Windy Nook 

History Society

meets in the Windy Nook Methodist Church Hall (click the link for forthcoming meetings) and for such a small sub sub area, being as it is, part of Felling which is part of Gateshead, its meetings are extremely well attended. The meetings are mainly centred around a talk by a visiting speaker on history matters but this could extend to lighter aspects of local culture. Here, for example is a little snippet of the entertainment provided by husband and wife team called "Best of Fettle" who, in January 2014, came and told jokes and sang songs about Geordie culture

Historical society...hysterically funny more like, on this occasion
Wikipedia is worth a visit for lots of general and historical information on Windy Nook
Much more about the Society will follow shortly.

Members of the Society are invited to share their recollections of school, growing up, national service etc which will be published on this website
Take a look at these memories of WW2  from Tom Graham

And while we're waiting here's some more Windy Nook historical pics

Mechanics Institute where the blokes met, when not in the pubs

The School where the bairns went

The Quarry where the blokes worked. Kells Quarry was the main source of employment, as well as the Coal Mines, for the folk

who lived here
and here

and shopped here..on Union Street..

The main Windy Nook Quarry mentioned above was owned by R. Kell & Co. Quarrying had gone on for a long time in Windy Nook and there were many smaller quarries in the area before Kell came to this spot. Richard Kell's father came from Felling Shore and he started quarrying at Heworth Shore. Subsequent generations established quarries at High Heworth and neighbouring Windy Nook. Many of the buildings in Windy Nook, like the Cooperative store immediately above, and St. Alban's Church, were built of Kell quarry stone but the main money spinner was grindstones, which were known as Newcastle Grindstones, and exported all over the World

Looking through the birth records for Felling etc for the period 1844 to 1879 it is noticeable just how many of the fathers in Windy Nook declared Quarryman as their occupation. See this snippet

Left click to see it bigger

There will be young folk of today, passing the Nature Reserve, walking along Stone Street, wondering where the street got its name!

The above is a very nice information board at the spot marked with a red spot. It's good to see how many houses there once was and to see exactly where the Hare and Hounds pub and the Co-op were located. Interesting to see that some Nookers were lucky enough to live in Paradise Place. Other street names gone are Union Street, Croduce Square and The Stead but Howard Street hangs on..just

Joseph Hopper 1856-1909

Joseph Hopper Memorial in St Alban's Churchyard

"Write me as one that loves his fellowmen." In affectionate and grateful remembrance of Joseph Hopper Pioneer and first Secretary of The Durham Aged Mineworkers Homes Association. Lay preacher of the United Methodist Church, Windy Nook, member of the Gateshead Board of Guardians, and of the Durham County Council. A working man endowed with intellectual and executive powers of a rare order. Born at Windy Nook on the 2nd day of May 1856 died on the 17th day of April 1909 aged 53 years. His permanent memorial is the large and ever-increasing number of Aged Mineworkers Homes in this County.

This stone is erected by the Durham Aged Mineworkers' Homes Association.
In grateful appreciation of his rare gifts of mind and heart and of his untiring and self-denying labours.
6th day of June 1925.

Left click to read

Shields Daily Gazette - Saturday 08 May 1897
Courtesy of Vikki Lawlor

Windy Nooker John Oxberry 1857 - 1940 Historian, Author, who wrote this...and more. His Dad was the first President of The Windy Nook Co-op. Was Oxberry Gardens in Windy Nook named after the father or the son or both? 

We had this and news hound Vikki Lawlor sourced the full story as follows

Left click to read it

Western Times - Friday 29 November 1907

John Oxberry in his Windy Nook Village book devotes 17 pages, the whole of Chapter VI, to "The Story of a Crime". Noble, who was from Beacon Lough but had lived in Windy Nook for more than 14 years, was tried, found guilty and on March 24th 1908, at Durham Prison, hanged. John Oxberry tells in detail of the funeral of the main victim John Patterson, 33. The whole village turned out to watch his funeral journey from Paradise where he lived to Paradise where he was going, via St Alban's churchyard. His widow and two children were supported by a fund instigated by the Co-op Society.

On this same information board is the brief story of
J. Browne-King firing the first shot in WWI.
To be clear what is being said, J Browne-King is reputed to be the first Brit to fire a shot, from on board a ship in the English Channel on Day 1 of the war. Not to be confused with others in the fighting force, for example, Australians who claim the first Aussie or with the first Brit who fired a shot on the ground in Belgium, which didn't happen until about Day 17
We had little more than this but 
Vikki Lawlor once again came up trumps.

Left click to read

Newcastle Journal - Monday 28 December 1914
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Samuel Bygate gravestone in St Alban's Church yard

Samuel Bygate  Died 29th Nov 1957  aged 49  born 1908 

It is surmised that his clothes got caught in the machine, horrifically mangling him; address: Ruskin Road, Windy Nook; he was the last man killed at Heworth Colliery (Source Newcastle Journal 30th Nov 1957)

History, Directory, and Gazetteer, of the Counties of Durham and Newcastle... By William Parson, William White is a digitized book by Google
Pubs in Windy Nook 1827
Info extracted is
Bay Horse Roger Stephenson
Coal Waggon Robert Smart (Presumably to become Black House)
Hope and Anchor John Lowes

John Wilson, Stone Merchant/Grindstone Maker

Planned Meetings/Outings of The History Society

Heworth Colliery World War I Memorial

The Webmaster of this site has written his own take on Windy Nook