Walkergate Primary School
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Walkergate Primary School lies in the Walkergate suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne, east of the city centre. The school site has Sutton Street to the west, Coutts Road to the east, a terrace of houses fronting onto Shields Road to the north and a back lane skirting Ellesmere Avenue to the south. Until about 1938 Coutts Road was known as Little Benton Road South and Shields Road was known as the Old Turnpike Road.
Walkergate lies to the north of Walker, which was a small settlement in the medieval period, but by the mid 19th century had been reduced to a hamlet and farmstead. Since the late 19th century, the area has been incorporated into the urban sprawl of the city.
Walkergate School opened on Tuesday, 15 July 1918, by The Lady Mayoress of Newcastle upon Tyne, Mrs John F. Weidner.
'The new Walker Gate Council School supersedes a temporary building which was erected on the site in 1909. It is a two-story structure divided into two departments, accommodating 568 girls and 568 boys respectively. Each department consists of seven classrooms and a large central hall with cloakrooms, teachers' rooms etc.: the whole of the classrooms being finished with glazed brick dados: the corridors, cloakrooms and staircases with the less expensive terrazzo marble dados. The exterior elevations are faced with red pressed Penshaw bricks; with dressings of Pulpstone. Manufactured artificial stone. The Contractors for the whole has been Mr. George Douglass, of Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne; the Heating Engineers being Messers R.J. Ward & Co., Newcastle upon Tyne. Provision has been made for an additional department for 400 infants to be erected when required.'
Extract taken with permission from the original opening invitation held at Walkergate Primary School
Before the school was built terraced housing of the late 19th century type occupied the north-eastern part of the site. In 1909 the school was of Edwardian period temporary buildings until a permanent school building opened in 1913, made of corrugated iron and wood. Further buildings were added before and after the Second World War, with Walkergate Primary School being established in 2002, following the merger of the existing infant and junior schools on the site.
The school was originally built for boys and girls, the boys in the northern half and the girls in the southern half of the building. Each classroom was square and was to house 56 pupils, giving a total of 336 pupils in the school. Access to the building was via two doors at each end of the school, one for girls and one for the boys.