The lost village of Marsden
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Following the closure of Whitburn Colliery in 1968 the nearby mining village of Marsden was demolished, bringing an end to the sites 94 year history. An often forgotten piece of North East lore Marsden has a heritage which ought to be remembered.
Built north of Souter Lighthouse in 1874 Marsden was purpose built to accommodate miners and their families; comprising of 9 streets, 135 houses and over 700 people. The self-sufficient village contained a Church and Methodist Chapel, Co-op Store and Post Office as well as a School and a Miners’ Institute.
The self-contained and family orientated nature of Marsden fostered a great sense of community sprit and pride; miner’s wives would sell their homemade produce (jams, cakes, sweets etc.) from backyard stalls, weddings and parties were held as community events and various team sports were played for recreation.
The village housed a bowling green, football pitch, multiple tennis courts, a cricket pitch and putting green all for use by the local people. These activities took place on the Miners’ Welfare Field which was paid for by the miners themselves with weekly instalments. It was also the site of a children’s play area consisting of literal swings and roundabouts. The children of Marsden were not limited to the play area and were free to roam the natural fields and beaches, a wonderful yet potentially dangerous gift for active children.
If anyone in the village needed medical assistance there were several volunteer emergency services that would provide assistance. The Marsden Volunteer Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service and Life Saving Company were responsible for both land and sea emergencies.
Today Marsden has undergone a full transformation from moorland to mining village and now back to a green space. Visiting the site where the village stood you won't see any signs of its near 100 year history. Marsden village may have physically vanished but its wonderful stories remain.
Whitburn Colliery has been reclaimed and transformed into the beautiful Whitburn Coastal Park and Local Nature Reserve.