The Boldons shown within Tyne and Wear
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan borough||South Tyneside|
|Metropolitan county||Tyne and Wear|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||BOLDON COLLIERY|
|Post town||EAST BOLDON|
|Fire||Tyne and Wear|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
The Boldons are a group of three small villages in the North East of England - East Boldon, West Boldon and Boldon Colliery - bordering the North of Sunderland, East of Newcastle and the south of South Shields and Jarrow. They have a population of 13,271.
'Boldun' was first recorded in print in 1170, and evolved from the words "Bold" or "Botl" meaning a building and "dun" meaning a hill.
In 1866 work began sinking a pit at the foot of the hill that began producing coal in 1869, and was then known as Boldon New Winning. The village that developed nearby in the 1870s became known as Boldon Colliery. When the mine was deepened and extended in the 1910s, further housing to accommodate the workforce was built to the south of the pit in an area known as Boldon New Town.
In 1976, the Boldon Colliery Band appeared in episode 13 of the television series When the Boat Comes In. The mine closed in 1982 but more jobs became available when an Asda supermarket opened in 1987. Further recent developments include Boldon Business Park. Boldon Colliery also has its own multi-screen cinema (currently operated by Cineworld). The main school in the area is Boldon School, a special sports college (formerly Boldon Comprehensive School). There is also a junior school and nursery (West Boldon primary), a playgroup and a hotel.
The Discovery Channel programme The Haunting produced an episode centred around the ghostly goings on at the Wheatsheaf Inn in West Boldon. The inn was reputedly haunted by the ghosts of a young girl and her murderer, with several reported sightings.
Housing and environment
The Boldons form part of the suburban fringe of South Tyneside and are completely surrounded by green belt.
There are conservation areas within the historic village centres of East and West Boldon.
Despite the relatively small geographical area, there are a significant number of older buildings considered as being of architectural merit including churches, public houses and former country houses, as well as modern additions. St. Nicholas Church in West Boldon is a Grade I listed building.
The area includes a wide range of housing styles, from Edwardian villas to Victorian terraces, post-war housing to more recent smaller-scale developments. The first street built in Boldon Colliery was Cross Row (also known as Sinkers Row) which was constructed to house the men who were initially employed to sink the shaft. Several years later, other major housing projects were started and terraced housing such as that at Arnold Street and Charles Street were built.
After the colliery was closed the former industrial land lay derelict for many years. In 2000, Colliery Wood was created with over 2,500 trees planted. The wood is popular with the local community and provides a habitat for animals such as pheasants, squirrels, woodpeckers and otters. Colliery Wood provides six new paths, which are also suitable for cycling and link to East Boldon, and Brockley Whins and Whiteleas in nearby South Shields.
Boldon Flats is another site important for nature conservation, which contains an area of damp pasture. The flats are flooded from each October to March and attract a wide array of bird life and a large population of Common Frogs.
West Boldon Lodge, constructed by the National Grid, is situated amongst a range of habitat, including wetland, grassland and woodland. Locally rare orchids are present at one site.
The River Don traverses Boldon and is the last stronghold of water voles in South Tyneside.
Recent/proposed projects include:
- the introduction of the Metro light rapid transit system connecting Boldon to the rest of Tyne & Wear
- a new state-of-the-art senior school
- new attractive housing developments
- an expansion to the ASDA WalMart superstore - one of the largest in northern England
- a new Pizza Hut restaurant at the leisure park
- further growth of the business park
- road and cycleway improvements
- a new skate park, and
- community woodland projects
The new £17.5 million Boldon School opened on 6 November 2006. It has been funded by a private finance initiative and was constructed by Gleeson Building Company as well as other small businesses. The new school boasts a £750,000 theatre, top-of-the-range arts facilities, a four-lane 25 metre swimming pool and other new sports facilities such as five-a-side football pitches gymnasium. Computerised technology has been incorporated into the school's meals service, with school pupils using an electronic card system to purchase meals.
The recently built Quadrus Centre at Boldon Business Park houses entrepreneurial businesses and acts as a gateway to South Tyneside on the main A19 trunk road. The building features a modern design within its lakeside setting. The building is illuminated at night in a range of colours and has won many awards for its iconic design.
Boldon has produced many notable sports personalities, one of which was former Newcastle United footballer Wes Saunders. Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Sam Bartram, their record appearance holder, who played 800 games for the London club, was signed from Boldon Villa in Sept 1934 and played in four successive Wembley cup finals from 1944 to 1947. Full back Jack Shreeve moved from the Villa to Charlton in 1935 and was a colleague of Bartram's in their 1947 FA Cup winning team. A Sam Bartram Memorial Cup competition was introduced at Boldon in February 2008 aimed at inspiring current footballing youngsters in the Boldon area. Notable sportsmen from Boldon are cricketers Simon Brown and current England rugby youth player Robert Bell, Darlington Striker Shaun Reay and Gateshead Midfielder Jamie Chandler.
There are private tennis and golf clubs at Dipe Lane as well as other pursuits on offer within local schools, community centres and parks.
Boldon School is now a sports college and holds host to a variety of different sports and events. It is the only school in South Tyneside with a sports college status.
East Boldon and Cleadon was previously the only ward in South Tyneside to elect three Conservative councillors. However, in the 2011 Local Elections Labour candidate Joan Atkinson unseated the sitting Conservative councillor, reducing the number of Conservatives on South Tyneside Council to one. Boldon Colliery usually elects three Labour councillors.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
- "West Boldon Lodge".
- "Ex-Black Cat relishing facing boyhood heroes Newcastle clash". South Shields Gazette (South Shields Gazette). 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-07-11. "Chandler, from Boldon, was a Toon fan as a youngster, and the former Sunderland man admits he is excited about the prospect of lining up against his boyhood idols at the Northern Echo Arena."