STC Seeking Horticulture Apprentice

Stanley Town Council has partnered with East Durham College (Houghall campus) to create an apprenticeship within its Environmental Caretaker team, which will support the successful candidate to achieve a level 2 NVQ in Parks, Gardens and Green Spaces.

For more information about the apprenticeship and to submit an application, please CLICK HERE (opens an external link)

Celebrating Tanfield’s Railway Heritage

Stanley Town Council, working in conjunction with the Tanfield Railway and Midland Railway Society recently unveiled a heritage plaque in celebration of local man, the son of a pitman from Clough Dene who went on to become a pioneer in the development of the Victorian railway, the first Locomotive Superintendent of the Midland Railway,  founder of the massive Derby works and designer of steam locomotives some of which survived in service for 80 years, through both world wars to the end of steam.
Matthew Kirtley was born in February 1813 in Clough Dene, Tanfield. It is perhaps no coincidence given that Tanfield was a pioneering place in the development of the railway that Kirtley joined the Stockton & Darlington Railway as an apprentice aged 13 in 1826 and would have worked under either the Stephensons or Timothy Hackworth. In any case, it is likely he was present as a 16 year old at the now legendary Rainhill trials, won by Stephenson’s Rocket (but at which Hackworth also sold his locomotive, Sans Pareil). Indeed he was soon on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway working as a fireman. Kirtley’s career was closely linked to the Stephensons and it was under their patronage that he rose through the ranks.
Kirtley’s career progressed – he became an engine driver and by 1836 he was employed by the London & Birmingham railway looking after locomotives and static engines at Camden shed. An urban myth has persisted for many years that it was he who drove the first train into the new terminus of the railway,  Euston station – he may well have driven works trains into Euston before it was opened but it is highly unlikely he would have taken the controls of the first public train into the station.
By 1842 Kirtley had risen to the position of Locomotive Superintendent at the Birmingham & Derby Junction Railway. Two years later, when the Midland Counties, North Midland and Birmingham & Derby Junction merged to form the Midland, Kirtley only 33 years of age and the Superintendent of the smallest of the three companies was appointed Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent for the new railway.
Kirtley had to oversee the standardisation of a vehicle fleet which contained a myriad of different locomotive designs from different makers. This trend continued as the Midland expanded rapidly, absorbing company after company. Kirtley needed to consolidate the repair maintenance and manufacturing capability of the railway. By 1851 Derby could build its own locomotives.
Matthew Kirtley died on May 24th 1873 at his home in Derby aged 60. His funeral was attended by all the management and foremen of the company and some 800 workers, such was his popularity after 30 years with the company.
The plaque was unveiled by Town Mayor Cllr Carole Hampson in a ceremony attended by Don Asher of the Midland Railway Society, representatives of the Tanfield Railway, local residents and Town Councillors for the Tanfield ward who put the request for recognition of Mr Kirtley forward.
A more detailed biography of Matthew Kirtley by Don Asher of the Midland Railway Society can be found HERE

Annual Council Meeting 28th May 2019 – Papers Uploaded

The Annual Meeting of Council will be held next Tuesday, 28th May 2019, at 6.30 pm in the Civic Hall.

The Annual Meeting will see a new Town Mayor elected and will perform important functions in reviewing the Council’s governance documents, determining Committee membership and approving the Council’s annual accounts.

‘AGM Agenda 2019

AGM 2019 Reports

Prior to the AGM, at 6pm there will be a meeting of the Planning Committee to enable the Council to take a view on a proposed development of 260 dwellings between Beamish Rise and No Place.

Planning Agenda 28-05-19

Announcing Blooming Good Fun 2019!

The Town Council are announcing the return of the ‘Blooming Good Fun’ competition for 2019, this time to support our application for an award in the Northumbria in Bloom competition.

We are hoping to encourage gardeners from right across our Parish to make a special effort to brighten up their surroundings – and everybody else’s by bringing colour and floral displays to Stanley.

Entry is FREE and there are CASH PRIZES to be one.  There are awards for the best garden, tubs, window boxes, back yard, open space or communal space and  businees so it’s open to everybody.

To get an entry form, see our Blooming Good Fun page

‘Shot at Dawn’ South Moor Remembers a Horrible History

Two hundred and thirty three miners are named at the gates of South Moor’s First World War Memorial Park. Behind each name is a tragic story of loss and bereavement but perhaps none more so than that of Lance Corporal Peter Goggins who volunteered for Kitchener’s Army in 1915. Goggins, like many Durham miners of short stature was recruited to a ‘Bantam’ Battalion of the DLI as a specialist tunneller. Keen to leave the mines of South Moor he saw action at Ypres and the Somme winning promotion to Lance Corporal and marrying his South Moor sweetheart in 1916.
Goggins fortunes would change on the 26th of November 1916. Isolated in a forward location as a German detachment advanced to over-run his trench his Sergeant ordered a withdrawal, jamming his rifle across the trench to slow the attack. Goggins left his position rapidly falling back. On re-joining his company he was immediately questioned, accused of desertion and jailed.  Court martialled on Christmas Eve he was sentenced to be shot by firing squad, in spite of supporting evidence from his Sergeant. At dawn on the 16th January 1917 Private Peter Goggins was executed alongside 2 other DLI comrades.
Now residents and visitors can walk round a South Moor and Quaking Houses First World War heritage trail that marks the homes and collieries of the fallen miners such as Goggins. The trail funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Stanley Town Council links to a dedicated website www.southmoorheritage.org.uk hosting the individual stories of all two hundred and thirty three fallen miners and documents life in South Moor at the time of the First World War.
In remembrance of Peter Goggins and his miner comrades Horrible Histories Author Terry Deary and Derwentside Athletic Club have organised The ‘Goggins Comrades Run’ starting at 9am on the 11th November at the Haven on Pine Street. Fun runners from across Durham will join Terry on the 5 mile route around the rural heritage trail finishing in The South Moor First World War Memorial Park. ‘The story of South Moor and Private Goggins is the story of every mining village and every mining family in Durham. None escaped tragedy and loss in the First World War. Sunday’s armistice  centenary is testament to the wars lasting impact and I am delighted to support this tribute to Goggins and his surviving family’
Terry Deary’s latest book ‘Terrible Trenches’ uncovers the hidden horrors of the First World War. Relatives of miners named on the South Moor memorial, including Peter Goggins, are invited to attend the South Moor Park remembrance service at 10.45am  on the11th November. Organisers are also so keen to add the stories, photographs and  letters of South Moor soldiers to the website contact Adrian Cantle-Jones project manager by emailAdrian.cantle-jones@durham.gov.uk or telephone 03000 265259.
Picture: Horrible Histories author Terry Deary pictured with junior members of Derwentside Athletics Club

Remembrance Events in Stanley November 2018

Details of the Remembrance Events being held on Sunday 11th November around Stanley are as follows:

Annfield Plain

1.45 Tesco Car Park meet up.
2pm Service at Annfield Plain Central Methodist Church.
2.30pm March from Church to Memorial in Park
2.45 approx Wreath laying in Park at Memorial

Also in Annfield Plain, ceremonies are held at the Memorial in the Avenue, Greencroft, at 11 am and at the Loud Bank Memorial, also at 11 am.

Catchgate

6.45pm “Battles Over” Beacon Lighting Ceremony on Catchgate Village Green (adjacent to the Crown & Thistle)

Craghead

10.45 at the War Memorial

South Moor

10.45 Memorial Park

Stanley

9.45 Service at St Andrews Church
10.45 at the Memorial in St Andrews Church

6.45pm “Battles Over” Beacon Lighting Ceremony on Stanley Front Street

Tanfield

9.00am for service at St Margaret’s Church with wreath-laying.

 

Stanley Beacon of Light to remember fallen heroes…

Stanley Beacon of Light to remember fallen heroes…

A BEACON of remembrance will be lit in Stanley on Armistice Day to remember those lost in World War I.

Stanley will be illuminated by a Beacon of Light – one of over 1,000 that will be ignited at 7pm on November 11, across Britain – as it falls silent to honour the millions who fought and died in the conflict, which ended 100 years ago.

Stanley Town Council, which has funded the Beacon in Front Street, will light its brazier as the last post is played by a bugler.

Council Leader, David Marshall, himself a veteran, said: “Every year, we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and honour them with silent prayer. With 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, we felt it was appropriate to join with cities, towns and villages across the country in lighting a Beacon, not only of remembrance, but also of hope for a peaceful future.  The Beacon of Light will symbolise the ‘light of hope’ that emerged from the darkness of war.  The four-metre Beacon will become a permanent fixture on Front Street, only moving during the December weeks when we light-up and display the town’s Christmas tree.”

The service will also feature a dedication to the memory of Private Michael Heaviside, a Craghead pit hewer who was awarded the Victoria Cross for valour during the conflict.

The 36 year-old soldier crawled 60 yards across No Man’s Land under heavy fire to bring water and first aid to a wounded soldier lying in a shell hole during the Battle of Arras, risking his life to bring him back to the trenches.

On July 12, 1917, Stanley ground to a halt as locals afforded him a hero’s welcome. Days later, the Durham Light Infantry soldier was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George V.

Stanley Town Mayor, Alexander Clegg, said: “Stanley and the surrounding villages lost many good people in World War I, and while we remember them all, it’s also important we do the same for those who exhibited extraordinary heroics in the face of grave danger. It will be an honour to stand alongside the descendants of Michael Heavisides and recognise the act of uncommon valour of someone who saved a life by putting his own at risk.”

Over 1,000 councils, communities and other organisations nationwide have confirmed their involvement by lighting WWI Beacons of Light.

Everyone is invited to the Remembrance Sunday event, which will take place on Stanley Front Street (in front of the old board school) from 6:40pm on Sunday, November 11, 2018.

Louisa Morrison Pit disaster Memorial moved…

IT WAS almost midnight on August 22, 1947, when tragedy struck a North Durham town, costing the lives of 22 men and shaking a community to its core.

The two dozen miners were underground in the “fourth north district”, between the Louisa Pit and the Morrison North Pit, in the area of Kyo bogs when a huge explosion of firedamp, most likely a pocket of methane gas, ripped through the pit workings.

Of the 24 men working the coal seam, 22 were killed, including two “Bevin Boys”.

The two pits were linked underground, so the men were from both collieries and had descended from both ends of the shaft.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the disaster, and remember the men lost that day, local historian Jack Hair and then vicar of St Aidan’s church, Annfield Plain, Revd. DE Jenkins, raised funds for a permanent memorial in the grounds of the church, which was dedicated with family members and descendants of the deceased present on August 23, 1997.

However, the memorial was placed under threat, when it was announced in February 2016 that St Aidan’s church was to close.

Stanley Town Council moved quickly to honour the men who died in 1947 and save the memorial. Following lengthy discussions with the church and with help from Mr Hair, whooriginally commissioned the stone, the Council is funding the relocation of the stone, which will now sit outside the Louisa Centre, near the site of the old Louisa Colliery.

Town Mayor Alex Clegg said: After almost two years of negotiations, we finally got the green light to relocate the stone, just in time for the 71st Anniversary of the disaster and it is fitting that now sits so close to where some of those hardworking men made their final journey underground.

“This disaster was an important part of our area’s mining history and it’s right that the men should be remembered.

“I’m delighted that we have not only been able to secure the future of the memorial for future generations but that we have been able to place it in a prominent location so that many more people will be able to see the memorial in the setting of the former site of the Louisa Colliery.”

Leader of Stanley Town Council, David Marshall, said: “Like most this part of County Durham, the town of Stanley was hewn from the coalface – our proud history inexorably linked to the coal mining industry.

“It is only right and proper that we continue to educate people about and pay tribute to the brave souls who gave their life down the pit. They worked for long hours in horrendous conditions for a modest income all to make sure there was food on the table for their families…we will remember them and make sure others do for generations to come.”

The Town Council is planning an event on August 23, the anniversary of the disaster to re-dedicate the memorial in it’s new setting.

PLAY IN THE PARK 2018

Stanley Town Council is delighted to announce the dates for this year’s Summer Play in the Park Events. As always, all the rides and activities will be FREE so get the dates in your diary now.

The dates are:

Wed 1 Aug – View Lane Park

Sat 4 Aug – Oakies Park

Wed 8 Aug – South Moor Greenland School Playing Fields

Sat 18 Aug – Annfield Plain Park

Wed 22 Aug – Craghead Millennium Green

All events are from 10 am to 3 pm