Washington County Durham


Memories of  Washington

Mystery Guidepost

Mystery Guidepost - Where Was It?

[ OED: archaic term for Signpost. ]

To Washington - To Birtley - To Lamesley - To Gateshead

This 'Mystery' Guidepost was added to Our Website sometime ago and not one person was able to suggest a plausible location.
However, one of our contributors, Stafford Linsley, has now offered a reasonable, perhaps probable, answer to its whereabouts.

Have a good look at this picture before reading the other Tabs.  After considering Stafford's suggestion (Location 1) look at a less likely alternative, that I've included.  Which do you think is the most likely site?  Do you have a 3rd option you'd like to offer?

[ Go to next Tab. ]


Mystery Guidepost - Where Was It?

To Washington - To Birtley - To Lamesley - To Gateshead

1. When I first saw this picture I immediately thought of the 'F' Pit Heaps and Village Lane, maybe near Raft Yard or Havannah Terrace.  I also considered Blue House Lane, near Wellbank Road.  None of these locations 'fit the bill'.

2. The trouble is: the 4 direction signs can't be simultaneously correct!  In addition, why would anyone want to put up a sign to Lamesley from near New Washington?  Lamesley's not significant enough, it's not on a direct route, and it's too far away.

3. The Mystery Guidepost isn't far from that Colliery, but which Colliery is it?  It looks like Washington 'F' Pit, but I'm sure it isn't.  It's definitely not Usworth, Glebe or Springwell - no conical pit heaps.  Likewise: North Biddick and Follingsby!

4. I later posted the picture on Our Website to see if any visitors could identify its location.  No joy ... until now.  Maybe!


A Probable Location - Newcastle Bank, Birtley, near Coach & Horses Pub

[ Put forward for our consideration by Stafford Linsley ]

Approximately 100 metres north of the Coach And Horses public house in Birtley.
[ See 2019 aerial view below. ]

Check The Guidepost Directions:
1. Head South into Birtley.
2. Heading North from the Coach And Horses towards the Guidepost and the Road Junction:
 a) To go to Lamesley: first left, passing Long Acre Farm.
 b) To go to Gateshead: straight ahead, via Harlow Green and Low Fell.
 c) To go to New Washington: right, to join the Long Bank to Wrekenton; right again at the 'Old A1' crossroads, to head south-east;
  and finally, left at the next roundabout to travel via Black Fell and Blue House Lane.

Google Aerial View, 2019

The Coach And Horses is just above the title 'Google'.
Lamesley ↖     Gateshead ↑     New Washington ↗     Birtley ↓

To Washington - To Birtley - To Lamesley - To Gateshead
If the Guidepost was on Newcastle Bank, the view looking West would include Kibblesworth Colliery (closed 1974).

Looking East towards Kibblesworth Colliery, Birtley and Washington.
Note Penshaw Monument and Post House Hotel.  The Coach & Horses is somewhere in the middle-distance.

[ Photographed in 1972 by Stafford Linsley ]


A Possible Location - Wrekenton

[ The Guidepost signs match the Roads and, once again, there's a Mine between 'Birtley' and 'Lamesley'. ]

Wrekenton, approximately where the road from Eighton Banks meets the road to Birtley, via Long Bank.
[ See 2019 aerial view below. ]

Check The Guidepost Directions:
1. Head South down Long Bank, over the 'Old A1' crossroads, to go to Birtley.
2. Head West towards Harlow Green, South on the 'Old A1', then West, to travel to Lamesley.
3. Head North to Gateshead via the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
4. Head North-East, then via Springwell Inn, Springwell Colliery and Springwell Village to go to New Washington.

To Washington - To Birtley - To Lamesley - To Gateshead
If the Guidepost was at Wrekenton, the view looking West would include Ravensworth Ann, also known as Team Colliery.


Mystery Guidepost

To Washington - To Birtley - To Lamesley - To Gateshead

This page isn't intended to push the case for either Birtley or Wrekenton as the location of our Mystery Guidepost.
Its purpose is to get people thinking about these possibilities and, hopefully, others that might spring to mind.
Between you and me, I prefer Birtley, Newcastle Bank, option.  Let's see if we get any more to consider.

[ Sorry, I can't afford a prize ... A Divvent Get Me Coals Anymare! ]