Two weeks holiday with pay is a far cry from the old “Cavilling Monday.” On this day practically the Whole village went to Hart (now Crimdon) for a day’s outing. Everything in the food line (including water) had to be carried, and each member of the family had a job to do. Food baskets were much lighter on the way home, The railway fare for this famous day out was 9d return for Adults and getting into the train for the home journey was quite an adventure. “Packed like sardines” is an admirable description but each returned full of sea air and high spirits if somewhat tired.
Station Town derives its name from the railway station situated at the south end of Wingate and is actually a suburb. The station was built at the beginning of the century but, as at Wellfield Junction, is now closed, Many years earlier the village had been associated with a colliery which had been sunk at Heath View, nearby, but flooding closed the colliery soon afterwards, leaving the village almost like a ghost town. The colliery houses, almost new, were sold to private owners and the village had been dependent on Wingate for employment and social life to this day.
As at Wingate, the streets were unmade and the water supply was from a communal tap in the middle of each street.
In recent years pumping operations have been carried on at the old colliery and some of its seams are now being worked from Wingate, thus prolonging the life of Wingate Colliery.
The introduction of pit head baths in 1959 was a great step forward in that it is a rare sight to see a miner coming home dirty from the pit. By the same token the burden of the miner’s wife is somewhat diminished.
Most of the life in olden times was centered around the chapels. The Primitive Methodist Chapel in Church Street was burnt down after being set alight from sparks from a railway engine, The new P.M. Chapel was built in Milbank Terrace in 1903 and is now the only one in Station Town. The New Connection Chapel, later known as the United Methodist, was built in Church Street as one of the West Hartlepool circuit and this little chapel was the focal point of the lives of many of the village famlilies. The Minister lived at West Hartlepool and travelled by train for a bi-weekly visit, The lay-preachers came from the neighbouring villages, walking many miles in good and bad weather to serve the chapel and its members. Two loyal members in this sphere were George Stones and Robert Ord, not long deceased,
Another prominent institution in the village was the Temperance Hall. When joining this movement each child was given a regalia and sworn to temperance withont fully understanding its meaning; bnt the week-night meetings, socials and football teams kept the youth of the village together.
To the delight of children and adults alike a travelling preacher visited the village occasionally. This gentleman, by name Mr. Terrany, would canvass the village, inviting all to his lantern lectures, and was assured of a Full House. The occasion is still fondly referred to as a “Magic Lantern Show.”
The Station Hotel dominates the entrance to the village from Wingate and for many years the licensee was Mr. James Stott. His pride was a shining high trap and horse. Unfortunately, he met his death after being thrown from this horse. He was succeeded in business by his son, Mark, and another son, John, is a local Building Comtractor.