This is the Bedlington Time-Line
We will be constantly updating this & adding more detail to it
1069 The monks carrying the remains of Saint Cuthbert from Holy Island rest for a night at Bedlington & erect a a chapel dedicated to him
1150 The Normans were great builders, and the oldest portions of Saint Cuthbert’s church date from about 1150. They are the chancel arch, the south wall of the nave with the small round window behind the pulpit, and the south doorway into the chapel.
1209 In April two Royal visitors come to Bedlington. King John summoned William, King of Scotland, to meet him in Newcastle. Actually, however, the first interview between the two monarchs took place at Bedlington. The negotiations were continued at Norham, in North Northumberland. Without any satisfactory result, King John called again at Bedlington.
1213 King John also visited Bedlington on January 25th and 26th
1216 King John stayed at Bedlington on January 9th and 10th, in connection with the expedition he launched against his rebellious barons in the North-country. The story, in brief, of the expedition, is that many of these barons had offended King John because of doing homage to the King of Scotland at Felton, near Alnwick. Impede King John’s progress, the barons carried out what we now know as the “scorched earth” policy, by setting fire to their villages and corn. In retaliation, King John destroyed with fire and sword the towns and villages that lay in his way, including Morpeth, Mitford, Alnwick, and Wark.
This was his last visit to Bedlington, for King John died in the following October, at Newark.
1590 Weaving became a booming business inBedlingtonshire
1602 Bedlington Corn Mill established on the Bedlington side of the Dene
1736 William Thomlinson signs lease for Bedlington Iron Works. Approx 50 acres of land
1737 William Thomlinson owner of the Bedlington Iron Works dies
1743 Saint Cuthbert’s Church had sashed windows installed
1757 In May, Malings & Company from Sunderland took over Bedlington Iron Works when they bought it at auction
1767 Bedlington had a brewery situated behind the Kings Arms “The Grapes”
1782 Bedlington Iron Works were bought by Hawks & Longridge
1782 The Market Cross is erected on its present site
1790 Bedlington Corn Mill incorporated into the Bedlington Iron Works
1799 Builders erected Millhouse Farm with stone quarried nearby
1801 The population in Bedlington was 789
1801 Henry Coates the vicar of Saint Cuthbert’s Church, family horse, Wheatley, was carrying an injury and was shot by the vicar to clear its misery. Wheatley was buried in the paddock field at the bottom of the vicarage garden
1809 Bedlington Iron Works sold to Gordon & Biddulph of London
1810 There was about a dozen weaving establishments in Bedlington, and one of these, owned by a Mr. Graham, kept five men employed.
1811 Hartford House was designed and building began
1814 Bedlington Iron Works made many parts for Stephensons first locomotive Blucher
1814 The Gibson family began their nailing business in Bedlington
1815 The Gooch family arrived to reside in Bedlington, They were related to Michael Longridge (cousins)
1816 Daniel Gooch was born opposite the Kings Arms known locally as “The Grapes”
1816 The Bedlington Terrier was being bred. Joseph Ainsley of Bedlington was a mason by trade purchased a dog named "Peacham" from a William Coxon of Rothbury
1818 Bedlington Terrier early history. Joseph Ainsley breeds "Peacham" with Christopher Dixon's "Phoebe" from Longhorsely.
1818 A shaft from a Saxon cross was discovered in Saint Cuthbert’s church yard
1818 Bedlington Terrier early history. Ainsley kept a pup and named it "Piper" & it was sold to a James Anderson of Longhorsely. The dog was liver in colour
1819 John Birkinshaw invents malleable iron rails and lays them between the Engine Pit, near Choppington to the Iron Works
1820 Bedlington Terrier early history. J Howe of Alnwick went to visit a friend in Bedlington and brought with him a terrier bitch named "Phoebe" that belonged to Andrew Riddell of Longframlington and left it with Edward Coates at the vicarage. The bitch was a gift as Coates had a keen interest in dogs. The bitch was then referred to as "Coate's Phoebe" by the people of Bedlington
1820 John Birkinshaw patents his malleable iron rails
1821 The population in Bedlington was 1862
1821 Longridge built a school for his workers children in the “Free Wood”
1821 George Stephenson proposes the use of Birkinshaws malleable rails for the Stockton to Darlington Railway
1821 Petries’s Mill built at the top of the Bedlington Bank
1822 Bedlington Iron Company receive huge contract for Birkinshaws malleable iron rails by George Stephenson
1823 Longridge, George & Robert Stephenson& Edward Pease formed locomotive works at Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne
1825 Bedlington Terrier early history. Coates decides to experiment a little further with the breed and mates "Coate's Phoebe" with Anderson's "Piper" So we have a bit inbreeding here. The litter consisted of, after their owners who got them, "Ainsley's Ranter" of Gateshead, Coate's Peacham" "Weatherburn's Phoebe" , "Hoy's Rocky" , "Fish's Crib". They went on further over the years & this is how we got our beloved Bedlington Terrier
1831 The miners were in the throes of what was known as the Great Strike. They managed their affairs differently in those far-off-days. The strikers had great faith in physical force. In 1831 a body of from 1,200 to 1,500 miners marched side by side to the collieries in the neighbourhood of Bedlington and Blyth, and compelled the men at work to stop and lay the pits idle, threatening to set fire to the collieries if their orders were not immediately compiled with.
1832 Chartism begins in the Bedlington area
1832 Daniel Gooch at the age of 21, becomes the engineer for the Great Western Railway
1834 Demesne Farm begins. Farming began by the Abbs family
1837 The first meeting of the Bedlington Coal Company takes place at Durham
1837 Locomotive factory established at Bedlington Iron Works AND Longridge produced his first locomotive “ Michael Longridge” for use on the Stanhope and Tyne Railway
1838 Chartism had huge support and the biggest rallies ever seen in the UK was held on the Town Moor at Newcastle upon Tyne
1838 Bedlington “A” Colliery began sinking the shaft. Known as the “Auld Pit”
1839 Daniel Gooch designs the North Star engine. This became the model for all broad gauge engine to follow
1839 Seventeen locomotives were built at the locomotive factory at Bedlington
1839 Chartism ceased in Bedlington
1839 The Blyth & Bedlington Literary Supplement was produced at the Dene, a monthly edition
1839 Bells Place was built at the east end of Bedlington
1840 Longridge established the Barring “Henry”Colliery
1840 Michael Longridge refuses a knighthood
1840 Bedlington has a place in postal history as it has the earliest known recorded usage of an adhesive stamp to prepay postage. The Penny Black officially came into service on May, 6th, 1840. However someone sent a letter from London under a “Mulready” wrapper to a Mr. Blenkinsop of Bedlington four days earlier. This then made the letter the earliest known in the United Kingdom. Together with this, the Mulready wrapper was not officially valid until the same day as the Penny Black. The Mr. Blenkinsop the letter was sent to, was an engineer at the Bedlington Ironworks, and what makes the letter more intriguing is that he had died nine years earlier.
The stamp and wrapper were worth up to half a million pounds in 1991. How much today ?. With Mr. Blenkinsop not being alive when the letter was sent, it was forwarded to his family who lived in Carlisle, bearing a May, 4th, 1840 Morpeth postmark, probably adding more value to it.
1841 The population in Bedlington was 2023
1841 The steamship Bedlington was built in 1841 by T D Marshall of South Shields for the Bedlington Coal Company
1842 Longridge gave evidence at the Children’s Employment Commission
1845 Michael Longridge refuses his second knighthood
1846 The founder of the Gibson family of nailers died and his wife Ann took over the running of it
1847 Blyth Building Society opened its first branch in Bedlington
1849 Cholera outbreak at Bedlington
1850 Bedlington Coal Company complete the building of the wooden viaduct over the River Blyth in June
1851 Michael Longridge provided an exhibit for the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace
1851 The population in Bedlington was 5101
1851 Daniel Gooch was awarded a gold medal at the great exhibition
1851 In April the "Auld Reekie" steamer from Leigh arrived in Blyth to tow the "Bedlington" to Leith as her career was over for the coal company.
1853 Michael Longridge leaves the Locomotive Works
1853 New owners of Bedlington Iron Works is James Spence
1854 Bedlington “D” Colliery began sinking the shaft. Known as “Doctor Pit”
1854 William Carr begins Bedlington’s first newsagents in January. It was situated on Front Street east
1854 March 19th the Bedlington was sunk nine days before the outbreak of war between Britain & Russia. the location being near Ismail on the Danube
1855 Bedlington Locomotive Factory was closed down
1855 James Spence sold his stock in a ten day sale at Bedlington Iron Works and the works were left derelict for six years
1855 Sinking of the Doctor Pit shaft completed
1855 John Middleton becomes the first manager of the Doctor Pit
1855 The first miners cottages were built near the Doctor Pit “Cross Row”
1858 Michael Longridge dies at Hollymount Hall, Bedlington
1858 Bedlington’s first post office had a telegraph system installed. It was situated in the Baptist Yard
1860 Thomas Burt marries his cousin, Mary Weatherburn at St Cuthbert's Church on January 1st.
1861 Capper, Mounsey & Dixon acquire the Bedlington Iron Works
1861 The population in Bedlington was 8328. This was mainly due to the expansion of coal mining
1861 Co-operative Society begins in June at Bedlington
1862 Bedlingtonshire Health Board came into existence & Dr James Trotter was a member
1864 Daniel Gooch resigns as engineer of the Great Western Railway to concentrate on telegraph communications to America
1864 Dixon & Mounsey built twenty-one cottages named Puddlers Row
1864 Dr. James trotter was a Scot from a family of medical practitioners. He studied at Glasgow University and spent holidays with his doctor brothers at Blyth and Bedlington, eventually joining his brother’s Bedlington practice in 1864. He resided at the White House on Front Street, Bedlington.
1865 Capper, Mounsey & Dixon leave the Bedlington Iron Works
1865 Bedlington Coal Company purchase the works and trade as Bedlington Iron Company
1865 Daniel Gooch enters Parliament where he served for twenty years
1865 A donation 0f £800 was given by Mrs Sidney of Cowpen, Blyth towards the cost of the Catholic School at Bedlington. It cost just over £1100
1866 Daniel Gooch successfully completes the first transatlantic cable message
1866 An attempt to control sewage disposal began with a sewer laid down Newcastle Road to Browns Farm field
1866 Daniel Gooch was made a Baronet
1866 The first Miners Picnic was held at Polly's Folly at the north end of Shankhouse. Miners from Bedlington & other areas attended
1867 The Bedlington Iron Company folds
1867 The first candle-makers, William Barnes of Blyth, set up at eastern side of the Clayton Estate what was known as Moor Lane
1868 Ann Gibson, of the nailing family died. James Gibson then took over the business
1870 Shiney Row was built by the Bedlington Coal Company
1871 Saint Cuthbert’s Church bell was damaged& replaced
1872 Stoker’s Buildings were completed in Bedlington
1872 A schoolhouse was erected in a corner of the churchyardof Saint Cuthbert’s
1873 All colliery houses of the Bedlington Coal Company had privies & ash-pits installed across the lane from the houses
1874 Vulcan Place School was built. Funding came from the church & Bedlington Coal Company
1874 Doctor Terrace was built by the Bedlington Coal Company
1876 The Bedlingtonshire Health Board completed its fresh water scheme for the area
1876 Gas works were installed at the Doctor Pit
1876 Bedlington Brick Manufacturing Company established
1877 Gas lighting was introduced to the streets of Bedlington
1880 The Salvation Army is established in Bedlington at the top of Hartford Road
1881 The Bedlington Police Station was opened at the west end of Bedlington
1882 The Baptist Chapel was adding a new storey when a cache of seventeenth century, gold and silver coins was found in the roof of the old chapel.
1883 William Barnes, candle-maker sold out to John Muter of Bedlington
1883 john Muter began manufacturing mineral waters at Sleekburn
1885 Daniel Gooch leaves Parliament
1885 The Rev. R. G. Adamson was ordained to the ministry of the Bedlington Presbyterian Church
1886 Vulcan Place School was enlarged
1886 New South Row was built by the Bedlington Coal Company
1887 Miners strike lasting seventeen weeks
1891 Bedlington gets its YMCA situated at Sleekburn
1892 The Co-operative Society purchased the Hollymount Estate in Bedlington in January
1893 The Primitive Methodist Church was built at Front Street West. It cost £1500
1896 Vulcan Place Schools was again enlarged & renamed the Whitley Memorial School
1889 Daniel Gooch dies in October. He had designed over 340 locomotives during his career
1898 Graham & Bestford’s Dene Candlework’s established
1894 Co-operative Society begins its greengrocery business in Bedlington
1899 Dr James Trotter dies & a memorial to him set up in Front Street West
1900 The Doctor Pit became the highest producer of coal in Bedlington
1902 A new chimney & screens were erected at the Doctor Pit because of the increased productivity of coal
1902 The Red Lion public house was demolished and rebuilt
1902 The Locke Hall is opened in Bedlington
1903 The Blue Bell public house was demolished and rebuilt. It was an old coaching inn
1905 Phillip Hedley Gibson took over the running of the nailing business in Bedlington
1905 Saint John’s Church was built at Sleekburn
1906 In August Miss Swann was found murdered at Hirst Head Farm, Bedlington
1906 North Terrace, Bedlington completed
1906 Jimmy Millne was born. In his spare time, he fixed bicycles in Shiney Row. He got a good reputation for fixing bicycles and became very successful. With this success he went full time, and used a shed in the yard of the Wharton Arms, later moving to a shop on Burdon Terrace.
He graduated to the East End and had a gift shop and bicycle shop, with office above, opposite the churchyard next to the Northumberland Arms, in the yard Jimmy established a workshop. Later Jimmy acquired the famous Turk’s Head public house, and bicycles were made there for export and home use. Many Bedlingtonions rode Millne Majors or Minors.
1908 The first boys scouts troop was formed in Bedlington by William Hall with their HQ in a wooden hut at Vulcan Place
1908 Bedlington Council School, Junior Department was opened in June
1909 The Doctor Pit completed the sinking of a new shaft “The John”
1910 Saint John’s Church at Sleekburn was extended. A vicarage and church hall were added
1911 The Palace, a cinema & music hall was opened at Sleekburn
1912 The Prince of Wales cinema was built on Glebe Road
1912 Melrose Villas completed
1912 Saint Cuthbert’s Church gallery was removed and in it’s place a new aisle was built, with a memorial window.
1913 In April of this year a triple murder occurred at the Sun Inn. Two police officers and a civilian lost their lives after being shot
1913 Bedlington Council School, Infant Department was opened
1914 Sleekburn Division of the Saint John Ambulance Brigade is formed
1915 A German zeppelin dropped bombs in a farmers field on the border of Bedlington & Choppington
1917 During February, in the Bedlington Churchyard, there was a number of old residents who made it their duty to pay their last tribute of respect to an old lady who was associated with Bedlington and it’s once famed iron industry. That lady was Miss Mary France Longridge, who died at her home in Cheshire aged 93 years. She was a daughter of Michael Longridge, who once owned the Bedlington Iron Works.
1919 On December 20th a brass tablet which was made by Mr. Edward. Thew, of Newcastle, containing the names of 19 members who paid the supreme sacrifice during the Great War was unveiled at Bedlington Social Club.
1921 Miners Strike & soup kitchens were set up
1922 The Doctor Pit had new winding gear installed and was fully electrified on the surface and underground
1923 In October the three Orange brothers Joseph, Robert & William, wanted to provide a service between Bedlington & Sleekburn Station & purchased 14
seat Model T bus reg number NL6214.
1924 In May Orange Brothers applied for a licence to run a service between Bedlington & Sleekburn Station
1924 Orange Brothers took delivery of another bus, a 20 seater Lancia reg number NL6845
1926 Orange Brothers began to pick up passengers from the Haymarket, Newcastle for Bedlington in July
1926 The General Strike
1926 The very last sword dance took place at Bedlington on Christmas Day
1926 Dr John Brown comes to Bedlington
1927 Orange Brothers pioneered the London to Newcastle bus service in 1927.
1927 Orange Brothers bought another bus a Gilford Model reg number CN2956
1927 September saw the Orange Brothers taking passengers to London for £1 per head
1928 Saw the Orange Brothers running night services to London and they opened an office at Kings Cross
1930 The Orange Brothers began a service from Newcastle to Edinburgh and Glasgow in July
1930 Later that year the Orange Brothers moved their office from Bedlington to the Haymarket at Newcastle
1931 Bedlington Coal Company pits got their first brass band. They were from Barrington Colliery after its closure
1932 The Colliery Welfare Fund offered to install pit head baths, but the men refused after holding a ballot
1933 Orange Brothers employed over 100 staff and had 35 coaches
1933 Later in the year Orange Brothers decided to fly the very first air service between Newcastle and London. The "North Mail" had the headline "London to Newcastle in 3 hours" The paper went on to say that Joseph Orange arrived at Cramlington Aerodrome with his sister in a six seater Havilland Dragon similar to the two he intends to use to link London with Teeside and Tyneside. This service was run from Whitemare Pool, a flying field near Sunderland to Stag Lane aerodrome London and the fare would have been £5. They failed to find the capital and the route was begun by a competitor, Railway Air Services instead
1934 Orange Brothers sold out their transpose business to United Automobile Services. Finally Orange Brothers faded into transport history
1934 Stone coffin unearthed at Millfield housing site Bedlington. It was Anglo Saxon with adult female human remains inside
1937 It was decided by the management to build the pit head baths at the Doctor Pit and they officially opened them
1938 Coal was mostly machine cut at the Doctor Pit
1939 World War Two broke out
1940 The Doctor Pit opened its canteen for the workers
1940 In aid of funds for the Bedlingtonshire Spitfire Fund, Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Thompson gave a dance at Hartford Hall in December. The dance was
attended by over 200 guests and £100 was raised as a result.
1941 Bedlington’s War Weapon Week in April showed a total of £36,000 raised towards the target of £40,000.
1943 A new drift to develop the main coal from around the shaft at the Doctor Pit was completed
1944 Britain's best kept secrets, were training guerrilla ‘Auxiliary Units’ in a coastal strip thirty miles deep in readiness to harass the Nazi war machine when it landed on our beaches. Many men from Bedlington were secretly enlisted. There captain was actor Anthony Quayle. Their hideout, an underground chamber with six months rations and ammunition, was in Hartford Woods near Bedlington, Northumberland and they met in secret at an
empty house in Shankhouse, Cramlington, Northumberland. Secrecy was all important and each cell was not known by name to any other cell just in case of interrogation or collaboration
1947 All coal mines were Nationalised on January 1st
1947 May 5th, was a historical occasion in the miners life. It was a battle in which union officials had long fought for, and finally won the introduction of the five-day week.
1947 More babies were born in Bedlington than in any other part of the North-East. During the quarter which ended June, births numbered 117, a bigger figure than those for Ashington, Blyth and Seaton Valley.
1947 Also recorded by the Registrar-General that Bedlington was a healthy place to live. Forty-one persons died there during the same period, compared with Ashington’s 76, Blyth’s 79 and Seaton Valley’s 42.
1947 Bedlington had a population of 27210
1950 Bill Brewis, was the lightweight pitman of Bedlington “A” Pit, in June. He beat the record set by Joe Craddock, Minister of Fuel propaganda films, by hand filling one ton of coal every six minutes in one shift
1953 Queen Elizabeth II is crowned & many people out & about in Bedlington watched it through the window of the Rediffusion Shop
1953 Owing to the Nationalisation of the coal industry, the Bedlington Coal Company Ltd relinquished the tenancy of Sleekburn Grange Farm, Bedlington Station. At an auction in April at the farm, their herd of pedigree Dairy Shorthorns was sold.
1954 In January Mr Carr, Newsagents celebrated 100 years as a newsagent in Bedlington.
1956 Joe Steel, Bedlington’s champion eater was at it again. The then 42 year old munched his way through a 4 1/2 Ib steak and kidney pie about 1 foot in diameter and 3 1/2 inches deep in 17 1/2 minutes. to break another record and gain another championship by beating 24 year old Ted Stoddard of Ashington. The event was held in the Howard Arms, Bedlington on Monday August 6th
1957 North Terrace, Bedlington gets tarmac road.
1959 It was late in the year when the Old Hall & Pele Tower were demolished in Bedlington. The Pele tower was Norman
1959 A decision on the recommendation made by the Safety and Health Committee of the Coal Industry National Consultative Council, to hand some 42,000 miners in the coalfields of Northumberland a pamphlet warning them against the grave danger of taking cigarettes and matches underground in the mine came into affect in March. The recommendations were that any person found to have such contraband in his possession shall be liable to be immediately dismissed from his employment and banned from the mines for life.
1960 Millhouse Farm sold to the Knox brothers
1961 The Knox brothers decided to use the stone from the demolished Millhouse Farm to prepare the foundations of the road and houses. Because some of the houses stood on the quarry site it means that the stone had been returned to it’s original place after 160 years.
During the demolishing of the farm there were some interesting finds. It was the custom in days gone by for the builders to place new coins in the walls and roofs of their constructions. In the old farm, six George III pennies dating 1799 to 1803, were found
1967 March saw the Doctor Pit cease production
1968 Bedlington had its first nightspot when the Club Domino at Sleekburn opened its doors in March
1971 Bedlington “A” Pit closes. Known as the “Auld Pit”
1971 The new round-a-bout and Glebe Road alterations have been completed
1972 Bedlington Golf Club is founded
1975 The Doctor Pit site was finally cleared
1977 Bedlington’s Ex-Servicemen's Club was destroyed by a gas blast. Windows from around the area were completely blown out
1977 In May, Bedlington’s Mechanics Institute began a new life as Bedlington Community Centre. Opened by Councillor Jim Haig
1984 The year long miners strike began
1985 The miners strike finally ended
1996 Dr John Brown MBE dies