The Boldons

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The Boldons
St Nicholas, West Boldon (SE view).jpg
Parts of Boldon Parish Church date from AD 920
The Boldons is located in Tyne and Wear
The Boldons
The Boldons
Location within Tyne and Wear
Population13,271 (2001)
OS grid referenceNZ361615
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNE35
Postcode districtNE36
Dialling code0191
FireTyne and Wear
AmbulanceNorth East
EU ParliamentNorth East England
UK Parliament
List of places
Tyne and Wear
54°56′41″N 1°26′27″W / 54.9447°N 1.4409°W / 54.9447; -1.4409Coordinates: 54°56′41″N 1°26′27″W / 54.9447°N 1.4409°W / 54.9447; -1.4409

The Boldons are a group of three small villages in the north east of England - East Boldon, West Boldon and Boldon Colliery - north of Sunderland, east of Newcastle and south of South Shields and Jarrow. They have a population of 13,271.[1]

Lying within the historic boundaries of County Durham, the villages are first recorded in print in 1170. Their names evolved from the words "Bold" or "Botl", meaning a building, and "dun", meaning a hill.[citation needed]

In 1866, work began sinking a pit 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.

Until 1974 the area was administered as an urban district of County Durham, but since then has been part of the borough of South Tyneside.

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. Recent developments include Boldon Business Park. Boldon Colliery also has its own multi-screen cinema operated by Cineworld. The main secondary school in the area is Boldon School, a specialist sports college.

Housing and environment[edit]

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. East Boldon is considered the more affluent sought after area of the Boldons. With a reputation competing with nearby Cleadon Village, East Boldon attracts a young professional family market and residents to this day have created a very much desired family, village environment. The three schools are very much sought after, they provide nursery, infants and juniors, who work together via the PTA. The village has its own community Facebook page and Friends of East Boldon Parks hold annual community events such as party in the park and Halloween trails etc. The East Boldon Scouts is one of the largest in the UK with over 200 attendees. House prices are higher than national average and sell quickly due to their desirability.

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; much of the stonework dates from the thirteenth century, but the foundation of the building dates from the Saxon period.[2]

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.[3]

The River Don traverses Boldon and is the last stronghold of water voles in South Tyneside.


View through the front window of Tyne and Wear Metro train 4089 approaching Boldon West Junction

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 and Nando’s restaurant and Costa Coffee at the leisure park
  • further growth of the business park
  • road and cycle way 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[citation needed] within its lakeside setting. The building is illuminated at night in a range of colours and has won many awards for its iconic design.[citation needed]


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 September 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 Spennymoor Town Midfielder Jamie Chandler.[4]

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.

The Jarrow Roofing Boldon Community Association F.C. was founded in 1987 and plays at The Boldon C.A. Sports Ground.


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.

The Boldons are within the Jarrow constituency, which also includes Jarrow, Hebburn and parts of east Gateshead. The local MP is Stephen Hepburn of the Labour Party.

In the earlier part of the 20th century, a famous son of the community was the Labour politician Jack Lawson.

See also[edit]

  • Boldon Book
  • Mystery has always been associated to the identity of The Boldon Bucker.

Legend has it that the Bucker is responsible for 30% of babies born in Boldon between 1995 and 2003. Operating out of The Grey Horse and the Boldon Lad - The Boldon Bucker uses a combination of his bants, shadow boxing and his golden tickler to entertain the ladies. Only reachable by his 1980’s pager and moving around in his utility vehicle using the cover of darkness. The Boldon Buckers identity will forever remain a mystery. Those who have tried to reveal the name have been met with curious accidents and their last word was Bucker


  1. ^ Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
  2. ^ Church website
  3. ^ "West Boldon Lodge". Archived from the original on 17 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Ex-Black Cat relishing facing boyhood heroes Newcastle clash". South Shields Gazette. South Shields Gazette. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 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.

External links[edit]