Wingate, County Durham
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2008)|
Holy Trinity Church, Wingate
Wingate shown within County Durham
|Population||3,605 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||County Durham|
|Ceremonial county||County Durham|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||County Durham and Darlington|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Wingate is a former pit village with a mixture of 19th-century, post-war, and more recent housing developments, it was originally enhabited by around 30 farmers before 1839 when coal was discovered. It is located in the East of County Durham, three miles south west of Peterlee, and seven miles north west of Hartlepool. As with most villages in the area, it grew rapidly with the development of coal-mining in the region.
The name Wingate is said to derive from the Anglo Saxon words windig (windy) and geat (road) meaning windy road. Like all County Durham villages, residents are known to speak the pitmatic dialect although a large influx of middle class residents have inhabited parts of the village after new housing developments.
There is no evidence of settlement at Wingate until the 16th century. However, mining made its presence felt in the 19th century and Wingate became a large settlement and regional centre for the area. The village is located approximately 2 miles east of the original settlement, which is now called Old Wingate. coal was discovered in 1839 when 2 shafts were sunk, coal was drawn in the December.
On 7th January 1971, the Avro Vulcan bomber XM610 crashed near to the school after suffering an engine fire due to metal fatigue in the number 1 engine. The pilot remained in the burning aircraft before he ejected to direct the aircraft to crash into the sea, however the aircraft later spiraled down into the village and crashed leaving a large crater. There were no fatalities in the accident. The pilot was awarded a medal for steering the bomber away from Wingate Junior School.
In 1906, an explosion in the mine killed many of the pit workers in Wingate, and in 2006 a march took place to commemorate the miners.
The Village has ready access to road links for commuters, with the A181 leading westward to Durham and then north and south via the A1. Heading east towards the East Durham Coast will lead you to the north and south bound A19, with links to Peterlee, Sunderland and Teesside. The main road through the village is the B1280.
Public transport is provided by Arriva North East (Services, 21A, 57B) . Services run to Peterlee offering connections with services to Sunderland, Newcastle, Stockton and Middlesbrough. There is now a new service running through Wingate, operated by Scarlet Band bus and Coach, service 58 runs hourly during the day to and from Durham to Hartlepool.
Wingate was previously served by two railway stations at Wingate and Wellfield on the Castle Eden Railway of the North Eastern Railway. Both stations are long closed and the majority of the former right of way has been reclaimed and turned into walkways, notably parts of the Hart to Haswell Walkway. One of the level crossing gates survives next to the Railway Crossings pub on Front Street.
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