Old Images of Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Chester-le-Street old photos local history archive film

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Chester-le-Street in County Durham, North East England, UK.

Chester-le-Street is one of County Durham’s oldest markets towns and is famous for the Shrove Tuesday football match, which probably had its origins in medieval times.

This was the resting place of St Cuthbert for more than a century and was later home to a thriving coal industry, but today the town is best known for its cricket club.

Old Postcard of Shrove Tuesday

The old postcard shows huge crowds packed into the town’s centre on a Shrove Tuesday. Notice the boards across all the shop windows, protecting them from the very rough game of football that took place in these streets each year.

Old Photos of Chester-le-Street

Colin Carr spent a lot of time collating old photographs of the town and creating videos from them. The titles available on YouTube, free to view, include:

Chester-le-Street: The Way It Used To Be

Chester-le-Street Part 2

Old Chester-le-Street

We Love Chester-le-Street

Chester-le-Street Back Then

Floods in Chester-le-Street

“Looking back at the floods in Chester le Street. Hopefully they are a thing of the past with the new work going on. Which will be finished early 2020.”

Colin Carr

In The 1920s

Lent Football In Chester-le-Street (1925)

In 1925 British Pathé recorded the historic football game which celebrated the advent of Lent. 

In this vintage film we see the Red Lion Inn, Taylors Chemists, and lots of eager participants trying to get their hands on the ball.

Lent Football In Chester-le-Street (1927)

In 1927 British Pathé was back again for the football game.

“All through the town. Advent of Lent celebrated with Centuries-old Shrovetide Football Game. The tradespeople take no risk.” 

The archive film opens with shopkeepers boarding up their shop windows with wooden batons. A good indication of how rough this game gets!

Next, the street is crowded with people. Suddenly, there’s a charge forward.

Now young men in winter coats and jackets run alongside a stream. They ‘re all chasing a ball. It goes to and fro, in the mass free for all.

Crowds of spectators watch from the river sides and the bridge.

“Note : Winter madness as chaps mess about in freezing water chasing a ball!”

The 1960s & 1970s

Chester-le-Street Bus Depot, 1966

A familiar local landmark back in 1966.

Bygone Chester-le-Street

Scenes from Chester le Street in the 20th century, possibly the late 1960s.

Chester le Street Past

This is a slide show of old photos showing the town back in the 1960s and 1970s.

Local Children In the 1980s

Clarence Terrace Nursery, 1985 

A home video from Clarence Terrace Nursery in 1985, showing a group of children enjoying their day.

Local Buses In the 1990s

YouTube channel DaveSpencer32 uploads clips of DVDs for sale. These two local clips from the 1990s can be viewed for free:



Into the 21st Century

Galleries Washington to Chester-le-Street, 2010

The route for Bus 50 from the Galleries Washington to Chester-le-street actually took just over 13 minutes, but has been slightly sped up to 10 minutes. Recorded in April 2010.

Chester-le-Street Railway Station, 2011

A short film showing the railway station on 6th January 2011.

Chester-le-Street Regatta, 2011

Recording of the Regatta held on Saturday 16th April 2011 at Riverside Park.

Chester-le-Street Xarxa Teatra, 2011

On 14th July 2011 the Xarxa Teatre event was filmed in Chester-le-Street, Co.Durham, in conjunction with Brass 2011 and the Chester-le-Street Area Action Partnership. The event also featured Las Calle Es Nuestra and Les Trains Savates.

The Post Office Directory of Durham and Northumberland

by Kelly and Company

Published in 1879

More about County Durham

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Thanks to Andy03 on Pixabay for the image shown at the top of this page.

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