Ashington is a town and civil parish in Northumberland, England, with a population of 27,864 at the 2011 Census. It was once a centre of the coal mining industry. The town is 15 miles (24 km) north of Newcastle upon Tyne, west of the A189 and bordered to the south by the River Wansbeck. The North Sea coast at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is 3 miles (5 km) away.
Milburn Statue, Station Road, Ashington
|Population||27,764 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
The name Ashington possibly originates from Essendene which has been referenced since 1170, but may instead have originated from Æsc, a Saxon invader who sailed from Northern Germany to the River Wansbeck and settled in the deep wooded valley near Sheepwash. But it could also have come from "Valley of Ash Trees" - these would have lined the valley and the Saxon word Dene means valley giving the name 'Ash Dene'. In the 1700s all that existed of Ashington was a small farm with a few dwellings around it.
The Anglo Saxon theory is the most likely. The suffix "ington" denotes a settlement (usually a farm) belonging to an Anglo Saxon. There are numerous "ington's" nearby that would seem to discount the "Ash tree" theory as well as "Essendene". Examples are: Bedlington, Choppington, Cramlington, Barrington, Whittington, Acklington, Stannington etc.
The first evidence of mining is from bell-shaped pits and monastic mine workings discovered in the 20th Century during tunnelling. Ashington developed from a small hamlet in the 1840s when the Duke of Portland built housing to encourage people escaping the Irish potato famine to come and work at his nearby collieries. As in many other parts of Britain, "deep pit" coal mining in the area declined during the 1980s and 1990s leaving just one colliery, Ellington which closed in January 2005. In 2006 plans for an opencast mine on the outskirts of the town were put forward, although many people objected to it. During the heyday of coal-mining, Ashington was considered to be the "world's largest coal-mining village". There is now a debate about whether Ashington should be referred to as a town or a village; if considered as a village it would be one of the largest villages in England.
As coal mining expanded, more people left the countryside and settled in Ashington. This led the Ashington Coal Company to build parallel rows of colliery houses. Some newcomers came from as far as Cornwall to make use of their tin-mining skills.
With the growing coal industry came the need for a railway link. Ashington was linked to the Blyth and Tyne Railway in the 1850s, and also to the East Coast Main Line near Ulgham (pronounced Uffham). The railway was also used by passenger trains until the Beeching Axe in 1964 closed the railway station, called Hirst railway station, which had opened in the 1870s. The railway line runs south towards the steep-sided River Wansbeck valley, originally crossed by a wooden viaduct, which was replaced by today's steel-built Black Bridge.
In 1913 the original Ashington Hospital was built. It was about 1/4 mile from the town centre. The hospital was expanded in the 1950s and '60s with large new wings. This hospital was closed in the mid 1990s and replaced by the new Wansbeck General Hospital which opened on a green-field site on the eastern edge of the town with better links to the A189 Spine Road. The last of the old buildings were demolished in 2004.
Traditionally the area to the east of the railway was called Hirst and that to the west was Ashington proper. Although collectively called Ashington, both halves had their own park: Hirst Park (opened in 1915) in the east and the People's Park in the west.
The colliery-built houses followed a grid plan. The streets in the Hirst End running north to south were named after British trees, such as Hawthorn Road, Beech Terrace, and Chestnut Street. The east-west running streets were numbered avenues, starting with First Avenue near the town centre, finishing at Seventh Avenue towards the southern end. After the 1920s houses in Ashington were built by the council and were most often semi-detached houses, such as Garden City Villas. These occupied much of the fields in the Hirst area. New estates were built in different areas. The biggest building programme was in the late 1960s and saw Ashington extend south from Seventh Avenue opposite the Technical College towards North Seaton and south eastwards towards the A189. Some of the houses at the north end of Alexandra Road were private homes. During this building programme several new schools were built, for example Coulson Park, Seaton Hirst Middle. Community shops and a social club (the Northern) were built off Fairfield Drive. The late 1970s and early 1980s saw construction of Nursery Park opposite the North Seaton Hotel. The late 1980s and 1990s saw the building of the Wansbeck Estate between the River Wansbeck and Green Lane as well as the large Fallowfield Estate.
In the late 1960s the area by the railway station was developed into Wansbeck Square, housing a supermarket, council offices and a public library, built partly over the railway line.
In 1981 the Woodhorn Pit closed and its chimney was demolished. In the late 1980s this became a museum. In 1988 Ashington Pit was closed and is now occupied by a business park. In the early 2000s maisonette flats in various parts of Hirst were demolished and parts of the Moorhouse and Woodbridge estate opposite Woodhorn Pit were demolished.
The railway was used until recently by the Alcan Aluminium plant, to transport coal to its adjacent power station in the nearby town of Lynemouth. The plant closed in late 2015. The line was put in use again from mid-2017 to transport materials to Lynemouth, for the conversion of the coal-fired power station to produce power from biomass. There have been calls to restore the railway station for passenger use with services to Newcastle. Plans are underway, but may be subject to alteration due to Brexit.
Ashington Urban District was created in 1896, covering part of the parish of Ashington and Sheepwash and part of the parish of Bothal Demesne, and incorporating Hirst. In 1900 the urban district was enlarged to include North Seaton; then Sheepwash, most of Woodhorn and the remainder of Bothal Demesne in 1935. The urban district survived until 1974, when under the Local Government Act 1972 it became part of the Wansbeck district.
Ashington is located in south east Northumberland, which is a largely urban area adjacent to Newcastle. Most of the area is of flat, non-undulating ground formed during the Carboniferous period when ancient tropical swamp forests were buried and formed the coal seams that have given this area its significance. The local geology is of yellow sandstone. The topography of the town is quite flat. The land to the north west of the town is slightly undulating due to mining subsidence, which sometimes causes farmland to be flooded. The south east part of the town is slightly raised giving views to the north. From certain parts of town the Cheviot Hills are visible about 30 miles (48 km) to the north.
The town is roughly square in shape, lying north to south. The town centre is in the north of the town. South of this are residential areas. Farmland is on both east and west flanks. The south part is residential bordered by the River Wansbeck to the south. To the east of the town is the small coastal town of Newbiggin and to the west is the small village of Bothal, also on the River Wansbeck. South of the town is the small village of North Seaton which once had its own pit. North of the town about 2 miles is the village of Linton and north east of the town is Lynemouth.
To the north of the town is Queen Elizabeth II Country Park which contains a lake surrounded by pine woodland plantation. The original Ashington Colliery was on the north west of the town and the smaller Woodhorn Pit was on the north east.
The climate is cool temperate. Summers are drier than on the west coast of Britain, but cooler than southerly areas. Winters are cold at times, sometimes with snow. The soil is of a dark brown colour, free draining and gritty. It is very good for growing vegetables. Tender perennials are rare; some palms will grow, but need winter protection. Although Phormiums (New Zealand flax) grow in displays in Newbiggin, salt-laden winds may afford them some protection. The most exposed part of the town is to the east. High trees in Hirst Park give considerable shelter. The west part is much more sheltered, especially the wooded valley of the River Wansbeck. Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
Working in a clockwise direction from the north west of Ashington are the following places.
Until the Beeching Axe of the 1960s, Ashington was on the British Rail passenger network, with passenger trains to Newbiggin and Newcastle. The railway is used now by goods trains, but there have been calls for the railway station to re-open. The line has been identified as a priority for reopening to passenger use by Campaign for Better Transport.  The nearest mainline railway station is Pegswood on the East Coast Main Line, about 3 miles from the town centre. Local services from here go to Newcastle, Cramlington, Morpeth, and Alnmouth.
At the east end of the main shopping street is the bus station, with local Arriva North East and Go North East buses linking to the rest of Northumberland and to Newcastle. National Express services also arrive and depart from the bus station.
Ashington is well served by roads. The A189 (Spine Road) to the east of Ashington runs south via Blyth and North Tyneside to Newcastle, and via the A19 Tyne Tunnel to South Tyneside and the A1(M). The A189 also runs north along the coast to Alnwick and Berwick. The A196 runs west towards Morpeth and the A1 which goes north to Scotland and Edinburgh or south to the A1(M) near Newcastle on towards Durham and Yorkshire and the South.
The nearest airport is Newcastle Airport, which provides scheduled domestic flights, flights covering many major cities in Europe, long haul international flights and also holiday charter flights. There is a ferry port in Newcastle with services to Rotterdam and Norway.
A reasonable-sized public library is based in the Leisure Centre on Lintonville Terrace at the northern fringes of the town. The local museum is at Woodhorn pit. It is mainly a museum of the town's mining history with pictures and models. There are also various arts exhibits in the museum, including a permanent exhibition of the Pitmen Painters' paintings, and information on local history.
Ashington has several sports facilities and numerous sports clubs. A new leisure centre was erected on the former Asda site in the town centre, it opened in December 2015.
Hirst Park provides two good quality bowling greens as well as tennis and basketball courts. Ashington A.F.C. now play at Woodhorn Lane having moved from Portland Park to make way for the new Asda superstore in 2008. Rugby is played at a ground on the north west edge of the town and cricket is played off Kenilworth Road not far from the town centre.
In recent years a new community facility has been created from the former Miners Welfare centre on Alexandra Road. The Hirst Welfare Centre is a multi-use community facility with training facilities, office space, a cafe, community hall, gym and dance studio. The Centre also has an external all-weather, floodlight synthetic football pitch with additional grass pitches.
There are some bed and breakfasts in Ashington. To the north side of Queen Elizabeth lake is a motel with pub and restaurant and located on the site of the QE2 is a Premier Inn hotel/restaurant. There is also a holiday centre/caravan site near Sandy Bay off the A189 about 3 miles to the south east of the town centre.
Riverside Park provides a peaceful riverside setting in which to relax or take walks. The park runs along the Wansbeck River. There are public footpaths and bridleways from here towards the quaint village of Bothal with its photogenic castle above the river.
The People's Park near the leisure centre off Institute Road is a large green field suitable for recreation. Hirst Park is located off Hawthorn Road; locally, it has traditionally been known as The Flower Park, due to its summer floral displays. It also has bowling greens, basketball and tennis courts, play areas and is sheltered by tall trees. To the north of the park is a large sports field, where historically, the town hosted fun fairs.
At Woodhorn is the Queen Elizabeth II Park. This is surrounded by pine wood, including the Ashington Community Woods, connecting the park to Ashington, and has a large lake with a narrow-gauge railway connecting the main car park to the Woodhorn Museum. Walks from here head out towards Linton and eastwards towards the seaside town of Newbiggin following the old railway line.
Ashington enjoys a good location within Northumberland allowing good access to the countryside. The town is situated near the coast, enabling short journey times to beaches such as Druridge Bay and Cresswell. Northumberland National Park is also close by.
The previous system of first school, middle school and high school used in Ashington was phased out in September 2015, with Bothal Middle School and Hirst Park Middle School closing. First schools became primary schools while Ashington High School became a full secondary school. Schools were first built by the Ashington coal company, but many have since been replaced.
There are many General Practitioner (GP) surgeries in Ashington. The main Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington is located at the north east of the town near Woodhorn. Major treatments are provided at hospitals in Newcastle. A&E services are provided at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in nearby Cramlington.
There are also several radio regional stations providing local broadcasts.
As of 2010 the local member of parliament is Ian Lavery of the Labour party. Ashington elects six County Councillors (One with part of West Newbiggin) to Northumberland County Council as of 2014, these seats are held by Labour Party candidates. Ashington Town Council is made up of six wards each electing three councillors, as of 2014 seventeen of these are held by the Labour Party.
Until 1988 the majority of the town's male population was employed in the mining industry. The closure of the pits led to large scale unemployment. However limited coal mining was carried out until recently at Ellington Colliery and opencast coal extraction is carried out at Butterwell Opencast.
The former site of Ashington Colliery became part of a regeneration project and saw the development of Wansbeck Business Park. This park now houses a number of companies with local, national and international profiles. These include Polar Krush NICC Ltd, Thermacore Ltd and Sugarfayre Ltd. The park includes a variety of wildlife with a large pond at its centre.
Ashington's close proximity to Newcastle upon Tyne makes it an ideal commuter town for people working in the city.
In 1934 some of the Ashington miners enrolled in painting classes as an alternative pastime and then began to produce paintings to sell at local markets to supplement their poor wages. They achieved unexpected success and approval from the art community and were given prestigious gallery exhibitions during the 1930s and 1940s under the name "The Pitmen Painters", although the group had called themselves the "Ashington Group". In the 1970s the group's work was "rediscovered" and popularised as "workers' art" and given international exhibitions. On 26 October 2006 a new £16m museum housing the work was opened in Ashington by The Princess Royal.
The book Pitman Painters by William Feaver, recording the development of the Ashington Group, 1934 to 1984, has been made into a stage play by Lee Hall, well known for Billy Elliot. The play premiered at the Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, in 2007 and subsequently was produced at the Royal National Theatre, London in 2008 and 2009. A German translation by Michael Raab premiered at the Volkstheater in Vienna, Austria, in April 2009. In 2011 Oscar/BAFTA award-winning Film Director Jon Blair made a film for ITV1's Perspectives Arts series, entitled Robson Green and The Pitmen Painters giving an insight into the lives and work of The Ashington Group including rare film footage of the group in their Hut including interviews with Oliver Kilbourne and Harry Wilson.
Ashington has appeared in various films and TV programmes, such as Spender starring Jimmy Nail, Our Friends in the North in 1996, The Fast Show on BBC2 and the Alcan chimneys were seen in the movie, Billy Elliot.
We Never Had It So Good by David Williams published by Zymurgy is a collection of short stories about a young boy growing up in Ashington in the late 1950s.
Ashington has produced a number of professional footballers, notably Jack Milburn, Jackie Milburn, Mark Cullen, Jimmy Adamson, Jackie Charlton, Bobby Charlton, Cecil Irwin, Colin Ayre, David Thompson, Chris Adamson, Martin Taylor, Peter Ramage and Ray Blackhall. Premier League referee Michael Oliver, the youngest in the league's history, was born in the town. Semi Professional footballer Paul Chow, who holds the record for scoring the fastest goal in Wembley Stadium history (19 Seconds) in the 2010 FA Vase Final, was also born in Ashington. Property developer Sir John Hall, former Chairman and Life President of Newcastle United Football Club, was born in North Seaton village on the outskirts of the town in 1933.
The 1998–99 Northern Football League season was the 101st in the history of the Northern Football League, a football competition for teams in north east England. Division One was won by Bedlington Terriers and Division Two was won by Durham City. Bedlington opted against promotion to the Northern Premier League.
The league held two cup competitions. The Northern League Cup, competed for by all Northern League sides, was won by Dunston Federation. They beat Jarrow Roofing 4–1 in the final. The Craven Cup, for Division Two teams, was won by Ashington defeating Evenwood Town 1–0 in the final.Ashington, West Sussex
Ashington is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies on the A24 road 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Storrington.
The parish has a land area of 805 hectares (1989 acres). In the 2001 census 2351 people lived in 905 households, of whom 1286 were economically active. The 2011 Census population was 2,526The ancient Anglican parish church is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul.
Ashington won two regional categories (Business and Community Life) in the Calor Village of the Year competition in 2001 and was the overall Southern region winner in 2003.Metrobus operate bus route 23 which links the village to Worthing, Horsham and Crawley.Ashington A.F.C.
Ashington Association Football Club is a football club based in Ashington, Northumberland, England. They are currently members of the Northern League Division One and play at Woodhorn Lane.
Formed in 1883, the club have played in a number of local and regional leagues, including the Northern Alliance, the East Northumberland League, the North Eastern League, the Midland League, Wearside League and the North Regional League. They were a founding member of the Football League Third Division North in 1921 and are the northernmost team to have played in the Football League. The club were later founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1968 and have been in the Northern League since 1970.Ashington Range
The Ashington Range is a mountain range of the Boundary Ranges in northwestern British Columbia, Canada. North of the Ashington Range lies the Burniston Range.Ashington railway station
Ashington railway station was a station serving the town of Ashington in Northumberland, Northern England. It was on the branch to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
British Railways closed the station in 1964, but it has been the object of a reopening campaign since at least the 1990s.Bedlington railway station
Bedlington railway station was a railway station that served the town of Bedlington, Northumberland, England from 1850 to 1964 on the Blyth and Tyne Railway.British Rail Class 14
The British Rail Class 14 is a type of small diesel-hydraulic locomotive built in the mid-1960s. Twenty-six of these 0-6-0 locomotives were ordered in January 1963, to be built at British Railways Swindon Works. The anticipated work for this class was trip working movements between local yards and short-distance freight trains. The good all-around visibility from the cab and dual controls also made them capable of being used for shunting duties. The order was expanded from 26 to 56 in mid-1963, before work had started on the first order. They were numbered D9500-D9555.Chilton Cantelo
Chilton Cantelo is a village and parish in Somerset, England, situated on the River Yeo 5 miles (8 km) north of Yeovil and 4 miles (6 km) east of Ilchester in the South Somerset district. The village has a population of 445. The parish also includes the village of Ashington.Durham/Northumberland 2
Durham/Northumberland 2 is an English Rugby Union league at the eighth tier of the domestic competition for teams from North East England. The champions and runner-up and promoted to Durham/Northumberland 1 and the bottom two clubs are relegated to Durham/Northumberland 3. Each season two teams from Durham/Northumberland 2 are picked to take part in the RFU Senior Vase (a national competition for clubs at level 8) - one affiliated with the Durham County RFU, the other with the Northumberland RFU.Harold Crawshaw
Harold Crawshaw (18 February 1912 – 1971) was an English footballer who played in the Football League for Mansfield Town, Nottingham Forest and Portsmouth.Jimmy Adamson
James Adamson (4 April 1929 – 8 November 2011) was an English professional footballer and football manager. He was born in Ashington, Northumberland. He made 486 appearances for Burnley ranking him sixth in their all-time appearance list.Michael Oliver (referee)
Michael Oliver (born 20 February 1985) is an English professional football referee from Ashington, Northumberland. His county FA is the Northumberland Football Association. He belongs to the Select Group of Referees in England and officiates primarily in the Premier League. He received his FIFA badge in 2012, allowing him to officiate in major international matches. Oliver was appointed to take charge of the final of the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Oliver was promoted to the UEFA Elite Group of Referees in 2018.Patrick O'Connell (Irish footballer)
Patrick Joseph O'Connell (8 March 1887 – 27 February 1959), also known as Paddy O'Connell or Patricio O'Connell, was an Irish footballer and manager. He played as a defender, most notably, for Belfast Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and Manchester United. He has the distinction of being the first player from what is now the Republic of Ireland to play for Manchester United.As an international, he captained Ireland and was a member of the team that won the 1914 British Home Championship. However, O'Connell is probably best remembered for managing several clubs in La Liga. In 1935 he led Real Betis to their first La Liga title and during the Spanish Civil War he took FC Barcelona on a tour of North America. Despite these successes, he died destitute in London in 1959.Portland Park, Ashington
Portland Park was a football ground in Ashington, England. It was the home ground of Ashington A.F.C. between 1909 and 2008. It also hosted greyhound racing from 1936 until 1993.Seaton Delaval railway station
Seaton Delaval railway station was a railway station that served the village of Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, England from 1841 to 1965 on the Blyth and Tyne Railway.Seghill railway station
Seghill railway station was a railway station that served the village of Seghill, Northumberland, England from 1841 to 1965 on the Blyth and Tyne Railway.Steve Harmison
Stephen James Harmison, (born 23 October 1978) is a former English first-class cricketer, who played all formats of the game. Primarily a fast bowler, he represented England in 63 Tests, 58 ODIs, and 2 T20s. He also played county cricket for Durham and Yorkshire.He made his Test and ODI debut for England in 2002, and achieved modest success in these early stages of his career, showing promise as a capable strike bowler for England. This was borne out during the tour of the West Indies in 2003–04, where he produced some of his finest bowling and went on to become the highest wicker-taker in the series. He followed it up by playing a vital role in England's victory in the 2005 Ashes series, and was selected as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2005. At the time, he was regarded as one of the world's best fast bowlers. Harmison's performance following the 2005 Ashes victory was inconsistent, and he announced his retirement from ODIs in 2006. His problems were compounded by niggling fitness worries and intense competition for a place in the English team. Although he came out of ODI retirement in 2008, his place in the squad was never permanent, ultimately leading to his being dropped since 2009. His last Test for England was the final test of the 2009 Ashes series, and he played his last ODI against West Indies in the same year. He formally announced his retirement from the game in October 2013.Harmison's success during his prime was attributed to his ability to extract bounce from any pitch – mainly due to his height being 6'4" – and his ability to swing the ball while maintaining speeds of over 90 mph. However, his lack of consistency often led to lethal spells being mixed up with equally bad bowling (a notable example is the opening ball of the 2006 Ashes, which he bowled straight to second slip, resulting in a wide that media commentators dubbed "the worst ball in history"). Nevertheless, his ability with the ball was never questioned; in 2007, former Australian cricketer Shane Warne named Harmison in his list of 50 greatest cricketers, stating: "on his day, he is one of the most awkward bowlers [to face] in the world".After retiring from cricket, Harimson managed his hometown football club, Ashington, between 2015 and 2017.Wansbeck
Wansbeck was a local government district in south-east Northumberland, England. Its main population centres were Ashington, Bedlington and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
The area which was bounded by the district is mostly urban, on the North Sea coast north of the Tyneside conurbation. It bordered Blyth Valley district to the south, the border being the River Blyth. It was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the urban districts of Ashington, Bedlingtonshire and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. It is named after the River Wansbeck.
The district council was abolished as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England effective from 1 April 2009 with responsibilities being transferred to Northumberland County Council, a unitary authority.Woodhorn railway station
Woodhorn is a proposed railway station on the Ashington, Blyth & Tyne Railway which closed to passenger traffic in 1964. It has been proposed that the newly reopened line could terminate at a new station, close to the Woodhorn Colliery Museum and Northumberland Archives, rather than at Ashington, the previous station.
|Climate data for Ashington, UK|
|Average high °C (°F)||6
|Average low °C (°F)||3
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||61