- Chilton, County Durham
Chilton shown within County Durham
Population 3,908 (2001)  OS grid reference Unitary authority County Durham Ceremonial county County Durham Region North East Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town FERRYHILL Postcode district DL17 Dialling code 01388 Police Durham Fire County Durham and Darlington Ambulance North East EU Parliament North East England UK Parliament Sedgefield List of places: UK • England • County Durham
Chilton is a town in County Durham, England. It is situated a few miles to the east of Bishop Auckland and a short distance to the south of Ferryhill, on the A167. The bypass on the A167 opened on 20 June 2005, cutting down the traffic through Chilton by up to 80%.
Chilton was originally a mining town and called Chilton Buildings. The mine was located on the site of the current primary school, with the miners living in Windlestone Colliery, a series of terraced houses named Albert Street, Arthur Street and Prospect Terrace, locally known as The Five Rows owing to their appearance from the front.
Chilton is home to a primary school (Chilton Primary, known as Chilton Junior up until September 2002), for nursery children, to reception, Year 1; right up to Year 6. The school also participates in the Sure Start programme. After leaving Chilton Primary, many pupils go to Ferryhill Business and Enterprise College to begin with their secondary education, beginning with Year 7 through to Year 11. There are also three churches, a Catholic church (Sacred Heart), an Anglican church (St. Aidan's) and a Methodist chapel, a post office, a public house, a WMC, a Catholic club which serves as a WMC as well as a polling station for the Sedgefield consituency at election times, an NHS healthcare centre, dentist, public library, and two supermarkets serving the local community. There are three take-away restaurants on the main street: a fish and chip shop, a Chinese restaurant and a pizzeria. There is another pizzeria next door to the Co-op supermarket, near the school's playing field. There is also a football ground and an all-night automatically lit basketball court, as well as recreation areas with swings, slides and climbing apparatus. There are regular bus services to Ferryhill, Bishop Auckland, Spennymoor, Durham, and other towns and cities outside the county, such as Hartlepool and Darlington. The town has a thriving allotment community, serving over 200 allotments.
Redevelopment and future
A road bypass now carries traffic around the village, cutting out around 80% of vehicles travelling through the town itself. The bypass itself was implemented in 2005, although the concept was conceived decades before. It has been positively received by the town residents and has made a huge improvement in traffic management in the area. To allow the construction of the bypass, West Chilton Terrace was cut in half, as were the allotments behind. A large amount of the social housing in Chilton and all terraces, were to be demolished (a large percentage of Dale Street has already been demolished), however as of April 2010 phase 2 of the plans have been put on hold due to shortage of local government funding.
Chilton gained town status in 2000 (despite lacking common features of a town such as its neighbour, Ferryhill; including a bank, a butcher shop, or even a town hall), along with a town council and mayor.
Chilton also gained a new war memorial in 2008 to commemorate men from the town who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The names of the fallen are engraved on the marble cenotaph, and each year on Remembrance Sunday there is a ceremony in the morning, when veterans congregate to lay poppy wreaths and civilians can pay their respects to the dead of World War I. In tradition with the day, two minutes of silence are observed at 11.00, to commemorate the armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918. If the 11th is not a Sunday, the service is held on the second Sunday in November (nearest to the 11th). The two minutes silence is observed on both days, however. The Sunday ceremony continues notwithstanding.
- ^ "BBC NEWS: Bypass 'will cut 80% of traffic'". BBC News. 2005-06-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wear/4109000.stm. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- ^ "The Northern Echo: Durham County Council cannot afford the next phases of housing plans". http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8126925.Communities_in_limbo_with_rejuvenation_delay/. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
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