Friday, September 29, 2023
HomeEventsNostalgic views of the North: the Ward Philipson collection

Nostalgic views of the North: the Ward Philipson collection

The Ward Philipson collection comprises over 150,000 images of the North East with engravings and etchings dating back to the 1700s and photographs from the 1850s to the 1960s. John Moreels, the owner of the collection, along with a group of volunteers based in Newcastle, is restoring this incredible resource. So far approximately 25,000 images have been scanned and restored. Just 125,000 or so to go!

On Wednesday 24 September, John will tell us the story so far and present an amazing selection of images, dating from the 1700s to the 1960s including the Great Bridge of Tyne, Paddy’s Market, steam engines and the coast.

Here we present a couple of local photographs from the collection:

Tates Radio Shields Road
Anyone remember this shop on Shields Road?
And this one?
Smiths Crisps Coast Road
And recognise this much changed building on the Coast Road?

To book for the talk, which takes place at the Corner House Hotel on Heaton Road, please contact: / 07763 985656 Free for members. £2 for non members. We ask you to be in your seat by 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start so that we can give unclaimed seats to people on our reserve list.



  1. All these pictures are so familiar to me. I’m sure my Dad bought our first TV from Tates on the “never-never”

    How I wish I was able to attend this meeting in September, but it is a long way to come from Canada!! Hope to hear more about it and see so many more pictures of the places in which I grew up – Stannington Avenue and surrounding areas. Just love this site!

    • Hi Muriel. If you would like me to take some contemporary photos of the Stannington Avenue/Heaton Road area and email them to you I would be happy to do that; just ask.

  2. Chris Boylan emailed:

    ‘Whilst browsing through your site this afternoon I came across a photograph of a building at the junction of Benfield Road and the Coast Road which is still there. I mean the Smith’s Crisps Factory. I can still in my minds eye see their vans carrying the slogan “we help to feed the nation”

    At the entrance off Benfield Road by the door was a water tap affixed to the wall accompanied by two large watering cans. This was a regular stop for bus drivers on the No. I bus heading for Denton Burn or Cochrane Park to fill up the coolant systems on their buses and making sure that the cans were filled ready for the next bus wanting them.

    Another thing I recall was walking up Coach Lane and seeing crossing the road a set of tram lines remnants of the route between North Shields and Gosforth. A short distance on the left hand side heading towards Benton was a large bomb crater which I always assumed even today 2016 was caused by a German Bomber.’

    • I have no certain knowledge of the crater, but the area opposite (subsequently commandeered by The Ministry of Pensions as storage facilities) was the launching station for barrage balloons and also an emergency aircraft landing strip, so it be an obvious target.

  3. Tate’s Radio Company Ltd, 71 Shields Road, Byker. That’s a really old photo. The main door was later moved to the corner of the building. I worked there for a couple of years. One day we had a man visit to inspect the electric meters. I showed him our meter but he said no, I need the one in the cellar. I told him we didn’t have a cellar. Eventually someone turned up and cut a hatch in the floor. Turns out we had a cellar that hadn’t been used for many years. They found the electric meter by lowering a young lad down the hatch. Quite exciting stuff.


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