Saturday, 30 April 2011

wham bam thank you...

Wham bam thank you mam ham. A risque and suggestive  play on words from a soft drink manufacturer in an advert on a telephone box in Whitley Bay.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

street party

a local street is to be closed tomorrow because of a street party in aid of a wedding, otherwise known as The Royal Wedding. For an excellent analysis of the event, please read this from Der Spiegel in Germany: The Royal Wedding

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Conversation Piece

Spanish artist Juan Muñoz (1953-2001), came to prominence in the mid 1980s with his sculptural installations that placed human-like figures in sometimes unusual environments. His Conversation Piece shown here was installed at South Shields in 1999 and consists of 22 bronze life size figures; one of which is seen here ready for a bike ride.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Sunday

 part of a huge crowd of young people at the Ouseburn artistic quarter enjoying unseasonably warm weather in Newcastle upon Tyne today

Saturday, 23 April 2011


In South Shields, Fleet by Irene Brown is a collection of stainless steel collier ships in full sail set in the water of Market Dock, overlooking the Tyne. The brightly polished ships reflect patterns of both moving sky and water and give the impression of a fleet heading out to sea. The work is part of the Art on the Riverside programme and this piece reflects South Tyneside's maritime heritage and coastal setting.( description from )

Monday, 18 April 2011


this is the nameplate of a 1925 Aveling & Porter Steam Roller (TN216) called Ayesha, and was seen recently at Beamish Museum

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Alnmouth and the American War of Independence.

Alnmouth  is a  village on Northumberland's North Sea coast. Given its' geography Alnmouth played an unusual cameo role in America's War of Independence. click here for more information.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Miner's Lamps

Miner's Lamps at the wonderful Beamish Living Museum of the North. Beamish is a must visit in County Durham  for locals and tourists alike.

A history of miner's lamps can be found here.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Big Pink

no, not The Big Pink  electro-rock band from London or Katie Price's tour bus but a local bus service in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Dunstanburgh Castle

The ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle  , dating from 1313, are set on cliffs above the North Sea.

The first picture was taken when the artist had just set up his easel, the second was taken later in the day when he had almost completed a work in pastels.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

lobster creels

Lobster creels are a common site at harbours along the Northumberland coast. Creels have opening which allows lobsters to enter a tunnel of netting to get to bait set in the middle, once inside the creel  a lobster is trapped and unable to get out. A typical modern  creel is  constructed of wood, nylon rope, wire and plastic.

 Lobster pots are  dropped to the sea floor  and  marked by buoys which float at sea level and allow the fishermen to retrieve them later.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

got a light?

this was taken at 5th Avenue Flowers on Newcastle's Quayside. Maybe someone is a Kate Moss fan? In any event  5th Avenue are a superb florists and an asset to the Quayside.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Tyne Kittiwakes

The  kittiwake colony in Newcastle upon Tyne  is believed to be the most inland one of its kind anywhere in the world.

Kittiwakes are  a type of gull, which usually nest on cliffs but they now have a large annual nesting colony on the Tyne Bridge and surrounding buildings. The first record of kittiwakes breeding on man-made structures on Tyneside was on a North Shields building in 1949.

Once the young have fledged the colony spends the rest of the time far out to sea. They are a fascinating sight and sound above the Quayside but the problem is they leave an awful mess of guano as can be seen from this picture taken from a pavement under the Tyne Bridge. 

The City Council is considering ways of deterring the colony from returning in future because of this mess and the perceived threat it poses to Quayside business.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A Luta Continua

A new exhibition, entitled A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues), opened at The Side Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne today.

The Side Gallery opened in 1977 and specialises in social  documentary photography . It hosts world class exhibitions and has an extensive archive.

A  Luta Continua displays work from the Side's archive about political struggles from places as far afield as Burma, Chile, China and Nicaragua and includes work from Dean Chapman,  Susan Meiselas, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Casasola, Chris Steele-Perkins, Raymond Depardon, Abbas, Keith Pattison, Mark Power & Paul Lowe. 

Dean Chapman introduced the exhibition and gave an informative talk about his practice and his experience of Burma (now Myanmar).

The Side's future, sadly,  is under threat, as it found out this week that it is losing financial support from the Arts Council of England (ACE). 

The Side is the only social documentary photography gallery  in the UK and it is  also a gem in Newcastle's cultural crown so it would be a great loss, both locally and nationally, if it were forced to close its doors. 

Should any readers like to support the Side you can do so by signing this online:  petition. ( click link). Thank you in anticipation of your support.

Friday, 1 April 2011


This sculpture called Couple is by Sean Henry and is to be seen on the breakwater off-shore in Newbiggin Bay, Northumberland .