Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: Simon Raine


Institute 1914-18 Front Street





Map ref


Original Location

Front Street

Present Location


Which war


Dedication, Creation or Publication date

Foundation stone laid 16/11/1922 by Col. W.C. Blackett.
Officially opened 28th September 1923 by Cllr. T.F. Brass, O.B.E., J.P.; dedicated by Rev. A.R. Hotton, vicar.

Memorial Description

Institute. “Erected in pressed brick with dressings of glazed faience ware”
Large club building on a corner site comprising hall to accommodate 400 people, billiard room, reading room, smokeroom, committee rooms etc.
It had two entrances with spacious crush hall, and with two anterooms.
On the upper storey the floor was part level and part sloping, so that it could be used for socials and dancing, or as a cinema.
Above the main door the name of the building is incised in Roman capitals. On the right of the main door and along the wall are various stone tablets set into the wall giving details of their laying.

A caretaker’s house was built adjacent to the main buildings.

Materials used

Brick building with stone porticoed entrance; glazed faience.







How money was raised

£4,000 from Miners’ Welfare Scheme. Sacriston and Charlaw Colliery gave £3,000. Site given by the Colliery Company.

Present condition

A fire in the 1960s destroyed much of the institute but the dedication stones and the memorial plaques survived and were incorporated into the rebuilt memorial hall.

Sculptor, Artist or Designer

Designed by Hayes and Gray, architects of Wingate; built by R. Southern of Dipton;
electric lighting supplied by the Jesmond Electrical Co.;
heating and ventilation by Messrs. Combe & Co., Glasgow;
fibrous plaster decoration by Me


1. An alternative proposal for a memorial were houses for widows, but was defeated in a ballot.

2. At the unveiling, the clock in the tower was started by Mr. Stead, one of the oldest employees of the coal company.

3. The stone laying ceremony took place on Armistice Day November 1922. The first stone was laid by Private John Lee who lost his sight whilst serving in the war.

4. Other foundation stones are as follows:
a. This stone was laid on / behalf of the Rechabites / by S. Hunter, Esq.
b. This stone was laid on / behalf of the Sacriston P.S.A. / by T.F. Brass O.B.E. J.P. C.C. / President of the Institute
c. This stone was on behalf / of the Mechanics Lodge / by G. Cowey Esq.
d. In memoriam / by / The Sons of Temperance
e. This stone was laid by / W.S. Hunter D.L., J.P. / Gilling Castle
f. This stone was laid by / F.C. Hunter J.P. / Exmouth
g. This stone was laid by / Capt T.A. Bradford D.S.O.
h. This stone was laid by / W.B. Sowerby Esq.
i. This stone was laid on / behalf of the members of Sacriston Lodge by / B. Lambert Esq.
j. This stone was laid by / Coroner J. Graham T.D.
k. This stone was laid by / John Lawson M.P.
l. This stone was laid by / Dr. J.H.R. Carson
m. .........laid on / ...St Johns Ambulance / J.H. Thomas Esq.
n. This stone was laid by / James Robson Esq. President of Durham D.M.A.
o. This stone was laid on behalf of the Ex Service Mens Club by / James Henderson Esq.
p. This stone was laid by Mrs Joseph Carr Sacriston
q. This stone was laid by Mr and Mrs George Craig Sacriston
r. This stone was laid by Allan Douglas and George Dixon Craig
There are other stones which have eroded.

4. The building was erected on the site of the old Wesleyan Chapel, which had been used as a Literary Institute on Front Street.

5. Mr. Brass was presented with a larger photograph of himself, with a smaller one in a silver frame. The smaller one he would keep as a souvenir, he presented the larger one to be placed in the hall.

6. Cpl. John Lee, a blinded ex-soldier, who laid a foundation stone, did the same at Kimblesworth (K24.01). The stone which he laid reads: This stone was laid on behalf of the ex-servicemen / of Sacriston by Corporal John Lee, and dedicated / to the memory of all those who made the / supreme sacrifice / Aug. 1914 Nov. 1918. Is this one of the stones now too weathered to read?

7. At the official opening the Chairman “rather regretted that it had been decided to convert the hall into a cinema, as he would have preferred to see it devoted to lectures of a scientific and literary nature. He was indeed sorry to hear that the committee had been driven to such financial straits that they had been obliged to convert the hall into a picture house, but his hope was that this condition of things would not long continue”.

8. The upper storey building had been destroyed by fire on 15th December 1961. The building was renovated in 1964 at a cost of £11,500, paid for mainly through insurance and Co-op Society Bank. Sacriston Parish Council gave £2,000 to buy a new electric chiming clock which was on top of the institute. The refurbished building was officially re-opened on 20th November 1964 and used as a cinema an community institute. At that time the membership was 600.

9. The foundation stones have been incorporated into seats by being laid in blocks of four and topped with a flat stone to create the seat outside the new Community Centre, Front Street.
A clock has also been placed there to replace the clock which was on the Memorial Institute.
This was all part of the regeneration of Sacriston called “The Pulse” which “Started Beating 30th November 2009/ Commissioned by the people of Sacriston”.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: Dorothy Hall, Simon Raine; James Pasby

Shields Daily News 16/11/1922

Newcastle Weekly Chronicle 18/11/1922; 06/10/1923

Durham County Advertiser 05/10/1923

Chester-le-Street Chronicle 1919 and 1920 passim gives details of memorial proposals and also of medals given to returning men. 05/10/1923 reports opening.

Illustrated Chronicle 13/11/1922 reports laying of foundation stone; 01/10/1923 carries photo of new building

Northern Echo 13/11/1922 reports laying of foundation stones; 28/09/1923 reports formal opening tomorrow; 01/10/1923 reports opening; 12/11/1964 reports re-opening after fire in 1961.

Consett Guardian 05/10/1923 reports official opening.

Durham Chronicle 17/11/1922 reports laying of foundation stones; 04/12/1964 reports re-opening after the fire.

Stanley and Chester-le-Street News 16/11/1922 reports laying of foundation stones

Beamish Photo Archive has a photo of the building after the 1961 fire.

External web link

Links to Source Material :

Research acknowledgements

Fitzhugh Collection, Middleton in Teesdale; Dorothy Hall; James Pasby; Beamish Open Air Museum

Research In Progress

If you are researching this memorial please contact

Institute 1914-18 Front Street (S113.01)

You are looking at all the information and the best images we have so far on this memorial. If you can supply more information or better images please get in touch by sending an email to

Parish Notes

Every Name A Story