Short Sands is an alternative name given to the small beach otherwise known as King Edwards Bay.
Silverlink: Built in 1935, the Silver Link was the first London and North Eastern Railway locomotive to pull a new train called the Silver Jubilee, which reached a record breaking 112mph on its inaugural journey from King’s Cross to Newcastle on 29 September 1935. Withdrawn from service in 1963, it now loans its name to the retail park just off the Coast Road between North Shields and Wallsend.
Spital Dene: Old maps show several variations in the spelling of Spital Dene including ‘Spytel’, ‘Spytal’, ‘Spitall’ and ‘Spittle’. A ‘Spital’ is an archaic name for a hospital which usually deals with contagious diseases, and in this case Spital Dene derived its name from the nearby St. Leonard’s Hospital, the ruins of which were recently unearthed in Northumberland Park.
Table Rocks was a unique outdoor tidal swimming pool created from a natural inlet in the rock formations at Whitley Bay. The rocks were formally developed as a bathing pool in 1894 and so named because of their flat and level surface.
The Gut is an area of North Shields Fish Quay, built in the 1920s to provide shelter and accommodate the fishing fleet; however, the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1801 indicates that the Gut was originally the outlet for the Pow Burn. Why it was called ‘The Gut’ is open to speculation.
The Redder is a local name for a small copse situated between Earsdon and Wellfield. A small hospital once stood here as an isolation centre for patients with scarlet fever, making the name self-explanatory.
Tynemouth: Standing at the mouth of the River Tyne, the origins of this name are self-evident. Various old maps and documents can show varied spellings, the most common of which is ‘Tinmouth’.
Tynemouth Bar guards the entrance to the River Tyne and is the point where the flowing tide of the North Sea sweeps strongly across the river mouth – almost at right angles – resulting in a build-up of sand and silt. This causes a series of strong cross-tidal currents, which in past years, and prior to the construction of the present piers, have proved hazardous to shipping.
Wellfield is the area adjacent to Earsdon Road between West Monkseaton and Earsdon Village. Also referred to as South Wellfield, the name derives from Earsdon Well which stood in a field just a few yards north of the main entrance road to the present estate, and was once the main water source which supplied the residents of nearby Earsdon Village. Between the 1700s and 1800s, much of the farmland surrounding Monkseaton Village was dotted with wells and springs, and the area upon which Wellfield Estate was built was no exception. Old Ordnance Survey maps show the existence of pumps and wells in this area and there is still evidence of two small drainage channels or ‘burns’.
by Charlie Steel © 2016
Further reading for many of Charlie’s articles can be found in his books: ‘Monkseaton Village’ (Vol. 1 & 2), ‘North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns’ (Part 1 & 2), ‘Tynemouth Remembered’ and ’Whitley Bay Remembered’ (Part 1) , all published by Summerhill Books.