The first building to be constructed here was Monkseaton Senior School, which opened in 1932. This was followed in 1938 by two residential houses which were built opposite the school and were later numbered as 2 and 3 Vernon Drive. The road ended where the sharp bend now exists and a wooden fence marked the end of the road, beyond which the open fields of Monkseaton South Farm continued towards Shields Road.
Even as later housing on the street developed, Vernon Drive remained as little more than a muddy track but in 1948 a full road surfacing programme, accompanied by the installation of street lighting, was planned. The roadworks were later completed at a cost of £3,200 and the North Eastern Electricity Board charged £204 for the installation and supply of lamp posts and lighting.
This work coincided with construction of the new Primary School on nearby Appletree Gardens which allowed Vernon Drive to be opened out as a through road, bending to the south-east to connect with Haig Avenue at the junction with Appletree Gardens.
The street, which now forms the eastern boundary of the school, runs to the rear of Beverley Park and remained as a private street until May 1957 when it was finally adopted by the council as a public road.
In recent years, six new houses numbered 11 to 17 (with the omission of no.13) were built towards the south-eastern end of Vernon Drive and were accommodated on land which originally formed the extremities of the extensive rear gardens of Beverley Park.
by Charlie Steel © 2012
Local historian and writer Charlie Steel has lived in Monkseaton for most of his life.
His published books include; ‘Monkseaton Village Vol. 1’, ‘Monkseaton & Hillheads’ and ‘Inns and Taverns of North Shields’ all of which are available from most local booksellers.