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Lemington

Lemington has always been an important location in the transport of coal as it was the highest point on the River Tyne suitable for staiths. As time went on and the colliery industry expanded, Lemington staiths and Lemington Point were the termination of more and more wagonways including the Wylam and Walbottle waggonways.

Lemington Community Cente and sculpture

The picture shows the front of the Lemington Community Centre and the recently installed sculpture.

In 1787 the Northumberland Glass Company obtained a lease on some land near the Lemington Staiths from the Duke of Northumberland and set up four huge glass cones. Unfortunately, in 1837 all but the largest cone were demolished but it still survives today as a reminder of the golden days of glass-making at Lemington.

The Tyne Iron Works was established in 1797 finally closing in 1886 and in 1903 the Newcastle & District Lighting Company erected a power station on the site which is still there today as a protected historic building.

In 1876 with the coming of the east/west railway, a new Lemington industrial village developed to the north of the line. In the same year the Tyne Commissioners cut a new channel in the river near Blaydon and the entrance to Lemington Loop was cut off and began to silt up. This area, now called The Gut, needed continuous dredging to keep the staithes clear. By the mid nineteenth century, Lemington Point was the finishing line for skiff races starting at either the Tyne or Scotswood Bridges. The North East’s most famous oarsman, Harry Clasper, frequently entered these races.

Tyne Iron Works

The Tyne Iron Works was established in 1797, for the cast iron extracting by the action of fire in large furnaces from ironstone, but in 1869 it was taken over by John Spencer & Sons and restarted as the Tyne Haematite Iron Company in 1871 using Spanish ore rather than local material. The furnaces finally closed in 1886 and in 1903 the Newcastle & district Lighting Company erected a power station on the site which is still there today as a protected historic building.

Holy Saviour Church

The Holy Saviour Church was originally Sugley Parish Church when it was built in 1837. It was designed by Benjamin Green and is unusual because it is oriented north-south, rather than east-west, to avoid an unused pit shaft. The Parish Day School was attached until 1937 when it closed.

St. Michael and All Angels Church

The picture shows St. Michael & All Angels Church with its tower built 1100 or before. (Pic - BYGONE Newburn, A.D. Walton)

There were two other churches in the area. In 1838 a Weslyan Chapel was built by the Keelmen who ferried the stone from Heworth in Gateshead, and in 1868 St. George’s Roman Catholic Church was built with an attached school, which is still in use. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Lemington was a hive of industry which gradually dwindled until by the late twentieth century there was very little left. However, the people of Lemington would not be beaten and today (2006) there is a general regeneration going on.
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