So, what’s it like living in South Hetton?
Truthfully, it depends what you are looking for. Firstly, I’ve lived here all my life – so it’s all I’ve ever known in terms of living location. It’s a quiet place to live with the occasional bit of drama. There’s always something going on, but generally speaking it’s a nice small village.
There’s a lot of history when it comes to South Hetton. The village was made famous because of the Angus Sibbett Murder, related to the body found at Pesspool bridge.
It’s a really small and quiet place to live. The total population is something like 4,000 people. So good if you like to get away from the big city and move to somewhere where people don’t interfere in your life as much. You have to be aware, as a small community, we talk… a lot. So people are chatty and will want to know your business, where you’ve come from, who you know. Why you moved into the area. It’s our business to be nosy. Everyone likes to know who’s living around them, and because it’s an old pit mining community usually someone knows someone.
South Hetton comes under Durham County Council in terms of Parish, as you’d expect with any other council. This starts from Snippersgate, then it becomes Sunderland.
South Hetton is a former coal mining community. So you will find a lot of OAP living here. So a lot of them are good friends and know each other. There’s still a few houses around the area use coal fires. Not as cheap as Gas, but anyone who’s grew up with a coal fire can probably remember the memories of their mother, or their nan standing in front of it and hitching up their skirt then warming their arses in front of it. Coal fires are one of those things you miss, they radiate heat in an entirely different method and are so relaxing.
South Hetton is an old pit mining community, so full of pensioners, but there are a lot of middle aged people living here too. This is because of some new houses being built into the area and people moving in. Since I’ve lived here, I know of at least 4 or 5 new areas (Abbeydale Gardens, Regent Court, Maythorne Drive, one around Grasmere. I’m not sure of the street name, but I think it’s called Windermere Road). This created approx 200 more properties in the area, which has driven the local population from about 3000 to probably closer to 3500-4000 people.
South Hetton, other than OAP, and new builds is a council based community. So a lot of the people who live here that don’t work or either on Job Seekers, Sick or claming benefit some how. It’s a typical council estate. You get your mix of good and bad people. We have a relatively low crime rate, it’s mostly thefts and anti-social behavior that happens in the area. Other than that nothing really happens.
There’s not really much to do in the village, it’s quiet. In terms of social activities, most people tend to go to the Cricket Club. On Thursday’s they have a quiz night, which is great for communities. Alternatively, you can go to the Robin Todd Centre which always has something going
Generally traffic in South Hetton is quite low. It’s only a small village. There’s one main road which runs through the village, and a back road. Traffic isn’t really a problem here, it’s quite calm until something happens. Traffic tends to be disrupted a bit when it snows because the B-Roads don’t get gritted, only the main road. So getting into / out of streets can be a bit hard.
Also if there’s a big crash on the local dual carriageway (A19), sometimes traffic is diverted through the village because it’s the easiest way to reroute people. This is good for potential Business, but realistically a bloody nightmare if you get stuck in it.
Unfortunately due to the village being a link road, it does attract people speeding through it (goes from 30mph –>60mph road). There has also been a couple of fatalities in the village from RTA, which is always sad news to hear regardless if they’re from our area or not.
As we’re a small pit village. The houses are built around the 1950’s and usually either a Semi-Detached or a Terraced based house. There are some new houses which have since been built which are more modern. Their downside however is that they lose out on Garden Space to older houses like mine. My own garden is around 2000 square feet in size. Price wise depending on what house you’re buying and how modern, it will be between £50,000 – £200,000 in price.
Expenses wise, you’re probably looking monthly at around £250-£500 for rent/mortgage, and around £80-120 in gas/electric again depending on how old the house is or how modernised it’s been or it’s value.
For the sporting people, South Hetton has a local Welfare Ground. Which tends to cater for most.
In this ground, there’s a Cricket Field, Bowls Green, Five-a-side Court, Basketball Court and a couple of football pitches. Generally on a Saturday or Sunday chances are you will see the local teams playing in South Hetton.
These facilities still exist, but they’re run down now because they’re not really used often.
If you have younger generation there’s somewhere for them to kick about. There’s also a small children’s playground for them to go to at the local Welfare park.
Probably the most famous person who’s originally from South Hetton is the England Ladies Football Captain Steph Houghton. Anyone who’s lived in the area for a number of years knows her, or her family. She’s never forgotten her roots, so we take pride in knowing she’s from our small little village and has remained so humble.
Alternatively, the Robin Todd centre is the newest building opened up (it used to be the local recreation centre). There’s usually activities going on there and there’s a gym so good if you want to work out. You can also join the local Facebook Group to find out about other activities that people do themselves or run in the local area. There’s a local equestrian centre nearby too if you like horse riding
South Hetton isn’t really a village to come to when it comes to finding a job. There’s very few Businesses that could warrant a placement. This isn’t generally an issue though, the village is located about 15-20 miles from most major cities. So we are within range of all the areas where most jobs come up
Speaking of horse riding, pretty much every year during the Bank Holidays. South Hetton turns into a mini Appleby. The farmer opens his field, and an event takes place. Normally a one in August, and a one in May. For the past few years, the village has had travellers come through with their horses. Normally they do a parade through the streets and around the local area. When the event takes place (normally a certain time) the roads are full of horse and cart plus those little carriages. It makes travel in South Hetton an absolute nightmare. The last time they carried out an unorganised trot, and my own personal car was almost collided into. They were 3 wide on a single carriageway, and transit vans/horses were on the opposite side of the road.
Luckily the event is normally signposted now, and it’s only a temporary disruption that lasts around 30 mins – 1 hour. So generally speaking it’s not too much of a problem.
The travellers themselves seem to be well organised, and generally speaking I wouldn’t have an issue with this. Unfortunately every time the event is going to take place. The weeks running up to it, you normally tend to get an increase of horse/traps on the road, thefts, trespassing, plus the amount of rubbish left over generally means they’re unwelcome people. Considering they don’t like being labelled with the same brush, they don’t seem to be doing much to be changing opinions about themselves when the same shit happens year on year
I wouldn’t have an issue, but until they stop causing these issues, whether it’s certain people in their group, or people who “tag along” with them. These people are giving the honest travellers a bad name. Which is a shame, because even though I’m not a fan if horse/trap or horse/carriage, they’re actually nice to look at when the event takes place, and great if you like taking photos for things like this. They really need to deal with their own internally. Otherwise they’re always going to be moved on.
Eventually the police will take notice and South Hetton will come on the news again. The last time it was on the news was when a horse was spooked and crashed into a car. Most likely the police will only deal with it when someone dies, or a serious accident is involved. I did vaguely recall it being mentioned that a horse was being raced until it dropped dead. Then it was thrown on a pick up truck and later burned, but I can’t find the article for this.
If you’re a socialist person. I can’t really recommend anywhere. We have a Cubs / Scouts hut and a Cricket Club. There is a quiz night every Thursday so it’s great for a cheap drink, and friendly banter and a bit of competition.
(If you’re from South Hetton and I haven’t listed you. Drop me an email and I’ll look into it then add you). Please note, the only businesss I have listed here are the ones I found on Google Maps. This doesn’t account for Self Employed tradesmen. i’m happy to list you but you have to contact me first otherwise I don’t know about you
KEY NOTES TO SUMMARISE – Click here to open the below in a HTML page you can view
- RELIGION : We have a Church and a Chapel
- FOOD : There is an Indian takeaway, 2 Fish & Chip Shops, 1 Pizza Shop, a Cake Shop and Catering Business
- SPORTS : Sunday league Football team, Cricket Club, Bowls Club, Local Welfare Park, Local Community Centre
- SERVICES : We have an Optometrist, a Mechanic, Post Office, Haulage, 2 x Driving Lessons Tutors, Hair Salon, Hair Dresser
- HEALTH : Local NHS Surgery, Care Home, Day Care Centre, Boots Pharmacy
- EDUCATION : Primary School
- TRANSPORT : Go North East
If you don’t like South Hetton. Then we are within 15 mins drive of the bigger towns and cities (Peterlee, Murton, Seaham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Newcastle) which are easily accessible via the A19 and opens up the options that you have available to you