Washington Way - Issue 08

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THE TRUSTED VOICE OF WASHINGTON

BUSINESS AS USUAL

(ALMOST)

WASHINGTON'S FREE LOCAL MAGAZINE ISSUE 08 | APRIL 2021

IS LIFE FINALLY STARTING TO RETURN TO NORMAL?

BIRDBOX BONANZA SOUNDS OF THE 70s CHARITY DRIVE BOOSTS WILDLIFE IN THE VILLAGE

ALSO INSIDE

REMEMBERING THE EATING IN, PLAYING CUTTING-EDGE RCA OUT, NEWS, RECORD PLANT FEATURES & MORE

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K U . O C . Y A NW ton

g O n i T h G s a N I W f H o WAStrusted voice The

LOCAL STORIES FROM LOCAL PEOPLE

• NEWS • WHAT'S ON • EVENTS • EATS • TRAVEL • LIFESTYLE • SPORT • COMMUNITY • BUSINESS


Welcome

CONTENTS 04

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News

What’s going on, who’s doing what, where, when and how – all the latest community news from around the town.

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Back in Business

The town’s businesses, shops, pubs, wildlife centres and hairdressers can’t wait to get going again as they finally reopen their doors.

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Readers’ letters

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Trolleys, masks, food vans and tatty posters... what’s got Washington people animated this month?

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Remembering the RCA

Whatever happened to Washington’s first major factory?

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Why it’s vital everyone embraces the blue bins and how you can do your bit to keep our town clean...

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New Vic on the block

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Harry Chalmers catches up with the new man at the helm of the church on the hill.

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Eating In

We tuck into a taste of Lebanon right here in the centre of Washington.

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WELCOME

T’s been a long time coming, but finally - yes finally - it seems as if our town is back on the road to normality this month. From April 12, non-essential shops, pubs, cafes and gyms are among the businesses which can swing open their doors. Needless to say we’re all very excited for it. As we went to press, three days before the reopening date, everything looked on course to open up. However, we all know how quickly things can change in this climate, so we’re hoping everything is still going to plan as our mag drops through your letterbox. With all this in mind, we take a look at some of the local businesses gearing up for grand reopenings and learn a bit more about what changes they’ve had to make to meet the strict government guidelines. Also in this edition, we take a closer look at the importance of recycling, meet Holy Trinity’s new Reverend and check out what else is going on around town. We also turn back the clock to the early 1970s as we remember the day Elvis saved 300 jobs at Washington’s RCA record press and chat to three ladies who were there to see it. Hope you enjoy this edition and remember: support your local businesses!

-Zoë Burn, Editor

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What’s On

Groups, clubs and more - check out just some of the many activities around town.

GET IN TOUCH

» Send us your news to news@washingtonway.co.uk » To advertise with us, email kevin@washingtonway.co.uk or call 07879 915 208 » To be included in our What’s On section, send information to listings@washingtonway.co.uk » To contact the editor, please email zoe@washingtonway.co.uk

40 Editor: Zoë Burn Managing Editor: Aaron League Advertising Manager: Kevin McCauley Community Editor: Angela Burn Community Reporter: Harry Chalmers Publisher: Clubhouse Media Group Cover image: Clubhouse Media Group Printers: Acorn Web Offset

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NEWS

Words: Angela Burn, Zoë Burn, Harry Chalmers, Aaron League Images: Angela Burn, Clubhouse Media Group, Nissan, Pet Blood Bank UK, Joan Atkinson

LOCALS UP IN ARMS AS PIT WHEEL SET TO BE MOVED WASHINGTON residents have been rocked after receiving confirmation that Albany’s iconic pit wheel is to be returned to Silksworth. The historic piece of mining heritage, which stands in the village centre, was originally used at Silksworth Pit in Sunderland from 1868 to 1971, after which it was moved to Washington. Coun Phil Tye, chair of the Silksworth Residents Association, launched a campaign back in 2018 to take the wheel back to its home, south of the River Wear. And following a Sunderland City Council meeting late last month, a budgetary chunk of £17,500 was approved towards the cost of relocation. But the news comes as a blow to a number of locals and business owners, including The Wheelhouse Inn’s Joanne Wood, who renamed her Albany pub from its former guise as The Duke of Albany to The Wheelhouse in large part thanks to area heritage. Not only is it her business’ namesake, but Ms Wood also believes it’s a reminder of what Washington was built on. “It’s such an important part of the local

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heritage,” she told Washington Way. “A lot of local people’s families worked in the mines and when they see that, it probably makes them think of their families and the history in it. “My granddad used to work down in the pits, and he was always proud of stuff like that. So it’s a big shame it’s getting moved. “The other thing I have to think is do I have to rename the pub now? It became the Wheelhouse because of the mining heritage here, and the fact the F-Pit isn’t five minutes’ walk away. Washington was known for being a pit village, so it’s a big part of the history. “I always wanted a name that was linked to what was around us and I knew the wheel had been in Albany village centre a long time – I wanted a name that meant something to people. And when you think of that wheel, you think of Albany. “It’s been here that long, I don’t think it should be moved. And from what I can gather by talking to others, a lot of people are upset at the amount of money that’s being spent on moving it.”

Frank Stennett, who has lived just a short walk from Albany village centre for more than 40 years, told Washington Way he is also miffed by the idea of not seeing the iconic wheel on his daily stroll. “I don’t understand why now, after 50 years or what have you, they’ve suddenly decided they want it back,” he said. “Fair enough if it originally came from Silksworth, but it’s typical of Sunderland isn’t it - deciding they want something after not bothering for ages. “We used to have a chip shop here called the Big Wheel Chippy and the Duke became the Wheelhouse a couple years ago, which is fitting I think. “It’s part of Albany…Washington is a new town and things like this are just taking away part of what makes us Washington. “Never mind the amount they’re spending on it...my grandson owns a recycling business, they’ll take it away for much less than 17 grand...” Another former mining wheel is set to be donated by the nearby F Pit Museum to serve as a replacement which will stand in the village centre.

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


News

MORE FLATS APPROVED AS PARSONS HOUSE CONVERSION BEGINS PARSONS House in Washington will now be home to even more flats after updated proposals to bolster accommodation were approved. Work is already underway at the former office block, which was originally set to be scrapped as a business centre and converted to 32 flats as plans were lodged last year, including eight flats per level from the first to fourth floors. But earlier this year, applicant JT Consultancy Limited updated the proposal to include the conversion of the ground floor as well, including an extra eight flats to bring the total to 40. After assessment across the past seven

weeks, a decision arrived late last month from Sunderland City Council formally approving the plans. The statement said: “The proposed use of the building for 40 apartments does not pose any significant detrimental risk in respect of transport and highways impacts, land contamination, flooding or noise, or the provision of adequate natural light into the habitable rooms.” With no word yet as to who the flats will be available to and rumours abound regarding specific usage, Washington Way contacted JT Consultancy Ltd but a representative could not be reached for comment.

DONORS BOOST BAT BOX SCHEME specifications which can prove costly, WASHINGTON’S bat population could with the average box costing almost £50. soon be on the increase, thanks to a But after reading our article, five group of conservationists - and kindreaders contacted the volunteers and hearted Washington Way readers. Late last year, the Steve Miller is seen here after town’s only dedicated fitting a large nesting box left news publication by an anonymous donor. reported how the churchyard at Holy Trinity in Washington Village had been given a complete overhaul and transformed by volunteers, with the surrounding area turned into a natural wildlife spot. The group was aiming to eventually raise enough money to buy bat boxes for the trees. Bats already inhabit land near Washington Old Hall and the volunteers were hoping to encourage more into the village by supplying boxes for them to roost. Bat homes must be made to certain

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now six bat homes have been donated to the project. “We were absolutely amazed, we had no idea that people would help our community in this way,” said volunteer Mary Evans. “One person just left one at the cafe on the green, they didn’t give their name, they just wanted to donate anonymously. “We can’t thank these lovely people enough, their generosity will enhance the wildlife habitat of the area for everyone” Conservationist Steve Miller, who installed the boxes, explained that bat nests have to satisfy certain criteria. “They need to be four metres high, face a certain direction, and have direct access without branches concealing them,” he said. “Ours are all near a high wall which will enable the creatures to locate them easily using their sonar.”

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MAJORITY CONSIDER EV SWITCH, SAYS NISSAN A STUNNING 70 per cent of drivers across Europe would consider an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car, a survey has revealed. Commissioned by Washingtonbased Nissan, the pan-European survey is the Japanese automaker’s most comprehensive investigation into the driving habits and charging experience

of EV drivers to date. Designed to uncover what motivates or prevents drivers to switch to electric mobility, the firm surveyed 7,000 motorists across the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the Nordics, split evenly between EV and combustion-engined motorists. When asked if they would consider

Neil Swanson switched to electric power a few years ago and hasn’t looked back...

buying an electric vehicle as their next car, nearly three quarters of drivers surveyed say they would. And perhaps surprisingly to some, the most popular reason for drivers considering the change is the environmental benefits offered by a zero-emissions vehicle, as nearly half the respondents confirmed. “With this new research, we’re seeing first-hand that European drivers are embracing electrification,” said Arnaud Charpentier, Nissan’s European Region VP for Product Strategy and Pricing. “Just as they are continuing to explore what electric vehicles have to offer, we are committed to showing them the vast benefits of electric mobility and how easy actually it is to make the switch.” Nearly 90 per cent of drivers asked in the study believed they made the correct decision to switch to electric power and while almost 60 per cent of combustion-engine motorists say they are still not considering an EV due to worries about low range, 70 per cent of those who have already made the switch say the range is better than they expected prior to purchase.

FENCES TO KEEP PITCH PERFECT WASHINGTON’S Northern Area Playing Fields are set to be protected with a 2.34m tall fence after Sunderland City Council approved plans last month. The pitches, home to Washington AFC, have been the target of a number of incidents of vandalism over the past six months, with fundraising still underway to help cover the costs of the fencing. “This is the good news that we have all been waiting for,” club boss Gary Sykes said. “The application for the fencing of our nine and 11-a-side pitches has been approved, which is positive news for everyone associated with the club to protect our football fields for the long term. “We need to thank everyone that has donated so far and to three local businesses: Biffa, Co-Op (Concord) and Family Shopper Columbia.” In the planning proposal earlier this year, club chairman Mark Gibbon

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requested permission for a high V-Mesh fence as well as four pedestrian gates and one vehicle gate to be built in order to ‘deter criminal damage from cars’, among other things. The application also stated that only trees currently stand in the way of the road and the pitches, ‘with gaps big enough to get cars through which are causing damage’. Dog fouling was also stated to be an

ongoing issue, along with damage caused by the travelling community which has left a ‘significant mess on a number of occasions’. New access paths will also be required from the existing, and unaffected, car park to the perimeter fence gates. While the new measures will prevent public access during off-hours, the fields will be open during matches and training sessions.

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


News

DOGGY BLOOD DRIVE TO HIT WASHINGTON THIS MONTH

Members of the Pet Blood Bank UK team looking after a patient during a donation.

YOUR beloved pooch could become a lifesaving blood donor this month as Pet Blood Bank UK hits Washington for the very first time. The charity, which provides a canine blood bank service for all veterinary practitioners across Britain, is calling for the town’s dogs to come forward when the donation brigade comes to Vets4Pets in Concord on Sunday, April 18. For those who may miss the date, fear not as the group plans to visit Washington every two to three months going forward. Even if you’ve missed this one, owners are encouraged to register their dogs for future donations. Pet Blood Bank is almost exactly like its human counterpart, but for our fourlegged friends instead. The group collect blood donations from donor dogs across the UK which then go towards helping to

save the lives of other dogs in need. Every donation given can help to save the lives of up to four other dogs. Canines in Washington – as well as all across the UK – have access to this lifesaving supply. Vets4Pets Washington is running its first donor session this month and urgently needs large, confident, and happy dogs to come forward and help. To become a donor, your dog must weigh more than 25kg, be between the ages of one and eight-year-old and be fit and healthy. It is important that they are confident and enjoy meeting new people as the dogs will go into their appointment alone while owners wait outside in order to minimise risk during the pandemic. The donation itself only takes five to 10 minutes, but owners should expect their dogs to be with the team for around 35-40 minutes. Dogs receive a full health

check from the Pet Blood Bank vet before donating and get showered with treats, fuss, and attention throughout their appointment, and even get a goody bag and toy to take home. “We are so excited to launch our very first dog blood donation session in Washington,” said Nicole Osborne of Pet Blood Bank UK. “We are looking forward to meeting lots of new donors and really getting the local community behind our mission to help save the lives of dogs across the country. We would love to hear from anyone interested in finding out more or coming along to our session at Vets4Pets Washington.” If you are interested in finding out more and registering your dog as a donor, visit www.petbloodbankuk.org or call the charity directly on 01509 232 222.

BACK TO FIGHTING FIT AS LEISURE CENTRE REOPENS WASHINGTON Leisure Centre was set to reopen this month as part of the government’s second step on the roadmap to easing restrictions. From April 12, the facility will once again welcome back the public following a three-month closure. The news follows the reopening of outdoor activity venues and the return of outdoor sport from March 29 when step

one of the roadmap was launched. While its 200 facilities across the country have been closed, Everyone Active – proprietor of Washington Leisure Centre – has provided a comprehensive package of online workouts and livestreamed classes across the web. But contract manager Ian Bradgate says it’s a big relief to be welcoming people back in person.

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“We’re very much looking forward to reopening our centres and welcoming back the local community,” he said. “After being closed for three months, the latest step in the Government’s roadmap is a positive move forward for the leisure industry and gives people of all ages the opportunity to resume activity and exercise in their leisure centre.”

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DOCS ADAPT TO HELP MORE PATIENTS WASHINGTON’s Primary Care Network (PCN) is continuing to support local residents as it looks to tackle the challenges of current conditions. While restrictions are set to gradually lift across the coming months, the PCN – formed by Concord Medical Practice, IJ Healthcare, New Washington Practice,

Rickleton Medical Practice, SGPA Practices (Galleries & Barmston), Galleries Medical Practice and Dr Stephenson and Partners – are still here for patients. “Our PCN has always had a very close working relationship amongst the practices but even more so since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,” a rep said. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have continued to be there for our patients and have had to adapt our ways of working through the introduction of telephone and video consultations including digital technology using E-consultations and text messaging. “One of our priorities is to develop further Neighbourhood working and we continue to establish new working relationships with the voluntary sector and charity organisations.” The PCN is now planning a pilot project working with local secondary schools.

BLACKSMITH SIGN RECOVERED VILLAGE in Bloom volunteers were in for a surprise after helping clear ivy from The Forge. The group uncovered an old metal sign reading ‘The Village Smithy’, dated 1956, thought to be from the local blacksmith. Thanks to Washington Metal Company, the restored sign now stands clear as a piece of history.

WORK BEGINS ON NEW ARMSTRONG DPD DEPOT

WORK is well underway to launch a brand new DPD parcel distribution centre on Armstrong Industrial Estate later this year. Just a stone’s throw from B&Q, on the site of the old RCA records factory (see pg 28), the delivery giant is currently laying the groundwork for a 63,206 sq ft unit, dubbed Velocity 194. Just weeks after the facility secured planning permission from Sunderland City Council, bosses of the joint venture between Buccleuch Properties and Argon Properties sent in the heavy equipment. The logistics warehouse, which was likely proposed due to a hike in online shopping demand over the past 12 months, is set to feature two-story offices and customer collection facilities.

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BOXING CLEVER Washington Village in Bloom is hoping to lift another national honour with its colourful new project… Words and Images: Angela Burn

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EATHERED friends are helping attract visitors to the town thanks to a recent project by Washington Village in Bloom volunteers. Colourful bird boxes depicting buildings and scenes from the Village began to pop up in February as part of an exclusive initiative with Britain in Bloom. In 2019, Washington Village not only scooped a gold award for the third time, it also took the coveted Best Village Trophy for the Northumbria region, giving it the chance to represent

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Northumbria in the 2020 Britain in Bloom finals. However, Covid restrictions scuppered the event and it will now be at least 2022 until Washington Village gets to battle it out in the finals. To keep the finalists busy, Britain in Bloom has teamed up with Royal Horticultural Society to replace this year’s competition with the RHS Community Awards, which will shine a light on the work the groups are continuing to do. As a finalist, Washington Village in

Bloom will represent the region in the national programme and chose to create the bird boxes for the scheme, as chairwoman Joan Atkinson explained. “This is a new project, and does not affect our eligibility for the national finals. We are working to make the village environmentally friendly in many different ways and came up with the idea of bird boxes as part of this RHS project. “We discovered that birds are attracted to colourful nesting sites, and the idea took off from there.”

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Community News

HOME HELP

Clockwise from left: (L-R) Barbara Lindsay, who created the bird boxes with her partner, alongside Marie Gallagher; a selection of the bird boxes adorning the village

“Volunteer Barbara Lindsay and her partner Jim offered to create sponsored nesting boxes for the businesses in the village, to raise funds and help our project at the same time. “They created a few eye-catching examples like models of the Cross Keys and local shops, which were put on display in the village, offering sponsorship to business and the general public.” Barbara admits she was thrilled when she was inundated with requests. “The response was amazing,” she said. “Everyone wanted one so we had to make more. My partner Jim is a joiner so he put them together and I painted them” Barbara’s own box is in the shape of a white feather, showing the words ‘Little

ENTERPRISING Village resident Marie Gallagher has helped boost the bird box fund by almost £400 after coming up with a bright idea. Marie, who lives at over-55s complex Whiteladies Close, discovered the scheme just in time to sponsor the last box for two of her great grandsons who love visiting the village. But inspired by models of the Village’s buildings, she came up with an idea. “I was lying in bed that night and thought if there had been a model of Whiteladies Close, I could have asked all the residents for a donation. “There are 50 properties and if everyone gave a pound it would help the fund a lot. I contacted Barbara the next day and they agreed to make one more, a replica model of our main building.” Aware that restrictions would make it difficult to approach neighbours, she designed a newsletter about the scheme and Whiteladies Close manager Sharyn Brown offered to print them, along with sponsor forms. Marie, who regularly delivers the Washington Way to all 50 addresses, dropped the leaflets off and borrowed the the model for a few days to display in the reception area, enabling residents to see it. The response was overwhelming - the £50 she’d hoped to raise soon became, £75, then £100, and kept on going, reaching a total of £370 in just a few days, which was then presented to Washington in Bloom’s Joan Atkinson. “It was a wonderful idea” said Joan, “We can’t thank Marie and the generous residents of Whiteladies Close enough for this fantastic sponsorship donation.” The bird box can be now spotted in a tree just beside Whiteladies Close.

Hearts Matter’, in memory of her nephew Benjamin David Smith who died tragically at the age of three days due to heart complications. “We installed the boxes the day before his birthday as I wanted it up for then,” she explained. “The next day we were having a coffee break while working and I glanced up at mine. I couldn’t believe it, there was a bird perched on it, it made me feel very emotional.” Currently, there are 43 boxes taking pride of place on trees across the village and plans are afoot to create a trail for children and community groups to enjoy. So far, the boxes have raised a total of £1,650. WW

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

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BUSINESS AS

USUAL (ALMOST)

After many months of waiting, businesses across Washington were poised to reopen their doors on April 12, and they can’t wait to welcome you…

Words: Zoë Burn Images: Angela Burn, Clubhouse Media Group

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T’S been the strangest start to a year we’ve ever known, but finally it seems life is returning to some kind of normality. As your Washington Way went to press, businesses across the town were making the final preparations ahead of the mass grand reopening on Monday, April 12. After a miserable first quarter, nonessential businesses are now able to open their doors once again, albeit with new limits and restrictions in place. It comes as part of the second stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, meaning pubs, shops and other businesses which had been forced to close can once again

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open to the public. Pubs, cafes and restaurants can now open for seated outdoor service, hairdressers and beauty salons are now able to welcome back customers and indoor leisure facilities like gyms and swimming pools are also back in business along with all non-essential retail. And for Washington business owners, it’s finally business as almost usual. But the ever-changing rules have hit the pubs hard. Last summer, they had to adapt for social distancing and take further precautions still as the months rolled on before the almost inevitable winter

lockdown hit, forcing yet another closure. Pubs with working kitchens have been able to offer takeaway food throughout, but for the rest it’s been a dark few months. GOING ALFRESCO With the go-ahead to open for outside service only, those which didn’t previously have beer gardens have had to adapt. Among these is The Wheelhouse in Albany. Thanks to investment from Camerons Brewery, landlady Joanne Wood now boasts a purpose-built, partcovered drinking area to welcome back customers.

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On the Cover

Clockwise from far left: The Wheelhouse’s Joanne Wood (right) and sister Rachel are set for a busy summer; posters like this help patrons understand the rules; Cafe K9, The Engine Room, Springwell Social Club and The Wheelhouse (bottom) have reconfigured for outdoor seating.

“It’s been such a strange time but to finally be able to open again is brilliant,” she said. “We’ve been on with it for a few weeks to get it ready and we’re really proud of it all. “We’ve installed tables, heaters and lights and we are able to seat 52 people. We’ve had to follow very strict guidelines so everything is perfect but it’s definitely going to be worth it.” For Joanne, a beer garden had always

"THERE'S NO ROOM FOR CUTTING CORNERS BUT IT'S WORTHWHILE IF IT'S GOING TO GET THE COMMUNITY BACK OUT MIXING AND HELPING LOCAL BUSINESSES." - Joanne Wood been part of the plan when she took over the pub in September 2019 but last year’s lockdowns put paid to those plans. “In February, once we’d heard about these new outdoor table service rules we spoke to the brewery and they said it was the perfect time to get it done. Matthew Stancliffe, our regional manager was brilliant and he really pushed things along quickly. “A guy called Dave Mulligan did all the work and the end product is just great,

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we all love it. To be honest, this place has needed it for a while so it’s all come together at the right time.” There has already been a huge interest from the local community and Joanne hopes this will continue. “We’re fully booked for the next few weeks so that’s really great. “We’ve done everything we can so now we just have to hope the weather is kind. It’s taken a lot of work and we’ve had to be very precise to get it right. 

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Clockwise from right: Helen Danks and Andy Jewar of the Hideaway Cafe; The Honest Boy’s Deborah Payne and crew; Washington Wetlands Centre staff are set to welcome visitors.

"THE SITE CRASHED THE DAY WE OPENED THE TICKETS BUT IT WAS GOOD NEWS FOR US...IT MEANT PEOPLE WERE REALLY KEEN TO COME BACK." - Gill Pipes  PLAYING BY THE RULES “The rules are quite strict and there’s no room for cutting corners but it’s worthwhile if it’s going to help get the community back out mixing and helping local businesses. A beer garden may have always been part of The Wheelhouse’s plans, but for other venues it hasn’t been quite so simple. Thanks to the predominantly 1970s design of the town, some of these village pubs were built in mainly concrete areas without any outdoor space because it was never needed. Yet Deborah Payne at the Honest Boy in Blackfell, is proof that with some imagination, it can be done.

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Deborah has recently taken over the tenancy of the 1970s pub after successfully turning around the Ox & Plough in Oxclose, which became one of Washington’s most popular venues last summer thanks to its large beer garden and live music. She now hopes to work her magic in the neighbouring village and has started by giving the pub a bit of a makeover with new signage and painting – along with an outdoor seating area. “A lot of people got a bit of a shock when we took delivery of a load of picnic tables because I don’t think the village has ever had anything like this before,” she revealed. “The plan is to give the pub a total

overhaul. Admiral Taverns is going to totally renovate the inside next year but for now we’ve been revamping the outside to make it a bit more approachable – and allow us to open.” PLANNING PERMISSION Deborah is now utilising the land just outside the pub as a makeshift beer garden. “The council has let us use the land as a temporary measure but we have put in for full planning permission. When the tables arrived we had them lined up beside the building and people were really excited to see what we were doing. “We had people walking past asking us about it and saying how great it was to see this happening to their local pub, which most of them have told us they haven’t been in for years. “I don’t think it’s had a makeover for 17 years so we’re doing what we can to cheer it up. We’re due some new

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


On the Cover

canopies in the next week and hopefully we can create a nice little beer garden. “I hope with the play park outside and these benches around the place that it can become a nice spot for people to gather and we can create a bit of a community hub.” Since the first lockdown last year, cafes and restaurants have transformed how they work by switching to takeaway and delivery services. But for those which want to welcome back sit-down customers, it’s still outdoor eating only. The Hideaway Café had been due to

open on Armstrong Industrial Estate just as the first lockdown hit last March and owners Helen Danks and Andy Jewar have been working hard to move with the changing rules ever since. “We were due to open on the Monday but then we got closed down before it happened,” explained Helen. “But as soon as we were allowed to, we opened as planned and we had a great couple of months. “Because we’d had that short time to get established, it meant when we did have to close again, we were in a decent

position to offer takeaways, which we’ve been doing all the way through. “Once we knew we could offer outside service, we wanted to get something organised so we’ve reorganised an area outside and had it decked out. It isn’t massive but it’s a nice little sun trap and it gives us space to allow a few people to sit and eat. “We have customers who still come regularly and they get their food and sit and eat it in the car, so it’s nice to offer them a little space now so they can get the café experience. NEW STAFF “We know we’ve been lucky to have done so well with our takeaways but now we’re keen to let people know we have this small outside area too. We’ve taken on two new apprentices from April 12 and we’re really hoping this is the start of a fantastic summer and the beginning of a return to normal.” Of course it wasn’t just the cafes and pubs that were ready to reopen – hundreds of other businesses across Washington had been eagerly anticipating the moment they could let w

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

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On the Cover

Clockwise from above: D&P Trophies ready to open its doors; otters looking for visitors at the Wetlands Centre; Dalahair is set for a busy schedule of cuts from April 12.

the public in again. WWT Washington Wetland Centre’s website crashed the moment it revealed staff were taking bookings from April 12. The centre has made entry by prebooking only to ensure it can keep visitors safe and socially distanced without hampering the experience and centre manager Gill Pipes revealed the centre has been inundated with requests. “The site crashed the day we opened the tickets but it was good news for us because it meant people were really keen to come back. “Our centre is mainly outdoors anyway but we still have to be careful, which is why we insist on the pre-booking. “This is a beautiful time to be reopening. The wetlands are bursting with spring life and we’re sure visitors are

going to love seeing stunning colours and diverse wildlife. “It’s also a great place to come and just get outdoors in the fresh air – and I think the animals have really missed seeing some different faces!” Last year when the first lockdown was lifted, the queues for haircuts were even longer than those for the pubs in Washington and it looked likely to be the same story this year. Salon owners across the town had been on tenterhooks for months waiting for finalisation after so many ups and downs over the last 12 months. The desperation of just about everyone to get a haircut has meant owners have been juggling appointment books for months from home, getting organised so they were ready to meet clients from Monday morning. BOOKED UP Joanne Phipps, owner of Dalahair Studio at Willow Brook on Spout Lane has been working out appointments since February. She opened the salon in August last year and had just a few months operating before she had to close,

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but has been keeping in contact with clients throughout the lockdown to ensure everyone was ready once given the green light. “It’s felt like it was such a long time coming, so when we finally knew we were able to open it was a huge relief,” she said. “But there was a lot to do reorganising appointments. “We’d had people booked in from the end of December who we needed to get in touch with and then once I announced the diary was open we were flooded with requests. It has meant longer and extra days but it’s worth it to see all my lovely clients again.” Non-essential shops are also getting back to as normal as possible. Dave Neville, owner at D&P Trophies on Swan Road is allowing two people in the shop at a time as he gets a feel for interest. “We’re opening the showroom from 10am-3pm to see how it goes,” he said. “We’ve been coming in during the lockdown to sort out bits and pieces but unfortunately, nobody’s wanted trophies because there’s been no sport! “The football is starting again and the people who run the leagues say they’ll want some but it’ll be later in the year so we’ll have to see how it goes. “It’s great that we’re allowed to open again and I think it’s nice just to be able to see a few faces but we’re going to have to play it by ear and see how it all goes.” WW

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


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SAY WHAT??

THROUGH THE LENS Heavy rain during early February brought more floods to the fields next to the A1290 just opposite Nissan. Reader Jane Wright braved the elements to grab this snap on February 5.

A FINE EXAMPLE

AS a Fatfield resident it was great to see students from St Roberts School out on a massive litter pick before the term ended. Like most schools, St Roberts has had to operate under difficult circumstances due to Covid rules. This included having to supply meals outside, which created a litter problem in and around the campus. The school took action by borrowing equipment from Keep Washington Tidy, and in a spell of good weather students collected over 80 bags. Great work, and a great example to other young people! Carol Attewell

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

WHY has Washington been taken over by tatty adverts tied up all over lampposts? Whenever I drive anywhere in this town I see what I think is the same company tied to just about every pole or post. It’s not the council ones about the litter, this is just an advert for a shop or something. I’m not sure if this is something pay

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for but it looks terrible and it should be stopped. We don’t want to see this rubbish on every lamppost and far from being any kind of advertisement for these companies, all it does is put me off ever using them. I really feel someone should step in stop this happening or at least limit the amount of posters these companies are allowed to put up. It’s making the town look terrible. Peter Capper

MEALS ON WHEELS

I THINK one of the best things that has come out of these lockdowns has been the chance to go to some of these new street food vans that have started coming round. Back in the 80s I think it was we had a chip van used to come round once a week and it reminds a bit of that. I don’t know when it started but whoever came up with the idea first but it’s great. So far we have been to try the

Clarabell’s Pizzas from Oxclose Church car park, been to Street Food Social at The Victoria and we also tried Parm-o-rama at The Blue Bell in High Usworth. As a lady in my late 60s I had never had a parmo before but I certainly will be again. My only suggestion to improve them would be not to make you order in advance as it rules out you just being able to pop along if you fancy it, it’s a shame when you see they’re coming but realise they sold out five days earlier. I think it’s really good to have been able to experience these things and I hope these vans continue to come even after the lockdown. Marie Clifford

MASKING THE PROBLEM

WHEN are people going to take responsibility for their face masks? It’s disgusting to see so many of them lying around in street gutters and I noticed after some strong winds the other week they’ve started getting caught

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Letters

LOOKING BACK

FAST FEET FOR A NEW TOWN up in the bushes and trees. I was in Concord last week and there were three of them blowing around in the bus station and it’s just horrible. When I see the efforts people are making on litter picks around their villages I think it’s shocking if these volunteers are having to deal with these foul masks too. Bearing in mind these things have been strapped to people’s faces, nobody knows what vile germs could be on them and it’s a disgrace to expect other people to pick them up. Just take your masks home people! Allison Charles

TROLLEY BOTHER

IS it just me, or has anyone else noticed that there has been a supermarket trolley stood leaning against a lamppost in Glebe for at least three months? I know there are trolleys everywhere but it seems this one lone cart has been sat at the side of the road just up from the Galleries roundabout, opposite the entrance to Byland Court forever. The reason it keeps catching my eye is that on several occasions over the last few months I’ve driven past it and it’s been full of various bits of rubbish,

FEW towns can boast as many visits from some of the world’s fastest athletes as Washington after Nike made its UK home here back in the early 1970s. Not only did its local warehouse stock plenty of trainers going out to athletes all over the globe, but the firm – based at Coniston House – also brought stars such as Sir Brendan Foster, former Olympic medallist and Great North Run Founder, former 400m relay world champ Derek Redmond and more to the area on a number of occasions. While the famous ‘swoosh’ logo moved downriver to Sunderland towards the turn of the century, its presence in Washington left a lasting impression and cemented the town as one of the great industrious hotspots of 1970s and 1980s Britain. *Pic Copyright: Tyne & Wear Archive and Museums which is then eventually removed. You can drive past it again and it’s empty, only to be full with something else the next day and then a few days later empty again. Is someone actually going to the bother of removing litter from it but not bothering to return the trolley? Or is it a different trolley every time? And will it ever move or is it destined to stay there forever? John Nelson

SOUNDS GOOD TO ME

HAS no one noticed how absolutely cracking our new local radio station is? It’s that NTR Sounds, just brilliant mind I’m not sure who some of these new singers are like that David Craig who’s played quite often, but I’ve got the station playing on my way to work and love the ‘70s and ‘80s show especially. Let’s all get behind them and support local business! Steve G

SEND US YOUR LETTERS

If you want to appear in our letters pages in future editions, please email news@washingtonway.co.uk and make sure to put ‘Readers’ Letters’ in the subject box. Alternatively you can write to us at Washington Way, Unit no. 2, Gateshead, NE8 3JB. We reserve the right to edit correspondence. Please send all potential Through the Lens images to the same addresses. Please note, we are unable to return photographs.

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

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MONEY FOR NOTHING

Community groups and projects across the town are reaping the benefits of free cash from a local trust fund…

Words and Images: Angela Burn

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HERE’S no such thing as free money….or is there? It turns out there is, if you’re a local community group looking for a cash boost for equipment or projects. In our first ever issue, we reported on Washington Community Development Trust, a local fund which donates money every year to help keep the social life in our town going strong. And within days of that first edition hitting the mats across Washington, the trust started to

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receive applications from groups who had no idea it existed. Now, trustees are urging even more groups and projects based in the town to apply, if they think they may be eligible. “We have been giving money away for over 50 years” said trustee Marian Murphy. “Before they disbanded at the completion of the new town, Washington Development Corporation set up a trust fund to ensure that residents of the new town learned to mix socially and form organisations. “Householders came from Sunderland, WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Community Cash

Clockwise from left: Coun Bernie Scaplehorn (L) and Brian Wilson (R) out on a litter pick; Washington Glebe Bowls helping encourage new visitors; community art activities in Springwell Gateshead, Newcastle and South Shields, so not many people knew one another at that time. It was decided that trustees would donate small sums every year, to help social groups to purchase items or equipment.” Over the years, help has been given to sports teams, youth clubs, children’s groups, community centres and every social project imaginable in Washington. Among the recent groups to benefit is the Inspire Ladies Choir in Concord. Musical director Richard Jennings used a grant from the fund to purchase a selection of new songs. “Providing music for over 40 members is a great expense” he explained. “We needed new tunes to add to our repertoire for local concerts...we couldn’t keep singing the same old songs! “The Trust fund came to our rescue, and the ladies now have enough melodies to sing all day.” Keep Washington Tidy is a group of volunteers who work tirelessly to protect the town’s environment. Members work in groups or alone, picking up litter all over Washington.

Chairman Bernie Scaplehorn approached the trust for help in providing equipment. “They were happy to assist us, providing us with a grant to purchase litter pick hoops, pickers, and safety jackets,” he told Washington Way. Elsewhere, the Little Onion Club is in the process of buying uniform sweatshirts and wellies for their young gardeners. “We received this money just before lockdown came,” explained organiser Vicky Calder. “We are keen to resume working in the gardens of Donwell House and Willowbrook properties for older residents and this donation will help to keep our youngsters warm and dry while working outdoors” Washington Glebe Bowls club used a donation to encourage disabled visitors to their group. “We spotted wheelchairs on the Bowls England website” said secretary Margaret Dixon. “They are specially designed for bowling greens, and our club now has two. “We haven’t had much chance to use them yet because of lockdown, but

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

they will be a big asset for the club” Groups and organisations across Washington are now being encouraged to apply for similar funding, particularly at a time when many haven’t been able to raise funds for more than a year. “After a year of inactivity due to COVID restrictions, some projects may struggle to get back on their feet” added trustee Phil Dawson. “We are here to help if we can. Organisations must be already working to raise funds for themselves, and they must have a bank account. The money can only be given for new items purchased, and we will also need copies of receipts.” For application forms and further info, email w.c.d.t.application@gmail.com WW

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April 2021

A WORD FROM

THE CHAIR

- Cllr Len Lauchlan

As Chair of the Washington Area Committee I would like to thank all groups who have worked so hard in this last amazingly difficult year. I pay tribute to my fellow Councillors for their hard work and dedication, the officers of Sunderland City Council for their help and guidance in difficult circumstances and of course to all our partner agencies who have stepped up in wonderful fashion and helped and looked after our residents but especially our more vulnerable residents, they have all done a fantastic job and I am sure will continue working hard as hopefully we emerge to some sort of normality. The Washington Area Committee has listened to our residents through the Sunderland City Council Let’s Talk consultation and outlined in this edition are some of the exciting projects being undertaken in areas like parks and play, neighbourhood enforcement, heritage and youth provision. I hope all residents will see many improvements around our town in the near future as the Area Committee is fully committed to making our town a cleaner, greener and indeed safer place in the coming months and years.

NEIGHBOURHOOD INVESTMENT PLAN

W

ashington Area Committee continues to work hard to deliver the Washington Delivery Plan – a plan that responds to resident’s priorities for the area. The Let’s Talk campaign resulted in our residents focusing on ‘Pride in the Neighbourhood’, and together with partners and the City Council, the Committee has done just that...

Area Committee working with local communities and partners, investing £104,000 to keep neighbourhoods Clean and Green. 30 local volunteers, 45 community clean ups, 150 bags of litter. Plans to invest another £130,000 Neighbourhood Fund in a new Neighbourhood Enforcement Project.

Washington Area Committee has also contributed significantly towards Ward Improvements, with more than £130,000 invested. Councillors also continue to work with residents and partners to implement a range of Ward Improvements, including road safety measures, new bins and benches, wildflowers and bulb planting and tree planting.

Washington Area Committee has already invested £69,000 in local parks and has plans for a further £185,000 to improve local parks and play facilities.

Investments of

£148,000

in projects for young people, with more than 1200 young people continuing to benefit from these activities.

Working with our local food network, the WISP Project, which has helped more than 350 Washington residents at the point of crisis in the last 12 months.

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new projects At the last Area Committee meeting held in March, your local councillors supported a host of new activities, initiatives and projects for the people of Washington... WASHINGTON NEIGHBOURHOOD MANAGEMENT & ENFORCEMENT PROJECT

A two-year project will be coming to Washington soon – to strengthen neighbourhood enforcement and tackle fly tipping, litter, dog fouling, anti-social behaviour and vandalism. Together with Gentoo the City Council will focus attention on specific areas to tackle ‘environmental crime’. Barmston, Oxclose, Sulgrave, Blackfell and Glebe are just some of the first of the neighbourhoods you might see Officers and teams out and about. As well as the Keep Washington Tidy volunteers, our Clean and Green volunteers are also planning to be back soon – please play your part and take your litter home.

WASHINGTON INVESTING IN LOCAL HERITAGE

The Bowes Railway Museum is situated in Springwell, Tyne and Wear and historically was the first industrial site to be recognised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is listed on the ‘heritage at risk’ register and is an Accredited Museum which, as a previous Colliery site, has the only national example of a partially preserved standard gauge rope hauler transport system.

Washington

The Area Committee agreed some funding to help carry out repairs and upgrades to the Springwell Hauler site, replacing timbers, (that have been removed during lockdown as a result of anti-social behaviour), small broken panes of glass, and the security fencing to the rear of the site which has become dilapidated and is allowing trespass. The funding will also restore the guide rope system, replacing several sleepers and carrying out track realignment activities, and restore paintwork. This project fulfils the local aim to preserve and celebrate local heritage included in the Committee’s Delivery Plan and links with the outcomes of the recent Let’s Talk public consultations which identified the importance of heritage assets to Washington residents.

Neighbourhood Investment Plan covering the wards of Washington: Central, East, North, South and West


IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP A TOTAL of £250,000 was awarded by Sunderland City Council to our VCS Partners to support residents and improve mental health and wellbeing during the current lockdown and beyond. Community Opportunities Ltd, Washington Mind and Shiney Advice & Resources Project have joined forces

COVID CHAMPIONS PROJECT

The City Council has also funded £510,000 to our VCS partners across the city to deliver the Targeted Covid Champions projects – to ensure our most vulnerable residents and communities understand the important health messages including information about the vaccination programme and to ensure residents are connected within their communities and neighbourhoods. In Washington, Community Opportunities, Shiney Row Advice & Resource Project, Washington Millennium Centre, Washington Trust and Washington MIND have come together to provide a partnership approach to delivering the Targeted Washington Covid Champion Partnership Project. The partners will build on relationships and approaches, established through the covid pandemic, to reinforce the important messages of Covid safety campaigns and vaccination messages. This aims to help risk groups engage more meaningfully and change behaviours to live their lives in line with those messages.

to deliver a coordinated partnership approach of early intervention support for Washington residents, both individuals and families. The project will also work closely with other partners including the Washington Community Hub, Welfare Rights, Sunderland Foodbank Network and Gentoo.

Using various forms of media – digital, in print, imagery, face to face, fun educational materials, quizzes, games, social media and PR material – activities, support and messages will be publicised widely across Washington.

THE WASHINGTON AREA HUB

continues to support residents who have been shielding, those self-isolating and our most vulnerable members of the community. The Area Hub has been helping to arrange online shopping, pick up prescriptions and medication, making befriending calls and more. To date, the Hub has supported over 300 individuals and had 240 volunteers registered over the last 12 months. As things get better and the clinically extremely vulnerable are no longer advised to shield, we will continue to support residents to access appropriate support and services. If you need help because you are self-isolating, or feeling vulnerable, the Council is still here to help. Visit sunderland.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 0800 2346084

COMMUNITY OPPORTUNITIES LTD continues to build on the work of the Community Hub by offering direct and ongoing support to help residents access shopping and deliveries, improving their digital skills to enable online ordering, linking with a resident volunteer to help with prescription collections and regular support calls. It will enable an early intervention response to fill the gaps that are not provided for by wider partners in the locality and will also deliver a Walking Club and Virtual Cookery Club. Contact nikkivokes@communityopportunities.co.uk and on 0191 537 3231 In addition they will also offer Employability support sessions for anyone wanting advice and support. Contact karenmallin@communityopportunities.co.uk and on 0191 537 3231

SHINEY ADVICE & RESOURCES PROJECT is providing advice on welfare rights, benefits advice, debt advice support, crisis support to those in need and signposting to other support services weekly on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday afternoons each week. Contact Sylvia Copley on 0191 385 6687 or s.copley@shineyadvice.org.uk

WASHINGTON MIND continues to provides high-quality mental health and well-being support from their base at The Life House, and a safe space to meet. Washington MIND will deliver Creative Minds on a Tuesday and Anxiety Group on a Wednesday, as well as a lunch club and alternative therapies. Contact Jacqui Reeves on 0191 417 8043 or jacqui@washingtonmind.org.uk

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CONTACT YOUR

WASHINGTON COUNCILLORS Cllr Len Lauchlan Cllr.Len.Lauchlan@Sunderland.gov.uk 0191 9068526 | 07833 482475

WASHINGTON CENTRAL

Cllr Fiona Miller Cllr.Fiona.Miller@Sunderland.gov.uk 0191 4166839

Cllr John Kelly Cllr.John.Kelly@Sunderland.gov.uk 0191 5611922 | 07917 556634

Cllr Bernie Scaplehorn Cllr.Bernard.Scaplehorn@Sunderland.gov.uk 07940 435087

Cllr Linda Williams Cllr.Linda.Williams@Sunderland.gov.uk 07774 416778

WASHINGTON EAST

Cllr David Snowdon Cllr.David.Snowdon@Sunderland.gov.uk 07788 415480

WASHINGTON NORTH Cllr Jill Fletcher Cllr.Jill.Fletcher@Sunderland.gov.uk 07717 348206

WASHINGTON WEST

Cllr Henry Trueman Cllr.Henry.Trueman@Sunderland.gov.uk 07789 922335

Cllr Dianne Snowdon Cllr.Dianne.Snowdon@Sunderland.gov.uk 07825 052048

Cllr Tony Taylor Cllr.Tony.Taylor@Sunderland.gov.uk 0191 4151518 | 07786 732748

Cllr Peter Walker Cllr.Peter.Walker@Sunderland.gov.uk 0191 4172007 | 07790 785922

Cllr Dorothy Trueman Cllr.Dorothy.Trueman@Sunderland.gov.uk 07917 554259

WASHINGTON SOUTH

Cllr Graeme Miller Cllr.Graeme.Miller@Sunderland.gov.uk 0191 4166839 | 07769 886932

Cllr Louise Farthing Cllr.Louise.Farthing@Sunderland.gov.uk 0191 4179960 | 07788 191189

Be a key part of your Washington community by learning what’s happening in all five wards of the town. Join the conversation at: facebook.com/WashingtonSunderlandCommunity



THDAY. WE IR B IS H N O E M A C IE W O B "DAVID NISED A A G R O D N A E K A C A IM H BAKED AS A W IT , N EE T N A C E H T IN IM PARTY FOR H ell GREAT DAY." - Eileen Russ

Above: Margaret Burlinson (standing) and Eileen Russell (seated) working at the RCA factory in 1970; Inset: Margaret (left) and Eileen (right) stand at the site of the old record plant in present day.

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WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Nostalgia

RECORDS

OF THE PAST It was the start of a new era for the emerging Washington new town and survived just a decade. But the RCA still has a big place in the hearts of its former staff… Words: Angela Burn, Zoë Burn Images: Angela Burn, RCA Records

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HERE’S a twinkle in Margaret Burlinson’s eye as she scans the area of wasteland just in front of B&Q. “I think this is where main entrance was,” she smiles, taking in the surroundings as memories of working in 1970s Washington come flooding back. “It’s hard to picture it now but yes, this was the spot.” We’re stood on the site of what was once the RCA pressing plant, a huge factory built as the new town development began to take shape at the start of the 1970s. Sited close to the area which would soon become Blackfell, the RCA was slick, modern development which sat at the edge of the emerging town like a welcome beacon, indicating the change which was coming to the landscape as the town crept up around it. It was all thanks to Washington’s recently acquired new town status and its links to the USA, which had caught the attention of the American record company who decided the town was the perfect location for its new UK plant. At the time it was announced, articles in the press stated that the whole operation was to be manned by local workers and on May 7, 1970 it officially opened for business. The plant was responsible for pressing

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

albums by some of the biggest artists on RCA’s books. Music by Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Jim Reeves and Harry Nilsson was among that pressed here in the town, along with a lot of classical music. Singer Clodagh Rodgers was another of RCA’s big names and she came to the town to be involved in the official opening ceremony. LOCAL WORKFORCE In those early years more than 300 staff were employed as the plant produced more than 18million vinyl LPs every year. And among them were Margaret Burlinson, Eileen Russell and Margaret McKie. McKie was on board from the very start. Joining the company in 1968 before the factory was even built, she became the first female employee at the plant. ‘We rented a unit in Hertburn Industrial Estate” she recalls. “There was just me and a roomful of bosses, I felt really outnumbered. Gradually more staff arrived, and just before the factory opened another girl started which made me a lot happier! “Two of the bosses were Americans, and were given accommodation in one of the new villages. They were very interested in our town because of its US connections.”  Margaret was involved in all of the

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Clockwise from below: The former RCA factory and its site in present day; employees were responsible for everything from manufacturing to labelling and even testing records; some of the many albums made in Washington; women hit the canteen; Elvis, Nina Simone, Jim Reeves and Eugene Ormondy all had records made locally.

 pre-opening excitement and remembers being impressed when she first got to walk into the brand new factory. “It was fantastic, we were all amazed at the technology. The canteen was different because it had microwave ovens, which were fairly new then. Pre-packed frozen food was available for instant microwave lunches which was totally new. “The computer room was enormous, with wall - to wall units which nobody but the experts understood. “It was such an exciting and wonderful place to work, and I am proud to have been there at the very beginning.” WELCOME PARTY While Margaret may have been one of the first people to see the factory, it was the face of Eileen Russell that visitors to the plant would see first. As receptionist, Eileen was responsible for welcoming all arrivals and has fond memories of meeting stars and their families, as well as being taken to posh corporate events alongside groups of colleagues, as guests of visiting record producers. “We had many interesting visitors” she reveals. “I remember David Bowie came on his birthday. We baked him a cake

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"THERE WAS A UNION JACK AND AN AMERICAN FLAG AT THE FRONT OF THE BUILDING. EVERY MORNING, THESE HAD TO BE HOISTED PERFECTLY, BOTH IN THE SAME EXACT POSITION. WE ACTUALLY EMPLOYED A MAN WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF THE FLAGS." - Margaret Burlinson and organised a party for him in the canteen, it was a great day”. But she was also a little bit disappointed on one occasion when she was denied the chance to meet a couple of her idols “I had always been a great of the Everly Brothers, who had started recording with RCA after their comeback in the early 70s. I was picked to meet them outside, and bring them in. I was so excited. “However when I they arrived, I was disappointed to find they had sent their Mam and Dad instead! What a let-down that was. The couple were lovely but it wasn’t quite the same. “It was a great time and I loved it. It was very different to any other job. As well as Elvis and David Bowie, one of our bestselling artists was Jim Reeves. His death

in 1968 had ensured a steady stream of record sales throughout the early 70’s.” ENTERTAINING GUESTS Another Washington lady who enjoyed her time at RCA was Margaret Burlinson. As PA to the plant manager, her job was

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Nostalgia

varied, busy but also very interesting. “Everything had to be organised perfectly” she smiles. “For instance, there was a Union Jack and an American flag at the front of the building. Every morning, these had to be hoisted perfectly, both in the same exact position. We actually employed a man who was in charge of the flags. “Image was very important, as we had many influential visitors to the premises for meetings.” As part of her role, Margaret was expected to look after important guests when required and remembers a day where she had to play tour guide on a trip of the region. “We had some American businessmen due to arrive. I had only recently learned to drive, and owned an old Cortina. I was told to pick them up, then entertain their wives for the day by showing them around the area. “I was terrified….I had no idea where to take these three ladies. Before we set off I asked where they would like to go. One

was desperate to buy cigarettes as her husband didn’t allow her to smoke. “We drove to Fortes Ice Cream shop in Concord straight away so she could buy some, and she was very happy. “Then they asked to see some seedy areas which wasn’t what I was expecting! I drove towards Newcastle, and they were captivated by the three bridges over the Tyne. “They had me driving over the Tyne Bridge, then back over the swing bridge, then back over the High Level….they loved driving over our bridges! They were lovely and we had a great time.

"THE CANTEEN WAS DIFFERENT BECAUSE IT HAD MICROWAVE OVENS. PRE-PACKED FROZEN FOOD WAS AVAILABLE FOR INSTANT MICROWAVE LUNCHES WHICH WAS TOTALLY NEW." - Margaret McKie “I really loved my time there. Coming back to see the site now is incredible because it’s almost 45 years ago yet it still seems like yesterday.” TESTING TIMES Sadly for the RCA, it wasn’t to survive much more than 10 years. Changing WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

technology in the music industry led to the sudden rise in popularity of cassette tapes, which quickly began to replace vinyl. The result was a drop in record sales worldwide and by 1976, just six years after opening, the factory was in trouble. By July 1977 the threat of closure loomed. The factory announced almost 100 redundancies, as well as short working hours for the rest of the staff and the writing looked to be on the wall. But a late reprieve came in August thanks to a shock tragedy in America. Elvis Presley died at his home in Memphis aged 42 and what followed was a huge stampede for his music. Fans stripped the shelves of record shops worldwide, and RCA ordered all pressing plants to double their production. In Washington, shorter working hours became 12 hour shifts, and a year later 300 staff were still working, thanks to the sales of Elvis records. Naturally, interest eventually waned and production slowed. RCA continued for a couple of years but sadly closed its doors for the final time in 1981. The site then became home to Dickens Hypermarket, the largest home improvement superstore in Europe, which operated until the Dickens business was bought by B&Q in 1999. Today’s B&Q store stands on land which would’ve been behind the RCA if it still stood, while the site of the factory is now being redeveloped into a new DPD parcel distribution depot. WW

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Useful Numbers

ESSENTIAL SUPPORT CONTACTS Age UK Sunderland: Sunderland Anyone over 55 who is vulnerable and cannot get out for their shopping due to the pandemic can ring 0191 565 9045. Alzheimer’s Society: For people living with or affected by dementia, call the Dementia Support Line on 0333 150 3456 (open every day). Citizens Advice Sunderland (North & East areas): 0300 3301194, Dedicated debt line on 0191 415 8998, enquiries@citizensadvicesunderland.co.uk COVID-19 helpline for businesses and self-employed: Advice, claims, retention schemes and more. 0800 024 1222 Christians Against Poverty: 0800 3280006 (citywide) Creative Minds - North Star Counselling: Visit facebook.com/creativemindsnsc FACT Sunderland: Help with household products and food to people who have to self-isolate due to receiving treatment, or suffering from cancer. Call 07759 139 351 or email info@fact-cancersupport.co.uk FISCUS: 0191 4470920 or 07983 355 212 (citywide)

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Headway Wearside: For those suffering a stroke or brain injuries facebook.com/Headway-Wearside or call Kim on 07830 346 985 HMRC General Tax Credit Helpline: 0345 300 3900 IMPACT North East: facebook.com/ impactschoolservices/ Job Centre Plus: 0800 055 6688 Textphone: 0800 023 4888 NERAF: Telephone support for people with substance misuse addiction, call 0191 514 8520 NHS Direct: Call 111, nhsdirect.nhs.uk Samaritans: 24/7service free to call on 116 123, www.samaritans.org/how-wecan-help/contact-samaritan/. Crisis support available from Sunderland Crisis Team on 0301 231 145 Shiney Advice and Resource Project (ShARP): Supporting vulnerable families and offering welfare rights/benefits advice. Also supporting Washington project WISP via the Washington Food bank outlet at St Michael & All Angels in Sulgrave. Visit facebook.com/SharpShineyRow/

St Benedict’s Hospice: Support for people who are in the at risk group due to a terminally ill disease. Call 0191 512 8400 Sunderland Counselling Services: Call the team on 0301 231 145 from 9am4pm or email office@sundelandcounselling.org.uk Sunderland Initial Response Team (IRT): Available 24/7 on 0303 123 1145 Sunderland Welfare Rights Service: 0191 520 5555, email welfare.rights@sunderland.gov.uk Sunderland West Advice Project (West area): 07768 985074, swap@pallionactiongroup.co.uk Washington Community Food Bank: Now back in its main premises at Unit 0 at The Galleries. Updates on facebook.com/washingtoncfp/ Washington MIND: Support via telephone and online. Call 0191 417 8043 or 07507 330 995, visit facebook.com/washingtonmind or www.washingtonmind.org Wearside Women in Need: 24-hour helpline on 0800 066 5555.

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Sport

PLAY BALL! Grassroots sport is finally back in business as Washington’s local teams hit the pitches and prep for what they hope will be plenty of game time this year...

L

ATE last month, grassroots sport was given the green light to return and Washington folk wasted no time hitting the fields. Whether you’re looking to watch a match or get involved yourself, check out our round up of the latest from some of the town’s local groups and clubs.

FOOTBALL

Washington United FC faced off against Darlington RA FC in its first match postcurrent-lockdown as Washington Way went to press, with plenty more action on the cards after the league decided to scrap its 2020/21 season. For now, under the government’s current guidance, spectators are still not allowed, but club chiefs expect punters to be welcomed back with open arms later

Words: Aaron League Images: Clubhouse Media Group, Washington AFC, Washington Running Club

soon as restrictions were lifted for step one. The club is planning to forge ahead with training and kids’ camps as long as rules allow.

RUGBY

Washington RFC got back to the pitch last month under England Rugby guidance and while full contact is still not permitted, they’re pushing on. Despite a lack of scrums and mauls, RFC players have resumed training and some are even able to play touch and tag matches against other clubs. Later this month, adult and age-grade matches are expected to return ahead of full-contact training and match play when the government hits step three of the roadmap. For the moment, players are subject to temperature checks and the usual.

RUNNING

While Washington Running Club was still holding off on welcoming new members

this month if not early next. Meanwhile, Washington AFC got straight back to training with youngsters of all ages hitting the pitch almost as

as we went to press, it is now allowed to work with groups greater than six in a Covid-secure environment. Chiefs will be working on no more than 12 runners to one run leader, so session availability will be numbers dependant.

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

However, WRC has stressed that the two-metre social distancing requirement is still in place during training.

BOWLS

Washington Glebe Bowls Club, based at Grasmere Terrace in Columbia, has invited prospective players to try something new this month. On April 17 from 1-4pm, the club is reopening its green for an open day. There are a selection of bowls to try, and the only thing you need to have are smooth or very slightly ribbed soled shoes.

Two wheelchairs are also available for members with walking difficulties. Even if you miss the date, anyone interested can contact club secretary Margaret Dixon on 0191 415 0395 or margaretgbc2018@gmail.com WW

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MORE THAN JUST A LOAD OF OLD RUBBISH Now, more than ever, it’s time to start taking your household recycling seriously…

Words: Zoë Burn Images: Clubhouse Media Group, Groundwork

R

ECYCLING household waste isn’t a new thing. Most of us have been doing it for years, separating glass and cardboard and the odd tin can from the rest of the rubbish and dropping it in the blue bin. But are we always actually doing it right? Are we making sure we are only recycling the correct items and even if we are, are we even doing that properly? Chances are, we’re not. A recent chat with colleagues revealed we all had a completely different take on what we should and shouldn’t be doing but what we did have in common was that we were all making at least one mistake every time.

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The importance of household recycling isn’t going to come as news to anyone. It’s something we’ve been doing since the 1960s when drinks companies began offering cash back for the return of glass bottles. Bottle banks followed in the late 1970s while the 90s brought paper banks and even clothes recycling banks installed in places like supermarket car parks. Then, in 2003, the Household Recycling Act was passed which required local councils to provide every household with collection of at least two types of recyclable waste by 2010. Fast forward to 2021, the blue bins have been with us for many years and

we’ve all been making an effort to do our bit – but is it time to step it up? CLIMATE CHANGE Recent years have brought the big awareness push on the issue of climate change, with the alarming problem of plastic pollution hitting the headlines thanks to the likes of David Attenborough. We’ve seen big shifts in how to cope with the problem – everything from supermarkets axing carrier bags to the recent ban on plastic straws – but as the problem continues to escalate it’s something everyone needs to start paying more attention to.

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Environment

So what exactly does recycling achieve? Perhaps the biggest benefit is that it reduces the waste sent to landfill where it sits and rots, sending toxins into the soil. From here a lot of plastic can blow away because it’s so light in weight and then go on to find its way into streams, rivers and eventually the ocean. Recycling helps preserve natural resources by cutting the need to use raw materials to make new products which in turn saves energy in the manufacturing process. Because it reduces the need to extract raw materials, it cuts the amount of air and water pollution, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions – which is vital in the fight to tackle climate change. In Washington, we’re already taking it seriously. Pass any street on blue bin day and you’ll a lot piled high with plastics and cardboard – but often a lot of what’s in there, shouldn’t be. EASY MISTAKES Flies around a blue bin in summer

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

suggests there’s old food matter in there somewhere, and that’s a big no-no. In our office poll, more than half admitted they never washed anything out before throwing it in the bin and nobody realised that pizza boxes were generally not meant to be in there. Others – myself included – have been throwing foil products in the general waste when we shouldn’t have been while some didn’t realise Polystyrene was on the banned list. We’ve compiled a full list of what can and can’t be recycled and it’s worth a check because the chances are you may be missing something. It’s essential to remember to wash all cans, cartons and food cartons out before binning them and remember not to put greasy takeaway boxes in – these belong in general waste. Blue bins are designed to feature a top compartment which slots into the top – if yours is missing or you have an issue with your bin, you can report it on the w Sunderland Council website.

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BANK THE BASICS 

WHAT YOU CAN RECYCLE

Main body of bin: • All white, grey and brown cardboard – including cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes and ready meal boxes • Food and drink cartons – including juice, milk and clean food cartons • Household plastic packaging – all plastic bottles and washed food packaging like empty yoghurt pots and plastic milk cartons • Empty food tins, clean foil, drinks cans and aerosols – including washed foil pie tins, baby milk formula tins, pet food tins and cans of pop (these should all be rinsed) • Glass bottles and jars – clean glass bottles, jam or other such as coffee jars, perfume bottles • Greetings cards without glitter Black inner box: • All Paper - newspapers, magazines such as your Washington Way, junk mail, telephone directories, envelopes, catalogues, printed paper and even loose strands of shredded paper.

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WHILE the blue bins are designed for most household recyclables, some things aren’t designed to go in there – but they can be recycled elsewhere. Batteries are probably one of the most disposed of items so try to switch to rechargeable versions and if you can’t, ensure you recycle them properly. The Household Waste and Recycling Centre at Wrekenton accepts all batteries including car batteries while small household batteries can be handed in at collection points. These are all over Washington in numerous shops and a full list is available at recyclenow.com Disposable face masks have become the most recent scourge on the environment with an alarming number currently blowing around and littering the streets of Washington. Last month, Wilko introduced a new scheme to help tackle the problem. The firm has installed collection bins at 150 of its stores – including the one at the Galleries – where customers can drop off their used disposable masks.

WHAT YOU MUST NOT RECYCLE • Batteries including small items which contain batteries • Any electrical items • Tissue paper, wrapping paper or wallpaper • Textiles, fabric and shoes • Nappies • Plastic film – no cling film, bread wrappers, crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, vegetable wrappers, cellophane or bubble wrap. • Takeaway pizza or any food boxes which have grease or food residue on the cardboard. • Hard plastic like toys, kitchenware, plugs, CD and DVD cases • Plastic guttering, plant pots and planting trays • Anything which features glitter • Styrofoam or Polystyrene packaging such as takeaway boxes • Light bulbs • Dog waste bags • Any food or garden waste • Paint tins • Plastic carrier bags

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Environment

EDUCATING THE FUTURE CHILDREN and young people today are more tuned in to the importance of recycling than any generation before – and it’s all thanks to solid education. And that’s where facilities like the Campground Visitor and Education Centre at Wrekenton are clearly making a difference. Based at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre, it acts as a hub for the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership to deliver an education programme for community groups and schools in Washington, Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside. The programme is enhanced by an outdoor classroom area, enabling the introduction of gardening and other environmental activities to help visitors learn about waste management and the natural environment. It works with all age groups and any community organisations or schools to boost knowledge and practice around the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.

REUSE AND REPURPOSE

BEFORE you reach for the recycle bin with that plastic, you could consider reusing it first. There are dozens of things you can use it for and it will last as long as you need it – just remember to recycle it when you’re finished. Yoghurt pots, plastic bottles and cartons are great for using as substitute plant pots and are especially useful for setting seedlings away in the early months. Empty plastic cartons like sturdy fruit punnets or ready meal trays also double up very well as seed trays. Pack them away when it’s time to plant on to reuse next year and save yourself a fortune on plant pots. Many people already reuse jam jars but other plastic bottles or jars with screw on lids can also be repurposed for useful storage containers. Crafty kids have been making rockets out of empty washing up bottles for as long as anyone can remember and there’s plenty scope for that even as we move with the times, with detergent bottles now making fantastic jet packs. There are lots of ideas online on how to repurpose used plastic including how to make watering cans, garden decorations, toys and even piggy banks. WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

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settling in at th e church on the h ill Words: Harry Chalmers Images: Angela Burn, Ho ly Trinity Church

T

HE Reverend Dr Philip Lockley looks right at home as he greets a parishioner outside his new church. The former Newcastle University student has just returned to the region following a four-year spell in Oxford and is delighted to find himself back in the area and at the helm of the town’s most famous church. A family man with two children who have already settled into their new school in Washington, he is currently finding his feet once again in an area he’s always held close to his heart. While studying architecture and history at Newcastle he worked at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, looking after mining and shipbuilding exhibits

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before moving to study a PhD at Oxford where he later worked as a college tutor for seven years. “I developed an interest in how Christians have responded to modern industrial capitalism…and even before I knew this job in Washington was coming up I had researched the religious ideas behind New Towns and Garden Cities,” he revealed. FAITH As his own faith became increasingly important to him, he decided the church was where his future lay and in 2015 he moved his young family back to the North East and worked in churches across Durham as he studied at the Christian Ministry at Durham University.

From there he moved to Oxford for four years but when he spotted the role at Holy Trinity being advertised nationally, he knew it was one he wanted to pursue. “My wife grew up in Chester-leStreet and knew Washington from her childhood. We met and fell in love as students in Newcastle, and so the north east is kind of a romantic place for us. “It was still hard to uproot our family life from a loving church and school community in Oxford. “But the Bible has lots of stories of people choosing to leave one place and setting out with their families for another, trusting God will show the way, and be with them. So that’s what we’re doing.” It’s clear he’s happy in his new

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


New in Town

Clockwise from left: The Reverend alongside wife Ruth and their children Jonathan and Sam; in the church after service; all smiles for his new position at Holy Trinity.

love and growth of people happens, for the good of the town. Keen to promote the idea that the church is in fact for everyone and is a place the whole town is welcome, Rev Lockley points to an evergreen tree just inside the churchyard.

environment. He and the family feel Washington is a great place to live with plenty of green areas, walking and cycling routes and perhaps most importantly, it’s a town built for the future. AHEAD OF THE TIMES “It strikes me that with all we know we’re going to face in the near future, with the climate crisis and how we want to live better in the wake of pandemic, Washington is ahead of its time. “We’ve learned so much in the last year

about the importance of health, exercise and clean air, the value of the local area, noticing wildlife we didn’t hear before and Washington is in a great position to build on that. “We’ve got the green spaces to care for; we have the local neighbourhoods in which to look out for one another – young and old.” Covering an area which includes Albany, Teal farm, Biddick , Barmston and the Village, he wants Holy Trinity Church to be known as a community where the

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

TIME TO REFLECT “During lockdown, our Curate, Rev Brenda, invited anyone who wanted to tie a coloured ribbon on this tree to remember a loved one, especially those lost in the pandemic. “The tree is now covered in ribbons. I’ve noticed people walk up the hill to it, take a moment to tie a ribbon, maybe pause a while in silence, and go away again changed. “I want everyone living in Washington to know our church is a place where they are welcome to come, pause, stay a while, and go away, changed by what happened here. “I want everyone to feel they are welcome, and invited, to the church on the hill. I think people will recognise this as a good thing for Washington.” WW

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Eating In

EATING IN AROUND WASHINGTON

FODDER AND FARE FROM

LEBANOS

Unit 30, Market Village The Galleries NE38 7RT Telephone: 07432 867121 lebanostakeaway.co.uk Words and images: Zoë Burn

I

T’S always been an unwritten rule in my house – no kebabs until after dark. It’s a rule I imposed upon myself when I worked on another local newspaper and one of my fellow hacks would rock up with a kebab for lunch at least twice a week and the smell and idea of kebab meat during the day never sat well. For this reason alone, I may never have discovered Lebanos had I not been introduced to the team when they first opened up in Market Village at the Galleries last year. See, if you walked past and spotted the shawarma or Sujuk doner you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just another kebab shop. And that’s where you’d be wrong. Because this isn’t a kebab shop at all. Lebanos is, as the name suggests, Washington’s only Lebanese café.

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Run by brothers Mo and Mac Beydoun who wanted to offer genuine Lebanese food to the people of Washington, one of the biggest things that makes Lebanos different is that it’s a daytime eatery. Initially set up to open during Market Village’s opening hours, it has been relying solely on takeaway trade since lockdowns began, and is available for collection or delivery until around 5.30pm daily. Lebanos serves freshly-prepared Lebanese cuisine such as shawarma chicken, lamb moussaka and chicken Tawook. Other dishes include falafel, grilled or fried halloumi, hummus, various wraps, and chips. We decided to try a couple of

different dishes and sides to get a feel for what it’s all about and from the main meals chose a mixed chicken and lamb shawarma priced at £15 and a Chicken Tawook which cost £14.50. Both come with a Lebanese salad, Lebanese bread, chilli sauce, garlic sauce and a choice of rice or chips, so we opted for rice with the shawarma and chips with the Tawook. Lebanos take pride in the presentation of dishes, and mains are served on paper plates and even garnished nicely to look as if they’ve just been prepared in a restaurant. The team also seal them with foil so they keep warm long enough to get home. The shawarma plate was piled high

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


with thin strips of marinated lamb and its shawarma chicken which is beautifully seasoned – it’s not like the usual chicken you’d expect from a kebab shops, it’s far tastier and really has an exotic flavour. The lamb was also nice, it’s almost got a sort of Cantonese flavour to it and it goes really well with the chicken. The Tawook is more like your traditional skewered chicken kebab with a lemon and garlic flavour. However, unlike your standard kebab, this is really moist and flavoursome – it’s fantastic. The chips were tasty and came sprinkled with paprika while the rice has a gorgeous, slightly sweet flavour.

Both dishes were large – they may seem expensive but remember this isn’t a postpub takeaway, it’s daytime food and one main would easily do two people as a lunch. We tried a few extras such as hummus, halloumi and falafel. The halloumi was fantastic – Lebanos manage to cook it to perfection so it isn’t like rubber, instead it was moist and tasty, while still maintaining that all-tooimportant ‘squeak’ when you bite into it. The hummus is also gorgeous. Served as pretty as you can possibly make a takeaway portion of hummus, it came drizzled with olive oil and garnished with chick peas and paprika and was smooth and creamy – and very rich. If you’re not familar with Falafels, give theirs a go - they’re not too overpowering and the Tahini sauce they come with is lovely and smooth. Many falafels can be too oily or

TESTED

HUMMING FOR

TRIED &

HUMMUS

Co-op Red Pepper Houmous – £1.40

ALDI The Deli Humous – £0.69 It’s a bit of a strange one. It doesn’t really taste of houmous, in fact it’s quite hard to decide what it tastes like. It’s certainly not the best, a very vague and boring flavour. ASDA Houmous with a twist of lemon – £0.90 With a hint of a tang from the lemon, it has quite a nutty and coarse texture. It tastes good, and is definitely one of the better standard supermarket products. Co-op Houmous – £1.40 This one was okay, a little bit low on flavour. If you’re looking for a basic humous it will certainly do the job but it’s certainly not the best we tried.

This is a really great humous. The red pepper flavour comes through really well and tastes very fresh, almost home-made. It works really well with crispy fresh veg like sugar snaps and would make a fantastic platter addition. Fresh Ideas Houmous – £0.69 at Sainsbury’s A lovely fresh, nutty humous with a great texture for dipping - add a squeeze of lemon and it’s fantastic. It’s a brilliant entry level humous and because it’s so cheap compared to the rest this is definitely our favourite. LEON Hummus - £2 at Sainsbury’s This looks the best and thanks to a touch of lemon and a sprinkling of paprika it tastes as good as it looks. You can definitely taste the lemon and it has a great texture – it also looks cooler than the others so you’ll get brownie points just for serving this one! Moorish Smoked Humous - £1.80 at Sainsbury’s No, no and no again. This actually tastes like smoked fish and is quite an unpleasant product. Just give it a miss.

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

too strong, but you can’t go wrong with their chickpea fritters. When Lebanos first opened, the team was hoping to secure later operating hours to offer food later into the evening and if they were to crack this, it could be a game-changer. If you’ve not yet eaten there, it really is worth a visit. As a takeaway, it sits completely on its own in Washington as a unique place to eat and is a must for anyone who fancies something a little bit different. WW


*Image credits: B&M, Cath Kidston, Daisy Park, Dunelm, George, Habitat, Little Timbers, Matalan, M&S, Next, Sainsbury’s, Walton & Co *All prices correct at time of going to press

CREATING A BUZZ Spring is here and it’s all about the bees – so make our honey-making friends the stars of your home – outside and in this season…

Bring a buzz to the bathroom with this Joules Botanical Bee Towel, £12 at dunelm.com

Enjoy a cuppa in style with the Bee Alice Mug, £10 at cathkidston.com

Pay homage to the bees and give a burst of colour to your room with this Velvet Embroidered Bee Cushion Cushion, £15 at M&S

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The new Bumblebee Moss collection from North Yorkshire’s Walton & Co features linens, textiles and fine bone china mugs with a percentage from sales donated to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Prices from £9.99 at waltonshop.co.uk

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Homes

Add a few more bees to your outdoor space with the Homespun Outdoor Wind Chime,, £10 at Matalan

Get a buzz out of every meal by dining with this white Bumblebee Pattern 12-piece Dinner Set, £18 from George at ASDA

Take the sting out of cooking with the Bee Double Oven Glove Glove, £3.99 at B&M

Snuggle up with the Home Country Hideaway Bee Embroidered Cushion, £10 at Sainsbury’s

Brighten up your snack time by reaching for the Emma Bridgewater Bumblebee Biscuit Barrel, £16 at daisypark.co.uk

Cook up a storm with this cute Bee Baking Set,, featuring a whisk and four measuring cups, £18 at next.co.uk Give an eye-catching twist to any shelf or sideboard with the Habitat Country Hideaway Bee Bookends, £16 at Sainsbury’s

The kids will never be late again with this personalised children’s wooden Bee Pendulum Clock, £31 at littletimbers.co.uk WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

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THINGS TO DO EVENTS, LISTINGS AND ENTS

Words: Angela Burn

IT really is starting to feel a little bit like Groundhog Day as edition after edition we remain unable to give any local listings. As Washington Way went to press we were still set for the next stage of restrictions to be lifted, but it was too soon to provide any accurate information on local events. So once again, we’ve come up with some online alternatives – but keep an eye on our website – www.washingtonway.co.uk where we will update local listings and events as soon as they are confirmed.

APRIL FRIDAY 23 Virtual Gin Festival, an online celebration of all things gin organised by The Gin to my Tonic, 6-8.30pm. Free access, see The Gin to my Tonic Facebook page for details. SUNDAY 25 St George’s Day Togetherness Day virtual event for Scouts, streamed live on YouTube from noon-1pm. Full details available via the Scoutadelic Facebook page. TUESDAY 28 Virtual tour of King Tut’s Tomb in Egypt, free. Organised by Explore Unlimited Tours, more details on the Facebook page.

MAY TUESDAY 4 Live online paranormal investigation at the UK’s most haunted house, 30 East Drive in Pontefract. Free to watch, starts 7pm via Facebook live. For

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more information see the Project Reveal – Ghosts of Britain Facebook page. THURSDAY 6 The Royal Tombs of England, a free lecture from the Churches Conservation Trust on Facebook live at 12.50pm.

Details from Facebook page.

JUNE

SATURDAY 15 Bat Care Basics, 10.30-1pm a free to view online talk on bat care, first aid and more. Free to watch via zoom, more information on the Bats in Churches Facebook events page.

WEDNESDAY 2 U3a Day, annual celebration to raise the profile of this organisation for people in their third age (not in full-time employment or bringing up children). Details from the U3a website and Facebook page.

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


What's On

THINGS TO DO ONLINE EXHIBITIONS

GENERAL THINGS TO DO

Art Fund offers a fortnightly newsletter called Art in Your Inbox with news and updates from 700+ museums and galleries across the UK, informing readers about virtual tours and exhibitions. Further details are available from artfund.org and local exhibitions include: • Colourful Discoveries at the Discovery Museum. Fashions through a kaleidoscopic lens, exhibition ends December 2021. Details discoverymuseum.org.uk • Discover Beamish from home, free exhibition including some new activities, until 31 August 2021. Details from Beamish Museum website.

Whether you want to kill a bit of time, enjoy a show or gig or learn a new craft, there’s always time to check out something new. Have a look below at some of the music, hobbies, theatre shows and more we’ve pulled together to keep you entertained and engaged... Concerts and music: • Songkick.com • Discovermusic.com • ticketmaster.com Hobbies and crafts: • Hobbycraft.co.uk • Teaandcrafting.co.uk • Craftsandgiggles.com Virtual theatres: • Westendtheatre.com • Whatsonstage.com • Officiallondontheatre.com

MEET AT THE VIRTUAL VILLAGE HALL The Virtual Village Hall is a facility which was set up by the Royal Voluntary Service to help the community during the pandemic. It offers a programme of themed online sessions covering a large variety of subjects. These can be watched live on the group’s Facebook page, called The Virtual Village Hall. All activities are free. Further details from royalvoluntaryservice.org/ virtual-village-hall or on the Facebook page.

CHECK FOR EVENTS Local real and online events for the next couple of months are still hard to find, so we recommend checking out these resources regularly, as they are often updated at the last minute: • The list.com • Newcastlegateshead.com • Billboard.com • Eventbrite.co.uk • Facebook events page • Whatsonnortheast.com

FOR HAPPENINGS FROM ALL OVER TOWN, KEEP AN EYE ON WASHINGTONWAY.CO.UK

GET LISTED

Send us your listings, events, groups and community meetings to listings@washingtonway.co.uk

WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8

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Crossword

CROSSW RD

ACROSS 1 Gossamer (6) 5 Like many Sherpas (8) 9 Affliction of cats and other fur-lickers (8) 10 Skin condition sought by beachgoers (6) 11 Science of logic, quantity, shape and arrangement (abbr.) (5) 12 Tacit (7) 15 Owner of a business (10) 17 Inert gaseous element (4) 18 Sour (4) 20 Place for American children in the holidays (6,4) 22 Galilee native (7) 23 Spread out (5) 27 Small restaurant (6) 28 Elongate (8) 29 South American boa (8) 30 Person in the petroleum industry (6) DOWN 2 D-Day beach (5) 3 Navy vessel (7) 4 Spoiled child (4) 5 World's longest river (4) 6 Autopsy (4-6) 7 Wool fat (7) 8 Private room on a passenger ship (9) 13 Hollywood (10) 14 Stub (5) 16 Economic decline (9) 19 Severe (7) 21 Uppercase (7) 24 Cub leader (5) 25 Entreaty (4) 26 Keen on (4)

YOUR BUSINESS TO 25,000+ HOMES ACROSS WASHINGTON

BE BOLD ASFK ASFK.CO.UK

KEVIN@WASHINGTONWAY.CO.UK Issue 7 answers: Across: 1 Scram, 4 Assistant, 10 Mayonnaise, 11 Upon, 12 Reverends, 13 Spree, 15 Kits, 17 Leopardess, 19 Leominster, 21 Peat, 22 Scold, 24 Satisfied, 27 Belt, 28 Sketchbook, 29 Iron horse, 30 Tenth. Down: 2 Cease-fire, 3 Alone, 5 Skiddoo, 6 Idea, 7 Trumped-up, 8 Noose, 9 Underline, 14 Hairpiece, 16 Simpleton, 18 Scapegoat, 20 Travels, 23 Cheer, 25 Fable, 26 Oslo.

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WASHINGTON WAY » washingtonway.co.uk » Issue 8


Dial an Expert

Your handy guide to Washington’s trades & services

KEEP IT PINNED

Hairdressing for all occasions, specialising in Bridal party, pin ups and events hair styling. 07460 834013 karouse9@gmail.com

NOEL FARRER LANDSCAPES & PRESSURE WASHING RING 07904 353309

YOUR BUSINESS TO MORE THAN 20,000 HOMES ACROSS THE WASHINGTON AREA

FOR JUST £40 KEVIN@WASHINGTONWAY.CO.UK


WASHINGTON’S

TOP

JEWELLER

IS HERE FOR

YOU

NECKLACES BRACELETS DIAMONDS PENDANTS EARRINGS CRYSTALS WATCHES CHARMS RINGS GOLD WE BUY YOUR

WE BUY YOUR

ROLEX GOLD

KingsJewellersWashington Kings Jewellers

CALL US ON 0191 417 8669 Unit 70, The Galleries Washington NE38 7RR