Our Illustrious Past
The current village itself was a mining village and dates back to the 1890’s and is steeped in history.
Waldridge Colliery was located on the hill south of Waldridge overlooking the village and the Wear valley. It opened in 1831 and closed in April 1926 having been linked, underground, to a nearby colliery at Chester Moor, the shaft and pithead gear remained until 1967 for ventilation and emergency access. The large slag heap was to the south of the colliery. There were other small drift mines on the fell. A waggonway which was in service until 1955 took Waldridge coal to the Tyne via Stella Gill sidings. The most recent mining ended in 1992 when Smithy Dene drift closed.
Waldridge Fell is green belt land with lovely walks through the countryside and moorland, it is one of the last remaining areas of lowland fell (heathland) in the county, with a raised valley floor peat bog. The newer part of the Parish consists of Waldridge Park, build in the 1970’s and the even newer part which is Deneside View and Poppyfields build in the 1990’s.
There is a roll of honour which is located in Waldridge Village Hall. It gives the names of all these who lost their life, and also names of those who served in the first world war.
We also have a plaque from the second world war situated in the Parish rooms. This plaque gives the names of Walter Virgo and Alan McKitten who lived in Waldridge Village, they gave their lives in the second world war.
Do you have a story for us?
Over to you!
We would love to hear from you if you have any other interesting facts about our Parish’s history. We’d be fascinated to hear your personal recollections, perhaps stories that have been passed down to you, or to share memorabillia and photographs of events from the past. In fact, anything relating to the area in which we live. We’re certain our parishioners and site visitors would be enthralled too.
Here’s what to do
If you have something to share with us about our past in Waldridge, come on in and share it with us. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your tale, or details of what you have for us, and then we’ll get back to you.
Together, we’ll build a picture of life in Waldridge over the years.