Lesser-known facts about Jarrow

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The boundaries of the town of Jarrow have altered considerably over the years. In 1881 a detached part of the Parish of Fulwell, near Sunderland, lay within the boundaries of modern-day Jarrow. It included within its scope Low Simonside Farm and Jarrow Cemetery. The Civil Parish of Hedworth, Monkton and Jarrow (i.e. the administrative unit used for census purposes) extended as far as Jingling Gate in Heworth in 1891, but by 1901 Hebburn and Heworth had been split off. East Jarrow, i.e. that part of the town between the River Don and Tyne Dock, was part of the Borough of South Shields until 1936, when it was incorporated into the Borough of Jarrow along with Monkton Village, Primrose and Hedworth. (A previous Bill to extend the boundaries of the Borough in 1922 was defeated in the House of Commons on Second Reading).The Parliamentary division of Jarrow was originally formed by the Distribution of Seats Act of 1885 and included Jarrow, Hebburn, Wardley and Felling.

The first railway station in Jarrow (in the 1860's) was in Ormonde Street.

As Jarrow developed, some of the early streets disappeared or were given new names. Among those which were lost forever are Dog Bank Row (part of the old pit rows), Jarrow Cliff (the high ground on the east side of Drewett Park overlooking the Slake), Bensham Square (at the centre of the old pit rows), St Paul's Square (to the east of St Paul's Church), Norfolk Street (the former name for that part of Bede Burn Road between Albert Road and Croft Terrace), and Northbourne Terrace (the former name for that part of Bede Burn Road between Field Terrace and Wood Terrace)

One of Jarrow's streets actually commemorates the last man to stage an invasion of the United Kingdom - General Humbert, who on 22nd September 1798 landed with a detachment of French forces at Killala Bay in Mayo. Gerard Slowey, who lived in Humbert Street, has suggested that it may in fact commemorate King Umberto or Humbert I of Italy (1844-1900).

One of Jarrow's more unusual curiosities was the "Pub with no beer" - or at any rate no draught beer. It was situated at the corner of Bridge Street and Albert Road, and for many years operated as an off-licence, however it was fitted out with a full-sized bar counter. Unfortunately it was 50yds south of the railway line, and therefore beyond the pale as far as the licensing authorities were concerned. It never did get a licence for drinking on the premises.

Two newspapers were published in Jarrow during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: The "Jarrow Guardian and Tyneside Reporter" was founded in 1872, and continued in circulation until 1913. Copies of the original newspapers covering the years 1905-1912 (some gaps) are held by Newcastle Central Library. The British Library holds the full series with the exceptions of the years 1898 and 1909 which are on microfilm, and 1897 which is not available in any form. "The Jarrow Express" was founded in 1873 by Thomas Robinson, a Yorkshireman from Richmond, and continued in publication until 1920. Robinson was a prominent Freemason, and retired to Rowlands Gill where he celebrated his Golden Wedding anniversary in November 1918. Microfilmed copies of the "Jarrow Express" covering the period 1874-1913 are held in South Shields Central Library, and a full series of the original newspapers are held by the British Library. Both of these publications came out on weekly on Fridays. They are a fascinating source of information relating to the economic, political and social life of the town during this period.

Jarrow once possessed a golf course - in Hebburn. The Jarrow and Hebburn golf course was tucked in between Victoria Road, Hebburn Lakes on the west, the Slag Heap on the south-east and Bede Burn on the south. It was a nine-hole course, opened c.a. 1906. The first Captain was Douglas Upton, Manager of the Iron and Steel Works, who lived in Belsfield. The course closed during WW2, and did not reopen thereafter. The Jarrow and Hebburn Golf Club was formally dissolved in 1949 and the club house was sold to Heworth Golf Club for £400. The members at Heworth still compete annually for the "Jarrow and Hebburn Cup," which bears the following inscription: Jarrow and Hebburn Golf Club - Presented by the above club on its dissolution 1949 - To Heworth Golf Club for annual competition. Thanks to Brian Branch for information about the Jarrow and Hebburn Cup.

In similar fashion, Jarrow AFC once had their home ground in Hebburn. It was named Campbell Park, and was situated on Victoria Road East. The land was requisitioned in 1939 by the War Ministry for the newly-formed 87th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, and the stadium was demolished. After the War the military buildings were removed and the site used for housing, namely Clegwell Terrace, Hatfield Avenue and Palmer Terrace. Jarrow's previous grounds were at Curlew Road (also now occupied by housing), and Monkton Stadium, which is still functioning as a sporting venue.

Jarrow AFC reached the first round proper of the FA Cup on three occasions - in 1898-99 they lost 3-1 to Everton at Goodison Park, in 1899-90 they lost 2-0 to Millwall at Monkton Stadium, and in 1930-1 they lost 1-0 to Crewe Alexandra.

Monkton Hall Home opened in 1908. Political correctness had not yet been invented, and it was described as a "home for feeble-minded boys".

In the 1950's Jarrow did not possess a single set of traffic lights, unless one counts those at the ferry landing. The first proper set were installed in the 1960's at the junction of Bede Burn Road and Albert Road - more commonly known as "Carrick's Corner".

The River Don, which enters the Tyne at Jarrow Slake, has 12 main tributaries. Some of these are separately named; the Bede, Monkton, Calfclose and Whittle Burns. The longest tributary rises on the high ground near Springwell, so one could call this the source of the Don. To view a map of the tributaries superimposed on a 1920 map of the area click here.

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