Glimpse history through old images of Walker, on Tyneside, with some views of nearby Walkergate too.
Walker is a residential suburb to the east of Newcastle Upon Tyne’s city centre. Once a busy hub of industry, the loss of the ship-building industry has had a dramatic impact on the everyday lives of local residents.
Old Picture of Scrogg Road c.1860
This picture was drawn sometime around 1860, and shows people walking through deserted lanes towards rural cottages, surrounded by trees.
Old Photo of Wincomblee Village 1898
By 1898, there’s not a tree in sight in nearby Wincomblee Village. The whole landscape is industrial, with high chimneys rising into the sky.
Laying a Cruiser’s Keel 1934
In 1934, a cruiser’s keel was laid in a formal ceremony at the Walker Naval Yard.
This involved speeches and a formal laying of the keel, so the men at the shipyard could begin work on the new cruiser.
British Pathé on YouTube: “WORK FOR 2,000 – Cruiser’s keel laid at Walker Naval Yard, Newcastle.”
HMS Newcastle Launched 1936
The launching of HMS Newcastle by the Duchess of Newcastle on a windy day in 1936 included a choir and lot of dignitaries.
British Pathé on YouTube: “HMS Newcastle Launched. Duchess of Newcastle names new Cruiser at Walker-on-Tyne”.
Two Destroyers Launched 1937
World War II was just a couple of years away as the Walker shipyards launched two naval destoyers, the ‘Eskimo’ and ‘Mashona’.
Lady Meade-Featherstonehaugh, the wife of Admiral Sir Herbert Meade-Featherstonehaugh, performed the naming ceremony as the ships launched.
Twin Destroyers Launched At Walker-On-Tyne (1937) – British Pathé on YouTube
Nazi Map of Walker 1941
This picture is an extract of a German series of maps made in 1941.
You can see Walker marked. Are the orange circles the shipyards?
I’ve added the German key of the purple symbols to the image too.
Militärgeographische Einzelangaben über England : militärgeographische Objektkarten mit Objektbildern, held in the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division
Old Walker Pubs
This video showcases old photos of pubs in the east end of Newcastle, around Walker and Byker.
Old Newcastle East End Pubs – Byker Scotty on YouTube
A Song for Walker
Dedicated to the memory of Neil Laidler, this is a folky song by James De Le North, inspired by his experiences and memories of growing up in Walker in the 1970s.
The images include the Railway pub in Walkerville, which borders Walker, because James’s grandad was the pub manager.
‘Walker’ by James De Le North – James De Le North. on YouTube
Kids Kabin 2008
The young people attending the Kids Kabin after school sessions in 2008 made this film to show some of the activites they enjoyed there.
Kids Kabin – GarryNE4 on YouTube
Adelphi Place 2010
This is a 2010 film clip recorded on a flip video camcorder.
Adelphi Place, Walker, Newcastle Upon Tyne (2010) – Propertyfindersne. on YouTube
Walkergate School Snow 2011
The winter of 2010/2011 was a suprisingly hard one, after many years of mild winter seasons.
Snow first appeared at the end of November 2010, and just kept coming back.
Here’s the snow filmed outside Walkergate School in January 2011.
Winter Outside Walkergate School (2011) – MrPandadick on YouTube
Walker Industrial Estate 2011
A quick look at the Walker Industrial Estate businesses and roads in 2011.
Walker Riverside Industrial Estate – Tim Catterall on YouTube
Walker Images 2012
In 2012, photos in around Walker were set to extracts of the poem ‘Geordie’, read by the poem’s author Tom Kelly.
GEORDIE – CharlesHedley on YouTube
Abandoned Walkergate Hospital 2013
Walkergate hospital closed in 2011, having served the east of Newcastle upon Tyne for 130 years. Many of the NHS services provided there were transferred to new premises at Walkergate Park Centre and the Benfield Park Healthcare and Diagnostic Centre.
This video was made walking through the abadoned hospital in 2013.
In 2019, 8 years after Walkergate Hospital closed, the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust submitted a planning application to build 72 homes on the derelict site.
Walkergate Hospital – Sarah Jane Owen on YouTube
Impact of Redevelopment
Large scale redevelopment projects always have an impact on local residents, especially those who feel uprooted and powerless over their fate.
This video looks at the rehousing of residents at Pottery Bank, in particular the late naval veteran Archibold Bell Carr, who wanted to stay in the home he’d brought his family up in.
Breaking the heart of Walker – Rhonda Quigley on YouTube
Walker Park 2014
A quick look at Walker Park on a winter’s day in 2014.
Walker Park, Newcastle upon Tyne (2014) – SMHD on YouTube
Walkergate Metro Station 2015
This short clip of the Walkergate metro station in 2015 includes Metrocars 4054 and 4075.
Tyne and Wear Metro-Metrocars 4054 and 4075 at Walkergate – CoachAlex1996 (AlexMetroman) on YouTube
Demolition Of St. Anthony’s House 2017
The tower block of flats called St. Anthony’s House was demolished in June 2017.
St. Anthony’s House – Chris Tweedy on YouTube