Washington County Durham


Memories of  Washington

Peacock's Haulage

Peacock's of Eighton Banks

Haulage Operators for Gateshead, Usworth, Washington and Surrounding Areas
( Memories from Bob Peacock - Grandson of Founder, Christopher 'Kit' Peacock )

Peacock's Haulage - Coal & Coke Deliveries
[ Circa 1966 ]


" I will start at the beginning: My Grandfather, 'Kit' Peacock, and some of his brothers all lived in Eighton Banks and were general carting contractors usually employed leading stone from the many quarries around Eighton Banks. They also bought, sold and delivered domestic coal and supplied funeral hearses. "

" The business purchased a few wagons and started moving livestock for local farmers. At that point WW2 intervened and my father, Robert Christopher 'Bobby' Peacock, who was 18-19 y.o. joined the RAF. Most of the wagons were requisitioned for the war effort. My Grandfather and Dad's sister managed to keep the business going during the war. When it finally ended, Dad rejoined the business and his first job was sweeping the Birtley Bypass, now the A1M, with a Horse and Cart and brush and shovel. "

" In about 1949 his uncle's coal business came up for sale and he bought the whole concern, the existing coal yard on the top side of the road in the THEN 2 photo below, the wagon, 40 coal bags, two shovels and a set of scales, all for £100! In the early days he had to go to the 'F' Pit Land Sale for coal, where there was bagging hoppers etc. but as the business grew he got bulk supplies delivered by road direct to Eighton Banks. By the 1960's there was a fleet of about 27 wagons, five on livestock, three wagons and about a dozen men employed solely on delivering domestic fuel, with the rest being tippers usually serving the local building sites. "

" About this time we started working out of Springwell Quarry and moved thousands of tons of crushed stone onto various construction sites. The Western Bypass from Coal House Roundabout to the Metro Centre, the Chester le Street junction on the A1M and parts of the Washington Highway are all built on Springwell Stone. We also delivered dressed stone to more prestigous jobs in Edinburgh and Glasgow and even Culzean Castle on the west coast. An occasional job was grindstones down to Barry Docks, near Cardiff, for export to the USA. "

" Back in the day my Grandfather and then Father employed quite a few men from the Springwell, High Usworth and Washington area. In fact the first man to work for my Father, when he started on his own after the war, lived on Usworth's Hostel Estate, his name was Ronnie Baldwin. He is on the list of 1959 'Squatters' on this Website. We also employed some of the Showmen who camped behind Speculation Place during the winter months. "

Peacock's Haulage - Coal & Coke Deliveries
Mineworkers were entitled to a Free Coal Allowance from the National Coal Board.
Everybody else had to buy their Fuel from a vendor such as Peacock's.
[ Circa 1966 ]

Peacock's Haulage - Cattle Transportation
[ 1986 ]


" I used to go with the cattle wagons during school holidays and can remember collecting livestock from Dryden's farm in Washington Village, Gordon Proud's, West Moor which was opposite Usworth Airfield and Snowdon's at Hillthorn. Another customer was Lord Lambton. I also remember loading cattle several times from the buildings that are now the Biddick Arts Centre. "

Peacock's Haulage - Tipper
[ 1980s ]

Peacock's Haulage - Tipper
[ 1980s ]


" Tipper Wagons were used for transporting materials in the Construction Industry, usually at Local Building Sites. "

Peacock's Yard / Garage - 1981/82

Flag Villa and the Coal / Coke Stockyard - 1981/82

Former Site of Peacock's Yard

The Quarryman's Arms ( Top Left )  -  Flag Villa  -  Rockcliffe Way ( Main Road )
Ravensworth Avenue ( Entrance to Peacock's Yard )

OS Map: 1892-1914
Eighton Banks Prior to Peacock's Haulage
Showing:  The Quarryman's Arms, Galloping Green Road, St. Thomas's Church and The Grey Mare Inn

( The Grey Mare is on the East side of Rockcliffe Way. )


" The yard was situated on Ravensworth Avenue / Rockcliffe Way. It is now a residential area called Norwood Court. The Coal / Coke Stockyard is also residential and is called The Fleurs. "

" The Quarryman's Arms is top-left in the NOW picture and top-right in the THEN 1 picture. The stone house on the roadside next to the large shed is Flag Villa, where I was born and raised. It was built my Great Uncle in 1909. If you look closely at THEN 2, to the right of the coal yard you will see some green structures. This is an Electricity Substation for the area but I can just remember a pub called The Grey Mare standing here. "

" The coal yard, to the right of the shed, was the site of two houses and, if I remember correctly, they were called Grey Mare Buildings. One of these was occupied by Mrs (Jenny) Steel who was The Cook at Washington Grammar when I attended there between 1965-69. Her daughter was Miss (Olive) Steel who was a teacher at High Usworth and she appears on one of the photos of Staff displayed on this Website. The houses were owned by Bill Lowther who also owned the farm next to The Ship at Eighton Banks. They were demolished about 1960 due to structural problems and my Dad, 'Bobby' Peacock, bought the land to expand our Yard. "

Peacock's Yard  -  Sale of Company


" Various family and business issues led to us closing down in 1988.  We sold the land at Eighton Banks for housing. "

Ladies' Excursion


" Kit Peacock taking the Ladies of St. Thomas’s Church, Eighton Banks, on a Day Trip.
This photograph was taken on Galloping Green Road, near the Church. "

A Peacock Hearse outside Flag Villa on Rockcliffe Way


" Kit Peacock's business supplied transport for coffins to local Funeral Directors. "

" I am never sure who is driving the Hearse!  It is either my Grandfather or Wilf Proctor, also from Eighton Banks. "



" Photo 1 was taken in the Yard where Norwood Court now stands. "

" Billy Urwin, who came from High Usworth / Springwell, is standing on the right. He drove livestock vehicles for the Peacocks for more than thirty years and was well known in the local agricultural / farming community. "

" Centre: my Grandfather. Left: my Mother's brother, Jack Blair who managed the Springwell Inn Garage at Wrekenton. "

•   •   ◊   •   •

" Photo 2 was taken on the Stock Site, after the demolition of the Grey Mare Buildings
but before the Electricity Substation was built. "

" This Photo shows myself and my older Sister, Christine. The gable end of Grey Mare Buildings is in the background. "

Silver  -  Christopher 'Kit' Peacock  -  Grandson, Bob Peacock


" Silver was the last horse that my Grandfather owned. The above picture was taken circa 1962/63 and its location is the Coal Stock Yard next to Flag Villa, before the large Shed was built. There had been a large row of Stables in the Yard at the other side of the road but by this time they were not being used and would soon be demolished. "

" Silver saw his days out on a Friends Farm at Leamside. "

Contract between Thomas Peacock and Pelaw Main Collieries Ltd


" The above Contract concerns the wholesale supply of coal to Thomas Peacock (the Uncle my Dad bought the business from after WW2).  The Coal Yard next to Flag Villa was always known as Star Coal Depot and although I cannot be sure, I presume the document was somehow connected to wartime fuel rationing. "

[ Thanks to former Washington Grammar School student Bob Peacock for the above Photographs, Information and Personal Memories. ]