Here you can learn about the town as it currently stands, see a map of the primary locations, and follow the back story of Harriet and how she came to be woodworking in a little workshop that has a miniature railway in the back garden, and Daisy and how she came to work in recycling collection and her plans in buying a house. Daisy will be blogging her own findings as she researches and discovers the history of Theraton.
Click here for Chapter One.
This page is an ongoing work in progress, as is the back story. If you are following this page you will see changes and edits happening. Some of the back story may change or disappear altogether as it develops.
There may be some difficult issues raised around domestic abuse and bereavement. Guidance maybe advisable.
On the original site of a Roman river crossing, there was no great settlement until Danelaw. Rural markets developed at this river crossing spreading along both sides of the river but favouring the south east as the land was flatter. No great growth occurred until railways arrived via two competing lines.
Theraton is an expanding market town in the North East of England. Originally a settlement at a transport node it was named after the Danish Queen Thyra in circa 950AD.
The town has expanded, initially, in a shallow glacial valley in a SW to NE swath along the course of a small river at the point where a Roman road crossed it. There are historic main road routes passing through the town and a contemporary ring road reducing through traffic in the town centre.
The town centre is based around a historic Roman river crossing, now replaced with a stone road bridge built in the mid 1800s. A second bridge was built near Market Theraton Station to ensure easy access to the main markets in the town. Most of the development is on the south side of the River Uffta along a main high street flanked by a couple of minor shopping streets running parallel on either side. Beyond the main shopping and market areas local housing was mostly small semi detached houses, terraces of tall town houses aimed at wealthy traders, and rows or lower cost terrace housing for the working classes and itinerant market workers towards the NE.
Theraton enjoys the benefit of two railway stations despite its small size:
Market Theraton Station, 1855, built by the Great North Rail Company was the more popular due to its north south mainline route running to the west of the River Uffta. This lead to much investment in large town houses in SW quarter near the station rising up the hill side, and provided good access to the market from other major towns and cities in the country.
Theraton Road Station, 1857, built by the Northern Hills Railway Consortium was an east west line. It initially attracted a small development in the NE quarter but failed due to lack of funds and was soon bankrupt. The track and station was taken over by the Great North Rail Company, but to avoid competition with Market Theraton Station, it was relegated to a local branch line. Some early speculative residential development occurred but resulted in mish mash of Victorian styles before stalling.
The narrow gauge Theraton Light Rail Service was constructed in 1905 to transport goods between the two station, using Kerr Stuart motive power, but fell into disuse before the Great War. It was taken over and expanded by the local authority and run with, initially, diesel power and then battery electric power until closure shortly after the Second World war.
The NE residential quarter, colloquially knows as ‘Lower Theraton’, is on low lying flat land where the river slows and broadens. It is served by the Theraton Road branch line and the Theraton Ring Road. Early speculative building during the Victorian period lead to a small enclave of large detached and semi detached housing to the east of the station. Due to a decline in investment, further residential development in Lower Theraton was mainly more modest semi detached housing in the early twentieth century.
The land in this area is fairly flat right through from the town centre and as a result many cycle routes have been developed.
During the early growth of the town, following the arrival of the railways, a landfill site developed to the east of the town centre to deal with the waste created from the developing town and its residents. The older part was capped and became a brownfield site on which industrial development was planned, but not created. It is now the site of the light industry and business park due to it’s low value land and not suitable for residential development. This has made the land more hilly and with the business use tending towards busy and high speed roads that discourages cyclists and pedestrians alike.
A later adjacent landfill was properly developed between the old landfill site and Lower Theraton. At the end of its life it was then capped over and became an Environment Centre, similar to St Nicholas Fields.
A recent development is a retail park on the SE side of town known as The Ultimo Centre. It consists of an enormous car park with a shopping mall in the centre and smaller retail outlets around the perimeter. It has three road links to the ring road and hence to the regional trunk routes from other nearby towns and cities.
The SW quarter, colloquially known as ‘Higher Theraton’, is dominated by more expensive housing, benefiting from Market Theraton Station, and a southern road river crossing point making access to the retail park more favourable compared to the town centre high streets. The terrain in this area is very hilly and provides residents with a grand view over the town, and an excuse for large four by four luxury cars. Higher Theraton is up stream of both the river flow and the historic landfill site where the business park was established.
The town receives most of its weather from the SW direction.
The NW of the town is an area of National Trust land used for recreation and has very little urban development. The land is very hilly and rough being the remains of a rocky outcrop that resisted being erased by glacial erosion.
The most recent development for transport was a ring road. Intended to reduce through traffic from the town centre it effectively cut the town into three parts. The wealthy SW quarter, the town centre, and the NW quarter and business park. A loop of land to the south was kept inside the ring road where eventually The Ultimo Centre retail park has been built to fill it.
Key locations of Harriet and Daisy’s back story in Theraton:
Café Marie is located in the town centre on a lesser side street to the main shopping high streets. (3)
Marie’s home is a small town house to the west of the town centre not far from the café location. The house is small but high value due to its location. (2)
Adam and Amanda live in a 1920s semi detached house in the NE quarter a couple of miles outside of the ring road. (6)
Harriet’s workshop, owned by Mr Chow, is also situated in the NW quarter but within a stones throw of the ring road and railway line, near a small cluster of high value houses from a Victorian development. (5)
Daisy’s house share is a shabby town house located to the west of the town centre. (1)
Daisy’s 1870 End terrace house is to the NE of the town centre adjacent to the ring road. (4)
The community centre is to the north of the town centre, west of the river Uffta . (7)
The technical college is to the south of the town centre (8)
The story begins here with Chapter One, and will be released one chapter at a time on Friday either weekly or fortnightly.
Copyright of all aspects of this page, the associated blog, Twitter feed, and all images (except where attributed to others), belongs to Alfred Chow (Maker of Things) 2021. All rights reserved.