The physical collection held by Newcastle Libraries comprises bound volumes of the newspaper from 1910 to 1925. Photos are being added as they come out of copyright. They are keen to find out more about the people in the photographs. If you recognize anyone in the images and have any stories and information to add please comment below the photo on the relevant Flickr page (see search link below).
During the First World War the Newcastle Illustrated Chronicle featured photographs of soldiers that had been sent in by relatives and friends. Here we have scanned their images to make them available online for those tracing family history or anyone with an interest in the First World War.
The western housing estate in Heddon on the Wall, sometimes called the Bainbridge Estate (from the builders; to differentiate it from the Vallum Estate on the east side), mainly occupies what was originally Crag(e) Field of the Heddon Banks Estate.
There is a nice aerial photo of housing estate as it was being built, discussed on the blog here.
I have (below) annotated parts of the two adjoined sheets (LXXXVII and XCVI) of the first edition 1:10,560 scale OS maps (1864-65) with the field-names taken from a plan of Heddon Banks Estate dated 1827 (NRO 00309/M/69).
All of the streets on the new housing estate were given Roman sounding names: Trajan Walk, Remus Avenue, Aquila Drive, Campus Martius, Mithras Gardens, Taberna Close. Similar names were used on the Vallum Estate and of course for Centurion Way that connects the two.
One street on the south side of the western estate was a slightly later addition and was named Killiebrigs. I often wondered where this name had come from as it is clearly not Roman and seems more Irish or Scottish.
Comparison of the maps shows that this street extends through the original fields to the south of Crag Field, named on the 1827 plan as West Close and East Close.
The Tithe Map of Heddon Banks Estate from 1849 shown below is very nicely drawn but doesn't provide the names of the fields.
We can now see where the name of the street, Killiebrigs, came from. It was derived from the names of two fields, High and Low Killy Brig(e), close to that location on the Heddon Banks Estate. What, however, could be the origin of the names given to the fields?
Brig clearly indicates a bridge.
There is still today a very well-built stone bridge, just east of Close Lea, close to the location of these fields. It took the course of the quarry incline under the track from Heddon Banks to Close Lea. There is a photo of the bridge here.
However, the quarry in Slack Plantation was opened much later than the 1827 plan that shows the field names. The quarry and its tramway incline are indeed not present on the first edition OS map.
Could there be an Irish or Scottish connection to the field-names?
Killybegs (Irish: Na Cealla Beaga) is a town in County Donegal, Ireland. It is the largest fishing port on the island of Ireland. Its Irish name, Na Cealla Beaga, means 'little cells', a reference to early monastic settlements.
Gaelic cill (pronounced keel) originally meant ‘cell, church’ from Old Irish cell, (ultimately from Latin cella) and now usually means ‘chapel, churchyard’ in modern Gaelic. It is found in a large number of place-names, whose widespread distribution reflects the spread of the both Gaelic language and Celtic Christianity across Scotland. It is frequently used in combination with the name of the saint to whom the church is dedicated (e.g. Kilmartin, Kilmory, Kilpatrick).
Although no remains are visible now, there was a chapel just west of the field of Low Killy Brig, west of the boundary between Heddon on the Wall and Houghton & Close House townships. It stood close to the mansion of Close House:
The area of Close House was probably occupied since at least the thirteenth century but the present house dates only from 1779. The name was originally thought to be Albery Close, which became corrupted as Abbey-le-Close, and gave rise to the belief that it was formerly the site of a monastic house. There was a chantry here though, first referred to in 1313, whose patron was one John Turpyn, the son of Richard Turpyn (Turpin) of Whitchester. The old chapel was pulled down in 1779 when the present mansion was built.
Could there have been a bridge somewhere in the vicinity of the fields, providing access to the Close House Chantry?
It seems perhaps more likely that the origin of the field-name was rather more prosaic.
NORTHUMBERLAND WORDS. A GLOSSABY OF WORDS USED IN THE COUNTY OF NORTHUMBERLAND AND ON THE TYNESIDE. BY Richard Oliver Heslop. Published for the English Dialect Society(1893-84).
Volume 1 and Volume II
KILLY-COUPER, an upset heels over head.
Killicoup, a somerset [archaic spelling of somersault].
Killie is a plank or beam placed on a wall so that one end projects a good way further than the other. A child then places himself upon the long end, while two or three press down the short end, so as to cause him to mount."— Jamieson.
John Jamieson (1759-1838), was author of the Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, published in 1808, which was a landmark in the development of historical lexicography and in the study of the Scots language.
Jamieson's dictionary is available online.
Killie is given in the Supplement (Vol. 4; p.14).
This suggests that the field-names could be just a memory of a simple plank bridge, perhaps across a ditch or small stream. Maybe one that was prone to accidental upending.
It seems a little similar in this folk-lore origin of the name of Bays Leap farm.
If anyone has another theory or has more information, please let me know.
The Lesson of the Water Mill by Sarah Doudney from Wikipedia
Listen to the water mill
Through the livelong day;
How the clicking of the wheel
Wears the hours away.
Languidly the autumn wind
Stirs the withered leaves;
On the field the reapers sing
Binding up the sheaves;
And a proverb haunts my mind
And as a spell is cast,
"The mill will never grind
With the water that has passed."
We have no photos of the original Heddon Mill but you can still find it on old aerial photos, maps and archived plans.
The corn mill was powered using water taken from the Dewley Burn and stored in a mill pond just west of the Mill buildings.
The original site of the Mill was erased by open-cast coal mining and the building of the new A69 dual-carriageway. Few people notice the burn now chanelled under the slip-road where the road from Heddon passes under and joins the main road. You have to concentrate there on the sharp bend and the possibility of oncoming traffic from the narrow lane which comes down from East Heddon.
Although the proverb of the opening poem is of course true, it doesn't tell the whole story. Water passing over the water-wheel at Heddon Mill joined the Dewley Burn just below the Mill and becomes available down-stream.
Further east, north of Throckley, was another corn mill, Dewley Mill. Water was also taken from the Dewley Burn and led from a mill pond to the east of Burnside Farm by a long mill race in the fields now north of the A69. The Mill itself was just west of Dewley Farm.
Dewley Burn passes Dewley Farm and runs south through Walbottle Dene. It waters were in use again further down to power the mills of Spencer's Steel Works in Newburn before they join the River Tyne. Much of this section is now hidden in a culvert.
NLS side-by-side map and aerial online link.
In this mode you can drag the slider above the map windows to change from the old map to the modern satellite image. It shows the site of Heddon Mill and the old Bays Leap Farm close to the line of the new A69. Also changes in the roads leading from Heddon to Heddon Mill and Bays Leap.
The original route to the Mill was from a junction on the Throckley Road near the bus shelter, over Charlton Hill (where the Bay [Horse] Leap'd) to join Mill Lane. Just along Mill Lane was another old lane connecting with the start of the current road up to East Heddon at what is now the Heddon junction on the A69. The old lanes north of the modern A69, running west via Whitchester, may have all connected up and probably predate the Military Road built on the line of Hadrian's Wall.
Plan of Mill Farm, Heddon on the Wall. Surveyed by J. Brion (1855). Northumberland Archives ref. NRO 00309/M/46
The manor of Heddon was one of the six townships which comprised an isolated portion of the Barony of Styford and bestowed by Henry I on Hugh de Bolbec during the period 1100-1135, becoming known as the Bolbec Barony.
Following the death of Hugh de Bolbec, an extent (inventory) of the manor of Heddon was made:
"There are in demesne 160 acres at 6d per acre, sum £4; 3 acres of meadow at 8d per acre, sum 2s; 5 bondmen each of whom holds 24 acres worth yearly 18s 2d and they hold between them 12 acres 9s 1d; of the fishery of the said manor, 5 marks; the mills are worth yearly 5 marks; 22 acres worth yearly 15s 2d for farm and works; 13 acres worth 11s 1d; 5 acres of land which a certain widow holds worth yearly 2s 6d; 14 cottages worth yearly 26s 2d; Office of the smith worth yearly 2s 0d; of the Brew-house 4s 0d; Rent in hens yearly is worth 21d; pannage is worth yearly 2s 8d; birds taken at Wydestokes yearly 2s 0d; herbage of the same close yearly 12d; sum of the sums of Heddon £18 5s 5d."
The common lands of Heddon, amounting to 1,020 acres, were divided by award on 28th September 1717:
Tennants of the lands of Heddon retained the liberty to come to the Mill Dams with their cattle in a storm to fetch their water as was their usual practice.
William Smith, died at Heddon Mill in 1801 aged 81. In 1828, the millwright was named as Ralph Laws. The corn miller was John Smith. William Laws succeded Ralph in 1856. In 1886, John Smith was farmer at Heddon Mill Farm.
In 1918, the widow of John Clayton, grandson of Nathaniel, sold the farms of Bays Leap, Heddon Mill and Towne House to Adam and James Hedley of Newcastle. East Town Farm and several other pieces of land were sold to Sir James Knott for £13,345.
In 1924, Sir James Knott sold East Town Farm to Adam and James Hedley for £2,800. A portion of East Town Farm was given over to the Ministry of Works to protect the Roman Wall as an Ancient Monument.
In 1957, the heirs of the Hedleys sold Bays Leap, Town House and Heddon Mill to the National Coal Board for open-cast mining.
70 acres of land was excavated to a depth of 200 feet to extract 2.5 million tons of coal. The land was returned to farming and Bays Leap was sold to Mr. J. Moffitt in 1965.
In 1959, James Hedley sold a portion of East Town Farm to Grady's the builders to build the Vallum housing estate.
The property currently bearing the name, Heddon Mill, is further west of the former Mill Farm location, on the lane that leads up to Halls of Heddon close to the interestingly named, Hassockbog Plantation (old maps show a small cottage called Hassock on the old lane just opposite Heddon House).
I can only assume that Heddon Mill was reinstated in this new location at the end of open-cast coal mining, as indeed was the farm of Bays Leap, also in a slighly different location from the original property, presumably taking into account the proposed line of the new by-pass.
The common land at the former Heddon Mill was, however, lost forever.so please refrain from taking your cattle there in a storm to use the water now!
Very few of England's many thousands of water-mills are still in use as heritage or working museums (although many have been converted). There is a list (probably incomplete) of those known from Northumberland here.
One nearby, is that at Path Head near Blaydon which takes its water from the Blaydon Burn. It's nice to imagine that Heddon Mill might have been similar.
Started in 1730 by the Townley family, the Path Head Mill worked as a corn mill until 1828. During its working life it changed owners to the Cowen family.
Around 1974 the farm buildings became derelict, of which the later 1930's farmhouse is the only survivor. The area was then surrounded by extensive gravel extraction and only poultry survived. Evidence of vehicles was found during the excavations around the mill building.
The mill pond was choked with fallen willow trees and these were removed to clear access to the building and the pond. The old corn stack terraces had their dry stone walls repaired and a pole barn was erected to cover some of our engineering artefacts.
A corn mill at Stocksfield (Ridley Mill) was first recorded in 1566 in the deserted medieval village. A mill building and waterwheel of much more recent age still survives. However, it seems unrecognised as a heritage asset unlike the nearby, Grade II listed, Ridley Mill House.
The Aerofilms Collection
The Britain from Above website features images from the Aerofilms collection, a unique aerial photographic archive of international importance. The collection includes 1.26 million negatives and more than 2000 photograph albums. Dating from 1919 to 2006, the total collection presents an unparalleled picture of the changing face of Britain in the 20th century. It includes the largest and most significant number of air photographs of Britain taken before 1939.
The collection is varied and includes urban, suburban, rural, coastal and industrial scenes, providing important evidence for understanding and managing the built and natural environments.
The collection was created by Aerofilms Ltd, a pioneering air survey company set up in 1919 by First World War veterans Francis Lewis Wills and Claude Grahame-White. In addition to Aerofilms’ own imagery, the firm expanded its holdings with the purchase of two smaller collections – AeroPictorial (1934-1960) and Airviews (1947-1991).
This very large collection of historical air photographs was bought by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), English Heritage (EH), and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) from Blom ASA in 2007.
Register on the website for free to get the ability to zoom into the photos, save photos to your profile, add pins with comments, and download low resolution images for personal use.
If you want to compare the aerial photos to contemporary maps have a look at:
OS Sheet NZ16SW - A 1:10,560 (Surveyed / Revised: 1940 to 1951, Published: 1951)
OS Sheet NZ16NW - A 1:10,560 (Surveyed / Revised: 1940 to 1951, Published: 1951)
OS Sheet Durham I.11 1:2,500 (Revised: 1940, Published: 1947)
During the Second World War there were both German and Italian POW camps located close to St Oswin's Church in Wylam with the nissen huts visible on several of these 1948 aerial photos. On some of them you can also see what I think was 'Wylam Castle'.
German prisioners, over a period of just eight days in 1947, built a 3 foot high Bavarian castle in the gardens around their nissen huts. It was built using using stones from the river with roofs made from tins and had four towers, electric lighting and elaborate home-made furniture, and a ball room with tapestries and carpets.
The front door could be opened and closed automatically and the castle even had its own ornamental fountain. A discreet panel above the front door read ‘Built by German prisoners’ and it was intended as a lasting reminder of their stay in Wylam.
It attracted hundreds of sightseers over the next two years, but in May 1949, a lorry appeared on the site, the castle was lifted from its foundations and is reported to have fallen into pieces.
The two arrays of huts (on west and east sides of the road) are apparently shown on the 1:10,560 (6" to 1 mile) map published in 1951.
Surviving prisoner of war tells of life on Tyneside
ChronicleLive: 1st January 2011
FORCED to live in a foreign land, Rudi Kuhnbaum made a life for himself on Tyneside.
Now, 65 years on from the Second World War, the former German prisoner of war is believed to be one of the oldest remaining of those who stayed on in Britain.
The 91-year-old was captured by British troops on his 25th birthday in 1944 and brought to a prisoner of war camp in the Tyne Valley at Wylam.
Rudi remained in captivity for five years, later being billeted to a farm in nearby Heddon-on-the-Wall.
When faced with the option of returning to Germany in 1949, Rudi had no choice but to remain in England.
His parents had disappeared without a trace in the Russian occupied East Germany and the country was in economic post-war turmoil.
But Rudi has fallen in love with the North East people and started looking for work as a pork butcher – the job his father had done.
He married Geordie lass Audrey in 1957 and the pair ran J. Sawyer Pork butchers on Shields Road in Byker for 30 years.
Rudi, now of Fenham, Newcastle, said: “When the war ended it wasn’t a case of not wanting to return to Germany – I couldn’t."
“My parents were dead although my two younger sisters had managed to flee into West Germany.”
Rudi and six friends, who have all since passed away, all settled in the North East.
He said: “My father was a pork butcher so when I went to the labour exchange I told them that was my trade. The people here were fantastic – the family I lived with in Heddon were great people."
“I remember when I started working on the farm the farmer asked me if I spoke English and I told him yes.
“Later that day we were moving some sheep and he said, ‘Gan on hinny shove the buggers doon,’ and I had no idea what he was saying. I thought I knew English but Geordie was a whole other language.”
Rudi was conscripted into the army and for two years fought on the Eastern Front. He witnessed the daily horrors of war and lived in awful and freezing conditions. He said: “The conditions were impossible. We had little proper clothing and the temperatures were so low."
When the snow melted in the spring it revealed piles and piles of dead German and Russian soldiers. “It was terrible. I couldn’t work out what all the slaughter had been for.”
After being wounded in the leg by a shell Rudi was brought back to France where he worked as an ambulance driver, before being captured by the British in 1944.
Rudi and Audrey, 82, have two sons Malcolm, 54, and Alistair, 37, and three grandchildren.
Camps for prisoners
OVER 400,000 German soldiers were held as prisoners of war in the UK.
Across the country there were 350 large camps housing the Germans and over 150,000 Italian soldiers. In the North East there were 15 camps, with Wylam, where Rudi Kuhnbaum was kept, home to around 300 men at a time.
After 1949 there were 25,000 men who stayed in the country with 796 recorded marriages to English women.
WW2 Peoples War - Wylam
Wylam Wartime Memories of Constance Smith
"Then we got prisoners of war. The first lot were Italians and they built huts in the field opposite the church. That was quite a novelty. They didn't speak any English, so we couldn't talk to them, but they went to work on the local farms who had lost their young workers to the war effort, so they were very important. When the Germans came a lot of them spoke English so you could chat to them. One time they built their own model Bavarian castle, which created quite a bit of interest."
Tynedale at War 1939–1945
by Brian Tilley (2017)
There was an interesting development at Wylam, where German prisoners had their headquarters in Nissen huts while working on local farms. Among them were a carpenter and stonemason, who decided to augment the neat gardens they had created around the huts with something special. Over a period of just eight days, they built a mini castle in the gardens, with four towers, electric lighting and elaborate tapestries and carpets they had made themselves.
The three-foot high masterpiece was made using stones lifted from the bed of the Tyne by fellow prisoners, and the roof was made out of tins salvaged from the camp kitchens. Prisoners also constructed the furniture, embroidered tapestries and wove the carpet for the grand banqueting hail. Electricity was piped in from the Nissen huts and an ingenious homemade device allowed the front door to be opened and closed electronically. Wylam Castle even had its own ornamental fountain.
A discreet panel above the front door read ‘Built by German prisoners’ and it was intended as a lasting reminder of their stay in Wylam. Completed in 1947, it attracted hundreds of sightseers over the next two years, but some villagers were unhappy about this reminder of the war years, no matter how cleverly constructed. One day in May 1949, a lorry appeared on the site, and the castle was lifted from its foundations and driven away, never to be seen again ... although rumours persist it still has pride of place in someone’s back garden in the district!
Wylam Globe No 25 (Summer 1979)
Some random reminiscences of war-time Wylam, 1939-45 by Miss Frances J Foster of 5 Blackett Court.
"I remember wooden huts being put up on land between the church and the Institute (where Russell's house "Stone-cutters" now stands) for German and Italian prisoners of war. The POW's were employed to do jobs on farms in the district. Local volunteers had to do stints of preparing breakfast for them and I remember that I had to opt out because I found it too hectic for me!
The German POW's built a very beautiful castle, on part of the land now occupied by Blackett's Cottages."
Wylam Globe No 26 (Autumn 1979)
A schoolboy's memories of Wylam in wartime
Miss Foster's recollections of the village during the Second War encouraged Stanley Blenkinsop, son of Mrs. Blenkinsop of 2, Ingham Terrace, and News Editor of the Daily Express in Manchester, to recall his memories of Wylam in wartime.
"At the end of the war Italian soldiers captured in the Western Desert were kept in wooden huts near the Parish Church. Some of them had been basket makers back home in Italy and they were to run a flourishing "business" in Wylam weaving baskets from willows cut at the riverside. My mother still carries hers made nearly 40 years ago!
Many of the Italians (who had huge patches of brightly coloured cloth sewn into their uniforms to show who they were) were freed on parole each day to work on local farms.
In the evenings they were also allowed out of captivity, though banned from the six local pubs (the present four plus the Bird Inn, next door to the Ship Inn, and the Stephensons Arms then at the end of Falcon Terrace).
But the Italians, the "Eyeties" as we boys called them, were allowed to visit the nearest cinema in Crawcrook. One night I was in a group of youngsters who were asked by some Italian P.O.W.s where the "ceenimar" was. We pointed in the opposite direction to Crawcrook, to Horsley, and off they set to walk it. We thought it was part of the war effort to obstruct the enemy! I often wonder how far they got before they discovered our hoax! Perhaps they even reached the Roman Wall which their forefathers built!
I remember, too, the model Bavarian-style castle six feet tall made by German prisoners who took over the wooden huts used by the Italians near the Church.
After the Germans moved away, the castle was bought from the War Department by a South Wylam family.
A mobile crane was brought in to lift the castle from its foundations. The lift began — but suddenly there was a loud crack and the castle shattered into thousands of pieces!"
Photographs from Northumberland Archives, Woodhorn (Link)
I was privileged to be invited to see these two massive old maps last week. Based on sections of large scale Ordnance Survey maps, they have routes of Newcastle's buses, trams, trolley-buses and train routes painted on by hand. They had been designed to be hung up on a large wall somewhere and had been stored in a long and heavy wooden box. They had been rescued from disposal by David Vardy and brought to my attention by both Bill and Lil of Heddon who use a local Facebook page.
See below for more details and some recent research.
The origin of the box with its two maps was from a demolished property somewhere along the River Tyne, perhaps a storage warehouse of the town council.
An auction label on the wooden box showed that the maps had been in an auction by ADG Auctions of Blyth on 10th July 2021 as lot 736.
The lot was described only as 2 x 1920 local maps huge size approx. 18ft x 10ft, reused in war period 1944. Contained in large oak container.
There was no reserve price and the lot appeared to remain unsold and probably disposed of due to its condition.
The background maps can be identified as below:
The plan based on the 6" OS Map shows the existing tram line on the Scotswood Road though Lemington and Newburn terminating at the cross roads in Throckley. The population of Newburn Urban District is given as 18,830. An existing bus route along the West Road terminates at Denton Burn but is marked as authorised but not operated further west as far as Heddon on the Wall. The population of Heddon is recorded on the plan as 676.
To the north, a bus route serves Ponteland and Darras Hall (population 1,146). The train line to Ponteland Station via Gosforth is also shown on the plan but had been closed to passenger traffic on 17 June 1929 due to competition with the buses. Ponteland remained open for goods traffic until 14 August 1967.
The larger scale map is titled:
Newcastle upon Tyne in Parliament Session 1944-45.
Both plans are stored in a long wooden box which appears to have come from Westminster (probably made by a company at 15 Great George Street in W1 although that is only a guess from the incompletely read labels), and addressed to The Town Clerk of Newcastle upon Tyne. It had been sent by Resident Superintendent, House of Lords in July 1946.
Both maps are massive and would require conservation if anyone wants them, as the paper maps are peeling off their backing.
A quick check of parliamentary records suggests they could have been something to do with proposed Newcastle trolley-bus routes.
Entry in Journal [15th May, 1945] read: —Bill "to confirm, a Provisional Order made by the Minister of War Transport under the Newcastle-upon-Tyne (General Powers) Act, 1935, relating to Newcastle-upon-Tyne Trolley Vehicles," read the First and Second time, and (the Bill having been reported and considered in the last Parliament) ordered to be read the Third time To-morrow.
Trolleybuses to Replace Newcastle's Trams
The Commercial Motor 7th December 1945, Page 29
So soon as opportunity occurs, the Corporation of Newcastle-upon-Tyne has decided that its trams shall be displaced by trolleybuses. At present, the rolling-stock operated by the transport department, of which the general manager is Mr. H. C. Godsmark, A.M.I.A.E., M.Inst.T., comprises 511 vehicles, of which no fewer than 223 are trams, so that the change-over, when it can be arranged, will be no mean feat. Apart from the trams, there are 136 trolleybuses and 122 motorbuses. The remaining 30 vehicles are miscellaneous, in kind and in the purposes for which they are used.
Beamish Transport Online have a nice Newcastle Corporation Transport map (trolley-buses, trams and buses) from 1949 (published for use by public) although with no background OS. It is nice to imagine that the 1944-45 maps shown here were a forerunner for this later public service map.
Some of the tram routes on the 1944-45 maps (Throckley/Lemington) have been replaced by buses. However, trams still cross the Tyne & High Level Bridges on their way from Newcastle town centre to Gateshead.
A comment on this map on the website Transit Maps points out:
Interestingly, the main map seems to be presented at a slightly oblique angle almost as if the view was from an aeroplane high above the city. Distances along the north-south axis are somewhat compressed, and everything leans to the left a little. The bridges over the River Tyne are drawn in a way that reinforces this perspective, so the effect is quite convincing.
Perhaps someone had based it on the perspective of one of the massive maps laid out on the floor and observed from the bottom.
Co-Curate provides the following potted history of Newcastle's Trolleybus network.
October 2, 1935
Newcastle Trolleybus System opens
The Newcastle upon Tyne trolleybus system opened on the 2nd of October 1935. These were electric buses, drawing power from overhead cables through spring-loaded trolley poles. Unlike the trams they replaced, trolleybuses didn't require tracks. The trolleybus system gradually replaced the Newcastle tramway network, eventually growing to a fleet of 204 trolleybuses covering 28 routes..
Newcastle Libraries Collection Accession Number: 054254.
Newcastle Trolleybus Network - Expansion
Newcastle Corporation ran a programme of modernisation and expansion of it's trolleybus network between 1946 and 1949. During that period 186 new trolleybuses were ordered, replacing the original fleet of around 100, and expanding the network to cover 37 route miles.
October 2, 1966
Newcastle Trolleybus System closes
The Newcastle Trolleybus System closed in October 1966, after 31 years of operation. The electric trolleybuses were replaced by petrol buses. Some of the trolleybuses were scrapped, others were redeployed to trolleybus networks in other parts of the country.
Photo from Geograph © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust (cc-by-sa/2.0) Link
Byker Bridge in 1966 looking east. The distinctive supports for the overhead wires have disappeared, and we seem to need crash barriers these days.
The trolleybus is no.621, one of the batch of BUT 9641T vehicles built in 1950 to the same design as the last trolleybuses built for London. By this stage only the main route 35 corridor was still operated by trolleybuses, the final closure coming the following year. .
David Vardy managed to find a new home for the maps - the museum of the Blyth Battery.
30th September 2021
Hi Just noticed your item about the two Newcastle Corporation Transport maps.
In April 1931, the Corporation applied to the new Traffic Commissioners for Road Service Licences for the stage carriage services it wished to continue operating. This was a process gone through by all bus service operators as a result of The Road Traffic Act of 1930.
The 6" map matches exactly the bus routes that the Corporation listed in its application so can be dated as early 1931. In corroboration, the map shows the no. 12 Haymarket to Two Ball Lonnen route that started in July 1930, so the map must be later than that date, and the 11a Haymarket to North Shields via the New Coast Road, that no longer appeared in the December 1931 timetable, so the map must be earlier than that date.
The other map is much easier to date, not least because of the label! The proposed trolleybus routes in the Osborne Road/South Gosforth area are of note in that what actually happened was quite different.
Hope this is of interest.
Tony Fox, Market Drayton
A set of dog-eared and characterful handwritten books record over fifteen thousand place-names from Abberwick to Youly Sike, with brief descriptions of the places, giving a fascinating overview of Northumberland (including Tyneside) around 1860, a time of great change, and they are now accessible on the Northumberland Name Books website which goes live on 1 September 2021.
The 104 Ordnance Survey Name Books for Northumberland (most housed in The National Archives, Kew) record the immense fieldwork project that lies behind the First Edition Six Inch-scale maps of the county, and all subsequent maps. The surveyors visited every corner of the county, consulting locals, describing the landscape and archaeological sites and recording gentlemen's residences, colliers' cottages, churches, chapels and now long-gone farms, ferries, wells, spas, pubs, mines and 'manufactories'.
Thanks to the dedicated work of over thirty volunteers led by retired professor Diana Whaley, a full set of transcriptions and images, together with introductory sections, can now be freely searched and browsed on the website. For anyone interested in town and country, past and present, in names,
or in the story behind our mapping, this is a treasure trove well worth exploring.
Particular thanks to Irwin Thompson, Cornwell Internet, Explore, principal funders the English Place-Name Society (Jim and Mary Ann Wilkes Fund), the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust.
There are a few interactive maps of some of the areas covered by the Northumberland OS Name Books - Allendale, Redesdale and the Cheviot Hills - on this website (live and/or for download) which can be found under the navigation tag, Place Name Studies. Maps of several other Northumberland parishes are currently under construction.
Some photos of the newly built houses on the former site of Town Farm (later Tulip's Yard) adjacent to the old A69 when it passed this way through the village. The line of Hadrian's Wall likes under the houses and was subject to excavation during development of the site. The development of two detached, 4-bedroom houses and three link-detached, 3-bedroom dormer bungalows was completed in the summer of 2019.
I have just received the following notification about the launch online of the Journal of William English.
"I am writing to announce that the website and journal of William English, (www.williamenglish.net) a miner originally from the North East of England who through hard work became a mining engineer in the gold mines of South Africa, is now live.
The website and journal covering the period 1875 to 1915 has been a project for William’s descendants, Hilary Norris and Larry Cunningham.
William found his own first job as a trapper when he left school at thirteen but after a week, ‘I didn’t like the mine, and wanted to leave, but my father said I had looked for the job myself and would now stay there. Well that fixed my destiny, but I know I should never have been a miner’.
William later followed in his father Henry’s footsteps and found work in the mines of South Africa. In 1899 he joined the Kaffrarian Rifles, fighting in the Boer War, and keeping a diary of each skirmish he took part in.
It is possible the journal was begun around this time. William’s life wasn’t solely defined by his work as a mining engineer although he details the materials, costs and dangers involved. He had many other interests, cycling perhaps being his greatest passion.
In transcribing William’s journal we have tracked the tragically short life of a self taught man in his own words. Additional material adds context and background information on the family. If you’d like to contact us please do so on email@example.com Larry Cunningham & Hilary Norris June 2021"
The homepage of the website is here: https://williamenglish.net
William English was born in Wylam in 1875 and died in 1915 at the Phthisis Sanatorium at Modderfontein, near Johannesburg in South Africa.
His Journal probably written at a much later period of his life has been transcribed by his relatives and the website contains much more information about places and historical context.