Willington, County Durham
Willington shown within County Durham
|Population||7,000 (Estimate 2010) 5,000(2001) |
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Greater Willington|
|Unitary authority||County Durham|
|Ceremonial county||County Durham|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||County Durham and Darlington|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
|UK Parliament||North West Durham|
Willington is a former-pit town in County Durham, England. It is in the foothills of the Pennines and near the River Wear close to Crook and Bishop Auckland. Like many communities in the area, Willington's economy was largely based on coal mining. The closure of the colliery in 1967 therefore hit the town hard. Similarly to many former mining communities this is a blow that Willington has struggled to recover from.
Although a handful of job opportunities remain within the village limits, for many residents work is now located outside of the village, and Willington functions largely as a satellite town for Bishop Auckland and Durham City.
Along with a Co-operative supermarket, many small independent shops thrive in the village such as an independent butchers, a fruiterers, a hardware shop and a pet shop, as well as several restaurants. There are currently six pubs operating in the village, along with a small microbrewery, The Gambling Man Brewing Company.
Willington has its own football club Willington F.C. who currently play in the 11th tier of English football. Founded in 1906, the Club won the Northern League in 1913-14, 1925-26 and 1929-1930, but have struggled more in recent years, having been relegated to the Wearside League where they continued to struggle.
Their most recent highlight was featuring in the Wearside Football League Cup final in 2011, where they were eventually beaten by Ryhope Colliery Welfare F.C. 4-2 on penalties.
Willington FC have reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup twice. In 1939, they lost 3-0 to Bishop Auckland at Roker Park, Sunderland. In 1950 Willington beat Bishop Auckland 4-0 at Wembley
Army Cadet Force
Willington has its own Army Cadet Force held at a local secondary school (Parkside Sports Academy) which currently has around sixteen official members not including adult instructors. Cadets take part in activities such as Fieldcraft, Drill, British Military lessons, Fitness and Shooting every Monday and Thursday between 7:00PM and 9:00PM. For more information about the ACF in general or specifically the Willington ACF detachment go to https://armycadets.com/ or find Willington ACF on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/willington.detachment/).