Houghton Star: Nostalgia Articles by Paul Lanagan: Houghton-le-Spring Heritage Society www.houghtonlespring.org.uk

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.

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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 Star newspaper for Houghton-le-Spring

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's Coronation Bonfires

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.
[CORONATION BONFIRES]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Churchyard archway and its four shields

HISTORIC SHIELDS

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.
[CHURCH ARCHWAY]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's many public houses

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.
[HOUGHTON'S PUBS]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's Almshouses behind the parish church

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.
[THE ALMSHOUSES]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's Colliery Banners

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.
[COLLIERY BANNERS]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's Victorian boating lake and Houghton Burn

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.
[HOUGHTON'S LAKE]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the building of Mautland Square in Houghton-le-Spring

MAUTLAND SQUARE

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.
[MAUTLAND SQUARE]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's Church Clock, known as the Bernard Gilpin Tercentenary Clock

ILLUMINATED CLOCK

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.
[CHURCH CLOCK]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the black furred boar on Houghton-le-Spring's crest

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Homelands Estate, Sunniside, Houghton-le-Spring

HOMELANDS ESTATE

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.
[HOMELANDS ESTATE]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton Hillside Cemetery, known as the Old Cem

GRAVEYARD CONCERN

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.
[HILLSIDE CEMETERY]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Eshcol Church, Burn Promenade, Houghton-le-Spring

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.
[ESCHOL CHURCH]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's Rectory building

ANCIENT BEAUTY

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.
[HOUGHTON RECTORY]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's Rectory Park

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the ancient festival of Houghton Feast

HOUGHTON FEAST

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the practice of roasting an ox at Houghton Feast

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.
[OX ROASTING]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Sunderland District Electric Tramways in Houghton-le-Spring

TRANSPORT FOR THE MASSES

Wed October 17th 2012 Sunderland District Electric Tramways tramcars were in operation across Houghton between June 1905 and July 1925.
[HOUGHTON'S TRAMS]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the ghosts of Houghton Hall, Houghton-le-Spring

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the orbs in St Michael's Church and ghosts in the Robbie Burns pub, Houghton-le-Spring

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!
[CHURCH ORBS]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton-le-Spring's Cenotaph

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.
[HOUGHTON'S CENOTAPH]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the archaeological excavations in St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton, in 2008

CHURCH REVAMP

Wed November 14th 2012 Houghton's Parish Church, St Michael & All Angels, was controversially renovated in 2008. Read of the amazing discoveries here.
[CHURCH RENOVATIONS]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Wheatley confectionery factory in Houghton-le-Spring

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.
[SWEET FACTORY]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the star and actress, Linden Travers of Houghton-le-Spring

LEADING LADY

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!
[LINDEN TRAVERS]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Royal Kepier Grammar School

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Penshaw Monument

PENSHAW MONUMENT

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.
[PENSHAW MONUMENT]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton Kepier School

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 Star nostalgia article about Houghton Grammar 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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton Secondary Modern 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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Sancroft School

SANCROFT 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.
[SANCROFT SCHOOL]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Riani family, Italian icecream sellers and cafe proprietors of Houghton-le-Spring

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)
[RIANI BROS.]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Riani family, Italian icecream sellers and cafe proprietors of Houghton-le-Spring

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Riani family, Italian icecream sellers and cafe proprietors of Houghton-le-Spring

COLOMBO RIANI

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)
[COLOMBO RIANI]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton Hall, Houghton-le-Spring

HOUGHTON HALL

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)
[HOUGHTON HALL]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about YMCA, Houghton Hall, Houghton-le-Spring

HOUGHTON'S YMCA

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)
[THE YMCA.]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about secret tunnels of Houghton-le-Spring

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about auctioneer, Joseph Bland Pearson

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 Star nostalgia article about the Post Offices in Houghton-le-Spring town centre

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.
[POST OFFICES]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the holy hawthorn, the Gilpin Thorn

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.
[GILPIN THORN]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton Junior School, Newbottle Street

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton Rectory Park's 64th anniversary in April 2013

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the tongue of Big Ben, forged in Houghton-le-Spring

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Newbottle Lane aka Newbottle Street in Houghton-le-Spring

NEWBOTTLE STREET

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.
[NEWBOTTLE STREET]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Church Street

CHURCH STREET

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.
[CHURCH STREET]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring

SUNDERLAND STREET

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.
[SUNDERLAND STREET]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Martins Bank, Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Durham Road, Houghton-le-Spring

DURHAM ROAD

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.
[DURHAM ROAD]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton-le-Spring's pubic conveniences

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.
[PUBLIC LAVATORIES]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton-le-Spring's theatres and cinemas

SILVER SCREENS

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.
[HOUGHTON'S CINEMAS]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton-le-Spring's football teams

PLAYTIME

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.
[FOOTBALL TEAMS]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about mathematician William Shanks of Houghton-le-Spring

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about an American's Houghton-le-Spring photograph collection

ANCESTRAL HOME

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Sir George Elliot, Bart., MP, of Houghton-le-Spring

MINE WORKER

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton Colliery's disasters in the early years

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).
[HOUGHTON COLLIERY]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton Colliery's last years and closure

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.
[COLLIERY CLOSURE]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Mautland Street Methodist Chapel and the Primitive Methodists

FIRST METHODISTS

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Nesham Place Methodist Chapel and William Street Wesleyan 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 Star nostalgia article about Houghton's other churches

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.
[OTHER CHURCHES]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Golden Lion pub

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the White Lion pub

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Black Lion pub

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the Red Lion pub

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about the origins of Houghton-le-Spring's name

HOUGHTON'S NAME

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.
[HOUGHTON'S NAME]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Houghton's last brick built WWII Air Raid shelter

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about Billy Purvis and his visits to Houghton Feast

BILY PURVIS

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]

Houghton Star nostalgia article about showman John Murphy and his 65th anniversary visit to Houghton Feast

HOUGHTON FEAST

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]

Join Fyass Byuk - Houghton Heritage Society's popular Facebook group

FACEBOOK GROUP

You can join Houghton Heritage Society by becoming a member on Facebook - or Fyass Byuk as we call it. We have over 2,500 members and the group is very popular with residents, descendants and ex-pats.
[FACEBOOK]

Videos and cine footage of Houghton-le-Spring

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!
[YOUTUBE VIDEOS]

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MAKE A DONATION

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