The Burradon and Camperdown Forum
The Forum is a residents' group working on various projects to improve community life. Meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month in the Camperdown Social Club, T.H. Carr Lounge, 7.00pm. You are welcome to attend...
The Burradon & Camperdown Forum Origins
The closure of Burradon Colliery in November 1975 was the catalyst for change and altered the community forever. Many of the traditional mining families left the village in pursuit of employment whether it was a transfer to a different mine or a completely different occupation. We were no longer a mining community and the bonds which held the people together began to loosen and the complexion and character of the village changed completely during the subsequent years.
The miners and their families had been the lifeblood of the village with enduring friendships and kinship, strong traditional moral values and their commitment to preserving its unique culture and way of life. Miners had subsidised the social activities in the village for generations with the institute, the welfare, dances, village trips and Christmas parties for the children. Remember George Allan's picture shows at Burradon Club? The miners also built the school, the church, the social club and the nurses' cottage.
Following the closure of the colliery the public amenities were transferred to North Tyneside Council. The institute was closed immediately and the welfare began its long and undignified decline.
The closure of the colliery coincided with Longbenton Parish Council being replaced by North Tyneside Council ("The Council") in 1974. As previously mentioned, traditional village families began moving away and unfortunately they were being replaced with tenants from other areas in North Tyneside and surrounding districts. Many of the people moving into the village did not appear to appreciate or understand the traditions or customs of a colliery village. The Council also began deliberately placing problem anti-social families into the village which had a devastating affect on the community.
The Council failed to maintain investment into the village's infrastructure and services which hastened the physical decline of the village. The village's fortunes declined to such an extent that the residents organised a public meeting which was held on 11 September 1997. In excess of 200 residents attended the meeting which was chaired by the Rt Hon Stephen Byers MP. The proceedings were extremely volatile and the local councillors and officials from North Tyneside Council were reprimanded by the residents who were incensed at the decline of the village.
Stephen Byers suggested the residents organise a committee to hold regular meetings with the council officials to address the issues and concerns of the community, and as a consequence the Burradon & Camperdown Forum ("The Forum") was formed.
The Forum's Objectives
1. Reverse the 20 years of decline and restore residents pride in the village
2. The refurbishment of Council properties
3. Reduce crime in the village
4. Regular street cleaning to remove the litter
5. Facilities for the children
6. Refurbishment of The Co-Op building and Yankee Annie's Properties
7. The redevelopment of the derelict land at Fryers Terrace and Weetslade Tce.
The residents decided that it would be necessary to organise regular meetings to discuss the issues which affected the village and agree solutions to the problems. We were extremely fortunate that the Council appointed Mr Steve Davison, Senior Manager, Environment Dept to advise the residents and his advice was to prove invaluable in the pursuit and successful achievement of our objectives. Meetings have been held on a monthly basis since September 1997 to discuss topics which were affecting the residents.
It was also decided that the campaign required a series of projects to generate a momentum to maintain the support of the residents...It was decided that the focus of the campaign would involve completing the following projects:
1. A memorial for Burradon Colliery.
2. The Restoration of The Scroll to the memory of the victims of the 1860 mining disaster.
3. The redevelopment of Fryers Terrace to create a village green.
The Forum's Achievements
The transformation of the village should not be regarded as the sole achievement of the Forum, although the members have been the engine for change which has driven the campaign. The achievements have been a community effort. The Forum has received the unequivocal support of the residents and local businesses, whether it was attending public meetings, donations for the summer and Christmas Fayres, buying raffle tickets or supporting organised events.
The Forum developed important strategic partnerships with a range of agencies. We have worked in close partnership with officers of North Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police.
The effort and commitment of Mr Gilfillan, teachers, governors and pupils of Burradon Primary School, has secured funding of £3.5m to construct a state of the art school with modern facilities to teach our children. The school not only secures the future of our children's education, the new facilities also secures the future of our village. Burradon Primary School was ranked 9th within The Local Education Authority Area following the recent National Curriculum Tests. The provision of the new facility will hopefully enable the school to consolidate its position as the highest ranked school in the North West of the borough.
Stephen Byers has worked tirelessly on behalf of the community and has always been available to advise the Forum and he has pursued important issues on behalf of the residents. Without Stephen Byers' support the community would not have achieved many of our objectives which include the following:-
1. Investment of £3.5m to build a new school and community centre.
2. Traffic lights, road safety and traffic calming measures.
3. The restoration of The Scroll.
4. A nature garden for Burradon Primary School.
5. The redevelopment of Fryers Terrace to create a village green
6. Investment of £7,500 to develop Burradon Pond.
7. The Pit Wheel Memorial.
8. The refurbishment of The War Memorial Cottage.
9. The development of the land at Weetslade Terrace
10. The provision of raised flower beds and hanging baskets
11. New signage in the village
12. Reduced crime in partnership with Northumbria Police and North Tyneside Council
13. Summer Carnivals and Christmas Fayres
14. Childrens Pantomimes
The Forum will in the near future embark on a series of new projects which will include:
1. The Restoration of the Burradon Colliery Miners Banner
2. A memorial denoting the names of the casualties of World War II and the men who died at Burradon Colliery
3. Village website on the Internet
4. A range of environmental and conservation projects
5. Art and cultural projects
6. Dedicated youth facility