POSTCODE: All a matter of politics

editorial image

I am writing to respond to Dave Cadle about the confusion over the NE25 postcode of Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, for Seaton Delaval.

Before 1972, everywhere north of the Tyne was Northumberland, with everywhere south of the Tyne being County Durham (North Yorkshire).

But under the Local Government 1972 Act, Tyne and Wear was established, being Newcastle and Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Sunderland and Washington (although it is mentioned in the 1968 Transport Act as Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority & PTE).

These were all confirmed by 1974 for the formulation of the Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside, with the break-up of Northumberland and County Durham.

North Tyneside consisted of Longbenton, Benton, Forest Hall, Killingworth, Burradon, Weetslade, Dudley, Wallsend, North Shields and Tynemouth Town Council, Whitley Bay Town Council and Wallsend Town Council. Shiremoor was in the Seaton Valley ward.

The postcodes of NE25, NE26, NE27, NE28, NE29 and NE30 were the areas for North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, but NE25 included Shiremoor, Earsdon, Holywell, Seaton Delaval, Seaton Sluice and Hartley.

Although they were part of the old Whitley Bay Town Council area, known as the old Seaton ward of Northumberland, on the border of North Tyneside, Holywell, Seaton Delaval, Seaton Sluice and Hartley decided to remain in the Northumberland Blyth Town Council area.

This was one of six Northumberland County Council areas that were formed in 1974. When given the choice, the residents decided they wanted to remain in Northumberland as Northumbrians.

This change, however, was not embraced by the Post Office, which refused to alter the NE25 postcode area, hence the 0191 North Tyneside BT telephone exchange number instead of the 01670 code for Blyth Valley, Northumberland.

Blyth NE24, with Cramlington NE23, and Holywell, Seaton Delaval, Seaton Sluice and Hartley NE25, along with Seghill, are in the Blyth Valley MP area, with Ronnie Campbell the current MP.

This is why you have a Whitley Bay 0191 dial code, with your council tax being paid to Northumberland County Council, which provides services, whilst having a Tyne and Wear, now defunct address, except with the Post Office.

I would not worry, though, as under the new Northern Powerhouse deal all North Tyneside is returning to Northumberland as the old Tyne to Tweed borders are the new established area for the mayor election in May 2019.

So you will return to being a Northumbrian and the address can be Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, just like before the Local Government 1972 Act broke up Northumberland, and Newcastle returns to being Newcastle, Northumberland, our city centre.

I was born on the banks of the Tyne (a true Geordie) in Willington Quay, Northumberland, and lived in Forsyth Street, New York, then Eleanor Street, Cullercoats, Northumberland, before it became North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear.

I moved to NE24, Blyth, Northumberland in 2000 and I am the Blyth Town Council Labour Newsham ward councillor, happy to assist as a resident of Northumberland with your enquiry.

It’s all down to politics at the end of the day and governance decisions of Westminister, with Houses of Parliament Acts.

Dave Walls

Blyth