Hebburn’s heritage and heroes are to be recognised in street names on a new town housing complex – and townsfolk have been invited to have their say.
Developer Bellway Homes (North East) is building 118 properties on land formerly occupied by South Tyneside College’s old Hebburn campus, now dubbed College Mews.
I’d like to open the debate to the public so they come forward with their own suggestions on who or what deserves recognition.Coun John McCabe
The Mill Lane college closed almost four years ago.
College bosses axed the 60-year-old education complex, which covers more than 21 acres, because it was outdated, with annual maintenance costs rising to £500,000.
Now discussions have been launched between councillors and developers to come forward with suggestions for street names.
At a meeting this week several famous people connected with Hebburn were put into the mix – including Olympic athlete and former town teacher Brendan Foster, who founded the Great North Run, and former 1,500m world record holder Steve Cram, who was raised in the town.
But both were discounted as living people are not usually recognised.
Another frontrunner for the two names on the estate is David Saint, writer of the Miners’ Hymn.
Coun John McCabe, who represents Hebburn South for Labour, wants the public to have an input in the naming process.
But he’s also anxious that Hebburn’s first “rock star” is recognised out on the streets.
Geologist Arthur Holmes already has a crater on Mars and a Durham University laboratory named after him.
Holmes was a scientist renowned for establishing the use of radioactive techniques as a means of calculating the age of the earth.
A plaque is also installed on the wall of 62 Glen Street, Hebburn, where Holmes was born on January 14, 1890.
Coun McCabe said: “I’d like to open the debate to the public so they come forward with their own suggestions on who or what deserves recognition.
“I would personally put forward Holmes for his remarkable scientific accomplishments.”
The Hebburn campus closed in the summer of 2011, resulting in the transfer of hundreds of students to the South Shields college site in St George’s Avenue, Westoe.