Westoe, South Tyneside

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Location within Tyne and Wear
OS grid reference NZ 3713 6609
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NE33
Dialling code 0191
Police Northumbria
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UK Parliament
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Tyne and Wear
54°59′17″N1°25′16″W / 54.9881°N 1.42116947°W / 54.9881; -1.42116947 Coordinates: 54°59′17″N1°25′16″W / 54.9881°N 1.42116947°W / 54.9881; -1.42116947 . [1]

Westoe was originally a village near South Shields, Tyne & Wear, England, but has since become part of the town and is now used to refer to the area of the town where the village once was. It is also an electoral ward for local politics purposes.



Westoe Village

Postcard of Westoe, 1904 Westoe from East, South Shields 1904.jpg
Postcard of Westoe, 1904
The Westoe pub, which backs on to Westoe Village The Westoe, South Shields.jpg
The Westoe pub, which backs on to Westoe Village

The earliest recorded mention of Westoe is in 1072, which refers to a group of seven farms. [2]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the village of Westoe was around one mile south of South Shields [3] (which was in County Durham until the formation of Tyne and Wear under the Local Government Act 1972), and was gradually absorbed into the urban sprawl extending from the centre of the town.

In contemporary usage, the term "Westoe Village" refers to a specific suburban road of the same name in the Westoe area of the town. It consists of Georgian and Victorian houses, many having been built by business leaders of the town, [2] including those who owned mines and shipyards. It is considered one of the most exclusive areas of South Shields.

A number of houses which were historically in the village are not considered to be part of the modern-day Westoe Village. The semi-detached early-nineteenth century houses of Westoe Terrace have been absorbed into the late Victorian terrace of Dean Road.

Westoe Colliery

Westoe Colliery was one of many coal mines in the area. Opened in 1909, it operated until May 1993, [4] when it was the last pit of its kind on Tyneside to close. [5] The site of the colliery has since been cleared and redeveloped into Westoe Crown Village, which falls into the Horsley Hill ward of South Tyneside Council.

Westoe Cemetery

Westoe Cemetery was opened in 1857, and is now closed to new graves (although existing family graves can still be used). [6] Notable local-born physician Dr Thomas Winterbottom, as well as barrister and politician Robert Ingham are buried in the cemetery. [6]

The Westoe Netty

Westoe became locally famous as the inspiration for a popular painting, Westoe Netty , which illustrates a local public toilet [7] [8] ( Netty is a Geordie dialect word for toilet). The original toilet was built in 1890 near a railway bridge on Chichester Road, near its junction with Westoe Road. To allow for regeneration, it was dismantled and put into storage in 1996. In 2008, the toilet was rebuilt as a permanent exhibit at the Beamish Museum.

Westoe Brewery

Westoe had its own brewery, the Westoe Brewery, which stood on Dunelm Street (just off Westoe Road) from the 19th century, and although the exact date of origin is not apparent, it features on the 1915 Ordnance Survey maps [9] (it is also reported to feature on the 1895 copy [10] ). The brewery continued under the ownership of Robert Henderson until 1907, when Joseph Johnson acquired it, and in 1924 merged it with the City Brewery from Durham. In 1938, the company became Westoe Breweries Limited, and in 1946 became public. [11]

The breweries were taken over by Hammond United Breweries in 1960, [11] and closed sometime between then and the 2000s. [12]

In 2004, the Jarrow Brewing Company of nearby Jarrow purchased the former Chameleon pub on Claypath Lane, just off Westoe Road, reopening it as The Maltings in May 2005. [13] They expanded their microbrewery output by installing a facility below this pub, [13] producing 100 barrels a week. [14] The company included in its beers, Westoe IPA [15] and Westoe Netty Special.[ citation needed ]

On 27 September 2018, the company was dissolved. [16]

Westoe Fair

The annual village fair has musical entertainment, refreshments and games. A host of charity and voluntary organisations have stalls with tombolas, raffles and displays including the Rotary Club of South Tyneside and South Shields Local History Group.


Metropolitan Borough Council

Westoe is an electoral ward of South Tyneside Council, [17] and stretches from Chichester Road and Leighton Street in the north, to Harton House Road in the south. In the 2007 local elections the ward returned three independent candidates; however, as of 2018 the ward had returned to three labour councillors. [18] The ward population taken at the 2011 census was 8,080. [19]

UK Parliament

Westoe is located in the South Shields constituency. Its 2017 electorate was estimated to consist of 6227 voters. [20]



Entrance to Westoe Village, from St George's Avenue Westoe Village.jpg
Entrance to Westoe Village, from St George's Avenue

Westoe Road (formerly Westoe Lane [21] ) forms part of the A1018 road from South Shields to Seaham, and was so named because it originally ran between South Shields and Westoe Village. What is now considered Westoe Village has limited vehicular access via St George's Avenue only, which contributes heavily to its tranquil reputation.

Tyne and Wear Metro

The Westoe area is served by the Chichester Metro station, the penultimate stop on the South Shields branch of the Tyne and Wear Metro rapid transit system.


The South Shields campus of South Tyneside College is located on St George's Avenue (just before access to Westoe Village) and serves further education to people ages 14 years and older. [22]


Westoe Rugby Football Club

Westoe Rugby Football Club, which was established in 1875, is one of the oldest organisations still in the Westoe area today. The club has continuously occupied its original ground, directly opposite Westoe Village, since its establishment, and is today one of the local community hubs of the area.

Robert Readhead Park

Robert Readhead was a local businessman, and was the eldest son of John Readhead, who founded John Readhead and Sons Limited, a noted local shipwright and marine engineering firm. Joining his father's business as an apprentice, Readhead stuck with the firm and eventually became one of the directors, retiring from active involvement in 1909 to take a larger community role - something he continued for the next 40 years (including four years spent as mayor). [23]

In 1921, Readhead donated the land on which the Robert Readhead park lies to the town in thanksgiving for peace. The park was opened on 18 May 1923, and features a 3 ft high scroll-style commemorative plaque which reads: [24]

County Borough of South Shields Robert Readhead Park. This park was presented by Alderman Robert Readhead J.P. to the town council of South Shields for the purpose of public pleasure grounds by deed of gift dated 20th April 1923. Opened to the public on the 3rd May 1923 by Robert Readhead ESQ M.A. (Oxon) (Son of the Donor), Edward Smith, Mayor, John Lawson, Chairman of Parks and Cemeteries committee.

Nowadays, the park has a bowls club (which includes a bowling pavilion), tennis courts, and a small children's play area. [23]

Notable residents

Related Research Articles

Geordie Northern English dialect

Geordie is a nickname for a person from the Tyneside area of North East England, and the dialect used by its inhabitants, also known in linguistics as Tyneside English or Newcastle English. There are different definitions of what constitutes a Geordie. The term is used and has been historically used to refer to the people of the North East. A Geordie can also specifically be a native of Tyneside and the surrounding areas. Not everyone from the North East of England identifies as a Geordie.

Tyne and Wear Metropolitan county in North East England

Tyne and Wear is a metropolitan county in North East England, situated around the mouths of the rivers Tyne and Wear. It came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. It consists of the five metropolitan boroughs of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and the City of Sunderland. The county is bordered to the north by Northumberland, to the south by County Durham and to the east of the county lies the North Sea. It is the smallest county in North East England by area, but by far the largest in terms of population.

Jarrow Human settlement in England

Jarrow is a town within the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside, a part of the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear in North East England. Historically in County Durham, it is situated by the River Tyne and is home to the southern entrance / exit of the Tyne Tunnel.

South Tyneside Metropolitan borough in England

South Tyneside is a metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear, North East England. It forms part of the Tyneside conurbation.

South Shields Town in Tyne and Wear, England

South Shields is a coastal town at the mouth of the River Tyne, about 3.7 miles (6.0 km) downstream from Newcastle upon Tyne in north east England. Historically part of County Durham, it became part of Tyne and Wear in 1974. According to the 2011 census, the town had a population of 76,498, the third largest in Tyneside after Newcastle and Gateshead. It is part of the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside which includes the towns of Jarrow and Hebburn. South Shields is represented in Parliament by Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck. The demonym of people from South Shields is either Geordie which is used for people from Tyneside or Sandancer which is the less colloquial term for people from South Shields.

Bill Quay Human settlement in England

Bill Quay is a residential area in Gateshead, located around 4 miles (6.4 km) from Newcastle upon Tyne, 12 miles (19 km) from Sunderland, and 17 miles (27 km) from Durham. In 2011, Census data for the Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council ward of Heworth and Pelaw recorded a total population of 9,100.

Monkseaton Human settlement in England

Monkseaton is an area of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, in the North East of England. Historically in Northumberland, it is in the north-east of the borough, 34 mile (1.2 km) from the North Sea coast and 1 12 miles (2.4 km) north of the River Tyne at North Shields. A mile to the north of Monkseaton, the extensive built-up areas of North Tyneside change abruptly into green belt stretching north into south-east Northumberland. It is at an elevation of 130 feet (40 m) above sea-level.

South Shields (UK Parliament constituency)

South Shields is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It has been represented by Emma Lewell-Buck of the Labour Party since 2013.

The Boldons Human settlement in England

The Boldons are a group of three small villages in the north east of England – East Boldon, West Boldon and Boldon Colliery – north of Sunderland, east of Newcastle and south of South Shields and Jarrow. In 2001 they had a population of 13,271.

Wideopen Human settlement in England

Wideopen, also occasionally spelled Wide Open, is a village in the administrative borough of North Tyneside, north of Gosforth and six miles (9.7 km) north of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre.

Chichester Metro station Tyne and Wear Metro station in South Tyneside

Chichester is a Tyne and Wear Metro station, serving the suburb of Westoe, South Tyneside in Tyne and Wear. It joined the network on 24 March 1984, following the opening of the fifth phase of the network, between Heworth and South Shields.

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.

The first settlers of the South Shields area were the Brigantes, although there is no evidence they built a settlement at South Shields. The Romans built a fort there to help supply Hadrian's Wall. Many ruins still exist today. The fort was abandoned as the empire declined.

<i>Westoe Netty</i>

The Westoe Netty is a painting by Robert Olley. It depicts a historical scene inside a public toilet. Painted in 1972, it has become a cultural symbol of North East England working class history.

Robert Olley

Robert "Bob" Olley is an artist and sculptor best known for his mining subjects, humorous drawings and paintings of everyday life, especially his iconic painting and internationally acclaimed Westoe Netty.

Harton, South Shields Human settlement in England

Harton is a suburban area of South Shields, South Tyneside, North East England. It was historically a village, however as the urban area grew it merged with its adjacent villages to become part of the town. Some of the original village buildings are still intact today, such as St Peter's Church.

South Shields Town Hall

South Shields Town Hall is a Grade II listed building on Westoe Road in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England. It serves as the headquarters of South Tyneside Council.

Jarrow Town Hall Municipal Building in England

Jarrow Town Hall is a municipal building in Grange Road, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, England. The town hall, which was the headquarters of Jarrow Borough Council, is a Grade II listed building.


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