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Birtley

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  County Durham  /  Birtley
(4/5 based on 10+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: sightseeing
Birtley is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, in Tyne and Wear, England. It is situated to the South of Gateshead and is physically linked to Chester-le-Street across the county boundary. Until 1974, Birtley and the adjoining areas of Barley Mow, Vigo and Portobello were part of the old Chester-le-Street Rural District. Since 1974, these neighbouring areas have been considered part of 'greater' Birtley in County Durham. Birtley was a civil parish with a parish council (which also covered the adjoining neighbourhoods) until April 1, 2006, after a local referendum agreed to abolish it. The former parish has a population of 11,377. The ward of Birtley in the Gateshead MBC had a population of 8,367 in the 2011 Census.IndustryBirtley is the home of the Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF Birtley and the Komatsu Heavy Engineering Company, which operates from the previous premises of Birtley Iron Works (opened in 1827, which became premises of the Caterpillar Company in the mid-20th century). A 'CarCraft Hypermarket' was built on the site of an old factory in southwest Birtley, reclaiming much wasted brown field site.The Royal Ordnance Factory was a major target of the German Luftwaffe in World War Two. Thanks to its reputation as a 'misty valley', Birtley and the factory survived many hits. The phrase 'misty valley' was coined by Tommy Lawton, a worker at the ROF in the 1970s.
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