Sacriston


Sacriston is a village and civil parish in County Durham, England, situated north of the city of Durham.

Although the area has been populated since the Bronze Age, the first recorded settlement dated back to the 13th century to Sacristan's Heugh. According to old maps it was once known as "Segerston Heugh" and is now known to local people as "Segga". This farm and manor house was once the residence of the Sacristan, a monk who held the Office of the Sacristan of the monastery at Durham Cathedral. The Sacristan was responsible for providing everything necessary for the services of the Cathedral: bread and wine, the vestments etc. He was also responsible for repairs to Durham Cathedral. The funds for carrying out the official duties were generated from the estate of Sacristan's Heugh which was finally demolished shortly after World War II.

Mining History

Sacriston Colliery shaft was sunk in 1838 and by the 1890s the pit employed 600 men, producing 1,000 tons of coal a day.

Disaster of 1903

On Monday 16 November 1903, water flooded into the 3rd West district of the 'Busty' Seam. The inrush killed two miners: John Whittaker (25) and Thomas McCormick (52). McCormick family tradition (source Harry McCormick) is that Thomas McCormick's son Gregory had to be restrained from rushing into the flood. When the workings were pumped out another man, Robert Richardson was found on Friday standing on his coal tub having been stranded in the dark, surrounded by dirty flood water for 92 hours.

"The inquest was opened by Mr. Coroner Graham on the 20th November and adjourned till the 9th December when evidence was taken, and the jury returned a verdict that the two men were accidentally drowned, and that, owing to the peculiar circumstances, no blame attached to the management." The Royal Humane Society awarded their silver medal to six mine officials. The enquiry lasted just five hours. See the Durham County Advertiser news report.

There is a photograph of a contemporary souvenir at https://www.flickr.com/photos/greg_mccormick/8818617256/

Durham Mining Museum has further information, for instance at http://www.dmm.org.uk/individ1/i11353.htm

Miners themselves have not all been convinced that the management was innocent or that the medals were appropriate. There have been suggestions that cover-ups were commonplace.

Decades later workers stumbled on the skeleton of one of the pit ponies that died during the accident and a full tub of coal that still bore a miners token (miners were on piece work). The miner then received his back pay.

Disaster of 1941

On 4 December 1941, a fall of stone on one of the work areas killed 5 miners they were:

::::Joseph Welsh, 46

::::George W. Scott, 39

::::William Richardson, 50

::::William Smith, 40

::::John William Britton, 47

Decline and eradication of mining

As a result of the exhaustion of thick coal seams, only 1,500 tons of best quality coal was being produced a week in 1979. The last coal production was on 15 November 1985 and the colliery closed on 28 December 1985. As in many mining areas, the loss of the 'pit' led to significant unemployment and related social problems. Sacriston narrowly avoided D classification in 1985 due to social deprivation and general poor quality of housing. Little evidence of the mining operations now remains, with the area around the former coal mine having been landscaped and turned into woodland. A few mining-related buildings do survive, the largest of which is now used as a depot for the local authority's refuse vehicles, while the foundations of demolished mine buildings can be seen in places in the new woodland. Sacriston Wood is now a local nature reserve.

Governance

An electoral ward in the same name exists. The total population of this ward taken at the 2011 census was 6,613.

Life in Sacriston today

More than 25 years after the closure of its last coal mine, the village retains a strong sense of community. Recently, a new community centre has opened, and the village has started to shake off its coal mining past. The village has a Travel Agent and a Post Office along with a large number of shops for a village of its size, including a Tesco Express, two other mini-marts, a greengrocer, newsagent, barbershop, off-licence many takeaway shops and others.

There are also a couple of social clubs and similar organisations including Sacriston Working Mens Club and a Roman Catholic social club, cricket club and one remaining public house, 'The Shoes'. The other pubs, 'The Village Inn', 'The Daisy Hill', 'The George and Dragon' and 'The Robin Hood', are now closed.

Education

The village has three schools, one of which is a Roman Catholic primary school, Sacriston Academy and Fyndoune Community College, a secondary school.

Sacriston Primary School

Sacriston Primary School opened on 1 September 2014 when, after a public consultation, the junior school closed and the infant school extended their age range and changed their name to Sacriston Primary School.

The junior school was a school that has been quoted by Ofsted as having "a well deserved reputation for being inclusive, friendly and welcoming....The school excels in the personal development of its pupils and the high quality of care, guidance and support it provides."

Public Services

A new health centre, which includes a dental practice as well as a GP surgery, was officially opened by Sir Bobby Robson in 2008. This facility was constructed on the site of the village's former swimming baths, which closed in the 1990s.

In July 2009 the Northern Integrative Health Practice (NIHP Sacriston Practice) opened in the vacated GP surgery building on Sacriston Crossroads. Offering services that complement traditional healthcare, the newly renovated building will also include an out-patients centre for Sunderland Eye Infirmary from January 2010.

Notable people

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 05/07/2018).
Visit the page: Sacriston for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.
from Beamish (flickr)
Beamish at 40 - Pip the Pit Pony's last shift, Sacriston Colliery

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Beamish (flickr)
Beamish at 40 - Pip the Pit Pony's last shift

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Front Street, Sacriston (B6532)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
miners' homes Sacriston

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from http://www.dmm.org.uk/colli...
Sacriston Colliery
- 1839 - 1985

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
The Salvation Army Citadel, Sacriston

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
The Crossroads, Sacriston

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
The Shoes, Sacriston

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from http://parishes.durham.gov....
Sacriston Parish Council
- "The area has been populated since the Bronze age with the first recorded settlement dated back to the 13th Century to Sacristan's Heugh. According to old maps it was ...

Added by
Simon Cotterill
Witton Gilbert
  Co-Curate Page
Witton Gilbert
from Flickr (flickr)
Sacriston Memorial001.jpg

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Sacriston Lodge Miners Banner

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Sacriston Lodge Miners Banner

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Sacriston003.jpg

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Sacriston002.jpg

Pinned by Peter Smith
from Flickr (flickr)
Sacriston001.jpg

Pinned by Peter Smith
Bobby Robson (1933-2009)
  Co-Curate Page
Bobby Robson (1933-2009)
- Overview About Bobby Robson Sir Bobby Robson was a famous footballer and manager. Robert William Robson was born on the 18th February 1933 in Sacriston, County Durham. He played football ...
from IllustratedChronicles (flickr)
J Campbell - 8th DLI - Sacriston (Killed)

Pinned by Simon Cotterill

Comments

Add a comment or share a memory.

Login to add a comment. Sign-up if you don't already have an account.

ABOUT US

Co-Curate is a project which brings together online collections, museums, universities, schools and community groups to make and re-make stories and images from North East England and Cumbria. Co-Curate is a trans-disciplinary project that will open up 'official' museum and 'un-officia'l co-created community-based collections and archives through innovative collaborative approaches using social media and open archives/data.

LATEST SHARED RESOURCES