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Home History Maps Community and Events Links Message Board

2011 -2009

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20/11/11  McDonalds  Opened - Retail units needs your support

Earlier this week,  the long awaited McDonalds restaurant opened, which adds to the new units ie KFC and the March Hair restaurant, all  of which appear to be going well.

The Planning Application was granted for a further six retail units,  however local press have stated that it has gone to the secretary of state to decide if a public enquiry is required, due to fears of it taking custom from near by Bishop Auckland Town Centre, however Ravenhill estates,  and Gentoo are putting plans together to developed Bishop.

For all local residents who would like to  support the application of the retails units then please write to National Policy Casework Unit, 5 St Philips Place, Colmore Row, Birmingham. B3 2PW.  Its important to support our own area and hopefully attract the cinema that we all want.

21/09/2011  Parish Council Launch Website


The West Auckland Parish Council have now launched their website. It contains contact info regarding all parish councillors, financial reports,  newsletters, council information, a little bit of West Auckland History, some local information, meetings and agendas and finally photo gallery. The website was populated by Sharon Hall (Parish Clerk) who worked extremely hard putting it together so well done.  

14/09/2011-  Mine Collapse

A local source Informed West Auckland Web that there have been a number of collapses of Mines seams in the area of the Spring Mill Dam.  And that the environmental agency are currently investigated some small holes that have appeared close to our dam. Our area was extensively mined with Ramshaw 1 and 2,  West Auckland Colliery and Copland House Colliery in close proximity.

14/09/2011.  World Cup Medal Saved for the Area  

A RARE winner’s medal from the first football World Cup won by West Auckland Football Club has been bought at auction for £5,200 by local businessmen. The West Auckland team, made up mainly of miners, won the first Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy in 1909. Beating overwhelming odds, the County Durham team beat Swiss side FC Winterhour 2-0 in the final.

It is thought the players had the medals minted themselves to honour their achievement, but only three are thought to exist. One owned by club captain Bob Jones belongs to the West Auckland club and one is in the National Football Museum. The last one was found in a box of football programmes bought at a car boot sale near Newcastle several years ago. The finder nearly threw the medal away several times.

Local businessmen Rob Hill, a Weardale housing developer, Rob Yorke, of Teescraft, Bishop Auckland, and John Elliott, owner of Ebac, Newton Aycliffe, bought the medal at auction yesterday.

They will give it to the West Auckland club and will ask for it to go on display in West Auckland Workingmen’s Club. Mr Yorke said: “The money came from us personally because we all felt so passionately that this medal should stay in the area.  “The medal commemorates a part of West Auckland’s history that we are immensely proud of and we did not want to lose it.” Millionaire Sir Thomas Lipton organised the 1909 World Cup and invited teams from Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

The Football Association declined to send a team and West Auckland went instead for reasons long forgotten.

The club defended the trophy in 1911 when they beat Juventus, of Italy, 6-1. Stuart Alderson, the club’s general manager, said: “It is brilliant that it has come back to the club. “It went up fast to about £3,000 and then it reached £5,000 and we got it for £5,200. “We want to put it on display in the club, but it will have to be properly secured.

Northern Echo http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/bishopauckland/9248902.Businessmen_but_World_Cup_medal_for_West_Auckland_FC/

Picture http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/resources/images/1770454/?type=display

13/09/2011 World Cup Sculpture  

A GROUP behind plans for an £184,000 sculpture commemorating a group of miners winning the first football World Cup have defended the project’s cost after plans were submitted. Campaigners have been making preparations for the statue in West Auckland, County Durham, for more than two years and now plans have been sent to Durham County Council for approval. The three-metre tall statue, which will stand next to the village green, will celebrate the team of miners from West Auckland who sold their furniture to finance a trip to Italy in 1909. They were invited to take part in the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, now described as the first World Cup competition.

Rob Yorke, county councillor for West Auckland, said a lot of work had gone into identifying an artist with the credentials to do the job. London-based Nigel Boonham will create the statue, which depicts a footballer and a miner. Councillor Yorke said: “This day has been a long time in coming and once we have planning permission it will then be another 12 months for the statue to be built.“But, hopefully, it will be worth it in the end as we will have something that will stand for generations.” Coun Yorke said 95 per cent of the funding had been found and dismissed critics who said the £184,000 was a waste of money.

He said: “None of this is from the taxpayers’ purse. This money was never going to be used for roads, hospitals or schools, it was allocated for arts and we might as well use it rather then let it be spent in another English city.” Andy Turner, county councillor for West Auckland, who used to play professional football as a goalkeeper, said: “This is something the village can take some pride in, and it’s always good to see football achievements being recognised.” A spokeswoman for the county council confirmed the planning department had received the plans and said it was hoped a decision could be made by the beginning of next month.



29/07/2011    Planning permission Being sort for the former focus site

The Focus site which has been derelict since the DIY store moved to a new shop nearby in 2005 and has become a target for anti-social behaviour. However, Metric Property has applied for permission to create 6 retail shops, on the site which could create up to 91 jobs. Business owners in the centre of Bishop Auckland fear the creation of six new shops at the former Focus site, in Tindale, will turn the centre into a ghost town and hence are setting up a petition against the plans, whilst local West Auckland councillors and the Fire Brigade welcome the Application.

25/07/2011 : KFC is now Open

In the last few days the KFC finally opened its doors for business,  whilst the nearby restaurant is in its final stages of build, whilst around the corner McDonalds had started work on the land again. Costa Coffee have also been granted planning permision for a new outlet on the same site. All we need now is a Cinema.

06/03/2011 McDonald's approved near potential cinema

A FAST-FOOD restaurant to be built next to the site of a proposed cinema will create up to 70 jobs.

Durham County Council has approved plans for the McDonald’s drive-through restaurant at Abraham Enterprise Park in St Helen Auckland. The site is next door to the Terrace Hill development containing Sainsbury’s and a new stadium for Bishop Auckland FC and the waste land earmarked for a multi-screen cinema. The cinema plans have stalled due to the economic downturn but the South Durham Enterprise Agency has applied for Government funding which, if approved, would see the project go ahead. County Councillor for West Auckland Rob Yorke has previously said any new businesses opening in the area will boost the chances of a cinema operator moving in.  A McDonald’s spokesman said the existing restaurant in the town centre would be unaffected by the new store but could not say when the new store will open.


11/11/10  New Restaurant For St Helen Auckland

Now that the New Sainsbury's, Tesco and Bishop Auckland Football ground are open for business, make way for a new restaurant, and finally give more hope for the cinema.

The NEW restaurant would cre­ate 40 jobs and could kick start hopes for a cinema in a south Durham town, a coun­cillor said last night.Marston's Inns and Taverns hopes to have its 180-seater restaurant at St Helen Indus­trial Estate, in Bishop Auck­land, open by September after planning permission was granted this week.

The restaurant will be part of the Terrace Hill develop­ment, which has also seen the creation of a football stadium for Bishop Auckland FC, as well as a Sainsbury's super­market. Fast-food restaurant KFC is also reported to be interested in opening a store, but plans for a cinema and bowling com­plex were shelved due to the economic downturn. Duncan McEwan, project director for Terrace Hill, said the cinema plans remain unlikely, despite the creation of a restaurant. He said the leisure market had collapsed and cinema op­erators are reluctant to build complexes.

County councillor for West Auckland Rob Yorke, who is also chairman of the South Durham Enterprise Agency, said that he was more opti­mistic now than six months ago. Councillor Yorke said: "It's a step in the right direction and it shows businesses are interested in opening in south west Durham.

"If more leisure businesses are opening then it will at­tract others and it will strengthen the business case for operators." He said people across the region would travel to Bishop Auckland to use the facilities and added: "People now are going to Teesside and New­castle for a night out. "They're travelling to see a good film and have a nice meal for 21st Century leisure and entertainment. "The final piece of the jig­saw for Bishop Auckland will be the cinema. "I'm very positive about it and think it's a case of when, rather than if."

A Marston's Inns and Tav­erns spokesman said: "We are incredibly excited that per­mission has been granted now the hard work starts to deliver a top-quality pub and restaurant for families in the town."We wanted to develop in Bishop Auckland because, along with other recent key developments and some more exciting ones planned, this de­velopment presents a fantas­tic opportunity and lays the foundations for a top-class en­tertainment destination for the local area."

09/09/2010-  Sainsburys and Tesco Progress.

Come November/December we will have the Terrace Hill development of the new Sainsbury Store and the Bishop Auckland Football Ground and the new Tesco development  open for business,

Although much to the disappointment of residents around Bishop it will be missing the Leisure retail element  (Cinema) of the Project which was shelved earlier this year,  despite a facebook page showing its support for a cinema. (the Facebook page --  bishopcinema)

We can only hope that the decision is reversed in the future, as it is believe that such a development will not only draw customers from the Bishop Area but Darlington too and other areas two.

However both stores create new jobs within the area and give more choice for shopping in the bishop area, here's some photos of the progress of the development.


Original plan for terrace hill development


Works Progress below

10/ 08/2009 Jumping for Fun

On the 10th of August Outside the Eden Arms at the top of the Village Green,  a number of residents decided to throw themselves of the Bungee adrenaline crane, some just for fun whilst others raised cash for charities, some where plane clothed whilst others were in fancy dress.  more pictures on the Bungee webpage click here but don't forget those that did it 10 years ago in St Helens Click Here

10/08/09  The Otter, (formally the Wheatside hotel has burned down)

The Otter hotel on bildershire bank on the A68 has burned down. It is  unknown at this stage what caused it,  however the police are keeping guard of the area.  Here how it looked as the wheatside see below

West Auckland Celebrating the Centenary of winning the First World Cup by playing the mighty Juevntus again

They may have to collect their shorts en route, but West Auckland are on their way to play Juventus. Helen Smithson reports. NOT even a last minute hitch with the team’s new shorts could stop the players smiling yesterday. The lads of Northern League minnows West Auckland FC, in County Durham, were finally on their way to Italy to face one of the world footballing giants, Juventus, minus the bottom half of their kit – their shorts are still at the suppliers.

However, the coach taking them to Turin was due to make an impromptu stop at Cambridge services, where the suppliers of the commemorative strip were to hand over the shorts. West Auckland’s present day side are marking the 100th anniversary of the club’s greatest moment when it won the first football World Cup in Italy.

In 1909, a team of workingclass men from the area, lifted the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy in Italy, defeating Swiss opposition Winterthur in the final. They returned heroes, and repeated the remarkable feat two years later in 1911, this time defeating Juventus 6-1. The original players overcame many hardships – selling furniture to fund the trip and sleeping rough in train stations during the tournament, many unsure whether they would have a job to return to.

The atmosphere at West’s Darlington Road ground was buzzing with anticipation yesterday as players, club officials, and fans – including Alan Hogg, whose greatgrandfather Charlie Hogg was in the 1909 line-up – set off for Turin just after noon. Many other fans are making their own way to the match against a youth team from the Serie A side, which kicks off at Chiusa Pesio, in northern Italy, at 5pm Italian time tomorrow. Speaking before their departure, club chairman Jim Palfreyman said: “It’s something we never thought would happen. We thought it was a bridge too far. “But for Juventus to reply, and want to put the game on, is absolutely brilliant.” General manager Stuart Alderson echoed his enthusiasm, and said: “It has taken a year to organise, but it’s definitely been worth it. The players are fit and really fired up. They’ll never get a chance like this again. It’s keeping history going, and will be a tremendous weekend for everybody involved.” Team manager Brian Honour, who took on the role in June, praised his players for starting pre-season training early in preparation for the match. Their gruelling training regime included running up sand dunes, and through woods. “They’ve worked really hard to get in shape,” Mr Honour said. “Everybody is really excited.  The lads have been like kids on Christmas Day.” Midfielder Martin Young, 20, who joined the club last month, will wear the captain’s armband.

He conceded the chances of victory were slim, but said: “It’s brilliant for West Auckland to be playing such a massive club. “We are just going to enjoy the experience, and hopefully get a few shots on goal.” Whatever the outcome in Italy – just like their 1909 counterparts – they are sure to return home as heroes.

The Northern echo Video http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/video/regional/88015/

News Source The Northern echo http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/4522362.We___re_off_to_Italy__after_a_short_detour_/

Good Look Lads


Carnival Queen 2008 with PC Andy Hucker,  Magician, Ventriloquist, Over Twenty Stalls, Raffle, Tombola, Face Painting, Hands on Craft activity, Fire Engine, Tractor and trailer rides, Frank Hudson’s Show Trucks, Full Fairground Attractions, Hot Food, and  THE WORLD CUP


1.00pm     Opening Ceremony by Cllrs Andy Turner and Robert Yorke

Carnival Queen Parade, Fancy Dress Judging

1.15pm, Taekwando  Demonstration, Green Dragon Martial Arts

2.00pm Teesdale Flyball Dogs

2.45pm Gymnastics Demonstration

3.30pm  Bishop Auckland Junior Rugby Club, Tag Rugby Demonstration

4.00pm Raffle Draw and Presentation of Prizes

4.30pm  End of formal events

All times of arena events are approximate

11/06/09                     War Memorial Unveiled


A LONG running scheme to honour fallen servicemen and women from West Auckland came to fruition at the weekend.

Villagers turned out in droves to see the West Auckland Pant Memorial Garden officially opened on Sunday by members of West Auckland Parish Council. An area of land on the village green has been redeveloped and resurfaced around the 166-year-old disused water fountain, known as a pant. The garden includes two sandstone benches, shrubs, and a memorial stone, bearing 108 names of servicemen and women who died during conflicts, dating back to the First World War. The parish council worked with the Memorial Hall and St Helen’s Church in St Helen Auckland, and launched an appeal among villagers to ensure that no names were left out. The stone, which measures 80cm high and two metres wide, also includes a wreath rail for floral tributes. The project, costing £37,000 was funded by Section 106 money, and Durham County Council's Urban Rural Renaissance Initiative. It was designed and implemented by Groundwork West Durham and Darlington.

Hazel Charlton, chairwoman of West Auckland Parish Council, expressed the authority's gratitude to Groundwork for its help in the venture, which has taken more than five years to complete. “It was wonderful to see so many people from the village turn up to support Sunday's event,” said Mrs Charlton. “It was quite apt that the garden's opening coincided with the 65th D-Day anniversary. “A public memorial to the war dead from the village is long overdue. We hope that the area will be treated with respect, both now and in the future.” Mrs Charlton praised project officer Joanne Morley for her involvement with the scheme. She added: “If it had not been for the parish council instigating this scheme, the whole thing would never have come off." Councillors hope to install lighting at the area in the near future.

08/04/2009    A General Update

The Nothern Echo today has produced a Pull out celebrating West Auckland Centenary for winning the First world Cup.

The Work being done on the Village Pant,  is this still to be moved elsewhere on the village green or is it getting a make over. See Photos below.

Most of you are aware that the Oakley Beck  has changed its course very slightly.  it now has a meandering flow to it instead of a concrete channel like it used to have.

A fellow resident of West Auckland/  St Helen ,  provided this artist impression of a building that stood in St Helens alongside the railway line,  ( I remember this too) but we are not sure what its purpose was, it was located on the site now ocuppied by the Durham Box and Peter Pentland factories. So please get in touch if any of you have a photo of it, or know what it was used for.  


 Alf Ramsay Knew My Grandfather, a play about the West Auckland football team who won the first world cup in 1909 will have its world premiere at the Gala theatre in Durham in April. West Auckland were a team of Durham miners playing in the Northern League when they were invited by the tea magnate Sir Thomas Lipton to participate in the inaugural world cup in Turin, Italy.   

Four teams were involved: West Auckland and the top teams from Germany, Switzerland and Italy. “West” won the cup in 1909 and returned in 1911 to defend their title, when they beat Juventus 6-1 in the final.  

Simon Stallworthy, director of the Gala theatre, has commissioned internationally acclaimed playwrights Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood to write Alf Ramsay Knew My Grandfather to mark the centenary of the historic occasion.

The play will be performed at the Gala theatre from Thursday, April 16, to Saturday 25.

In the first six months of 2009 the following four plays by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood will be professionally performed:

Dirty Dusting:  New Zealand, Australia and the UK (Liverpool Royal Court, March 13 to April 11).

Maggie’s End: London, Shaw Theatre, April 6 to April 18.

Alf Ramsey Knew My Grandfather: World premiere at the Gala theatre, Durham, April 16 to 26.

The Revengers: UK tour – kicks off @ Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield, on June 8.

For further information contact Ed Waugh on (0191) 4550608


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