Washington County Durham


Memories of  Washington

Royal Visits


Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, visits Glebe Crescent Boys' Club
( 1936 )

Duke of Gloucester 1936
The Boys' Clob was located in The Geoffrey Newall Hut.

The Duke of Gloucester was the youngest son of George V and Queen Mary.
His eldest brother, the Prince of Wales, became Edward VIII.
The third brother, Prince Albert, became George VI.
Albert married the future Queen Mother.

[ The above Photograph, and Press Cutting below, appear here thanks to Washington History Society. ]


The 1st Washington Scouts HQ on Glebe Crescent, near Washington Glebe School, later JFK School.
This Hut was used as a Special Constables' Post during WW2.  See Notice on wall.

Edward, Prince of Wales, visits Unemployed Centre at Usworth
( 1934 )

Prince of Wales 1934
The Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, visited the Unemployed Centre in the former School Building on Waterloo Road.
That's Saint Michael and All Angels Church in the background.  Sadly, the Prince of Wales isn't in the picture.
The Unemployed Centre was set up to give unemployed men useful jobs.  Materials were provided
to make wooden stepladders, stools, proggy mats etc. which could then be sold.

Two other Gentlemen of interest:  Martin Guy and a Gent with a Fedora Hat & Bow Tie!
Martin, standing behind two much taller men, above the 'Bow Tie',
was one of the Founders of the Unemployed Centre.

[ The Group Photograph, and Press Cutting below, appear here thanks to Washington History Society. ]

Visit of Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, to Sunderland, Usworth and Washington.

Martin Guy, Member of the Honour Guard and King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry - 1914.
A self-educated man, Martin helped run the Social Centre at Usworth and was a prominent figure in the Local Community.
He was shot by a sniper in WW1 and badly wounded.  His injuries left him semi-invalid for the rest of his life.

[ The above Images were contributed by Ernie Guy, Member of Washington History Society, Grandson of Martin Guy. ]

Frederick Hill - Headmaster
One of Washington's most influential Residents.

[ Much more on Mr Hill at What's Where; People; Hill, Frederick. ]

Former Prince of Wales / King Edward VIII

Duke & Duchess of Windsor visit Germany in 1937
3 Years after his visit to Usworth!

If you know of someone who shook hands with the Prince of Wales during his visit to Usworth on 6 December 1934,
it's just possible that you've shaken hands with Adolf Hitler IN-THREE! ... but more likely IN-FOUR.

[ What am I on about?   Find out at:  What's Where; Not Local History; Something Completely Different; A Friendly Handshake. ]

Princess Margaret 'Gans Doon' Usworth Pit
( 1962 )

Pincess Margaret
Princess Margaret: U/G visit, Usworth Colliery, 4 October 1962.
[ Sunderland Echo: Friday, 5 October 1962. ]

Pincess Margaret
Princess Margaret: Dame Margaret's Hall - NCB Preliminary Training Centre - before her U/G visit to Usworth Colliery.
She was presented with a Davy Flame Safety Lamp by Trainee John Temple, aged 15, from South Shields.


I can't recall the details but I remember some Washington Grammar Pupils being given time-off to walk to Usworth Colliery
to see Princess Margaret and her husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones
(top picture, top-left) arrive at The Pit.  I was there!  Jim

Princess Anne opens Washington Galleries and visits Washington Old Hall

Pincess Anne
Princess Anne arriving at Usworth Aerodrome,
future site of Nissan Car Company.
23 July 1974

[ RAF Usworth was bought by Sunderland Corporation in 1962 and was re-opened as Sunderland Airport. ]

Pincess Anne
Princess Anne visiting Washington to officially open the Town Centre and the Princess Anne Park.
23 July 1974

Pincess Anne
Princess Anne visiting Washington Galleries

Pincess Anne
Princess Anne chats to Shopworkers in The Galleries Shopping Centre

Princess Anne at Washington Old Hall

Pincess Anne
Princess Anne inspecting the Washington Greys Jazz Band at The Old Hall.
23 July 1974

Pincess Anne
Princess Anne with the Washington Greys Jazz Band
Washington Old Hall

Pincess Anne
Princess Anne with Major P.J. Ord inside Washington Old Hall


To Read the Official Programme


Princess Anne opens Strang Riding School at Washington
( 1977 )

Doctor Nathan Strang and his wife Norah were the founders of the Tyne & Wear RDA.

Dr Strang worked with polio sufferers in South Shields.  Norah was a Member of The British Polio Fellowship who,
in 1959, thought some of the children disabled by polio might benefit from riding horses.
By 1977 her Tyne & Wear, RDA Group had 500 riders each week.

[ RDA:  Riding For The Disabled Association.   Above Information Thanks to www.centralhorsenews.co.uk ]

Dr & Mrs Strang Welcome Princess Anne

Part of the Display Staged by Disabled Riders


Princess Anne
Princess Anne presenting Rosettes, accompanied by Mrs Norah Strang

Princess Anne
Princess Anne talking to one of the Riding Centre's Voluntary Helpers

[ The above Images from WNT Review, Summer 1977, were contributed by Washington History Society. ]

Princess Anne
Princess Anne returns to open a New Stable Block at the Riding Centre she officially opened in the 1977.
Washington Riding For The Disabled Centre, almost 40 years later!
Centre Manager, Jane Cherry

Jane Cherry is quoted as saying, When Her Royal Highness opened Washington Riding Centre there were just seven horses to help fulfil the charity’s aim of offering exercise, therapy and enjoyment to disabled people, as well as integrating disabled and non-disabled riders, in the hopes of reducing prejudice and misunderstanding of disability. Today, with the opening of the new stable block, 60 volunteers and 8 permanent staff look after 42 horses, offering livery facilities which help fund lessons for up to 30 disabled riders a day.

[ Image and extract from Jane's comments:  Thanks to Chronicle Live / Evening Chronicle. ]


Princess Anne opens the Women's Bridge Centre
In the former Glebe Colliery Miners' Welfare Hall, now Washington Mind.
( 2002 )

Pincess Anne - Bridge Centre
Training & Education Opportunities for Women

[ Photographer: Ged Parker, Chairman of Washington History Society, 8th September 2021 ]

Royal Visits 24 April 2002
Wednesday, 24th April 2002
The Princess Royal will visit Bridge Women's Education Centre, Grasmere Terrace, Columbia, Washington, Tyne & Wear.

Former Glebe Colliery Welfare Hall
The Former Glebe Colliery Miners' Welfare Hall.

[ Photograper unknown. ]

Princess Anne visits
Usworth Hall, Blackfell and Barmston
( 1982 )

Princess Anne 1982
8th December 1982

[ Thanks to Washington History Society ]


Queen Mother opens Bowes Railway Museum, Springwell
( 1976 )

HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, opening the Preserved Bowes Railway, 15th July 1976.
Dr Stafford Linsley (with HM) and Sir James Steel.
[ Picture courtesy of former Washington Grammer School pupil, Dr Linsley. ]

Queen Mother
This unidentified Press Cutting describes the events that took place on 15th July 1976.

Queen Mother
The Queen Mother takes a short steam train journey from Blackham's Hill to Springwell.
[ Edited Version of Northern Echo article. ]

HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
Washington Wildfowl Park
( 1977 )

Queen Elizabeth II
HM Queen Elizabeth II at Washington Wildfowl Park - 15 July 1977.

They're all laughing because the little girl's hat slipped as she presented Her Majesty with a single flower.

Can anyone name the Young Lady?

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
Washington Sports Centre
( 1977 )

Queen Elizabeth II
HM Queen Elizabeth II at Washington Town Centre / Recreation Centre - 1977.

Queen Elizabeth II
HM Queen Elizabeth II at Washington Town Centre / Recreation Centre - 1977.

The Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II
Usworth Cubs
( 1977 )

Queen Elizabeth II
Usworth Cubs meet H.M. The Queen during her 1977 Jubilee Tour - 25 years since her accession.
Cub Jeremy Hodgson is 1st Left.  Thanks to Margaret Hodgson.

Queen Elizabeth II
Washington Academy
( 2009 )

Queen Elizabeth II
HM Queen Elizabeth II - 2009.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visits the Clan Motor Company
( On The Crowther Estate )
( 1972 )

Duke of Edinburgh at Clan Cars
Prince Philip talking to MD Paul Haussauer during a visit to Clan Motor Company, 1972.

[ Picture courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives. ]


For more on the Clan Cruisader Car

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visits Usworth Hall
( HQ of Washington Development Corporation )
( 1972 )

Duke of Edinburgh at Usworth Hall
HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the grounds of Usworth Hall, 1972.

[ Picture courtesy of Washington History Society ]

Prince of Wales visits The Nissan Car Company
( On the former Usworth Aerodrome )

Prince of Wales 1986
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, visiting Nissan during his tour of North East England, 30 September 1986.

The Prince, keys in hand to start the first car off the production line, gives the thumbs up!

Prince Charles returned to Nissan - Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Before leaving the Plant, he unveiled a Plaque commemorating his visit.

[ Above Pictures courtesy of Washington History Society. ]

Prince of Wales visits Washington Wildfowl Park

Prince of Wales 1983
Prince Charles visiting The Wildfowl Park on his tour of North East England, 7 December 1983.

The Prince is seen feeding the geese with Sir Peter Scott and Sir James Steel.

Prince of Wales 1983
Extract from Carol Robinson's Book:  Images of England, Washington, 2006.