River transport, in the form of shallow draft barges called wherries, was central to the Ouseburn’s development as a centre for heavy industry. Likewise the efficient operation of Newcastle quayside as a regional port depended increasingly on the carters and chain horse operators whose job it was to haul produce off the quay to warehouses and rail depots. The wherrymen and chain-horse lads of the Ouseburn were widely recognised in their day as skilled and valuable workers with opportunities for economic improvement unavailable to the great mass of Ouseburn’s industrial workforce.
Come to our January talk to find out more. Mike Greatbatch will use rare archive images and anecdotal evidence to reveal the history and achievements of the wherrymen and chain-horse lads.
The talk will take place at The Corner House, Heaton Road, NE6 5RP on Wednesday 27 January 2016 at 7.30pm and is FREE to Heaton History Group members. Non-members pay £2. The doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm. Please book your place by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org /07443 594154. Until Wednesday 11 November, bookings will be accepted from Heaton History Group members only but after that will be open to all-comers.
About our speaker
Mike has over fifteen years experience of researching the history of the Ouseburn and is currently working on a series of research papers for publication. He is a Committee member of the North East Labour History Society and is one of the co-ordinators of the society’s ‘People’s History of the North East’ project, supporting a group of volunteers at Newcastle City Library. Mike’s paper on Chartism in the Ouseburn (1838-1848) was published in North East History in 2013, and his latest paper on Poor Law administration in Byker Township and the Byker Dispensary (1835-52) was published in this year’s edition of North East History.