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North Tyneside Metropolitan borough in England

The Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside is a metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear, North East England. It forms a part of the greater Tyneside conurbation. The North Tyneside Council is headquartered at Cobalt Business Park, Wallsend.

Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend (UK Parliament constituency)

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Elswick, Tyne and Wear Human settlement in England

Elswick is an area and ward of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, 1.9 miles west of the city centre, bordering the River Tyne. Historically in Northumberland, Elswick became part of Newcastle in 1835. In 2018 it had an estimated population of 15,869. The usual resident population of the ward in 2011 was 13,198, 4.7% of the total population of Newcastle upon Tyne, comprising 5,116 households. The ward profile shows Elswick is the ward with the highest percentage of children under 14 years in Newcastle and has a lower than average number of senior citizens (10%) than Newcastle as a whole. Elswick has a lower than average number of houses in owner-occupation.

Newburn Human settlement in England

Newburn is a semi rural parish, former electoral ward and former urban district in western Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England. Situated on the North bank of the River Tyne, it is built rising up the valley from the river. It is situated approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from the city centre, 14 miles (23 km) east of Hexham and 13 miles (21 km) south south west of Morpeth. In the 2001 census, the population was given as 9,301, increasing to 9,536 at the 2011 Census. Newburn is in the Newcastle upon Tyne district of Tyne and Wear and is part of the parliamentary constituency of Newcastle upon Tyne North.

Walkergate Human settlement in England

Walkergate is an area and electoral ward in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in Tyne and Wear, England. It is in the east of the city, north of Walker proper, east of the Heaton area and west of Wallsend. Areas within the Walkergate ward include Daisy Hill, Eastfield, Walkerdene and Walkerville. Walkergate Metro station which was opened in 1982 serves the area. This replaced the previous railway station on the same site which was originally known as Walker station from 1839 to 1889 when it was renamed Walker Gate station.

Newcastle City Council

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Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne Human settlement in England

Heaton is a suburb in the east end of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, about 2 miles (3 km) from the city centre. It is bordered by the neighbouring areas of High Heaton and Cochrane Park to the north, Walker and Walkergate to the east, Byker to the south and Jesmond and Sandyford to the west. The name Heaton means high town, referring to the area "being situated on hills above the Ouseburn, a tributary of the River Tyne."

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Hebburn Human settlement in England

Hebburn is a town on the south bank of the River Tyne in North East England situated between the towns of Jarrow and Gateshead and to the south of Walker. The population of Hebburn was 18,808 in 2001, reducing to 16,492 at the 2011 Census for the two Hebburn Wards. Once part of the private Ellison estate, and made an independent Urban District in 1894, in 1974 it became part of the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear. Hebburn lies within historic County Durham.

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