‘A definite township’
In the mid 1970’s a local historian named George Unsworth Hall published ‘Willington Quay: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection.’ Situated next to the River Tyne near Wallsend, Willington Quay has seen its fair share of change over the years: from the boom times of the shipbuilding era to the economic devastation when the industry declined. As part of a plan to revitalise the wider area in the early 1970’s, Willington Quay was earmarked to be abandoned and demolished so that, “the area should become completely industrialised”.
Today, Willington Quay is in the process of being transformed once again. Former industrial sites are being levelled to make the area a more attractive place to live and make space for new housing and apartment developments. As a local resisdent myself, I am acutely aware of these ongoing transformations and what might be lost or forgotten in the process of renewal.
Using quotations sourced from Unsworth Hall’s historical account as a way to give voice to past stories and understandings, ‘A definite township’ documents Willington Quay as it stands today. In so doing, the work attempts to update our collective understanding of the place that I, like many, still call home.