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From Tyneside to Tsushima: the poet who built battleships

Wednesday 24 May 2023 7.30pm at St George’s, High Heaton

Best known for his classic children’s story Moonfleet (later made into a Hollywood movie), John Meade Falkner (1858-1932) was an enigmatic figure of many parts. A bookish antiquarian, he lived quietly on the cathedral green at Durham, writing novels, poetry, and studying in the Dean and Chapter Library. But his working career saw an incredible rise from beginnings as tutor of Sir Andrew Noble’s children at Jesmond Dene House, to becoming chairman of Armstrong Whitworth of Elswick, one of the world’s biggest arms manufacturers, during the First World War. Falkner travelled the globe selling warships to the world’s navies and helped to start Japan on its course to become a major maritime power.

John Meade Falkner

Our Speaker

Christopher Goulding PhD is a retired English teacher who taught for 20 years at the Royal Grammar School. His publications include articles in the Times Literary Supplement and various academic journals, annotated text editions of early 19th century novels for Pickering & Chatto, and two books on north-east history for Newcastle City Libraries. 

Our Venue

This talk will take place at St George’s United Reformed Church on Newton Road, High Heaton NE7 7HP. It is on the corner with Boundary Gardens, the same block as Heaton Stannington’s football ground, Grounsell Park.

There are excellent public transport links including the numbers 18, 38, 52 and 553, which stop right by the church.

There is car parking on the surrounding streets. 

Booking The talk is free to members and cost £2.50 for non-members. Once booking has opened, reserve your place by contacting Maria on 07443 594154.



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