Report by Hazel Thompson
for Heddon Gossip, August 2011
The local history group enjoyed a visit to Trinity House on the Quayside in Newcastle. It felt a bit like the Tardis, it looked small from outside but inside there were some beautiful pictures and furniture. There were a number of models of ships like the HMS Victory, which is made of beef bones by British prisoners of war, and another small version with the ropes of the rigging made of human hair.
The hall has a gilded ceiling showing the points of the compass and a panel in the middle showing a ship in full sail. The chapel, which was built in 1634, is still used for services and has box pews with all sorts of carving on the doors.
The phrase 'show a leg' seems to come from the days when all the family went to sea. If someone shouted 'show a leg' and it was a female leg that appeared over the edge of the hammock, they were allowed to sleep on, but if it was a male leg, then they had to get up straight away and get to work.