St. Mary’s R.C. School was opened in 1903 and is situated near the Miners’ Welfare Grounds. T’he Head Teacher is Mr. G. Maley.
T’he A. J. Dawson Grammar School was opened in 1930 by Mr. Peter Lee, and provides education for children from Wingate and surrounding villa,ges. Previous to this date scholarship children attended schools at the Hartlepools and travelled by train. Mr. Ingram was the first Headmaster of the local Grammar School and was well respected by all until his retirement in 1946, when he was succeeded by Mr. Georg’e A. Carr, M.C., M.A., who in turn retired in July, 1919 to take Holy Orders in the Anglican Church. The appointment is now filled by Mr. S. Stewart, M.A. During the whole of this period Miss Muriel Roxby has been Senior Mistress of the school.
In I906 an event occurred which shocked the locality. This was the explosion at the colliery in which the lives of twwenty-six men and fifty-six ponies were lost. A monument of sandstone to the memory of these men is erected in the centre of the village in close proximity to the church and schools.
T’he annual flower show was a great event in the village. It was first held in 1882 in a field owned by Mr. John Partridge, a local contractor, and discontinued because of many adverse circumstances, such as inclement weather and lack of funds.
The stalls for the show were made by the colliery joiners. In 1912 an aeroplane piloted by C. B. Huck gave a demonstration flight. The plane was brought to the field on a lorry and was taken away in the same fashion.
During the demonstration it didn’t rise more than three feet above the ground. Two years after this event it was reported in the press that the pilot had looped-the-loop for the eighty-fourth time.
There was also a flourishing market held every fortnight on Friday nights in the square behind Holcroft’s shop. Here now stands Market Crescent, a Council House estate. The market was a romantic and exciting place for children with its numerous stalls lit by naptha flares. What a smoke they made when they went out!
One could buy clothing, china, meat, sweets, tripe, etc. The seller of ladies’ clothing was often seen arrayed in some of his wares, and from the china stall could be heard the rattle of plates being thrown onto a tea chest without a breakage. The smell of cough candy pervaded the whole place.
World War I will be remembered by the fact that a bomb was dropped from a zepperlin into the wood referred to at the beginning of this history. Many of the houses in the locality had their windows broken, and for long afterwards the bomb-hole provided a playground for the children. It was a good place to collect tadpoles and frog-spawn.
Being only a very short distance from West Hartlepool the residents of Wingate can remember seeing a zepperlin being brought down over Seaton Carew. It appeared in the sky like a huge cigar and then, one end becoming alight, it crashed into the sea.
At the end of the war returning soldiers were given a welcome home. They were met at Wingate Station by the local band, and later a concert was given in the local cinema. This welcome home was organised by the local branch of the Independent Order of Rechabites.
World War 2 can be especially noted because that in 1939 children from Henry Smith School, Hartlepool, were evacuated to Wingate. They remained about eight months and many friendships were formed. Each householder who took in a child was given a personal letter of thanks from the Queen.