Tidy up at the Triangle

March 28, 2023

The Famous Five were hard at work in clearing the Triangle of leaves and debris this morning.

Still to complete the weeding and pruning of the shrub bed, when rain stopped play!

Hopefully the council will remove the moss and apply weedkiller to the paved areas.

Thank you again to the Village Trust ‘Blooming’ volunteers.

Annual Litter Pick

March 25, 2023

A dozen volunteers from the Village Trust scoured the conservation area for litter this morning and managed to find plenty to collect. Though there appeared to be less litter than last year.

Shotley Bridge AFC

December 7, 2022

This picture has been provided by a subscriber who want know if anyone had information about the people in the photo, which was taken during the 1906/7 season. The location looks to be the recreation field [now Riverside housing estate] behind the Crown & Crossed Swords at the bottom of Church Bank.

German Sword-Smiths in Shotley Bridge

July 29, 2022

This is an updated post from September 2020 when Keith Fisher, a north east historian, having researched sword making for many years had then published his research.

He kindly gave the Village Trust permission to post a compressed .pdf version of his book, as a free download.

Since then the book has had many substantial updates and is now paginated with a table of contents and extensive addenda.

There are a limited number of printed copies, purely for the printing cost of £20.00. The book can be acquired direct from Keith’s printer (mail-order if required) by calling Billy at (Photoline.co.uk)  0191 232 5454

[NB: The resolution of the images has been reduced to allow it to be downloaded, while images in the hard copy book are much more detailed.]

Keith explains:

“A request from my friend Yvonne Young (who is a local historian, lecturer and publisher of books on North Eastern heritage) to suggest a topic she could use at men’s clubs and associations, prompted me to give her David Richardson’s famous book on the German swordmakers of Shotley Bridge.

As I attempted to precis the book for her, and studied others like it, I realised this was a huge story that could finally be fully researched given modern information access.

As the story grew it became obvious there were all the ingredients for a TV documentary and I pursued my research with this end in view.  None-the-less, the story makes a splendid local history book; so while we wait for TV production to resume, I have converted my research into just such a narrative.

Ultimately, it will end up as a national companion publication to the TV documentary, but until then I am making it freely available to all interested parties, in particular the residents of the Derwent Valley.”

Revised version 12 uploaded 27/1/2023.

NB: The original title of the book was “The Sword in the Hat” – Shotley Bridge and the Bushy Tailed Fox.

Electric Vehicle Charging Point

March 12, 2022

The Derwent Valley Car Club, a community-based car club, has now installed a double EV charge point in Shotley Bridge outside Rumis Restaurant on Front Street. It will be available for use by residents, visitors and members of the Car Club.

The official opening is to be held on Saturday afternoon 2nd April. The DVCC car club team will be on hand to answer any questions and sign up potential new members

The pay-as-you-go electric car club offers hourly and daily rates, with no mileage fees and full insurance cover.

Find out more from the Derwent Valley Car Club Facebook page.

Local Heritage List

November 3, 2021

Shotley Bridge is one of eight pilot areas in County Durham where the County Council is seeking nominations to add to a new Local Heritage List.

This is a new national project known as the Local Heritage Listing project, a partnership project supported by Government and Historic England. The main purpose of the project is to begin to compile a list of County Durham’s heritage assets which are not currently protected either through legal or planning processes. These could be buildings, structures, items of street furniture, landscapes, open spaces or street signs, for example.

The Village Trust has been asked to promote the project and will itself be nominating potential sites.
If you wish to be involved and have suggestions of what to include on the Local List you can nominate them on the project website. The website gives a thorough overview of the project as well as the nomination form and associated guidance. 

You need to either use a grid reference or ‘what3words‘ to precisely identify the location of a site. Just click on the map and note the 3 words in the top left corner. Or you could use the app on your phone.

Deadline for submissions is 5.00pm on Sunday 21 November 2021.

Deadline now extended until 17th December 2021.

Nominations that meet the established criteria will go to a panel made up of representatives from each pilot area, which will have an independent chair. Once the panel have made their decision, nominations that have made it to the Local Heritage List will be put on the Keys to the Past website.

Remembrance Sunday

October 31, 2021

There will be a short Act of Remembrance in St. Cuthbert’s Church, Church Bank on Sunday 14th November.

A warm invitation to any to gather at 10.50am in church, with a two minute silence at 11am.

The regular Eucharist will move to the earlier time of 9.30am on Remembrance Sunday.

All are welcome.

There will also be an Act of Remembrance at 3pm at the Memorial Cottages on Front Street.

This year is also the Centenary of the Cottages, which were erected in memory of men from the neighbourhood who fell in the First World War.

The Shotley Bridge War Memorial Cottages Trust took it in hand to save the buildings and in 1992 the cottages were refurbished.


Shotley Grove Walks

October 20, 2021

With the help of the Kiln Pit Hill Wind Farm Community Fund, the Tyne Rivers Trust has been able to install two interpretation boards at Shotley Grove next to the fish pass and boardwalk. They would love to show you the new boards and tell you about the work they have done on the River Derwent, the volunteering opportunities available and other projects throughout the Tyne catchment.

Please join them for an hour or so on the following dates:

Saturday 23rd October at 11am

Saturday 6th November at 11am

Meet on the green bridge by Shotley Grove car park. 

Please email s.price@tyneriverstrust.org for further details or to confirm your attendance. 

AGM & Open Meeting

October 11, 2021

The AGM of the Trust is to be held on Thursday 14th October at 7.00pm, followed by an Open Meeting at 7.30pm.

As our usual venue is not yet available, we are holding the meetings at St Cuthbert’s Church Hall

Members, guests and residents are all welcome.

Roadworks on Woodlands/Queens Road on Tuesday

June 12, 2021

Councillor Kevin Earley has has asked me to post this information ..

Road surface treatment work (again) planned for Tuesday the 15th, worth letting everyone know to avoid the route if possible. Folk on way to hospital or GPs will have to use it of course , will be easier for them if the rest of us can avoid it, maybe. There will be staff directing traffic but the coating takes hours to ‘go off’ so it might be an all day job! And its blue bin day!

I did try asking for it to be done at weekend but apparently it’s a free trial of a new treatment and Tuesday is the only time they can do it. I’m told it will look a lot better and stop the chippings lifting in winter. Guess we are going to find out if that’s true.


Annual Litter Pick

April 10, 2021

Thank you to the 10 volunteers from the Trust who helped with the annual litter pick this morning.

We had expected more litter, having cancelled last April’s litter pick due to Covid.

Blooming Funding Secured

March 27, 2021

Thanks once again to our County Councillors, Peter & Stephen, for providing a grant from their Neighbourhood Budgets to continue planting up the tubs in the conservation area with bulbs and plants for spring and summer next year.

Here is a selection of photos showing some of the tubs in bloom this spring.

Derwent Valley Car Club Survey

March 8, 2021

The Derwent Valley Car Club is a community-based car club, set up by Blackhall Mill Community Association. The pay-as-you-go electric car club offers hourly and daily rates, with no mileage fees and full insurance cover. Thanks to funding from Innovate UK, they plan to install a double EV charge point in Shotley Bridge. The new EV charge point will be available for residents, the public and members of the Car Club.

They are seeking resident, visitor and business views on the location of the charge point, information on Electric Vehicles and potential demand for the car club. They have prepared a short survey which the Village Trust is helping to publicise.

If you are a local resident or regularly visit the village centre please spare 5 minutes to fill in the online survey, before 21 March.

Find out more about the Derwent Valley Car Club.

S B Hospital – updated clinical model

February 28, 2021

The County Durham CCG has proposed an updated clinical model for future services at Shotley Bridge Community Hospital.  

A programme of virtual engagement sessions has now been arranged throughout March. You can find details of these and an update about the project on their website where there is also a video presentation from NHS staff about what is included in the plans.

Go to the online survey to comment on the proposals.

Shotley Bridge Hospital Services

February 4, 2021

The County Durham CCG is planning the next round of public engagement on what services are to be provided at Shotley Bridge Hospital.   

In order to arrange an appropriate number of sessions, they are trying to understand the levels of interest in each of the following service areas:

  • Chemotherapy / Medical Investigations
  • Outpatients (including Therapies, Women’s services, Community care, primary care and Minor surgery)
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation beds
  • Urgent Care (including diagnostics)
  • Well-being services (including group spaces and opportunities for the voluntary sector)

If you are interested in participating in an online discussion about any of these topics follow this link to sign up for the event and say which sessions you wish to attend. [before Thursday 11th February.] 

They want to be able to make sure that participants are able to engage as fully as possible in the conversations in each of the sessions and therefore would hope to have groups that aren’t too large.

They will then get back in touch with you once they have confirmed the programme, which will likely take place throughout March.

Tubs planted

October 24, 2020

This morning two dozen volunteers from the Village Trust helped plant the village tubs with over 600 polyanthus, together with tulip, daffodil, crocus and grape hyacinth bulbs.

Thank you to our local councillors for providing the funding from their DCC neighbourhood budget and to Beveridge’s Nursery for supplying the plants.

We managed to do all the planting before the rain set in.

Fund raising with Amazon

October 10, 2020

The Village Trust has joined the AmazonSmile programme, so as to allow our members and supporters to donate whilst shopping online.

If you shop at Amazon you will now be able to raise additional funds for our charity, at no extra cost to you or the Trust.

Just follow this link next time you intend shopping at Amazon to set up your account in favour of donations to the Shotley Bridge Village Trust.

Stained Glass Windows

October 10, 2020

St Cuthbert’s Church on Church Bank is well known architecturally as a John Dobson masterpiece. But few know about its wonderful stained glass windows, that were a gift of donors to remember those who have worshipped at the church or lived and/or worked in the parish.

Paul Heatherington has recently published an illustrated guide about the windows. The booklet offers helpful explanations of the scriptural background and religious meaning of the various windows. It also provides information about some of the people in whose memory the windows were produced. If you wish to purchase a copy email him at  paul@heatherington.me 

Copies are also on sale for £5 at Cafe Shrub, in the Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre at Winlaton Mill.

Shotley Bridge sword makers novel

September 20, 2020

Helen Steadman’s third historical novel “The Running Wolf”, about the Shotley Bridge sword makers, is being  published on 10 November, this year.

Although her book is a work of fiction, it is based on many years of research.

Her research findings, including a review of the existing literature and a comprehensive list of books, articles and archive documents read, are on her website.


Thread of Iron book launch

September 11, 2020
Douglas Vernon, who was a founder member of the Village Trust and its first chairman, published ‘Thread of Iron’ in 2003.
For anybody interested in the industrial history of the Derwent Valley this book is a must. Written in two parts; the first focuses on the history of Shotley Bridge where the famous Sword makers were based. The second part details the history of the Consett Iron Company, from formation until closure in 1980.
The book, which has been out of print for many years, has now been reprinted by the Land of Oak & Iron Trust. To mark the occasion a virtual launch event is being held tomorrow afternoon, via YouTube. Log-in now for a seat at the Premiere.
Find out more about the launch event and where to purchase the book at the Land of Oak & Iron Trust.
This event has been arranged in association with the History of Consett Steelworks Project group who are staging a week long series of activities to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the closure of the works.