Saturday, 31 July 2010

Friday, 30 July 2010

Northumberland Street

Northumberland Street is a pedestrianised shopping street  in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne. A survey in  2004 identified it as the having the most expensive retail rents in the UK outside of London. Its most famous store is Fenwick  ( known locally but incorrectly as Fenwicks) which was founded in Newcastle by J.J. Fenwick  in 1882 and was at that time one of the first department stores in the UK.

The street is regularly entertained, or annoyed,  by buskers and performance artists such as this mime artist yesterday.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

from here to eternity

Nobody can be certain as to how long it takes for plastic to biodegrade as plastic has not been around long enough but some scientists believe it could take between 450 to 1000 years for plastic to properly breakdown.This old Coca Cola bottle is stranded on a deserted beach on the north shore of  Lindisfarne

Monday, 26 July 2010

Gulls Aloud

A variety of gulls at Tynemouth  . The lighthouses at the North and South piers are visible in the background. ( taken with an old Kodak EasyShare)

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cadillac of the Sky

Known as the Cadillac of the Sky this  P-51 Mustang was on display at the Sunderland International Airshow yesterday. The airshow claims to be the largest free airshow in Europe.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

conversation piece

Conversation Piece is by the late Spanish sculptor Juan Munoz  it is located at the mouth of the River Tyne at South Shields. In the distance can be seen Tynemouth Priory and Castle and  the statue of Admiral Lord Collingwood  

Friday, 23 July 2010

HMS Westminster

HMS Westminster   is seen here being  manoeuvred by tugs to her berth on the River Wear for her part in this weekend's Sunderland International Airshow.

HMS Westminster, a Type 23 Frigate launched in 1992.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Visitors @ National Glass Centre

The National Glass Centre  in Sunderland is a focal point for glass and glass making in Britain. Sited on the river Wear it   is part of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at the University of SunderlandThe building sits on the site of the former J.L.Thompson ship yard.  Glass making in England was established in the locality in 674AD when glaziers from France brought the skill to the monastic community of Wearmouth.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Graduation , Northumbria University

Northumbria University  held one of many graduation ceremonies today at Newcastle City Hall

The Flower of Scotland

The thistle is the national flower of Scotland and appears on many national emblems. Legend has it that a bare foot Viking invader stepped on one of these prickly plants at night and cried out, so alerting the sleeping Scottish warriors.The first use of the thistle as a royal symbol of Scotland was on silver coins issued by King James III in 1470.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The sanctuary knocker, Durham Cathedral

The construction of Durham Cathedral  began in 1093 and was completed about 100 years later. It is considered to be the greatest Norman building in Britain and is a World heritage site.

In the Middle Ages criminals  seeking sanctuary within the cathedral  would bang the sanctuary knocker at the north door   to alert one of the watchmen. They would be admitted into the cathedral, and offered sanctuary for 37 days. They were obliged to confess the details of their crime t  and they had to change their clothes for a black robe with a yellow cross on the shoulder. By the end of the 37 days, during which time they would be looked after at the expense of the church, the criminal had to leave the country by an assigned port. Hartlepool was the port assigned to Durham. If they did not do this, or deviated from the King's highway en route, they were executed. The knocker shown is a replica, the original being in the museum on site.

Friday, 16 July 2010

at Fyvie Castle

an Edwardian convenience at Fyvie Castle   in Aberdeenshire, about 260 miles north of Newcastle.

The earliest parts of Fyvie Castle date from the 13th century.  Following the Battle of Otterburn in 1390, it ceased to be a royal stronghold and  fell into the possession of five successive families - Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Leith - each of whom added a new tower to the castle.
 The castle, like many in Scotland,  is reputed to be haunted. 

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Chair at Haddo House

Haddo House  is a stately home near Tarves,in Scotland, about 270 miles north of Newcastle. It was designed by William Adam and dates from 1732, Now owned by the National Trust for Scotland a branch of the Gordon family lived on the site for over 500 years. One former resident, George Hamilton-Gordon was the British Prime Minister from 1852-1855.  During WW2   the house became a maternity hospital for the evacuated mothers of Glasgow. Nearly 1200 babies were born there during this period

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Spirit of the Gordons

Inscription at  the  Gordon Highlanders Museum   in Aberdeen Scotland  about 250 miles north of Newcastle.

 The Gordon Highlanders Museum was established to preserve and share the legacy of the   Gordon Highlanders , a British Army Regiment with a proud history.

The Gordon Highlanders was raised during the French Revolutionary Wars in 1794 by the 4th Duke of Gordon as a regiment of Highland Foot (infantry). They  played a prominent role in the  defeat of Napoleon at  Waterloo in 1815.

Some 50,000 Gordons served during World War One of which approximately 27,000 were killed or wounded. 

In 2006, The Highlanders were merged with Scotland’s five other infantry regiments to form The Royal Regiment of Scotland. The legacy of The Gordons  lives on through The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, and The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Huntly Castle

Huntly Castle is in Aberdeenshire, Scotland about 280 miles north of Newcastle . The original strongholdwas built in around 1190 . It was the seat of the chief of Clan Gordon from at least the 14th century until the late 17th century.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Craigievar Castle

About 260 miles north of Newcastle, Craigievar Castle  was built in 1610. It is one of the few castles in Aberdeenshire that doesn't have a Gordon connection and was a favourite place of James Lamar Weygand  who was married to a Gordon.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Castle Fraser

Castle Fraser    is in Scotland and is about 250 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne; shown here as a reflection in a car window on a recent trip to the auld country.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Thursday, 1 July 2010

"from fairytale to nightmare"

"The young English artist Tessa Farmer has found a clearing in the quarry and filled it with macabre sculptures: a squirrel whose tail has turned into a cobweb trapping moths and iridescent beetles, skeletal fairies cannibalised from dead insects, butterflies and bees suspended from silk threads in a fluttering danse macabre.In this crepuscular bell jar of a clearing, the art is glass-cased like a Victorian spectacle, flora and fauna turning from fairytale to nightmare." laura Cumming , The Observer.  At Belsay Hall as part of Extraordinary measures

Tessa Farmer at Extraordinary Measures