Peterlee is a New Town in County Durham in the North East of England. The town is named after Peter Lee the miner’s leader and county councillor.
Built in the 1950s under the New Towns Act of 1946 the town originally housed coal miners and their families. George Grenfell-Baines was the primary architect on the project, having replaced Berthold Lubetkin who resigned from the Peterlee Development Corporation in 1950, his ambitious plans for tower blocks having been rejected as unsuitable for the geology of the area which had been weakened by mining works.
I wanted to visit the town for two reasons, firstly as part of my project to photograph all of the designated New Towns in the UK and secondly to visit Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion – a brutalist public artwork that dates from 1969, to celebrate the Apollo missions and moon landing of that year.
I drove up to Peterlee on a bright February weekend in 2014 and had a day to wander around with my camera. I spilt the walks into three;
- A three mile loop around the housing estate around Passfield Way, starting and ending at Our Lady Of The Rosary church
- Sunny Bunts and the Apollo Pavilion
- The Town Centre and Castle Dean Shopping Centre
Sunny Blunts and the Apollo Pavilion
The Town Centre and Castle Dean Shopping Centre
It was a beautiful day to be out shooting and I would have loved to have spent more time exploring the area but as it was I needed to head back down south. However there are more New Towns in the North East (Washington, Cramlington, Killingworth and Newton Aycliffe) so I do indeed plan to return.