The town of Killingworth is situated in the north of England, North Tyneside not far from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom. It was constructed in the 1960’s to accommodate the growing population of this nearby city as it was still within easy commuting distance for residents, many of whom had to travel to Newcastle for work. Since then, it has developed into a sizeable area with a busy commercial centre in its own right and as a result it has an excellent transport infrastructure which has bus and train links to most of the surrounding towns and areas, with a population of 9,251. These include Killingworth Village (which was in existence for centuries prior to the township’s construction), Forest Hall, West Moor, Backworth and Palmersville, where the closest metro station is situated although the town itself is not on the Tyne and Wear Metro network.
The land used to develop the town was originally 760 acres of derelict colliery land not far from Killingworth Village, a former mining community and its construction was undertaken by Northumberland County Council. Unlike many of the ‘new towns’ that were built in the UK around this time, this particular township was not government sponsored. Instead, the planners for Killingworth opted for a more fundamental approach to the design of the town’s centre including the use of high-rise buildings in a some what futuristic style for it’s time that defined both the landscape and its dynamics, winning awards in architectural, industrial and environmental sectors. The centre of town also consisted of many pre-cast concrete houses with another rather unusual feature – millions of small crustacean shells – which were used as the rough casting that was embedded into the external walls, as well as offices, industrial units, service buildings and multi storey flats with 5 to 10 levels. The service buildings were mainly made up of retail outlets but were linked to multi-storey car parks by interconnecting walkways and maps to make up a deck access system. This was based on a relatively new construction conception that was being used across Scandinavian countries, called the Swedish Skarne method.
When it was first built, the town’s original name was Killingworth Township but the latter part was dropped as it was rarely used in every day conversation with most residents referring to it more affectionately as referred to as simply, ‘Killy. Among the town of Killingworth’s most notable ‘claims to fame’ are its use as the location for filming the TV series “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?” in the early seventies and most recently for an episode of the sci-fi series Doctor Who. The former used some of the town’s newly built and privately-owned houses to depict the home of newly married couple Bob and Thelma while the Killingworth industrial estate was used for the factory where Bob’s best friend terry worked while the latter was titled “The Mark of the Rani” and it was set during the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century.