Witfest music festival early-bird tickets tomorrow 18 May

Witton Gilbert’s own music festival is coming up on Saturday 13 July, the annual Witfest. It is held at the lovely Traveller’s Rest pub.

Entry is by wristband and the early-bird price £10 wristbands are on sale tomorrow, 18 May from 2pm-5pm, only at the Traveller’s Rest. After tomorrow they are £15 each. Traveller’s Rest is also having a bottomless brunch tomorrow.

Here is the line-up for the Witfest, with bands all afternoon and evening from 12:30pm – 10pm:

Children under 16 are free, although the festival is quite crowded.

For more information contact Jon Reynolds, John Rooney or John Nixon via the very active Witton Gilbert page on Facebook.

Great website for Witton Gilbert Parish Council – AGM coming up on 13 May

Congratulations to Witton Gilbert Parish Council and the team for the beautiful website they created. You can find it here https://wittongilbertparishcouncil.uk/.

Go to the website for news of their activities, decisions and work for the community. You can find details of the council meeting agendas and minutes. With the latest minutes being for the March meeting.

Next Monday 13 May is the Annual General Meeting and will be at Witton Gilbert Community Centre. There are actually two meetings: The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held at 6.30 p.m. which is fairly procedural. Then at 6.35 pm comes the Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council.

Residents of the village are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council. They may speak on any agenda item at the discretion of the chairman but they may not vote.

If you want a copy of the agenda for the AGM, have a look here.

Witton Gilbert War Memorial Awarded Listed Building Status

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has decided to add Witton Gilbert War Memorial to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The memorial is now listed at Grade II.

Please follow the link below to download a copy of our advice report, which gives the principal reasons for this decision. The List entry for this building, together with a map, has now been published on the National Heritage List for England, and will be available for public access from tomorrow. This List can be accessed through The Historic England website.


A 60 minute guided Mindfulness walk through Witton Dene

Sensing the Seasons
A 60 minute guided Mindfulness walk through Witton Dene,
suitable for most abilities

Next walks: Fridays 10-11am
29th November
27th December
31st January 28th February 27th March

Whatever the weather,
come prepared.

To find out more, contact Gillie breath-
Tel: 0191 3711387 /07508 471522
Meeting place:
St Michael and All Angels
Church, Coach Lane,
Witton Gilbert, DH7 6SX

Witton Gilbert War Memorial

Histioric England is considering Listing the war Memorial as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War.

This has prompted us to record some of the details, and we would like to ask the families of those who lost their lives in the conflicts commemorated on the memorial if they have photographs or family stories they can recount. Please use the contact form below. Also we hope that all of the detail in this post are correct, please let us have any corrections or futher information.

The Memorial in its current location

The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Witton Gilbert as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 43 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War..

222 men from Witton Gilbert joined up to serve in the war, of whom nearly 20 per cent fell. The memorial was originally erected in the Graham Memorial Park in Witton Dene. It cost £400 which was raised by public subscription. The designer was JG Burrell of Durham. It was unveiled on Saturday 2 September 1922 by Lt Col JR Ritson, TD. Large numbers of
representatives from parish and district organisations were also present.

The memorial park provided work for the unemployed but sadly suffered from vandalism even before the unveiling. After the Second World War the names of ten casualties of that war were added. During the C20 much of the old village was demolished leaving the memorial somewhat isolated. It was relocated in 1978 by members of 105 Squadron, 72 Regiment the Royal Engineers with support from the local community, and rededicated on 5 November that year. It was unveiled in its new position by Capt D Brown and rededicated by Fr Ian Hoskins.

The memorial’s original height was 23 feet, but a photograph taken in its original location shows it had a three-stepped base. It is not clear if the lower step survives in the new location, but if so it is buried beneath the paving surrounding the memorial. The relocation revealed that the memorial comprised 28 pieces, the largest of which weighed 2,800 lbs (more than 1.2 tonnes). The memorial was cleaned and the inscriptions recut in 2000.

The Memorial in its original location

A First World War memorial of 1922, by JG Burrell, with later additions for the Second World War, and relocated in 1978.

MATERIALS: Stainton sandstone.
DESCRIPTION: standing in a small memorial garden accessed from Briar Lea.

The memorial faces west and comprises a cross of St Cuthbert on a tapering octagonal column with a square pedestal set on two octagonal steps. The pedestal has stopped chamfers and a hollow-moulded, tapering top. The cross-shaft has an elaborate moulded foot with recessed panels to each face and a tetrahedral band. The abacus is also moulded, and the cross has a three-stepped octagonal foot.

The inscriptions are incised. Around the bottom of the cross-shaft foot is inscribed:

The rolls of honour are inscribed on the north and south faces. The names are listed by the year of death (which continue to 1920), then alphabetically by surname with rank and regiment. The east face is inscribed with the dates 1939 – 1945 and ten names listed alphabetically by surname without ranks or units.

                                         North face


PTE                     George                   Moody                                   8th  D.L.I.


PTE                     Gilbert                 Hodgson Robson                  8th  D.L.I.


PTE                     Joseph                  Armstrong                              2nd  E.Y.

PTE                     Joseph                  Beardmore                              6th   E.Y.

PTE                     Cuthbert             Carr                                          15th D.L.I.

PTE                     Matthew             Cumming                           18th D.L.I.

PTE                     Thomas               Guy                                            27th N.F.

PTE                     Charles Joseph  Graham                                     5th   D.L.I.

PTE                     Thomas James  Goodwin                                    2nd  D.L.I.

PTE                     Herbert             Cill                                              13th D.L.I.

LCE CPL             George              Jackson                                        2nd   D.L.I.

BOMB               Richard               Lisco                                             8th   E.Y.

PTE                     Roger                 Parkin                                         20th D.L.I.

PTE                     Gibson              Snaith                                          13th D.L.I.

SERGT               Robert               Yule                                              19th D.L.I.


SERGT               Arthur Ernest Clark                                       2nd   D.L.I.

PTE                     George          Craggs                                            1st    Worcester

STOKER             Thomas        Davison                                         H.M.S  SUPERB

PTE                     Arthur              Edmundson                                6th    BORD

PTE                     Ernest              Hunter                                           9th    W.Y.

PTE                     Tom Allanson Hardy                                            19th  N.F.

PTE                     Robert              Knowlson                                      8th    Y.

                                                 South face


LCE.CPL             Owen William Maule                                            25th N.F.

PTE                     Jacob              Martin                                              1/4th K.O.Y.L.I

PTE                     Alexander Logan McDonald                                   8th E.Y.

GUNNER          William Thirkell Pratt                                               5th D.L.I.

PTE                     John James      Smeatham                                    6th YORKS.

PTE                     Albert Moyes Walker                                            19th Y.

PTE                     Thomas             Brown                                              3rd N.F.

LIEUT                 William Henry Brown                                           18th D.L.I.

PTE                     John                  Godfrey                                           15th D.L.I.

PTE                     George              Johnson                                          16th CHES.

LC CPL            Thomas Gadstone Martindale                                14th D.L.I.

PTE                     Charles              Metcalf                                            20th D.L.I.

GUNNER          Simpson Turnbull Parkin                                          R.G.A

PTE                     George               Roe                                                    2nd D.L.I.

PTE                     John                   Roe                                                      A.S.C.

PTE                     George Cuthbert Raine                                          18th D.L.I.

PTE                     John                   Walton                                            15th D.L.I.

PTE                     Frederick        Wardman                                          R.C.A.


PTE                     William            Wise                                                 8th D.L.I.


PTE                     Henry               Overton                                           2nd  YORKS.

PTE                     Robert Wilkinson Yule                                            8th   D.L.I.

                                           East face

                                                    1939   –   1945

Bramfitt E.                                             Kelsey  G.

Burdon J.W.                                            Plank  G.W.

Carroll J.                                                 Reynolds  J.G.

Denton T.W.                                           Swinton  T.

Farnsworth R.                                      Waterson  J.W.

Full details from the North East War Memorials Project, accessed 12/11/19 from

Neighbourhood Plan Referendum : result

The outcome of the Referendum on the adoption of the Witton Gilbert Neighbourhood Plan was as follows:

Do you want Durham County Council to use the Witton Gilbert Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the Witton Gilbert neighbourhood area?

NO  votes                   56

YES votes                409

Spoiled                           1

Total votes cast  466 this represents 23% of the electorate

A 23%  turnout for a Neighbourhood Plan Refrendum can be considered the higher side of normal.

Woodland Wonders! Little Wonders activities

Children’s forest activities
★ Explore the woodland and churchyard
★ Play active outdoor games
★ Discover local wildlife
★ Learn simple green woodwork skills
★ Make crafts from natural materials
★ Listen to stories around the campfire

The activities are led
by a Level 3
Forest school qualified

Donations welcome
These activities are strictly for
2-5 years

Children must be accompanied by a

For further information or to
book contact:

Meeting place:
St Michael and All Angels
Church, Coach Lane,
Witton Gilbert, DH7 6SX
Booking essential
Come weather prepared
No dogs please



The Parish Council has been consulting on the Witton Gilbert Neighbourhood Plan since 2013 and in November2018 a pre-submission draftwas completed and submitted for inspection by an Independent Planning Inspector. The plan has since been recommended to go forward to a referendum after consultations with Durham CountyCouncil.
The Plan has taken countless hours of work and research and has at all times involved residents and it is based on your comments and views given at the well attended public meetings and feedback sessions. It is YOUR plan and it can now become formal part of the planning process with full legal status.
A formal referendum organised by the County Council will  be held on the November 7th and polling cards will be issued to all registered voters in Witton Gilbert Parish.    The Neighbourhood Plan is important to the local community as it will sit alongside the County Plan and be used to make planning decisions within the Neighbourhood area.
The aim of the plan can bebriefly expressed as follows:-
* Defines a Settlement Boundary to prevent the erosion of     the  countryside around Witton Gilbert
* Controls Housing Development within the settlement Boundary, and makes provision for affordable housing and homes for older people
* Defines a Historic Zone and helps to ensures all development or alterations within the zone are appropriate
* Encourages Sustainable design
* Protects and promotes Biodiversity within the Parish
* Defines and protects Local Green Spaces from development.
These are shown on the proposals map and include such areas as the playing fields and the allotments
* Protects and supports Community Assets, e.g. The Community Centre, Primary School, the Store and Post Office
* Encourages new and existing business, farm diversification and home working
* Encourages Community energy generation projects.
The plan will also help provide some revenue for Community projects as all Neighbourhood Plan areas get 25% of any Community
Infrastructure Levy applied to a development within the Neighbourhood area.
We encourage parishioners to read all of the information related to this plan contained on this web site or access the plan at the County Council site. There is also a hard copy deposited at Cooper Hall.
If you have any comments please use the form below

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