West Allotment was first known as Northumberland Place and is 3.5 miles north-west of North Shields. The area was built in 1820-1821 on that part of the Shire Moor which, at its enclosure, was allotted to Preston Township and became known as West Allotment from the rental of over 100 nearby allotment plots. Local amenities included shops, the Northumberland Arms pub, a working men’s club and community centre. New roads and housing have been developed in recent years.
Wheatridge was once a small hamlet within Seaton Delaval Township which incorporated Wheatridge Farm and was originally referred to as Whit Ridge. Little now remains of the original place and development of the area now includes a new housing estate by the name of Wheatridge Park. The name Wheatridge is also evident in some local street names.
Whitehill Point was the shipping point for the 18th century wagon ways from the scattered pits of Flatworth, Shiremoor and Murton. Royalties belonged to the Duke of Northumberland and the earliest staith was the Northumberland Spout, which served these pits and would have had a large covered staith house with under-cover storage for coal when the tide was wrong for loading. Later the Backworth Staiths, they were replaced between 1884 and 1898 by the Tyne Commissioners.
Whitley Bay: ‘Whitley’ is derived from White Lea (or white clearing). Originally known as Whitley or Whitley-by-the-Sea, it is widely held that the present name resulted from local indignation at the confusion with Whitby over a century ago, with ’Bay’ being added in an effort to differentiate. Whitley is first mentioned around 1100, when King Henry I conferred it with other possessions on the Priory of Tynemouth. Before that date, ancient documents and maps referred to Witelei, Wyteley, Hwyteleg, Witelithe, Wheteley, Wytheleye, Whitlaw, Whitlathe and Whitlag. The name can also be attributed to the deWhitley family, local landowners who held a manor house in the area up to 1538.
Whitley Links is the area of coastal grassland between the northern extremity of Whitley Bay and the Cenotaph. The definition of ‘links’ refers to ‘a golf course – especially one on grass-covered sandy ground near to the sea’. Prior to the laying out of the present golf course, members of Whitley Bay Golf Club first started using the Links as a course in October 1890.
Whitley Lodge Estate was built during the 1950s and 1960s and took its name from a farm which stood on the seafront, slightly south of the Brier Dene.
Wooden Bridge: During the 1700s, an area of swampy ground called Dogger Letch existed at the bottom of the present Bedford Street in North Shields. It was crossed by a wooden bridge (last shown in Woods map of 1827) to connect the present Liddle and Clive Streets. A nearby toll house was demolished in 1857. The area has long been known as ‘Wooden Bridge’.
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.