This view is of St. Bede’s Roman Catholic School. In those days as church’s were built in there relevant parish’s schools were often attached to the church. St. Bede’s school was built around 1868, to accommodate an expanding parish. At the start of its life the school was situated in Chapel Road and initially accommodated only senior girl pupils. After a heavy influx of immigrants from Ireland (Irish families looking for work) an addition to the original school was built in Monkton Road around 1870/1 (above) (Picture taken 1965).
At this particular time Jarrow was experiencing an influx of Irish immigrants many of whom would have left their native land to find work. Which is not surprising when you consider Palmer Shipbuilders employed more than 80% of Jarrow’s population and had become recognized World Wide as the leading shipbuilders of their time.
An increase in the population also saw the need for more schools. The above photo is of St. Bede’s school built as an addition to the original girls school, this part would meet the needs of the growing Roman Catholic Community and would accommodate the Juniors at street level and the Infants would have classroom in the cellar.
The above picture shows what it looks like now many years later. While St. Bede’s Church remains, gone is the old school building to be replaced with trees and shrubs. St Bede’s School was re-sited to Staple Road some five minutes walk from this location and would have been a bright new modern airy building. I say would have been because that bright new modern airy building no longer exists in this the twenty first century.
St Bede’s along with St peters and other parts of Staple Road have been demolished. St Bede’s because a past survey showed the school had serious subsidence, and St Perter’s to make way for the New Tyne Tunnel Approach Road, which thankfully will take much of the heavy traffic away from inner and residential parts of Jarrow. Hopefully making the air we breath a lot more user friendly an smell free.