THE SUNDERLAND SITE - PAGE 024
A JOURNEY AROUND
SUNDERLAND'S OLD VILLAGES
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The following extensive article has been kindly written for the site by Len Charlton - to add to his many other site articles. Len has provided many of the images also, some of which are visible in a larger size with a click of your mouse. Otherwise, image sources can be found at the foot of the page.
A JOURNEY AROUND SUNDERLAND'S OLD VILLAGES
LEN'S INTRODUCTION TO HIS ARTICLE:-
I was born & bred in Sunderland and in my childhood I explored on cycle & tramcar the outlying districts most of which were once isolated hamlets & villages in a rural landscape of old private estates & farmsteads. This landscape can be seen on maps drawn in the 1850s, & studying the finer details on these maps & early post cards or drawings gives a feeling of actual presence in the countryside of those days.
The individual stories and images found in my random searches have been ordered into some continuity - from which has evolved a virtual walk round the area of countryside now within the Metropolitan District of Sunderland which was formed in 1974.
This then is the story of my walk. Why not get your boots out, pack some rain gear perhaps and some sandwiches too, & join me on my walk?
A map of the route is next. Starting from Penshaw Monument & headed southward. An outline of today's Sunderland is visible, marked with broken lines.
Let us meet at the Penshaw Monument.
The name was derived from Pen (hill) and Shaw (woodland) and upon this hill (above & left below) the monument in honour of the local land-owner Lord Lambton was erected in 1844. (Webmaster's comment:- you can read more about the Penshaw Monument here).
An ancient legend tells of the Lambton Worm, a terrible dragon which once lived there and ravaged the country until slain by Lord Lambton. There are many versions of this folk-story but right or wrong this must surely be the best place and time to start our travels.
The Lambton's family home was at Lambton Castle set in parkland nearby (image below). The Lambton family, along with the Londonderrys and the Vane Tempests, owned much of the coal-bearing land and their names crop up in most of the pits, waggonways and railways.
Do drop by this site to view another fine image of Penshaw Monument & the track up the hill - an image by 'twiggy101' of 'DeviantART'.
In this old map, Old Painshaw is shown at top right with Back Lane & Roxby's Lane running left to 4 rows of houses in New Painshaw.
Just above Pit Row there is a shallow pit beside a rope railway engine house. Penshaw Colliery is further south with a railway link to a quarry (at bottom right). The map was drawn at a time of great change & includes both old & new railways & waggonways with Penshaw station middle left on the North Eastern Line. This line ran north from Durham to Penshaw before branching left to Washington & right to Sunderland docks with passenger stations at Burdon Road & the Town Moor.
Lord Lambton had just acquired rights to use this line and connected it at Pallion with a spur to his new Wearmouth staiths. These would replace the Penshaw staiths on the river which were being supplied by the Londonderry railway. This line runs north from left bottom before turning sharp west at Penshaw station then over Waggon Hill to the river. The map includes a number of rope haulage engines on the lines which had developed from the old horse drawn waggonways. The Londonderry pits were in the Boumemoor area (not on map) where recent excavations have revealed (below) remains of some of these old waggonways.
South Biddick is an area south of the river adjacent to Penshaw while North Biddick is on the north bank as is the riverside village of Fatfield. However we were warned of widespread lawlessness & of press gangs being active in both Fatfield & South Biddick. The population of Biddick dropped in the mid 1800s as there was little work there & uprisings resulted - we decided for many reasons to avoid the whole area & instead headed southwards towards Houghton-le-Spring.
We soon reached Philadelphia which had become an important transport centre after Lord Lambton chose it to set up the Lambton Engine works and sheds to manufacture and store his locomotives. From 1905 there was also a power station supplying electricity to the Sunderland District Tramways whose main depot was nearby. This private tramway extended single track tram routes from Sunderland to Ryhope, Silksworth, Herrington, Houghton and Hetton and onwards as far as Easington Lane. The trams had a short life as they were replaced by bus transport in 1925 and the full history is covered in 'Travelling Around in Sunderland' on page 014. We now reach Newbottle which had the misfortune, in 1815, to suffer the world's first recorded railway disaster.
Nesham's colliery there had decided to purchase one of a number of experimental Brunton 'Steam Horses' for a cost of £540 per locomotive (image at left).
However the colliery owners were not satisfied with its performance & in Aug. 1815 the makers gave a demonstration to prove a higher speed than the designed 3 mph and a greater pulling capacity. That proved to be a real mistake! They took too great a risk & the wrought iron boiler exploded killing 13 onlookers. This was reported as -
A melancholy accident happened at Messrs. Nesham and Co.'s colliery, at Newbottle, in the county of Durham. The proprietors had provided a powerful steam engine, called the iron-horse, for the purpose of drawing ten or twelve coal wagons to the staith at one time; and this being the day on which it was to be put in motion. A great number of persons belonging to the colliery had collected to see it; but unfortunately, just as it was going off, the boiler of the machine burst. The engineman was dashed to pieces, and his mangled remains blown 114 yards; the top of the boiler (nine feet square, weight 10 cwt) was blown 100 yards; and the two cylinders 90 yards. A little boy was also thrown to a great distance. By this accident fifty-seven persons were killed and wounded, of whom eleven were dead on the following Sunday night. (Durham Mining Museum)
Saddened by this story we continue our journey and soon reach the market place at Houghton-le-Spring.
Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring, in 1916
Originally a farming hamlet, Houghton-le-Spring grew into a mining town of some size.
The town sits below a high limestone escarpment through which a deep cleft was cut in 1815 by Napoleonic prisoners of war to make a road to Sunderland. This originally very steep hill, now much levelled, is still known as Houghton Cut and runs by a cemetery used for many plague victims.
The nearby parish named Fencehouses was a district of houses used by the French prisoners. If we continue southwards, we arrive at the small village of Hetton-le-Hole whose name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Heppedune (Bramble Hill). The district & village were owned by a landowning family who had taken on the name of Hepton. It was a small self-contained community from which, in 1819, the Hetton Coal Company was formed to attract major investors. In an imaginative gamble the company drilled-through the top coal seams plus 58 yards of overlay rock to find a huge coalfield which geologists had argued would not exist - by 1822 the miners were extracting coal from the world's deepest mine at 900 ft. The company then decided that rather than transport the coal to Penshaw staiths they would build a railway to the staiths being built at Wearmouth. The route was hilly and difficult so it called in Robert Stephenson who built the remarkable Hetton railway of seven sections using combinations of locomotives, rope haulage and gravity as described in page 009. The railway became part of a highly advanced & complex colliery system which attracted world-wide attention to what had originally been a small rural hamlet owned by the Lord of Hepton Manor.
The boundary of Sunderland Metropolitan District has a large kink in the southeast comer because the Seaham area is separated from the Sunderland district. This land which belongs to the Londonderrys and Vanetempests includes many more collieries (e.g. South Hetton, Easington, Murton, etc.) and in 1818 more than a quarter of coal sold at Sunderland staiths came from their collieries which paid heavy shipping costs. As output increased Lord Londonderry decided to make his own harbour and staiths near the tiny seaside village of Seaham. The first shipment from Seaham Harbour was made in 1831 and was a source of much enjoyment and satisfaction in taking business back from Sunderland. A new town of Seaham was also built through which the Londonderry railways ran down to Seaham harbour, in some cases crossing over the older railways running to Sunderland.
Rejoining our own journey at Stephenson's railway we must clamber away from Hetton over Copt Hill then onto Warden Law where an engine house once pulled up trains of seven chaldrons before transferring them to the next gravity section.
These days a traveller would find a few houses, a gokart track and a paint-ball range at Warden Law but Stephenson had found this the best route to Sunderland, passing Old Silksworth & running through an entirely rural landscape.
An 1861 map (above) shows Stephenson's railway on the left passing Silksworth (the old village) with the colliery workings above. New Silksworth, the mining village, is in the centre of the map encroaching on Tunstall hamlet with Tunstall Hills (small icon) on the top right edge of the map in open countryside. Ryhope colliery, at far right, is on the outskirts of the old village. Twenty years earlier this whole area would have been an entirely rural scene.
Old Silksworth had grown round a mansion built in 1780 (Silksworth House/Doxford House, left above & here) with the farming hamlet of Tunstall nearby which was dominated by the Tunstall Hills (right above). There were two hills, 'Green Hill' and 'Rocky Hill' which were historically known as the Maiden's Paps and which offered magnificent views greatly defaced at one time by the pit heaps of Ryhope colliery. The colliery & pit heaps have long gone and although housing encroaches, the hills are now a nature reserve.
The old rural landscape started to lose its character when in 1869 Lord Londonderry sunk Silksworth pit & created New Silksworth - which two years later had a population of 400. Expansion was so rapid that by 1879 the total population had reached 4,7O7 and new Silksworth had merged into the old hamlet. Silksworth colliery had by then been linked into Stephenson's railway to get its coals to Hetton Staiths on the Wear.
In 1902, Silksworth House was leased to the Doxford shipbuilding family who in 1968 bequeathed the house and its 24 acre gardens to Sunderland Corporation.
This whole district including Herrington to the West and Ryhope to the East is now largely built up and East Herrington, which we saw as a small farming village on the Durham Road some three miles from Sunderland, became just a suburb of Sunderland after the town extended along Durham Road and reliable bus services started in the 1920s.
Ryhope has a long history and by 1380 there were some 150 residents in the 3 street village set round a triangular green which still exists. It was primarily a farming community although limestone was quarried and it was of some interest to hardy visitors wishing to sea bathe.
Ryhope was a beautiful area with a deep dene running north west through a valley towards Tunstall Hills but this valley was effectively destroyed in the 1850s when the wealthy Streatfield family opened Ryhope Colliery & built housing for a massive influx of pit workers. Neither the colliery nor the workers were popular & serious social problems surfaced as the original 'villagers' strove to retain their old way of life.
The richer gentry often stayed at Ryhope Hall on the Green, which had an interesting history.
Built in the mid 1600s, it had been a coaching inn known as the Boars Head & by 1700 it was being used by a masked highwayman called Robert Drummond who was robbing in Stockton Road. He then lived & traded in Sunderland's East End but after a life of crime & prison was finally hanged for murder at Tyburn in 1730.
In its time, Ryhope Hall had many residents of repute including the general manager of Ryhope Colliery. After WW2 it became dilapidated & was burned down in the 1950s.
A c.1920 photograph shows the old village green with a Sunderland District tram car setting off for Silksworth, and illustrates the life the villagers knew ... but even then an adjacent area known as Vinegar Hill was causing ructions.
A retired miner Frank Carr has described his life there with 17 interesting drawings - which you used to be able to view at a ryhope-village.co.uk/Ryhope Heritage Group page. But the whole site seems to be now gone. Sketch No. 3 showed the rows of houses that took over the valley with Tunstall Hills in the background, while Sketch No. 1 showed a wooden walkway over the valley which ran from the houses to the colliery - and also the many huge slag heaps that were just dumped on the surrounding land. Sketch No. 7 had some interesting details. The small backyard has a privy on one side of a back door and a coal house on the other. A trap door in the wall allows coal to be dropped into the coalhouse from the 'back lane' in which the children play. The colliery and Vinegar Hill have long gone, submerged in modem housing, but there are people alive now who recall it for a different reason.
The war memorial on the green has a plaque dedicated to Barton V.C. who in 1944 was piloting a badly damaged Halifax bomber back from a raid on Nuremberg. With intercom gone he was lost & losing height when he reached Ryhope. Down to roof top level, (Sketch No. 16), he tried to avoid the houses at Vinegar Hill but struck an end house, fortunately empty at the time, then crashed on to the end of the wooden colliery walkway killing a miner. Three crew had bailed out earlier & the three remaining survived, although Pilot Officer Barton was to die in hospital.
With the colliery came other changes. By 1855 there were two railway stations side by side one for North Eastern Railway and the other for the older Londonderry line from Seaham to Sunderland staiths. In 1868, a water pumping house was opened with a magnificent beam engine, and in 1895 a large mental hospital was built for the district. The pit closed in 1965 and over the years housing for commuters expanded the town until it joined on to Tunstall and Silksworth (now Doxford Park). The pumping engine still works as a Museum piece.
The Ryhope Pumping Station closed down in 1967, after almost 100 years of service. The building houses today the Ryhope Engines Museum with two magnificent working Victorian 'beam' engines. Do not fail to view some of the fine available videos of those beam engines - two of such videos can be accessed here (1 & 2). Our image is thanks to Keith Cockerill. A larger version of his image can be seen here.
Now, somewhat weary from our travels, we decide to use the Londonderry train to get to Sunderland and with some trepidation we board the rather basic carriage & rattle along at great speed in clouds of steam and no little coal dust.
We stopped at Hendon where our railway joins the new line from Durham and Penshaw before reaching the station at Sunderland Town Moor where the activity and noise quite overwhelmed us. Needing accommodation we sought advice and were directed to a very old alehouse newly refurbished and renamed the Clarendon Hotel in High Street East.
Here we were made most welcome but advised to keep away from the many passageways leading down to the river behind the hotel which it seems had become a haunt of thieves, rogues and press-gangs. There were many other hotels in the town, some with their own stables and yards where we observed some very expensive coaches but these were far beyond our purse.
The town was originally made up of three villages Sunderland itself and the two adjacent monastic settlements of Bishopwearmouth and Monkwearmouth. Over the years the town boundaries extended and smaller areas of private land began to fill in, many carrying the owners name (Burdon, Fawcett, Lambton, Mowbray, etc.) and others being self-descriptive (Fulwell, Pallion, Millfield, Seaburn, Hendon etc). We arrive at a time when the town hall was still in Exchange Buildings in High Street East and the filthy overcrowded dockside slums still bore witness to the plague years of 1831/2.
The terror of plague had driven the wealthier citizens westwards towards Fawcett, John & Bridge Streets, beside the new Wearmouth bridge. There we marvelled at the handsome terraced housing occupied by the great land owners & industrialists (Fawcett St. at right) - although within fifty years these very properties would become banks, offices & expensive shops serving the same families.
From the bridge one can see & hear industry in every direction - shipbuilding, engineering works, wharfs, staiths, docks etc.
Seeking relief from the steam, smoke and noise we take a short stroll to the old village green of Bishopwearmouth and then on to Builder's Hill in a lovely park on Mr. Mowbray's ground.
From here this view drawn just before our visit, shows a compact coastal town of quality marred by great overcrowding along the river and in the East End slums. The new railway from Durham runs across the bottom of this drawing curving round to join the line from Ryhope to the town moor and along the top of this drawing lies Monkwearmouth with Southwick some distance to the west.
We spent several days in Sunderland before continuing our travels on the new steam ferry the 'Wear' (below) across the river to Monkwearmouth. Made famous by Bede's writings & by the ancient church of St. Peter's, this is now a shipbuilding suburb packed with people and goods crossing the river. We pass Monkwearmouth railway station (at right below) which had been built in 1848 as the terminus of the first railway line from Newcastle.
We could now visit the attractions of Roker by the sea or the farmlands of Fulwell to the north but deciding to continue our travels we turn westwards through open country towards Southwick, whose old name of 'Suddick' means 'southern farmstead'.
But by the 1800s, many industries such as pottery, glass, lime works & shipbuilding were taking over from farming & the painting by Duncan Fraser McLea (at left) shows wooden ships being built at the Robert Thompson & Sons shipyard at Southwick.
These industries attracted workers. The population of 554 in 1801 reached 2,721 in 1850. Unfortunately some of the industries failed in the late 1800s while the influx of workers continued & the town fell on increasingly hard times.
In 1908, the Queen Alexandra Bridge was opened to join Deptford and Southwick, which reduced road traffic on the Wearmouth bridge. On the top deck a rail link to the north bank collieries failed strength tests and the bridge did little to help Southwick's decline. After local finances collapsed in 1928, Southwick became an impoverished part of Sunderland Borough with derelict housing turned into slums and sometimes collapsing into dereliction.
The town still had the old Green at its centre which became a tram terminus on the Sunderland network.
In our journey however we find the industries concentrated along the river banks to be very noisy and, seeking peace, we walk westwards through open country for a while to see Hylton Castle.
It seems that Hylton Castle had been built as a fortified manor in the 11th century & one 'Henry Hilton' had lived there. The Hilton family were great landowners. The name often appears on both sides of the river but in fact the castle, & the lovely St. Catherine's chapel alongside, had been sold to the Bowes family in 1762. There was a long history of changes & shortly after our visit the north & south wings of the castle were demolished. Over the years it went through several ownerships, became dilapidated & is now a ruin.
A very fine (& very big!) image of St. Catherine's Chapel, at Hylton Castle, can be seen here.
Before Wearmouth Bridge was built in 1796, travellers between Sunderland & Newcastle made their way up river to a crossing between South Hylton & North Hylton.
In medieval times this was just a ford & South Hylton was known as Low Ford - but later there were ferries for horse carriages & pedestrians.
At left, Ralph Hedley's oil painting of Hylton Ferry.
This was to be our next stop but between Hylton Castle & North Hylton we found no easy way, just a network of lanes running through open country. It was not until 1900 that this rural scene changed when Hylton colliery opened on the riverside in 1900. This being closer to Hylton Castle than to North Hylton became known as Castletown Colliery. A sizeable village of that name grew up there with new road & rail links.
In the 1800s, however, Southwick, Hylton Castle, Castletown & North Hylton were all completely separate communities which we wandered through one by one. The 1861 map at left shows the outskirts of Sunderland at bottom right but Southwick (at top right) has not yet reached Castletown. Our walk took us along the north bank until we reached the shipyards at North Hylton. (Hylton Ferry).
We also found both riverbanks a hive of industry including copperas and iron works, potteries, sawmills, quarries and brick fields. There was much to see here but eventually with more villages ahead we turned west again in to the open country past Hylton Grange towards the many small old hamlets and newer collieries in the district of Washington.
A WW1 Zeppelin & Usworth Aerodrome.
We continued on to South Moor Farm & Cow Stand but could not foresee that in 1916 seven fields would be sold & be turned into a grass aerodrome from which WW1 biplanes staggered into the air to search for Zeppelins. Their long range made the Tyne and Wear industries a very attractive target indeed.
Known as RAF Usworth i.e. 'Usworth Aerodrome', Hurricane aircraft came here later to play their part in WW2, after which runways were laid. These were far too short for modem aircraft, however. On Aug. 28, 1974, a 'Buccaneer' jet bomber, damaged by a bird strike, managed an emergency landing there to everyone's surprise including its American pilot.
The airfield became Sunderland Airport in the 1960s, & closed for good on May 31, 1984. The site? It is now occupied by the Nissan Motor Works.
Arriving at Little Usworth we looked round the small colliery (colliery image below) and the newer Great Usworth before reaching the historic centre of Old Washington itself.
The Hilton family remained the principal landowners in the area until the sale, in 1750, of their estates which consisted of 7 farms and land. The regular 2-row plan with green survives, though many of the buildings are modern.
There are stone buildings, mostly 19th century & much altered at the east end of the green. Outside the west end of the green is the church and the school, which like much of the area, were funded by the Peareth family.
Washington Green - at right
It seems that the village was first named Wessyngton & the lands were acquired by William de Wessyngton, a name which over time evolved to Washington. The family lived in Washington Hall for five generations until, in 1657, they moved south before joining the English Colony of Virginia, on the eastern seaboard of North America.
Washington Hall is world famous today as the original family home of George Washington, who became a general in the American Revolutionary War of 1775/1783. In 1776, the Continental Congress declared independence & George Washington became the first president of the newly formed United States of America.
In an area so rich in political history we could hardly overlook the development of so much very early mining nearby and Harraton called for a visit. The village is within the parish of Chester-le-Street & the colliery which dates back to 1594 has throughout its long life proved extremely productive - with 10,000 tones of coal raised as early as 1638. Before the advent of railways some 15 waggon ways had been taking coal from 23 pits to the Washington staiths. The whole district still thrived with activity. We found it confusing when reference was made to the 'Cotia pit'. This it was explained was because Harraton had attracted many Scottish workers whose friends had preferred to emigrate to Nova Scotia and the houses built for these workers (top right below) were called by that name. An 1801 map (next) shows how busy this part of the river was. Waggonways already run from the many pits through Fatfield and North Biddick to staiths scattered along the north bank of the Wear and by the 1850s when we arrived we found both of these hamlets developing rapidly.
The name Biddick means 'by the dyke' which refers to the embankments on each side of the river shaded on the map, as is the Glen which is the hamlet on the river alongside the Oxclose Burn. The north Biddick estate had been with the Hylton family since the l4th century and is where they had built their home Biddick Hall (lower right above) which we now came across. The hall was about to be acquired by a local ironwork owner called Cook but it was allowed to fall into disrepair and was demolished in 1966. We wandered southwards through the somewhat neglected gardens and open countryside until we reached The Glen. Along the river's north bank we came across an old pit, a rope walk to service the keels and the Biddick Brewery which no doubt supplied the Punch Bowl Inn nearby in the small village of Fatfield which also boasted its own mill and quarry.
Beside the brewery is a mysterious location called Worm Hill (left below)
Worm Hill's existence was first documented in a 1750 plan of Biddick estate but in the legend of the Lambton Worm the hill goes back to medieval times and no one knows if it was man-made or not. Climbing to the top we can see across the river to Penshaw monument where Lambton killed the terrible beast - but did he? "Certainly not" say the residents of Fatfield pointing out some dubious scrapes and holes which were made, they claim, by the monster's tail and claws as it was slain in this very spot. Here they insisted was its home though perhaps it might on the rare occasion have swum across to Penshaw or even visited Hylton Castle or Lambton Castle.
Somewhat bemused we still had to complete our circular journey. We didn't swim across the river however, rather we took the single oarsman Washington Ferry across to Penshaw where, skirting the Penshaw staiths, we passed the tile & lampblack works to the engine house on the Londonderry railway. As we did so, a terrible puffing and clattering warned us of a steam engine approaching.
Mindful of the old legend we saw this oncoming mechanical monster with its writhing tail of chaldrons change into a re-incarnated dragon belching smoke & steam. Indeed the legend says that if you chop off a bit of the worm that bit will live on to become a new dragon & clearly here must be where they now roosted, still roaming the pit villages, but now taking their terrible toll of passers-by rather than cattle & children. We were still running in terror from our dragons when we reached Old Penshaw & climbed Penshaw Hill up to the recently built Lambton monument on top.
Here all was quiet and below lay a completely pastoral scene reminiscent of great estates and farms with their labourers striving for a living, so often dependent on the largesse of the church or the master. But now we knew of another breed of man, rough, god fearing, working underground in terrible conditions and uniting only to fight their masters for their pay. They had left the scattered farmsteads and now lived in their rows of tiny houses making up the fiercely independent pit villages we had toured. As if to deny the surroundings, every tiny home with its standard two or three rooms, tin bath, external coal house and privy was always bright and gleaming with a warm fire and always ready to welcome the men back with a hot meal.
Far too often however the dreaded sound of repeated blasts on the colliery whistle would bring the women rushing to the pit head to find the cause - perhaps one or two good men gone or, God forbid, the desperate news that half of the village was trapped.
Dragons were not the real fear in the minds of these good people.
I do not know how long we sat in silence with our backs against the stone base of Penshaw monument recalling our long journey now ended, a journey through a world of castles great estates and strange stories and myths, but no matter how long it was we could never, even in our wildest dreams, have believed that within 150 years the world we had seen would itself have disappeared under a blanket of houses, parks & light industries called the Sunderland Metropolitan District.
Len, we thank you for another fine article!
The webmaster tries hard to find the very best images to illustrate the many articles on this site. I trust that it is in order for the images which are shown above, to be included in this informational & non-profit website. But .... if you are the copyright owner of any of the material included in this page, & would wish it removed, do please be in touch & I will gladly remove it. But probably with some regret! And probably I would wish to try to replace the material from a source which is acceptable. You can contact me here.
Sources (where known to the webmaster or otherwise indicated) of images within 'A journey around Sunderland's Old Villages'.
1 (an 'I. Nicholson of Newcastle' print ex 'Pictures in Print'), 2 (Diane Earl at 'gallery.nen.gov.uk'), 3 ('Wikipedia'), 4, 5 ('Catskill Archive'), 6 (a giant image, ex 'Houghton Hillside cemetery'), 7, 8 (the origin of the image shown above is unknown. It was clearly published in 'The Penny Magazine' of March 31 to April 30, 1835, thanks to 'www.east-durham.co.uk'), 9 ('Wikipedia'), 10, 11, 12 (an e-Bay item for sale by yorkshirebidding as the page is first uplinked), 13 (Malcolm Fraser at Flickr), 14 ('Sunderland History'), 15, 16 (scan of a 'Beamish' eBay postcard), 17, 18, 19 (a portion of an image in the collection of 'Sunderland Antiquarian Society'), 20 ('TheTrams.co.uk' site), 21 ('BBC Your Paintings'), 22 ('southwickhistory.org.uk'), 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 (an expired eBay item), 28 ('BBC Your Paintings'), 29 ('Sunderland Echo'), 30 (a print for sale by 'www.old-print.com' as the page is first uplinked), 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 ('New York City Statues'), 36 ('Wikipedia.org'), 37 ('Freedom Heroes'), 38, 39, 40, 41 ('Media Gallery', image by Diane Earl perhaps), 42 ('www.orderofthewhitelion.com'), 43 ('www.songofthepaddle.co.uk'), 44, 45, 46 (a 'Roy Jackson copyrighted image ex 'PicturesofEngland.com'). 47 (& its larger version) thanks to Keith Cockerill. Lots more to be detailed yet, but I am at the end of my knowledge as to the sources.
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THE GUEST BOOK - GO HERE
A Wikipedia page about Cyril Joe Barton (Jun051921/Mar311944) is here. More data, with images available of his grave at Kingston-upon-Thames, in SW London, is here, thanks to Iain MacFarlaine.
Should you wish to learn more, I read that in 1994, 'Wear Books', or maybe 'Wearside College', 'Sunderland Leisure Libraries & Arts', published a 66 page booklet entitled 'Cyril Joe Barton V.C.', written by W. W. Lowther. An image of the cover, ex an expired e-Bay listing is at left. It would seem that the booklet may have later been republished - in 1999 (ISBN 0905108396 by 'Non Basic Stock Line' - data per Book Finder).