On Tyneside, the one widespread and surviving image of the Industrial Revolution is not the great industrial buildings of the time, but the rows and rows of workers’ terraced houses.
Terraced house were built first by the industrial companies themselves, such as Lemington’s Glass Company then by speculative house builders and, finally, by Building Societies and local Councils.
Frequently, steep slopes were ignored to cram the rows close to the factories, like the terraced rows that can be seen in Blaydon on the opposite side of the River Tyne from here.
The picture shows typical terrace housing, in Tyne View, Lemington, in the early 1900s. On the left is the post office, opened in 1886 on the corner of West Street. (Pic - BYGONE Bell’s Close & Lemington, A.D. Walton)
Most Victorian terraces in Lemington were called ‘Streets’ and were often named after famous people or local well known families. It was only in the 20th century, that local streets were given more exotic names such as ‘Crescent’, ‘Avenue’, ‘Court’, ‘Place’ or ‘Gardens’.
“We moved back to Bell’s Close to live in a flat with one bedroom, a living room and scullery for washing. There was an outside lavatory, only cold running water, no bathroom and the house was lit by gas, there was a coal fire range but no electricity.”
(From the recollections of William Lynn, a community resident)