THE HOUGHTON STAR NEWSPAPER
The Houghton & Seaham Star newspaper was published every Wednesday from May 2012 until the last edition in October 2013.
The following 65 nostalgia articles were written by Paul Lanagan and cover a very broad range representing the history of Houghton-le-Spring.
When the buttons below are clicked, the article will open up as a .jpg image in a new window. You can enlarge these images, enabling you to read the print at a comfortable size.
Houghton Heritage Society has an index to all articles covering Houghton, Newbottle, Shiney Row, Penshaw, Fence Houses and Chilton Moor - not just heritage related. This detailed index can be accessed in our Records section or via the link below.
THE HOUGHTON & SEAHAM STAR
Houghton Heritage Society's Chairman Paul Lanagan writes a weekly nostalgia column in the Houghton Star. The articles can be read by clicking the buttons here.
[HOUGHTON STAR INDEX]
RIGHT ROYAL BLAZE FOR ALL
Wed May 30th 2012 A look at Houghton-le-Spring's monster Coronation Bonfire which was lit on June 22nd 1911 for the Coronation of King George V.
Wed June 13th 2012 The archway leading into Houghton's Parish Church used to be located on the opposite side of the road until the 1950s.
THE FOUR LIONS
Wed June 20th 2012 Houghton-le-Spring had over 50 pubs and clubs. This article features memories, photographs and a list of the establishments.
CHARITY AT HOME
Wed July 11th 2012 The Davenport and Lilburne Almshouses were built in the 17th Century in the parish churchyard to house 'poor persons', namely widows.
BANNERS OF OUR PRIDE
Wed July 18th 2012 Seven Houghton Lodge banners have been carried at Durham Miners' Gala since 1872. This article looks at banners at the Big Meeting.
EBB & FLOW OF THE LAKE
Wed July 25th 2012 In 1881, Jouseph Coulson dammed up Houghton Burn and created a Victorian Please Boating Lake next to Houghton's Market Place.
Wed August 1st 2012 Mautland Square opened in 1969 as a modern concrete development on the site of Mautland Street. It was demolished in 2001.
Wed August 8th 2012 The illuminated clock was installed into the Church tower to mark the tercentenary of Bernard Gilpin's death in March 1884.
BLACK FURRED BOAR
Wed August 15th 2012 Ever wondered why there is a black furred boar on the crest of Houghton-le-Spring? This article explains the link to Rector Bernard Gilpin.
[HOUGHTON'S CREST & BOAR]
Wed August 22nd 2012 The Homelands Estate was built on land next to Sunniside mining settlement in 1938/9. The Estate was demolished around 2007.
Wed September 5th 2012 Houghton Hillside Cemetery opened in September 1854 but is now in a neglected state. Here we look at its controversial founding.
THE LITTLE CHURCH
Wed September 12th 2012 The Eschol Pentecostal Church was built in Houghton in 1949 using old air raid shelter bricks. Find out about its unusual name here.
Wed September 19th 2012 Houghton's original Rectory was built around a fortified tower. This article looks at the Rectory building located opposite the Church.
STROLL AROUND THE GROUNDS
Wed September 26th 2012 Take a walk around Houghton Rectory Park and have a look at the heritage aspects which are now long gone from the Park.
[RECTORY PARK & GROUNDS]
Wed October 3rd 2012 Houghton Feast has its roots in the 12th Century as Michaelmas, the dedication festival of Houghton's Parish Church, St Michael & All Angels.
[HOUGHTON FEAST HISTORY]
OX ROASTING: BEEF HISTORY
Wed October 10th 2012 The Houghton Feast ox roasting originated with Bernard Gilpin. It was brought back at the Feast Revival of 1967 by the Rotary Club.
TRANSPORT FOR THE MASSES
Wed October 17th 2012 Sunderland District Electric Tramways tramcars were in operation across Houghton between June 1905 and July 1925.
GHOSTS OF HOUGHTON HALL
Wed October 24th 2012 Houghton Hall is said to be haunted by the ghost of Elizabeth Elliot, the White Lady, who died in a fire at Houghton Hall in 1862.
[GHOSTS OF HOUGHTON HALL]
FACES FROM THE OTHER SIDE
Wed October 31st 2012 The Church renovations and excavations of February 2008 revealed more than just the bones of former parishioners - lots of orbs!
TIME TO HONOUR
Wed November 7th 2012 Houghton's Cenotaph was unveiled on November 7th 1925 to commemorate those residents killed fighting during the Great War.
Wed November 14th 2012 Houghton's Parish Church, St Michael & All Angels, was controversially renovated in 2008. Read of the amazing discoveries here.
SWEET TASTE OF SUCCESS
Wed November 21st 2012 The Wheatley Sweet factory and shops in Houghton are well remembered by many residents. Read of its origins in this article.
Wed November 28th 2012 Florence Lindon Travers, better known as Linden Travers, was born in Houghton-le-Spring on May 27th 1913 - almost 100 years ago!
ROYAL KEPIER GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Wed December 5th 2012 The Royal Kepier Grammar School was established around 1574 and was in use until its closure in 1922. Read the article below.
[ROYAL KEPIER GRAMMAR SCHOOL]
Wed December 12th 2012 The Earl of Durham Monument, aka Pensher Monument, was built in 1844 on the top of Penshaw Hill. Read its tragic history here.
HOUGHTON KEPIER SCHOOL
Wed December 19th 2012 Houghton Kepier School was formed in 1987 as a merger of three other Houghton schools and opened on Dairy Lane in 1990.
[HOUGHTON KEPIER SCHOOL]
HOUGHTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Wed January 9th 2013 Houghton-le-Spring Secondary School opened in July 1926 but later became known as Houghton Grammar School and then Houghton School.
[HOUGHTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL]
SECONDARY MODERN SCHOOL
Wed January 16th 2013 Houghton Secondary Modern was later known as Bernard Gilpin School and was one of the three to merge and form Houghton Kepier School.
[HOUGHTON SECONDARY MODERN SCHOOL]
Wed January 23rd 2013 Sancroft School on Dairy Lane only existed for a relatively short period of time, 1975 until 1987, when it merged with two other schools.
THE RIANI BROTHERS
Wed January 30th 2013 Colombo and Alessandro Riani founded their ice cream business on Newbottle Street, Houghton-le-Spring, at the turn of the century. (1 of 3)
THE ITALIAN JOB
Wed February 6th 2013 Memories of Riani's Cafe on Newbottle Street, including some about Sonia Hanson (nee Riani), who worked there for many years. (2 of 3)
[THE ITALIAN JOB]
Wed February 13th 2013 The story of Colombo Riani's ill-fated journey home from internment in Australia during the Second World War. (Article 3 of 3)
Wed February 20th 2013 Houghton Hall is rumoured to have been built in 1575, and this article looks at its early occupants, including Captain Hutton. (1 of 3)
Wed February 27th 2013 Houghton Hall became the official home of the Houghton branch of the YMCA in 1971. Memership was an impressive 300! (2 of 3)
DOWSE ABOUT THAT THEN
Wed March 6th 2013 A look at Houghton-le-Spring's secret underground tunnels, many of which emmanate from Houghton Hall. (3 of 3)
[SECRET UNDERGROUND TUNNELS]
RISE IN FORTUNES
Wed March 13th 2013 Joseph Bland Pearson of Mautland Street, later Nesham Place, was an auctioneer who had a gruesome death on the Leamside Line!
[JOSEPH BLAND PEARSON]
HOUGHTON'S POST OFFICES
Wed March 20th 2013 A look at Houghton's first Post Office at number 3, Sunderland Street and its later guises on Newbottle Street in 1918 and 1959.
THE GILPIN THORN
Wed March 27th 2013 The holy hawthorn known as the Gilpin Thorn (and its siblings) which grew in Houghton-le-Spring between circa 1557 and 2011.
NEWBOTTLE STREET SCHOOL
Wed April 3rd 2013 Houghton's Mixed Junior School opened in 1908 and was in use until 1993. It stood on the corner of Newbottle Street and Station Road.
[NEWBOTTLE STREET SCHOOL]
RECTORY PARK ANNIVERSARY
Wed April 10th 2013 April 9th 2013 marked the 64th anniversary since Houghton-le-Spring's Rectory grounds were unveiled to the public as a park.
[RECTORY PARK ANNIVERSARY]
TONGUE OF BIG BEN
Wed April 17th 2013 The tongue of Big Ben - the clapper - was forger in Houghton-le-Spring at Hopper's Iron Works, near Sunderland Street, around 1869.
[TONGUE OF BIG BEN]
Wed April 24th 2013 Newbottle Street was originally known as Newbottle Lane until it was expanded to both sides around 1907. Take a walk down the street with us.
Wed May 1st 2013 Some of the oldest houses in Houghton can be found on Church Street, which was unceremoniously chopped in half by the A690 road.
Wed May 8th 2013 The present Sunderland Street cul-de-sac was originally Houghton's main street. Again, the A690 road was to blame for this street's demise.
THE OLD BANK
Wed May 15th 2013 Martin's Bank stood at 16-18 Sunderland Street. This smart 3 storey building thankfully survived the 1960s demolition mania.
[THE OLD BANK]
Wed May 22nd 2013 Durham Road was a lane surrounded by fields. A Catholic Church opened on it in 1837, while a municipal Cemetery opened in 1892.
A MATTER OF CONVENIENCE
Wed May 29th 2013 A witty look at Houghton-le-Spring's public convenience situation - there aren't any! Plus views of the the old block at Vine Place/Rectory Park.
Wed June 5th 2013 Houghton had three theatres on Newbottle Street - the Coliseum, the Gaiety and the Empire. They have all been converted into shops.
Wed June 12th 2013 For more than 100 years, football has flourished in our mining communities. It was a favourite pastime among Houghton's many workers.
HOUGHTON MATHS TEACHER
Wed June 19th 2013 William Shanks, an amateur mathematician from Houghton-le-Spring, is famous for expanding the value of calculation of pi to 707 places.
[WILLIAM SHANKS & PI]
Wed June 26th 2013 A look at the photo collection of American Kathy Heyworth, a descendant of Harry Tucker, owner of Bruce & Tuckers store, Newbottle Street.
[THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD]
Wed July 3rd 2013 Much of Houghton's Victorian history is punctuated by mentions of the generous Sir George Elliot, Bart., MP, the self made man from Houghton Hall.
[SIR GEORGE ELLIOT]
MARRED BY TRAGEDY
Wed July 10th 2013 Houghton Colliery's 150 year history was marred by tragedy as shown in this article looking at the pit's early years (part one of two).
NOT ALL DOOM
Wed July 17th 2013 This second article about Houghton Colliery looks at the happier times underground and the closure of the pit on Thursday September 24th 1981.
Wed July 24th 2013 Houghton's first Methodist was recorded in 1740 and was a young man called Matthew Errington. By 1795 Houghton had 12 Methodists.
[MAUTLAND STREET CHAPEL]
METHODISTS ON THE MOVE
Wed July 31st 2013 Houghton's United and Wesleyan Methodists had chapels in Nesham Place and on William Street. The movement grew despite opposition.
[NESHAM PLACE CHAPEL]
HOUGHTON'S OTHER CHURCHES
Wed August 7th 2013 As Houghton's population grew, so did the congregations of many churches in the town including a Roman Catholic and a Pentecostal church.
THE GOLDEN LION
Wed August 14th 2013 It was last orders for Houghton's oldest pub, the Golden Lion, which closed down for good in August 2013 after more than three hundred years.
[THE GOLDEN LION]
THE WHITE LION
Wed August 21st 2013 Witty memories of a lengthy stay in the old White Lion Hotel which was demolished in 1968 and replaced with a less impressive building.
[THE WHITE LION]
THE BLACK LION
Wed August 28th 2013 The Black Lion pub was located half way up Sunderland Street on the right hand side. It ceased trading on January 26th 1969.
[THE BLACK LION]
THE RED LION
Wed September 4th 2013 Houghton-le-Spring's Red Lion pub on Church Street had a bit of a reputation in the town. Its nickname was The Crazy Pig!
[THE RED LION]
Wed September 11th 2013 Houghton was a large rural village and was originally a fortified Saxon burh. Here we look at how it got its name of Le Spring.
AIR RAID SHELTERS
Wed September 18th 2013 Almost fifty Wardens were appointed to help safeguard Houghton-le-Spring during the Second World War - but only one shelter remains.
[LAST AIR RAID SHELTER]
Wed September 25th 2013 The clown Billy Purvis visited Houghton Feast between 1818 and 1848 and made a return in 2009 - and has been back every year since.
[BILLY PURVIS, CLOWN]
Wed October 2nd 2013 Houghton's Parish Church, St Michael & All Angels, was controversially renovated in 2008. Read of the amazing discoveries here.
[JOHN MURPHY, SHOWMAN]
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VIDEOS OF HOUGHTON
Houghton Heritage Society's YouTube Channel features exclusive videos of Houghton-le-Spring as well as footage from our heritage events throughout the year - and of course our visits to Penshaw Monument!
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