Westoe was originally a village a mile south of South Shields, and was gradually absorbed into the urban sprawl extending from the centre of Shields at the end of the niineteenth century.
In contemporary usage the term "Westoe Village" refers to a specific quiet suburban East-West road in the Westoe area. It consists of Georgian and Victorian houses, many being built by Victorian business leaders in South Shields, including those who owned mines and shipyards. It is considered the most exclusive area in South Shields.
A number of houses which were once part of the historical village of Westoe are not considered to be part of Westoe Village. The paired early nineteenth century houses of Westoe Terrace have been absorbed into the late Victorian terrace of Dean Road.
Westoe is an electoral ward of South Tyneside Council, bordered to the north by Beacon and Bents ward, to the east by Horsley Hill ward, to the south by Harton ward, and to the west by Simonside and Rekendyke, and West Park, wards. In the 2007 local elections the ward returned three independent candidates.
The South Shields campus of South Tyneside College is located immediately to the southern side of the road named Westoe Village.
Westoe had its own brewery until the 1960s. The Jarrow Brewing Company of nearby Jarrow purchased the former Chameleon pub in Westoe, opening it as The Maltings. From 2006 they expanded their microbrewery output by installing a facility below this pub, producing 100 barrels a week. The company includes in its beers, Westoe IPA and Westoe Netty Special.
Westoe Rugby Football Club est. 1875, is the Village's oldest Rugby club.
Westoe Colliery was one of many coal mines in the area.
The Westoe Netty
Westoe became locally famous as the inspiration for a popular picture, the Westoe Netty, illustrating a local public toilet. Netty is a Geordie dialect word for toilet. The original toilet was built in 1890 near the railway bridge. To allow for regeneration, it was dismantled and put into storage in 1996. In 2008 the toilet was rebuilt as a permanent exhibit at the Beamish Museum.
- Catherine Cookson, author, spent time in Westoe in her youth. Westoe was the backdrop for a number of her romance novels
- Dame Flora Robson, actress. Nominated for an Oscar for her role in Saratoga Trunk.
- William Fox Three time Prime Minister of New Zealand.
- Elinor Brent-Dyer, author of the Chalet School books. She was born in South Shields and attended school in Westoe.
- Joe McElderry Winner of X Factor 2009. Pop/Classical Crossover singer and model. He was born and grew up in Westoe, still lives nearby and returns there often to visit family and friends.
- "South Tyneside ward population 2011". Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- http://www.southtyneside.info/search/tempDocuments/tmp_64888.pdf South Tyneside Council 2007 Local elections results map by ward
- Jarrow Brewery website
- Urinal finds museum home The Guardian, 4 April 2007
- Famous toilet to go on display The Northern Echo, 30 March 2007
- "Dame Catherine Cookson". Retrieved 2007-12-22.
4. Sir William Fox Hotel, Westoe village, South Shields. This conservation village was the setting for many of her books including Katie Mulholland and Kate Hannigan.
In the novel SAND DANCER by Nick Warren, parts of Westoe including Kwist's Hairdressers are described as being destroyed when massive terrorist bombs hit the Tyne and Wear area in some opening chapters, book is available at www.lulu.com/resurgence
- Westoe Colliery page at the Durham Mining Museum website