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Temple Park, South Shields

with 14 comments

What a load of rubbish!

Temple Memorial Park in South Shields was bequeathed to us with a covenant that it be used in perpetuity for leisure purposes, the Church Commissioners saw no huge building developments upon it after the last war and had no wishes that the position should change, unless it was to add pleasure and leisure to our lives. Over the years we have seen one or two smaller developments come and go there, it once housed a small golf course, a church which was burned down, and we now have a leisure centre which is ailing and expensive to maintain, and a Fire Station, as well as an old civil defence facility buried below one corner of the land.

I received an email from a customer here last week looking for online confirmation that Temple Park had once been used as a landfill site for South Shields’ rubbish, I must admit that finding some sort of online confirmation was near impossible although I was able to find one reference to it in an old Shields Gazette article. My own memories as a child, which are not too clear, was that part of Temple Memorial Park was used to receive our bin wagons, the corner adjacent to The White Ensign and the old King George School on Nevison Avenue comes to mind, that part which is now football pitches.

I know too, that monitors for methane gas are installed in Temple Park Centre and at locations around the immediate area, the presumption is that the amount of methane reaching the surface is negligible and no threat to anyone at all.

However, if readers have any particular memories about the rubbish tip that was on Temple Park then please leave a comment, my correspondent would be delighted to learn more about this period of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

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Written by curly

February 27, 2011 at 10:36 am

14 Responses

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  1. There most certainly was a tip there and can vividly remember the look of horror on my mothers face (and what I smelled like) after returning from playing on it! I recall on one occasion building a raft with my mates as there were a number of ‘ponds’ on the site. How on earth I didn’t drown, catch some terminal disease or poison myself I will never know! From what I recall, but I could be wrong, it extended adjacent to the areas between Park Avenue and The Ridgeway.


    March 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm

  2. I am whats called a senior citizen these days but well remember the tip on Temple MEMORIAL Park ,
    and the paper and other bits and pieces flying around the surrounding area on windy days . It was surrounded by a wire mesh fence which had all kinds of rubbish stuck in it and was a complete eyesore .
    I have been in e-mail contact with Kevin Flannery about the relacement of the the plaque showing that the site was gifted to ‘ The people of South Shields in Perpetuity ‘ ( recently removed during landscaping ) .

    There is now a sign saying that Temple MEMORIAL Park is owned by South Tyneside Council , it was gifted in perpetuity to the people of South Shields , STC do not own Temple MEMORIAL Park .

    bill frazer

    July 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

  3. Hi,
    As a child I played in that dump, if I remember correctly (I was about 10 years at the time and lived in notorious Ashgrove Avenue) it sprung up after the bin men’s strike in the 70’s. As kids we would collect peoples rubbish bins an old wheel barrow and cart it off to that dump, past those signs that said ‘Dumping Prohibited’. I left South Shields in 1980 to join the army and have never been back. Since then I have lived in Africa and Australia, although thinking of a visit in 2012

    Steve Dodd

    August 9, 2011 at 5:56 am

    • I think you would find plenty to surprise you Steve, not least the new housing estate that has replaced Ashgrove Avenue! Then there are improvements to the beaches and promenades and a brand new swimming pool may just be about ready at the Pier Head in time for your visit. The South Marine Park is also much improved and you will find a far greater variety of modern housing in South Shields, and not just on the estates.


      August 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      • Hi Curley,

        I have heard that it has changed, Cleadon Park and Ashgrove in particular in the 1970’s was poor area, although I had great friends and a very exciting childhood. We used to go camping at Celadon hills and sleep in the old mill and the Air Raid shelters. We used to build Camps around the old Dump and then have great bonfire nights in the back fields.

        I look at the kids today and they cannot go outside without their parents escorting them, they get lifts to school – where has all the adventure gone???? Those early days gave me a taste for travel, and I have being doing it since then. Brisbane where I am in now is the longest I have ever been in one place without travelling to other far distant lands.

        Steve Dodd

        May 21, 2013 at 4:15 am

    • Hiya Doddsy
      We used to be in el alemain cadets
      together how are you ? Brian


      April 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm

  4. Re my earlier remarks:- I have been at the council about replacing the plaque which was taken down , I have been advised that it should be in place bt the end of this week . Does anyone know where I can find out the exact wording that was on the original , because the councillor in question has mentioned the ‘ new sign ‘ .

    Bill Frazer

    September 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm

  5. I stumbled across this post wilst looking for infomation about a network of rooms under the grounds of temple park, there is an entrance way which is now filled with concrete on the corner of temple park where king george road and john reid road meet. I must have been around 14 year old before this was filled and the old entrance was simpy bricked up. I remember that andals had broken through the brick work leaving a hole just big enough to get through. so being 14, very courious and up for adventure me and a few mates decided to go in and explore. as soon as we go through the opening i remember going down concrete stairs to pitch darkness. with a torch we managed to navigate around what seemed to be a series of underground rooms which if my memory is correct had tiled walls. we didnt spend alot of time in there as it was quite scary , i remember us daring each other to go further in. can ay one tell me if this is the old civil defence facility?

    Martin Robson

    November 4, 2012 at 8:21 am

    • Martin – That was the changing rooms where the temple park football teams used to change. I remeber some older kids set fire to it, which is why they bricked it up. We used to go down there looking for rats – why? I do not know…

      Steve Dodd

      May 21, 2013 at 4:19 am

  6. Hi Brian,

    Is this Brian Thompson or Sadler? I Loved the Army Cadets, so much so I spent 9 years in the army. Left the army, travelled the world, lived in Africa and now live in Australia. Reeve Jeffrey is also in Australia, in Adelaide

    Steve Dodd

    May 21, 2013 at 4:08 am

    • Hiya Doddsy
      It’s Sadler
      The last time we met was at Boldon when I lived in an upstairs flat,
      You had just done an army advanced driving course and showing us how to tie a captive up with one hand and holding a weapon in the always talked about the army at school if I remember your grandad was a soldier?
      Hope everything is ok


      May 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      • Hi Brian,
        Good to here from you, what are you up to these days? Do you still keep in touch with Adda?, are you still living in Shields? As I said Reeve lives on Aus, I have not caught up with him, as he lives so far away, but we chat on Facebook. He drives the big mine trucks now, he is still a big kid.
        I remember when we caught up in Bolden, so many years ago. i have not lived in the UK for 20 years now, although i went back for business when i lived in Africa. Drop me an email I am looking to bring my wife over next year to see where I grew up, we never made it in 2012, as we went back to South Africa for a holiday instead. She is South African so we went to see her family for a wedding. My younger brother Jon in Aus as well
        Take care

        Steve Dodd

        May 22, 2013 at 3:32 am

  7. Have you seen the chemical sludge that flows over the pavement across the road from king george school from temple park landfill?

    David Ray

    June 4, 2013 at 11:08 am

    • You can find info on old landfills at and for Temple Park it has 3 entries

      Site name Site address First waste received Last waste received
      Temple Memorial Park No.1, John Reid Road, South Shield, Tyne and Wear 01 JAN 1957 01 JAN 1994 View data
      Temple Park No.2 Temple Park, South Shield, Tyne and Wear 01 JAN 1950 – View data
      Temple Park No.3 Nevinson Avenue, Whiteleas (no dates)

      Robert Walker

      August 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm

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