West Hartlepool shares with Middlesbrough and Barrowin-Furness the distinction among our larger industrial towns of being wholly a child of the Victorian age. It was created by Ralph Ward Jackson in the 1840s when he built the new docks to serve the growing South Durham coalfield, and laid out a gridiron of streets to house his work force. An Improvement Act passed in 1854 provided for a uniform system of sewerage and drainage, and the streets were paved and comparatively wide, so the town avoided the worst squalor of the Industrial Revolution.1 But the houses were mostly low and mean, and as the town grew they became interspersed with industry. Old Stranton village — the original settlement, with 350 inhabitants in 1901 — was chewed up, and its green disappeared, along with all other green spaces in the vicinity. The population, 4,500 in 1851, rose to 21,000 in 1871 and 63,000 in 1901; in 1964 it was 78,360.
KeywordsLabour Group Labour Party North Ward Conservative Candidate South Ward
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