Ashington is located in south east Northumberland, which is a largely urban area adjacent to Newcastle.
January 2013 we braved sub zero temperatures to bring you this photograph of the Koast Team set in the heart of your community, Ashington Town Centre. From left to right; Vicky Oakley, Toon Geordie, Ian “The Icon”, “Nutty Professor”, Malcolm McDonald and Mr Scurf.
The name Ashington possibly originates from Essendene which has been referenced since 1170, but may instead have originated from Æsc, a Saxon invader who sailed from Northern Germany to the River Wansbeck and settled in the deep wooded valley near Sheepwash. In the 1700s’ all that existed of Ashington was a small farm with a few dwellings around.
The first evidence of mining is from bell-shaped pits and monastic mine workings discovered in the 20th century during tunnelling. Ashington developed from a small hamlet in the 1840s, as the Duke of Portland built housing to encourage people escaping the Irish potato famine to come and work at his nearby collieries. As in many other parts of Britain, “deep pit” coal mining in the area declined during the 1980s and 1990s leaving just one colliery, Ellington which closed in January 2005. In 2006 plans for an opencast mine on the outskirts of the town were put forward, although many people objected to it. During the heyday of coal-mining, Ashington was considered to be the “world’s largest coal-mining village”. There is now a debate about whether Ashington should be referred to as a town or a village; if considered as a village it would be one of the largest villages in England.
As coal mining expanded, more people left the countryside and settled in Ashington. This led the Ashington Coal Company to build parallel rows of colliery houses. Some newcomers came from as far as Cornwall to make use of their tin-mining skills.
In 1913 the Ashington Hospital was built. It is about ¼ mile from the town centre. The hospital was expanded in the 1950s and ’60s with large new wings. Several schools opened in Ashington too. A new state-of-the-art Wansbeck General Hospital was built on the outskirts of the town with all hospital facilities being available on one new site.
In the late 1960s the area by the railway station was developed into Wansbeck Square, housing a supermarket, council offices and a public library, built partly over the railway line.
Ashington Urban District was created in 1896, covering part of the parish of Ashington and Sheepwash and part of the parish of Bothal Demesne and incorporated Hirst. In 1900 the urban district was enlarged to include North Seaton; then Sheepwash, most of Woodhorn and the remainder of Bothal Demesne in 1935.
In October 2008, plans to opencast 2m tonnes of coal in Ashington were approved. UK Coals plans which were first submitted in 2005 created 60+ jobs.
Ashington is home to many a sporting Legend, Jackie Milburn, Bobby and Jackie Charlton. Steve Harmison to name but a few. A town where the community are proud, but feel isolated! We want to bring back the aspiration to Ashington, work together with YOU to make it great again. Lets get that community spirit back again, lets work together, lets make things happen!
Brilliant news, regeneration is on it’s way and much needed in our community. The Local Council has now given the go ahead for a new £20m leisure development, to commence works at the old ASDA site in March 2013. Here are a few comments from our listeners.
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