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I was born in Hebburn during world war 2 and find your review very interesting. When I was young the riverside park you speak about was the local rubbish tips with all the smoke, rats & filth it brought. There were also derelict buildings left over from the 1800s Tharsis Copper Works & bare scrub land that once had the Chemical Works standing on it.
The beautiful area you see today was a dirty filthy place when I was young but us kids still enjoyed playing there. Hebburn didn't have one Pit, it had three 'A' Pit,'B' Pit & 'C' Pit. We also had Ship building, ship repairing,large electrical switchgear manufacturer Reyrolles, plus lots of other engineering & electrical companies which are now all gone. We also had 4 Lakes adjacent to our local Park where people strolled on warm summer nights. There was lots of wild life around these lakes & children loved fishing for minnows & sticklebacks. The lakes were drained in the late 50s & housing estates stand where the lakes once were. If anyone would like to see what Hebburn looked like in those days why not visit my website? www.norman.dunn247.co.uk and spend a day or two looking at my photo collection. Happy viewing.
Approximately six miles from Newcastle on the south bank of the River Tyne lies the small town of Hebburn. The first mention of Hebburn in history dates back to the 8th Century when it was described as a settlement of fishermen’s huts that were burnt down by invading Vikings and the area seemed to have been given over to agriculture until the 1790’s. Coal mining was the first non-agricultural industry to be introduced to Hebburn and in 1794 Hebburn Colliery was fully operational, it was in this coal mine that Sir Humphrey Davy tested his safety lamp; the colliery closed in 1931. The warship HMS Kelly was built at the Hawthorn Leslie shipyard in Hebburn and a large number of her crew were Hebburn men. HMS Kelly was launched in October 1938 and one of her first tasks was a secret mission to bring the Duke and Duchess of Windsor from Le Havre to Britain in September 1939, just after the outbreak of World War II. Lord Louis Mountbatten captained the Kelly and she survived hitting a mine and being torpedoed in 1940, however during the invasion of Crete in May 1941 the Kelly was hit by dive-bombers and sunk with the loss of 130 lives. In May this year, the 60th anniversary of the loss of HMS Kelly, the daughter of the late Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, visited the Kelly grave in Hebburn cemetery to lay a wreath in commemoration of the anniversary. The story of the HMS Kelly was immortalised in the wartime film, In Which We Serve, starring Noel Coward and the musical Kelly, written by South Tyneside playwright Tom Kelly and Jarrow singer-songwriter Alan Price, was first staged in 1977. Since the closure of the colliery and shipyards unemployment is high in Hebburn although the Child Benefit Offices for the Department of Social Security are based in the town. The town does not have a great deal to offer visitors to the area and on first sight could easily be described as a rather depressing little town an
d none of the major supermarket chains have branches in Hebburn. I lived there for eight years when I first married basically because property prices were less expensive than anywhere else in the area and it was the best way to get your foot on the property ladder. The Father James Walsh Centre is the meeting place for most people aged between 19 and 90 in the town, the centre has work shops, teaches basic computer skills, a lunch club and bingo among other activities, apart from that there are three community centres with youth clubs, the usual bars, working men’s clubs, a bingo hall and a swimming pool with a large aqua slide, however it takes only about seven minutes on the metro into Newcastle City centre. Hebburn does have one little gem worth a visit and that is the Riverside Park and Marina, the development of this area has been ongoing since the 1970’s. The area is given over to parkland with plantations of trees and wild flowers are flourishing on reclaimed industrial land. From the higher areas of the park there are extensive views up and down the River Tyne and the northern section of the park is a landscaped grass area with willow, cherry, field maple and hawthorn trees. The river acts as a nature corridor linking the North Sea to the roosting habitat further upstream of cormorants and it is possible to catch a glimpse of the cormorants at the river’s edge. You can also see wading birds, such as redshank, probing in the mud when the tide is low. Further south along the park there is an area of rough grassland and scrub planting, where cowslips and orchids can be found in spring and early summer, other flowers growing in this area include rose bay, willowherb, black knapweed, toadflax and tansy. There is a tarmac path running through the park but some of the areas are quite steep so it is not always easy going for less able bodied people and to wander around the southern section of the park
you have to leave the tarmac path and walk on the grassed areas. In the northern section of the park some of the areas have gravel paths and again they are quite steep and these sections are not really suitable for people in wheelchairs. Although not all of the park is easily accessible it is well worth a visit, there is so much to see for those who are interested in nature and the Riverside Park alone makes Hebburn worth visiting.
Hebburn. No-one's heard of it, unless they live there. No-one likes it, especially if they live there. Famous for - well, nothing, Hebburn qualifies as the dullest town in the North. As I see it, Hebburn has three problems: unemployment, location and charvas. Unemployment: Hebburn was once a busy, happy shipbuilding town. The many shipyards employed many workers. When the shipyards all closed down, partially due to competition, partly due to the government not wanting them there, thousands were made redundant. Unemployment was high, crime was rife, and poverty was a way of life. No rich people lived in Hebburn. Rich people could afford to live in less grotsome areas. The residents of Hebburn could not afford to move out, and Hebburn, as a town, died. In the 1960s(ish), a lot was done to revitalise Hebburn. Blocks of flats were erected, the town centre was moved from the river-front to a more accesible, inland location, and new service-providers were lured in by the promise of cheap rent. Shops sprang up, bringing jobs to a few, and food to all. Hebburn's socio-economic status increased, and with that, the town-pride of the residents increased. It was no longer a horrible town to live in. Council schemes had actually made it quite nice to live in, with new parks, money for education, and later a fast, efficient local train service (the Tyneside Metro) was introduced, bringing Hebburn closer to its administrative town, South Shields, and the North's cultural capital, Newcastle. And now we hear of new orders for the ship-yards, bringing thousands of jobs - much-needed employment and much-needed money. The shipbuilding skills that the population of Hebburn has in abundance will at last be put to use, after years of enforced laziness. Location: Hebburn is bang in the middle of the Tyneside conurbation. There is nothing to indicate the border between Hebburn and it's nearest- neighbouring towns other than a sign. It i
s effectively just one small cog in the mechanism that is Newcastle and the North-East. Hebburn is situated on the river Tyne, between the towns Jarrow and Pelaw. Charvas: Hebburn's biggest problem is not the unemployment, not the grotsome location, but the charvas. It is hard to describe a charva, but this is an attempt: Related species: None - the charva is unique. Size: Variable from 4'0" to 6'2". Habitat: Street corners, invariably. Behaviour: Drinks cheap cider, on street corners. Accosts passers-by ("H'v' y' go' a quid y' c'n lend 'z mayat?"). Flocking: 3 - 25 Flight: Runs away at the slightest sign of danger (usually self-invoked). Voice: A nasal whine, somewhere between a whinge and strangulation. IDENTIFICATION Mature: Crown: Baseball cap with prominent brand-name, occasionally worn back-to-front. Upperparts: Tracksuit / pink leather jacket, the former with prominent brand name (usually Kappa). Rump: Large. Unaccountably tempting to kick. Tail: Although a primitive species, the charva's tail evolved away a long time ago. Throat: Frequently has cheap cider poured down it in large quantities. Belly: Variable - females either anorexically thin or extremely large. Often flaunted in public. Regrettably. Mouth: Full of insults, provacations, self-indulgent flattery, put-downs, and nasal whinges. Rarely closed. Legs: Variable - often covered in fake tan. Fat charvas go for miniskirts, which is a mistake. Juvenile: Regrettably, juveniles are very common. Identical to mature, only smaller. BREEDING Eggs: Live young. The more reptilian in form are rumoured to lay eggs and incubate them, but these rumours have all been categorically denied by the individuals in question. Fledging: Three years. Immediately clothed in Kappa. Brood
s: One every nine months, on average. Food: Cheap cider, chips. Poulation: TOO BIG. Rapidly expanding - if the increase in numbers increases, preventative measures may need to be taken. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- I am not sure if the charva's range extends beyond the North East of England. In Bristol I believe they're called Pilkies.