Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Central Arcade

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The Central Arcade was built in 1906 and is located between Grainger Street, Grey Street, and Market Street with an entrance onto each. It houses several shops the most notable being J G Windows, who specialise in all things musical, and celebrated their centenary in 2008.
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Monday, 29 June 2009

Blyth Links

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The local council have recently made a significant investment to redevelop Blyth Beach promenade . The Ian Darby Partnership's design features original materials, such as reclaimed concrete slabs from the old promenade and wood from sustainable sources.
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This photo shows part of the promenade decking and the old war defences, now painted with non-military pastel shades.
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Movie fans may have seen part of Blyth without ever being aware of it. Once a thriving coal port, the chase scene across the railway coal staithes at the end of the 1971 film Get Carter, starring Michael Caine , was filmed in Blyth harbour. The harbour currently handles up to 1.5 million tonnes of cargo a year including forest products, metals and a wide range of other commodities.
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Sunday, 28 June 2009

refunk your junk

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the Ouseburn valley in Newcastle hosts numerous art, print and artisan workshops, one of the latest being Refunk your Junk which takes old furniture and gives it a twist.
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Saturday, 27 June 2009

Tynemouth Life Brigade Watch House

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The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade is a voluntary shore based coastal rescue service founded in 1864, the first in the country. The Watch House pictured was built in 1877.
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Friday, 26 June 2009

Turbine Hall, Tate Modern

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The majority of coal for London's old Thames -side power stations came in colliers from coal ports in the North East of England and Wales. Bankside Power Station however, on the south bank of the Thames opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, was an oil-fired power station. It was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and began generating power in 1952, but rising oil prices made it uneconomic, and it was was closed in 1981. After a major conversion designed by architects Herzog and de Meuron it reopened as the Tate Modern art gallery in May 2000. With around 5 million visitors a year it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK.
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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Live Theatre

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The Live Theatre Company was founded in in 1973 and has been based on the Quayside since 1982. It now occupies a converted warehouse, which has undergone a major re-development., on Broad Chare.
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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

North Shields Fish Quay

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the white tower to the left is called the Low Light and was one of two built in 1808 to mark the entrance of the harbour.
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Monday, 22 June 2009

the Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor

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click to enlarge
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what is claimed to be Europe's largest travelling fair is held in the last week in June on the Town Moor in Newcastle upon Tyne. A similar claim is made of the Nottingham Goose Fair.

The name has several possible origins but my preference is a derivation from the Anglo-Saxon word "hoppen" which means funfair.

The fair is supposed to have been cursed by an old gypsy woman who was thrown off the moor and as a result swore a curse that it would rain during the fair every year, this often does happen , which can be seen in the distant sky in the photo .
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The Town Moor on which the fair is held is a large area of common land; larger than Hyde park in London, completely surrounded by the City. It is not laid out as a park, it being more an area of rough pasture upon which Freemen of the city have the right to graze cattle.
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This photo, taken at dusk, tries to capture these special elements of Newcastle life.
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Sunday, 21 June 2009

Red Kite encounters a bride at the Baltic

at the Baltic yesterday, a bride ( bottom left) encountered an unusual sight:
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a massive Red Kite:
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Red Kites are bird of prey with a wingspan of almost two metres, and a distinctive forked tail.
By the early 1900s they had practically disappeared from the UK due to hunting and poisoning.
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In 2004 the Northern Kites Project began to return the kites to North East England, after an absence of over 170 years. 94 kites were released in the lower Derwent Valley and a viable breeding colony has been established. The ceremony at the Baltic was to celebrate the success of the project.
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Saturday, 20 June 2009

North Shields Fish Quay

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North Shields Fish Quay lies 1km from the mouth of the River Tyne on its northern bank. It dates back to 1225 as part of the settlement which grew to support the monastery at nearby Tynemouth The fishermen who supplied the monks lived in 'shiel' huts from which the towns of North and South Shields derive their names.
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The fishing industry around the UK has been in general decline for decades but several vessels still earn a living here, and North Shields is the biggest prawn port in England.
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A number of fish handling and processing firms remain in the area of which Caley Fisheries is one.
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Friday, 19 June 2009

Hr. Ms. Hellevoetsluis in Newcastle

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Hr. Ms. Hellevoetsluis ligt in de haven van Newcastle upon Tyne (Groot Brittanniƫ).
Hr. Ms. Hellevoetsluis is een van de 10 mijnenjagers van de Alkmaar-klasse.

Ships from other European nations make occasional courtesy visits to the Tyne, and with close family ties to the Netherlands, a Dutch ship such as this is always welcome.
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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Madame Koo's

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Collingwood Street is part of what is called Grainger Town, which is made up of a large number of classically designed streets built by Richard Grainger, a builder and property developer, between 1835 and 1842. Many of these buildings now house bars and restaurants at street level, of which Madame Koo's is the most recent, along what is sometimes called the Diamond Strip.
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Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Sunday Market, Quayside, Newcastle

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The Quayside is one of the oldest parts of Newcastle and a record exists of there being a milk market there back in 1717 . According to Henry Bourne's History of Newcastle Upon Tyne of 1736 there were daily markets on the Quayside for fish, herbs, bread, cloth and leather. On Saturdays, the area was home to something called Paddy's market where old clothes were sold. This continued into the second half of the 20th Century and older people may recall being told to tidy their room because it looked like “Paddy's market”. This photo shows the Sunday market which was was established in the late 1800's.

The large building in the bottom right hand corner of the photo houses the Law Courts, to the left of the crane can be seen Northumbria University's Art and Design building; the large building top right is a telephone Exchange.
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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Urban Splash

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An architectural competition for new residential housing as part of the Tees Valley Regeneration project (Northshore) in Stockton on Tees attracted entrants from all over the world. The competition, which was organised in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British architects (RIBA) , was won by the Portuguese practice , Impromptu Arquitectos.
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Pictured is an entry from the Newcastle based practice Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall Ltd , which is currently on display at the Newcastle Guildhall.
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Monday, 15 June 2009

When Terns Attack

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The Farne Islands, off the Northumberland coast , are a haven in the summer months for 100,000 pairs of nesting seabirds like puffin and guillemot as well as being home to one of Europe's largest grey seal colonies . The Inner Farne, where this picture was taken provides shelter for the Arctic Tern , a remarkable creature which migrates every year from its its northern breeding grounds to the Antarctic ocean and back , a journey of around 24,000 miles each year, the longest regular migration by any known animal.
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Arctic Terns can live for up to 30 years, they mate for life and are fiercely protective of their young. They attack humans and any predators that stray near their eggs or chicks, as can be seen from these pictures taken on Saturday.
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Sunday, 14 June 2009

"Swirl" Gateshead Quayside

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It took two cranes to lift this 30ft (10m) high structure, called Swirl, into position at Baltic Place on the Gateshead quayside today.
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The sculpture is made up of polished stainless steel and was was designed by North East sculptor Colin Rose. The work was commissioned by Robertson Group and City and Northern, the developers of a £30m office development, next to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.
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Saturday, 13 June 2009

St. John the Baptist Church, Edlingham

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The present church was built originally around 1050 but with later additions, like the 14th century tower which was also built for defence against Scottish raiders.
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Friday, 12 June 2009

James Hill Memorial

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This monument, by sculptor Peter Coates, is to the memory of James Hill who was a well-known fiddle player and composer in the 19th Century. Hill lived on the Bottle Bank in Gateshead which is where the monument is located.

The monument is made of bronze and stone and is 9 ft (2.7m) high.
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Thursday, 11 June 2009

Tyne Kittiwakes

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Kittiwakes are a species of gull which normally nest on high cliffs above the sea. They spend most of their lives out at sea, but every Spring a large number of kittiwakes arrive in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne and build nests high up on the Tyne Bridge and surrounding buildings. The Tyne Bridge is believed to be home to the most inland breeding site of Kittiwakes in the world, and one of the few urban breeding sites in the world. The towers of the Tyne Bridge provide a perfect substitute for cliffs for these city-dwelling kittiwakes. Some of the birds born in nests on the Tyne Bridge last year will have wandered as far away as Canada and Greenland during the winter. This pictures shows some kittiwakes who are currently nesting on the Guildhall which is adjacent to the bridge.
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Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Blyth Battery

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Blyth Battery, located on South Beach, Blyth, was originally built in August 1916 to defend the beach against enemy landings and also to protect the submarine depot ship Titania at the nearby port of Blyth.. It was not completed until February 1918, the last year of the First World War . It housed two six inch guns and two search lights, manned by the Tynemouth Royal Garrison Artillery.
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In 1925 two of the buildings were converted into public toilets but in March 1940 the battery was recommissioned to help ward off the Nazi threat; it was manned by 510 Coast Regiment R.A (TA) and towards the end of the war by the Home Guard . The Battery’s buildings are listed Grade II and have recently been painted pink by the Local Authority, a colour that would have raised eyebrows amongst the troops who once manned the battery in defence of the realm.
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Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The Strawberry Public House

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The pub's name originates from the days when the nuns from the Nunnery of St Bartholomew’s were supposed to have tended strawberry gardens in the area. A sign on the pub claims the the nunnery survived until 1840 by selling strawberry wine, however the original Benedictine Nunnery of St Bartholomew , founded in 1086 near the present-day Nun Street, was 'dissolved' by King Henry VIII on January 3, 1540, and the land was sold to the Corporation and to rich merchants.
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The pub can be found on Strawberry Lane opposite the Gallowgate End of St. James Park, home of Newcastle United Football Club. The pub is somewhat of a shrine to the club and its' sign, which can be seen in this photo, is a combination of the black and white striped shirt of the club and the aforementioned soft fruit.
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Monday, 8 June 2009

Laing Art Gallery & the City Library

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a view of the Laing Art Gallery from the new Newcastle City Library which opened yesterday. The Laing Art Gallery is located on New Bridge Street and was was opened in 1904.
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The library features a special glazed facade which forms the entire east elevation on John Dobson Street . The glazing features the work of artist Kathryn Hodgkinson entitled 'Four Questions' and which is based on interviews with Newcastle residents focusing on their fears, hopes and dreams for the city.
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Sunday, 7 June 2009

King Edward's Bay

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King Edward's Bay is a small secluded beach next to a rocky headland known as Pen Bal Crag. Above the beach can be seen the ruins of Tynemouth castle (13th C) and priory (originally founded 7th C ) The bay is a certifed Blue Flag beach . ( http://www.blueflag.org/ )
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Saturday, 6 June 2009

AA Box

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members of the Automobile association ( the AA) once relied on the AA's roadside phones to call for breakdown help, but in the days of high mobile phone usage they were phased out because drivers no longer used them.

Very few remain and those that do are usually preserved by listed building status or because they are in areas of outstanding rural beauty, mainly in Wales and Scotland, such as this one..

The first such box was built at Ashtead in Surrey in 1911 and they at first were intended as shelters for passing AA patrolmen. Later they became available to AA members, who could call for help free of charge.
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Friday, 5 June 2009

Prudhoe Castle

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The original castle was constructed between between 1100 and 1120 to defend a strategic crossing of the River Tyne against Scottish invaders. The castle has been continuously occupied for over nine centuries. The original owners were the Umfravilles and later the Percy family. It was besieged unsuccessfully by the Scots on several occasions, the last being in 1640. It is now in the care of English Heritage .
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Thursday, 4 June 2009

Polling Day

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People across the UK cast their votes in elections to the European Parliament today .
In England 27 county councils and seven unitary councils are holding elections and there are three mayoral votes. European voters will be electing 736 MEPs - including 72 from the UK.

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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

X Legion Gemina

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The Tenth Legion Gemina were based at a camp on the site of the current city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands from AD 71 to AD 104. This weekend they appeared at Corstopitum Roman Camp at Corbridge in Northumberland, and some of them can be seen in this photo. for further information, see see : http://www.gemina.nl/
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Monday, 1 June 2009

a Testudo

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seen at Corbidge on Saturday; the testudo, or tortoise formation , was commonly used by Roman Legions during battles, particularly sieges; it was essentially a defensive formation by which the legionaries would hold their shields overhead, except for the front rows, thereby creating a kind of shell-like armour protecting them against arrows or other missiles from the front or above.
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