Billingham

Billingham

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Billingham is a town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 in the unitary authority
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

 of Stockton on Tees
Stockton-on-Tees (borough)
Stockton-on-Tees is a unitary authority area and borough in the Tees Valley area of north east England, with a population in 2001 of 178,408, rising to 185,880 in 2005 estimates....

, in north east England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, with a population of 35,765 (2006). It was founded circa 650 by a group of Saxons
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 known as Billa's people, which is where the name Billingham is thought to have originated. In modern history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, the chemical industry
Chemical industry
The chemical industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials into more than 70,000 different products.-Products:...

, and in particular the company ICI
Imperial Chemical Industries
Imperial Chemical Industries was a British chemical company, taken over by AkzoNobel, a Dutch conglomerate, one of the largest chemical producers in the world. In its heyday, ICI was the largest manufacturing company in the British Empire, and commonly regarded as a "bellwether of the British...

, played an important role in the growth of Billingham. Today ICI no longer operates in Billingham, although other chemical companies are working in the area.

Chemical industry and ICI


With the declaration of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, a high demand for explosives led to a massive expansion of Billingham. In 1917, Billingham was chosen to be the site of a new chemical works supplying ammonia
Ammonia
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

 for the war. However, the plant was completed in 1920, after the war had ended. The Brunner Mond
Brunner Mond
Tata Chemicals Europe is a UK-based chemicals company that is a subsidiary of Tata Chemicals Limited, itself a part of the India-based Tata Group...

 Company took over the site, and converted it to manufacture fertilisers. In December 1926, Brunner Mond merged with three other chemical companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), who took control of the plant. ICI began to produce plastics at Billingham in 1934.

Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

 visited the newly-opened and technologically-advanced Brunner and Mond plant at ICI and gave a detailed account of the processes he saw. The introduction to the most recent print of Brave New World
Brave New World
Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

states that Huxley was inspired to write the novel by this Billingham visit.

Henry Thorold in the Shell Guide to County Durham states:
From 1971 to 1988 ICI operated a small General Atomics
General Atomics
General Atomics is a nuclear physics and defense contractor headquartered in San Diego, California. General Atomics’ research into fission and fusion matured into competencies in related technologies, allowing the company to expand into other fields of research...

 TRIGA
TRIGA
TRIGA is a class of small nuclear reactor designed and manufactured by General Atomics. The design team for TRIGA was led by the physicist Freeman Dyson.TRIGA is the acronym of Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics.-Design:...

 Mark I nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

 at its Billingham factory. It also operated the coal-fired North Tees Power Station
North Tees Power Station
North Tees Power Station refers to a series of three coal-fired power stations on the River Tees at Billingham in County Durham. Overall, they operated from 1921 until 1983, and the C station, the last on the site, was demolished in 1987...

 designed by Giles Gilbert Scott
Giles Gilbert Scott
Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, OM, FRIBA was an English architect known for his work on such buildings as Liverpool Cathedral and Battersea Power Station and designing the iconic red telephone box....

 on the banks of the Tees, to provide electricity for its plants. This was eventually decommissioned and demolished (at a ceremony attended by Environment Secretary
Secretary of State for the Environment
The Secretary of State for the Environment was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Department of the Environment . This was created by Edward Heath as a combination of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Building and Works on 15...

 Nicholas Ridley
Nicholas Ridley, Baron Ridley of Liddesdale
Nicholas Ridley, Baron Ridley of Liddesdale, PC was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Personal life:...

) in 1987. The site of the power station is now Billingham Reach Industrial Estate, an international wharf owned by Able UK
Able UK
Able UK is a British based company specialising in the rehabilitation and development of disused sites and facilities, demolition, site reclamation, re-mediation, regeneration and waste disposal...

 Ltd. ICI no longer operates in Billingham, having sold many of its businesses during the restructuring of the company in the 1990s. Some of the company's former manufacturing plants are still in operation, run by other chemical companies.

Anhydrite Mine


In 1983, NIREX
NIREX
Nirex was a United Kingdom body set up in 1982 by the UK nuclear industry to examine safe, environmental and economic aspects of deep geological disposal of intermediate-level and low-level radioactive waste....

 announced a proposal to use the now-disused anhydrite mine as a site for the disposal of intermediate level nuclear waste. There was a huge public outcry, since despite the suitability of the site in geological
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 terms, it was very close to a large population centre. Subsequently, in 1985, the plans were dropped. More recent plans in 2007 to re-open the mines for "use as a long-term disposal facility for low hazard waste" were met with similar opposition, and a petition of 3,200 signatures against the mine's opening was presented to the local authority.

In March 2011 Stockton Council's planning committee accepted an application from NPL Waste Management to reopen the mine for the disposal of hazardous waste. NPL plans to convert the mine to a 4,000,000 cubic metre waste storage facility, receiving over 100,000 tonnes of waste annually.

Politics


Between 1923 and 1968, Billingham had its own Urban District Council which built, among other things, the Billingham Forum, Kennedy Gardens and Billingham Golf Club (the UK's first municipally-owned club). It was absorbed into the County Borough
County borough
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland , to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in...

 of Teesside in 1968. In 1974 Teesside County Borugh Council was abolished being replaced by the County of Cleveland  which had four districts, Hartlepool, Langbaugh, Middlesbrough and Stockton on Tees. Billingham was then part of Stockton on Tees. In 1996 Cleveland County Council was abolished with Billingham being part of a new unitary (single tier) council for all of Stockton and Billingham.

In February 2007, the Department for Communities and Local Government
Department for Communities and Local Government
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the UK Government department for communities and local government in England. It was established in May 2006 and is the successor to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, established in 2001...

 and the Electoral Commission
Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)
The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for well-run elections...

 issued orders for the creation of a Billingham Parish and the setting up of a new town council
Town council
A town council is a democratically elected form of government for small municipalities or civil parishes. A council may serve as both the representative and executive branch....

. Billingham Town Council is the largest in the Borough of Stockton. It is funded by a precept
Precept
A precept is a commandment, instruction, or order intended as an authoritative rule of action.-Christianity:The term is encountered frequently in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures; e.g.:...

 of £80,000. Elections for the new Town Council were held on May 3, 2007, a petition to Stockton Borough Council and referendum held in 2003 having both given assent to the proposal.

Several chemical plants close to the town were subject to explosions and leaks in 2006 and 2007.

Structure


The town is effectively split into two separate areas by name, Old Billingham (the area around the village green adjacent to St Cuthbert's church and built up around the ICI works) and the more planned estates that have spread out since the 1950s, increasing the town's size and borders towards the villages of Wolviston
Wolviston
Wolviston is a village and civil parish within the borough of Stockton-on-Tees and the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It is situated to the north of Billingham. The village is a community with good road links to Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough and the rest of North East England...

 and Cowpen Bewley
Cowpen Bewley
Cowpen Bewley is a village within the borough of Stockton-on-Tees and ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It is situated to the east of Billingham....

, to the point of almost incorporating them.

Billingham Beck Valley Country Park was constructed from a reclaimed industrial waste tip and has steadily grown to include former grazing land to form a 120 acre (0.4856232 km²) site including wetland habitats. Designated as a Local Nature Reserve by English Nature
English Nature
English Nature was the United Kingdom government agency that promoted the conservation of wildlife, geology and wild places throughout England between 1990 and 2006...

 in 1992, in 2005 it won a Green Flag Award
Green Flag Award
The Green Flag Award is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom. The scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise and reward green spaces in England and Wales that met the laid down high standards...

. The beck itself is one of the major tributaries of the River Tees
River Tees
The River Tees is in Northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar.-Geography:...

 and has a tidal reach around the former ICI site.

Education


Billingham is served by three secondary schools: Northfield School
Northfield School
Northfield School is a comprehensive secondary school in Billingham, north-east England.-History:It was established in 1972 on an original site occupying on Thames Road, in the Wolviston Court area of Billingham....

, a specialist sports college famous for Jamie Bell
Jamie Bell
Andrew James Matfin "Jamie" Bell is an English actor. He is best known for his roles in the films Billy Elliot , King Kong , Hallam Foe , Jumper , Defiance , The Eagle and The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn .- Early life :Bell was born in Billingham, in the Borough of...

; Northfield, Marsh House Avenue Site, originally Brunner and Furness Comprehensive Schools and now an arts college; and St. Michael's RC School
St Michael's Roman Catholic School
St. Michael's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided School is a secondary school in Billingham, Stockton-On-Tees.The school has been awarded Specialist Science School status by DfES in 2003 as recognition of its proficiency in this field....

, a specialist science college.

At the moment construction is ongoing for St. Michael's to join the Billingham Campus and New Bede/Riverside College facilities on the Marsh House Avenue site, in a project The Council has published plans for a £40 million investment in Primary Schools which will include some being rebuilt or re-designed and refurbished. Roseberry Primary School and Bewley Infant and Bewley Junior Schools are on the list for action within the next few years.

Bede College
Bede College
Bede College is a sixth form college located off Marsh House Avenue in Billingham, County Durham. It merged with Stockton Riverside College in May 2008 and has recently started the new year in a brand new 12 million pound building.-Admissions:...

 has served the town for several years, and attracts students from Hartlepool and Stockton, consistently achieving higher results than nearby colleges in Stockton
Stockton-on-Tees
Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in north east England. It is the major settlement in the unitary authority and borough of Stockton-on-Tees. For ceremonial purposes, the borough is split between County Durham and North Yorkshire as it also incorporates a number of smaller towns including...

 or Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough is a large town situated on the south bank of the River Tees in north east England, that sits within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire...

. It was one of the smallest colleges in the UK, with under 400 students, however its recent amalgamation with Stockton Riverside College and its relocation to an adjacent new campus, has seen these numbers increase significantly; as part of the new campus the college has gained its own sports facilities.

Religion


Billingham is home to several religious communities, the largest of which are the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, and the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

.

The Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 community is served by five churches, St. Cuthbert's, St. Luke's, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Aidan's, and St. Peter's, Wolviston, the town is situated in the Church of England Deanery of Stockton, in the Diocese of Durham
Diocese of Durham
The Diocese of Durham is a Church of England diocese, based in Durham, and covering the historic County Durham . It was created in AD 1000 to replace the Diocese of Lindisfarne...

 which itself is within the Archdeaconry of Auckland. The town is served by, Rev David Brooke (area dean), Rev Canon Richard Smith (retired), Rev Tim Parker, Rev Sheila Day (Curate), and Rev Paul Clayton (Curate).

The Roman Catholic community is served by three parishes, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish Billingham
Holy Rosary Parish Billingham
Our Lady Of The Most Holy Rosary Parish, Billingham has been recently combined with two other parishes to create a new parish St. Thomas of Canterbury Billingham. so technically no longer exists. The new and old parishes are both located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, and...

, St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph's. Regular mass attendance in the town is around 756, according to figures released by the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. The parish is placed in the episcopal area of Cleveland and South Durham and the deanery of St. Peter, including Stockton & Billingham. The town is served by three Catholic Clergy, Rev J. Butters (also area Episcopal Vicar) is the parish priest, Rev L. Barrett is the curate, and Rev D. McKie the resident deacon.

The Christian community is also served by two Methodist churches and one Baptist church. There is also a Latter-day Saints church, and a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Retail


Billingham Town Centre provides the town with famous national retail chains such as Asda
Asda
Asda Stores Ltd is a British supermarket chain which retails food, clothing, general merchandise, toys and financial services. It also has a mobile telephone network, , Asda Mobile...

, Greggs
Greggs
Greggs plc is the largest specialist retail bakery chain in the United Kingdom. It was established in the 1930s as a single shop but has approximately 1,500 outlets....

, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 and Argos
Argos (retailer)
Argos is the largest general-goods retailer in the United Kingdom and Ireland with over 800 stores. It is unique amongst major retailers in the UK in that it is a catalogue merchant...

, as well as several charity shops, estate agents and banks, with a market featuring in the centre every Monday. The town centre lacks some services, but Stockton Town Centre is less than 3 miles (4.8 km) away and Middlesbrough Town Centre is also less than 3 miles (4.8 km) away. The town's Asda was the first Asda store to be opened in the North East in 1967 and it was rebranded as an Asda Supermarket in 2011 as part of Asda's branding for smaller stores and former Netto stores.

Road


Billingham is served by the A19
A19 road
The A19 is a major road in England running approximately parallel to and east of the A1 road, although the two roads meet at the northern end of the A19, the two roads originally met at the southern end of the A19 in Doncaster but the old route of the A1 was changed to the A638. From Sunderland...

 running to Sunderland in the north and Thirsk
Thirsk
Thirsk is a small market town and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. The local travel links are located a mile from the town centre to Thirsk railway station and to Durham Tees Valley Airport...

 in the south. The A19 has bypassed Billingham twice. The original route ran through Old Billingham and over a level crossing next to where the old railway station was located and ran through Wolviston in the north. The first bypass was built in the 1960s with a bridge over the railway line and a roundabout was built to the east of Wolviston
Wolviston
Wolviston is a village and civil parish within the borough of Stockton-on-Tees and the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It is situated to the north of Billingham. The village is a community with good road links to Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough and the rest of North East England...

 in the north, the roundabout was built as a grade separated junction, the new bypass was already starting to be gridlocked during rush hour and the design did not help as there was too many roundabouts and junctions for the bypass to take effect and the growing number of vehicles using the A19. The second bypass was built in the 1980s to the west of the first bypass and the grade separated junction was demolished on the roundabout of the first bypass with the old northbound carriageway used for farm access. Billingham is also served by the A689
A689 road
The A689 is a road in northern England, that runs east from Junction 44 of the M6 motorway, north of the centre of Carlisle in Cumbria, to Hartlepool, in the North East....

 to Hartlepool
Hartlepool
Hartlepool is a town and port in North East England.It was founded in the 7th century AD, around the Northumbrian monastery of Hartlepool Abbey. The village grew during the Middle Ages and developed a harbour which served as the official port of the County Palatine of Durham. A railway link from...

 in the east and Bishop Auckland
Bishop Auckland
Bishop Auckland is a market town and civil parish in County Durham in north east England. It is located about northwest of Darlington and southwest of Durham at the confluence of the River Wear with its tributary the River Gaunless...

 in the west.

Rail


Billingham railway station
Billingham railway station
Billingham railway station serves the town of Billingham, within the borough of Stockton-on-Tees and the ceremonial county of County Durham, England...

 is on the Durham Coast Line
Durham Coast Line
The Durham Coast Line is the name given to the railway line which links Newcastle upon Tyne with Middlesbrough, via Sunderland and Hartlepool...

 with hourly services provided by Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Northern Rail is a British train operating company that has operated local passenger services in Northern England since 2004. Northern Rail's owner, Serco-Abellio, is a consortium formed of Abellio and Serco, an international operator of public transport systems...

 to Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 and the MetroCentre
MetroCentre
The MetroCentre is a shopping centre in the United Kingdom. Located in Gateshead on a former industrial site, close to the River Tyne. Metrocentre opened in stages with the first phase opening on 28 April 1986 and the official opening was on 14 October 1986...

 in the north and to Stockton and Middlesbrough in the south. Grand Central Railway provide an express train from Sunderland to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 but the service does not currently serve Billingham. The original Billingham railway station closed in the late 1960s and moved a mile east along the line.

Billingham would also feature on the proposed Tees Valley Metro
Tees Valley Metro
The Tees Valley Metro is a project to upgrade the Tees Valley Line and sections of the Esk Valley Line and Durham Coast Line to provide a faster and more frequent service. In the initial phases the services will be heavy rail mostly along existing alignments. The later phase may introduce...

 service if sufficient funding is granted.

Bus


Stagecoach
Stagecoach North East
Stagecoach North East is a major operator of bus services in North East England. It is a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group. The company is made up of two formerly municipal operations; Busways and Transit...

 provide services around the town and to Hartlepool
Hartlepool
Hartlepool is a town and port in North East England.It was founded in the 7th century AD, around the Northumbrian monastery of Hartlepool Abbey. The village grew during the Middle Ages and developed a harbour which served as the official port of the County Palatine of Durham. A railway link from...

, Stockton and Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough is a large town situated on the south bank of the River Tees in north east England, that sits within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire...

, the 36 serves Hartlepool via Greatham and Park End via Norton, Stockton and Middlesbrough. Also the 35 and 52 serve Stockton via Norton.
Go North East
Go North East
Go North East is the largest operator of bus services in North East England, United Kingdom. Go North East operates services in the counties of Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland...

 provides the X9 to Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 and Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough is a large town situated on the south bank of the River Tees in north east England, that sits within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire...

, it also serves Peterlee
Peterlee
Peterlee is a new town in County Durham, England. Founded in 1948, Peterlee town originally mostly housed coal miners and their families.Peterlee has strong economic and community ties with Sunderland and Hartlepool.-Peterlee:...

, Heworth and Gateshead
Gateshead
Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear, England and is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead. Historically a part of County Durham, it lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite Newcastle upon Tyne and together they form the urban core of Tyneside...

. Tees Valley Stagecarriage provide a service 87 to Hartburn via Norton and Stockton, whereas Arriva
Arriva North East
Arriva North East is a division of the transport group Arriva. It is a major provider of bus services around north east England, alongside Stagecoach North East, and Go North East...

 also provides services. Leven Valley serve Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough is a large town situated on the south bank of the River Tees in north east England, that sits within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire...

 and Wolviston with their service 45.

Sport


The chemical industry's creation of ammonia in the town also led to the formation of one of Billingham's two football teams, Billingham Synthonia
Billingham Synthonia F.C.
Billingham Synthonia F.C. is a football club based in Billingham, England. They were established in 1923, playing first in the Teesside League, and joining the Northern League in 1945. In the 1993–94 season, they reached the Quarter-Finals of the FA Trophy, in a run which included victories over...

, Synthonia being a portmanteau of Synthetic Ammonia, and of similar origins is Billingham Synthonia Cricket Club. Billingham also is the home of Billingham Town F.C.
Billingham Town F.C.
Billingham Town F.C. is a football club based in Billingham, England. In 1982, they joined the newly formed Northern League Division Two. They reached the 5th round of the FA Vase in the 1997–98 season. They are currently members of the Northern League Division One.Their home ground is Bedford...



The town also has its own ice hockey team (the Billingham Bombers
Billingham Bombers
The Billingham Bombers are an ice hockey team from the town of Billingham in the Stockton-on-Tees borough of Teesside. They are currently members of the English National Ice Hockey League and the Northern League. The Bombers play their home games at the Billingham Forum Ice Rink.The Bombers were...

) in the English National Ice Hockey League
English National Ice Hockey League
The English National Ice Hockey League is an amateur ice hockey league below the English Premier Ice Hockey League which is administered by the English Ice Hockey Association. It is split into two conferences, north and south...

, whose home rink is the Billingham Forum. However, due to refurbishment being carried out at the Billingham Forum the team is not taking part in the ENIHL.

The town has one Rugby Union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 Club 'Billingham Rugby Union Football Club' which has three senior teams, the 1st XV playing in North One East. The club has a promising junior section with teams winning Durham county cups and leagues. Players who have come through the junior section have gone on to higher levels. Chirstopher Hyndman most notably playing for England under-21s and Northampton.

Billingham Forum



In 1967, Billingham Forum was opened by Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

. A sports and leisure complex, it contains a swimming pool, an ice rink, and a number of sports halls. The complex also houses the Forum Theatre. Notable personalities that have performed in the theatre include the late EastEnders
EastEnders
EastEnders is a British television soap opera, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 19 February 1985 and continuing to today. EastEnders storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the fictional London Borough of Walford in the East End...

 icon Wendy Richard
Wendy Richard
Wendy Richard, MBE was an English actress best known for playing Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served? and Pauline Fowler in EastEnders...

, Darren Day
Darren Day
Darren Day , is an English actor, singer and television presenter, well known for his West End theatre starring roles.-Early life:His paternal grandfather was a support and warm-up act for George Formby...

, Arthur Lowe
Arthur Lowe
Arthur Lowe was a BAFTA Award winning English actor. He was best known for playing Captain George Mainwaring in the popular British sitcom Dad's Army from 1968 until 1977.-Early life:...

, David Jason
David Jason
Sir David John White, OBE , better known by his stage name David Jason, is an English BAFTA award-winning actor. He is best known as the main character Derek "Del Boy" Trotter on the BBC sit-com Only Fools and Horses from 1981, the voice of Mr Toad in The Wind In The Willows and as detective Jack...

, Penelope Keith
Penelope Keith
Penelope Anne Constance Keith, CBE, DL is an English actress.Having started her television career in the 1950s, Penelope Keith became a household name in the United Kingdom in the 1970s when she played Margo Leadbetter in the sitcom The Good Life...

, Terry Scott
Terry Scott
Owen John "Terry" Scott was an English actor and comedian who appeared in seven Carry On films. He also appeared in BBC1's popular domestic sitcom Terry and June with June Whitfield...

, Timothy West
Timothy West
Timothy Lancaster West, CBE is an English film, stage and television actor.-Career:West's craggy looks ensured a career as a character actor rather than a leading man. He began his career as an Assistant Stage Manager at the Wimbledon Theatre in 1956, and followed this with several seasons of...

, Carroll Baker
Carroll Baker
Carroll Baker is a former American actress who has enjoyed popularity as both a serious dramatic actress and, particularly in the 1960s, as a movie sex symbol...

, and Dame Anna Neagle. Roy Chubby Brown performed there for the first time in November 2006; his DVD for 2007 was recorded there as well.

As part of the proposals to regenerate Billingham, a 'Gateway' initiative proposed the construction of a new sports and leisure centre on John Whitehead Park to replace the Forum. This proved highly controversial, particularly as the Forum's would-be-replacement did not contain a theatre. The proposals were abandoned in November 2004, shortly after the Forum Theatre was granted Grade II listed building status.

Following a survey that reported 98% of participants in favour, Stockton Borough Council now intend to submit a bid of £15 - 20 million to refurbish the Forum Complex in partnership with The Billingham Partnership group.

On June 2nd 2011, the Billingham Forum returned from its £15m refurbishment, which started in mid 2009. The Billingham Forum now encompasses business standard conferencing facilities, a swimming facility, a TFM Radio-sponsored ice rink, a state of the art Active 8 Gym with TechnoGym Digital exercising equipment, a brand new sauna and steam room, a sports injury center, and dry sports and drama facilities. There was originally a fish pond in the center of Billingham Forum, however this has been removed. The exterior wall panels have also been replenished on a color scheme of Dark Blue, Grey and Yellow.

Climate


The town has its own weather station at www.billinghamweather.com. The station is based at a house in Imperial Road on the south side of the town. The highest temperature received was 31.4°C on the 1st July 2009 while the lowest was -7.9°C on the 20th December 2009.

Notable people

  • Jamie Bell
    Jamie Bell
    Andrew James Matfin "Jamie" Bell is an English actor. He is best known for his roles in the films Billy Elliot , King Kong , Hallam Foe , Jumper , Defiance , The Eagle and The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn .- Early life :Bell was born in Billingham, in the Borough of...

    , actor famous for the role of Billy Elliot
    Billy Elliot
    Billy Elliot is a 2000 British drama film written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry. Set in the fictional town of "Everington" in the real County Durham, UK, it stars Jamie Bell as 11-year-old Billy, an aspiring dancer, Gary Lewis as his coal miner father, Jamie Draven as Billy's older...

    , and Griffin in the movie Jumper
    Jumper (film)
    Jumper is a 2008 American science fiction film, loosely based on the 1992 science fiction novel of the same name by Steven Gould. The film is directed by Doug Liman and stars Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Max Thieriot, AnnaSophia Robb, and Diane Lane...

  • Diane Youdale
    Diane Youdale
    Diane Youdale , is an English television personality, who is best known for her role as "Jet" on the television series Gladiators.-Biography:...

    , famous for the role of Jet in the TV series Gladiators
  • Andrew Davies
    Andrew Davies (footballer)
    Andrew John Davies is an English professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Bradford City, on loan from Stoke City. He has been capped for England at Under-21 level.-Middlesbrough:...

    , former Middlesbrough F.C.
    Middlesbrough F.C.
    Middlesbrough Football Club , also known as Boro, are an English football club based in Middlesbrough, who play in the Football League Championship. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since August 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889...

     and Southampton F.C.
    Southampton F.C.
    Southampton Football Club is an English football team, nicknamed The Saints, based in the city of Southampton, Hampshire. The club gained promotion to the Championship from League One in the 2010–2011 season after being relegated in 2009. Their home ground is the St Mary's Stadium, where the club...

     footballer currently with Stoke City F.C.
    Stoke City F.C.
    Stoke City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire that plays in the Premier League. Founded in 1863, it is the oldest club in the Premier League, and considered to be the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts...

  • Billy Dunlop, the first person to be found guilty of murder following changes to UK law for double jeopardy cases. Originally found not guilty of the murder of Julie Hogg, but convicted following a re-trial after he openly confessed to her murder whilst in prison for a separate offence
  • Sean Gregan
    Sean Gregan
    Sean Matthew Gregan is an English professional footballer. A defender, he has played in all of the top four leagues in England.- Early career :...

    , footballer
  • Eddie Jobson
    Eddie Jobson
    Edwin "Eddie" Jobson is an English keyboardist and violinist noted for his use of synthesizers. He has been a member of several progressive rock bands, including Curved Air, Roxy Music, U.K., and Jethro Tull. He was also part of Frank Zappa's band in 1976-77...

    , musician
  • Willie Maddren
    Willie Maddren
    William Dixon 'Willie' Maddren was a football player for Middlesbrough Football Club between 1968 and 1979.-Footballer at Middlesbrough:...

    , former Middlesbrough F.C.
    Middlesbrough F.C.
    Middlesbrough Football Club , also known as Boro, are an English football club based in Middlesbrough, who play in the Football League Championship. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since August 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889...

     footballer and manager
  • Tommy Mooney
    Tommy Mooney
    Thomas John Mooney is a former professional English football player who played as a striker.-Early career:...

    , footballer
  • Gary Pallister
    Gary Pallister
    Gary Andrew Pallister is an English former footballer, most noted for his nine-year spell at Manchester United from 1989 until 1998...

    , footballer for Middlesbrough F.C.
    Middlesbrough F.C.
    Middlesbrough Football Club , also known as Boro, are an English football club based in Middlesbrough, who play in the Football League Championship. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since August 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889...

    , Manchester United and England. Now an occasional pundit for the BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

  • Paul Smith, the frontman of Indie group Maxïmo Park
    Maxïmo Park
    Maxïmo Park are a British alternative rock band, formed in 2000. They are signed to Warp Records. The band consists of Paul Smith , Duncan Lloyd , Archis Tiku , Lukas Wooller and Tom English...

  • Jamie Pollock
    Jamie Pollock
    Jamie Pollock is a retired professional football player.-Playing career:His career began at Middlesbrough where he played as a defensive midfielder. He left Middlesbrough in 1996 joining Spanish side CA Osasuna. After failing to make an impression in Spain he returned to England, signing for...

    , former footballer for Manchester City

External links