Path Head Press

Books published to preserve our local history and raise funds for the Mill can be purchased in the tea room.


Path Head Water Mill

In 1995, the Vale Mill Trust rescued the ruin of the mill at Path Head Farm when it bought the building and surrounding land from Gateshead Council. The trust’s founder, Trevor Underwood, set about restoring the mill and grounds, assisted by his son Ben and an army of volunteers.  It is a story of determination, ingenuity and collective goodwill: they succeeded in raising the support and funds to achieve their goal over the next 20 years.  This book gives a brief history of the hamlet of Path Head and the industrial history that gave the farm its central role from 1720-1830 in servicing the carriers of lead and coal passing by on the wagonways to the staithes on the Tyne at Stella.  Part 2 tells the story of its rescue and restoration, and Part 3 is Ben’s account of how water power and mill machinery made the wheel turn once more.


Brickworks of the North East

Growing up in the Durham coalfield, Peter Davison became aware that the world of collieries, railways and brickworks all around him was fast disappearing.  Luckily for us, he was determined to record the industry while there was still time.  The book took 5 years to research and write, and in 1986, it was completed and scanned by Gateshead’s Local History Librarian. Copies were placed in local libraries, and the book was used as a source of information on individual brickworks, the industry in general but most of all for the list identifying brick stampings. A mill volunteer who was in contact with Peter about another aspect of local history asked him if he would allow copies to be made, with all profits going to the mill.  He not only agreed, but also made a donation to pay for a bespoke plaque on the Brick Heritage Monument, the building of which had come about because of news spreading among brick enthusiasts about this new edition of the book.


Addison: The rise and fall of a pit village

This book, originally written by Nan Smith in 1991, is the result of extensive and careful research into the many facets of life in a colliery village: she had access to sources of oral history longer available to us. This new edition makes a unique record of a lost village available to us once again. John Boothroyd of Ryton Local History Society has retained text and illustrations: photographs have been rescanned where possible and additional maps and photographs included, ensuring that this unique record is available for future research.