South Shields Local History Group

Under Construction

1 – Timeline

43Romans invade Britain
80sRoman soldiers occupied The Lawe
410Romans officially leave Britain
647St Hild’s Nunnery founded
1245The Prior and Convent of Durham acquired South Shields, anciently written “Le Sheels”
1306North and South Shields reported jointly to lade and victual 100 to 200 ships.
1335Edward I forbade Newcastle to hinder ships loading at Shields.
1499Iron saltpans existed near St. Hild’s Church.
1529Newcastle obtained by Act of Parliament a monopoly of the trade and navigation of the Tyne.
1639Shields Society of Saltmakers granted a monopoly.
1644South Shields Fort captured by the Scots and recaptured by Royalists in June.
1650Glassworks opened in South Shields.
1720Robert Wallis began the first ship-building yard in South Shields.
1720John Cookson established the first chemical works (at Alum House Ham) in South Shields.
1751First whaler The Swallow left Shields harbour.
1756First ballast wharf in South Shields (Cookson’s Quay licensed.
1768The High Dock (H. S. Edwards) opened.
1768Dean and Chapter of Durham bought eight acres of St. Hild’s Glebe.
1768The building of old Town Hall, Market Place and adjoining streets began.
1769First charity school opened.
1770First weekly market held,
1771First half-yearly fair held.
1788Act of Parliament to supply the town with water.
1789Adventure wrecked on Shields sands.
1789South Shields Shipowners’ Committee offered reward for best design of lifeboat.
1789Plans submitted by William Wouldhave and later Henry Greathead built the first lifeboat.
1790Lifeboat first used for saving life from shipwreck.
1792Old theatre in Wellington Street erected.
1795South Shields Shipwrights Association (first shipbuilders’ trade union) formed.
1796South Shields Corps of Loyal Volunteers raised.
1803Great Press Gang raid in South Shields.
1806Mail coach began between South Shields and York.
1810Templetown Colliery opened.
1812Last “Press” for seamen in South Shields.
1814First steam packet Perseverance between South Shields and Newcastle.
1816Mill Dam Lake filled up.
1821Wm. Wouldhave, lifeboat inventor, died aged 73.
1824Gas Company formed and gas first supplied to shops and houses.
1825St. Hilda Colliery opened.
1826James Mather invented ships’ lifeboats to be carried aboard ship.
1829First South Shields Improvement Act obtained.
1829Street lamps first lit by gas.
1832Reform Bill creating South Shields as a Parliamentary Borough first received Royal Assent.
1832First Parliamentary election.  Robert Ingham M.P.
1834Stanhope and Tyne railway opened to South Shields.
1837Cookson’s works began the manufacture of sheet glass.
1837Marine School founded by Dr. Winterbottom.
1839Shields-Monkwearmouth railway opened.
1839First iron ship built on the Tyne, tugboat Star, launched from T D. Marshall’s yard at South Shields.
1839Gateshead to South Shields railway open.
1839Explosion at St. Hilda Colliery. 50 killed.
1839South Shields Committee for prevention explosions in coal mines formed.
1839Chamber of Commerce established.
1845Waterloo Vale Police Buildings opened.
1849Construction of Tyne Dock started.
1849The Shields Gazette first published.
1849Lifeboat Providence capsized. 20 lives lost.
1850Town’s meeting for a Charter of Incorporation.
1850 First Working Men’s Institute in England established in South Shields.
1850Tyne Improvement Act.
1850First Municipal Election of Town Council. Thomas Salmon appointed Town Clerk
1852Sunderland and South Shields Water Company formed.
1854Burial Board formed.
1854Foundation Stones of North and South Pier.
1854Pendulum experiments at Harton Colliery to determine the weight of the earth.
1859Tyne Dock opened.
1864Customs House Buildings, Corporation Quay opened.
1865South Shields created a separate port.
1869Marine School inaugurated.
1873Ingham infirmary opened.
1873Public Library opened.
1875Roman station at The Lawe excavated.
1876Museum opened at Public Library.
1879New railway station in Mile End Road.
1883Deans Isolation Hospital opened.
1883South Shields Horse Trams commenced.
1885Boys’ High School opened.
1887Ecclesiastical Commissioners presented site of North and South Marine Parks to the town.
1890Marine Parks opened.
1893Court Buildings in Keppel Street opened.
1896Electric light first used for street lighting. Electricity works inaugurated September 1.
1900Jubilee of borough celebrated with civic banquet and presentation of Mayoral badge.
1905Foundation stone of Town Hall laid.
1906Corporation Electric tramways commenced.
1910Last meeting of Town Council in the old Town Hall, Market Place.
1910Cottage Homes for poor children opened at Cleadon.
1910New Town Hall opened in Westoe Road.
1915Zeppelin raid. Five bombs fell in Shields.
1915Pt. H. H. Robson, V.C., made Freeman.
1917King George V. and Queen Mary visited Borough.  Town Council bought Cleadon Park Estate.
1920Foundation stone of Cleadon Park Housing Estate.
1921Cleadon Park Sanatorium opened.
1921South Shields Corporation Act, including Harton and Cleadon estate in the borough, passed.
1922Ald. Robert Readhead presented Readhead Park to the town.  Opened May 18, 1923.
1925Marsden Band won 1,000 guineas trophy.
1926St. Hilda Colliery Band won 1,000 guineas trophy for fifth time.
1927South Foreshore promenade opened.
1929Brinkburn Recreation ground bought by Town Council.
1929New Coast Road to Whitburn opened.
1930Board of Guardians ceased to exist.
1934Harbour Drive, North Foreshore, opened.
1935South Shields obtained powers from Parliament to convert electric tramways to trolley buses.
1935Riverside development scheme inaugurated.
1935New housing schemes started.
1936Part of South Shields Rural District towards Marsden Bay added to the borough.
1936New High School at Harton opened.
1936Trolley bus service inaugurated.
1937Municipal Clinic opened.
1937Junior Instruction Centre for Children opened.
1939WORLD-WAR II starts.
1941Considerable damage to Market Place and other districts.
1945World War II ends.  South Shields had 737 air raid casualties, including 159 killed.
1940Lieut. R. W. Annand, V.C., given Freedom of Borough.
1946Plans for 2,000 post-war houses.
1947Pits nationalised.
1947First of new factories under North East Development Plan on Bede Estate in production.
1948New Westoe pit begun.  NHS started 5th July.
1948Nearly 2,000 houses completed and plans for 3,000 more made.
1948Biggest ship built at South Shields, (8,200 ton cargo liner Armanistan) launched at Readheads.
1949New clothing factory to employ 1,000 eventually completed at South Shields.
1949Queen Victoria statue removed to make way for Town Hall forecourt improvement.
1949Pier Pavilion theatre opened.
1964Marine and Technical College opened by Prince Phillip
1965John Reid Road opened 27 April 1965
1972Al Azhar Mosque built
1974South Tyneside Council formed, including Jarrow, Hebburn and Boldon. 
1977Muhammad Ali opens Al Azhar Mosque 20 July.
1984South Shields Metro opens
1993Westoe Pit closes
1994Westoe Pit demolished
1996Marsden Rock partially collapses
2016The Word officially opens on 19th October.


The South Shields Centenary 1850 to 1950 (which was mainly from G B Hodgson, Borough of South Shields)

The Millenium Remembered

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