Category Archives: Events

From Tyneside to Tsushima: the poet who built battleships

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 maria-graham@live.co.uk 07443 594154.

NEW VENUE Cobbled Streets and Penny Sweets: 1950s’ Newcastle NEW VENUE

Wednesday 22 March 2023 7.30pm Open for Booking: members and non-members

‘Cobbled Streets and Penny Sweets’ is an affectionate, at times hard-hitting and beautifully evocative portrait of life in a city that has changed beyond recognition. Above all, it is a story of family, friendship and getting through the hard times with a healthy dose of Geordie humour.

So soon after World War Two, the 50s were a time of great hardship and yet people made the best of what little they had, as housewives competed to scrub their doorsteps clean and children turned derelict houses into playgrounds. We’ll hear about some characters of the time and the down as well as the up side of the era.

Our speaker

Yvonne Young`s childhood in 1950s’ Newcastle was spent at the heart of the city`s industry. With her grandfather working as a ship painter, her uncle Tom helping to build them and neighbours working for the local armaments factory, the shipyards and factories were her community`s lifeblood. Yvonne has published numerous books including: ‘Benwell Remembered’ and ‘Westenders‘ parts 1 and 2, ‘The Grainger Market: the peoples history‘ and, in 2019, ‘Cobbled Streets and Penny Sweets’.

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 maria-graham@live.co.uk or 07443 594154.

NEW VENUE L S Lowry and the North East NEW VENUE

Wednesday 25 January 2023 7.30pm Open for Booking: members and non-members

L S Lowry’s creative work is much better known than the man himself. This talk attempts to redress the balance by examining his modest life and the relationships he established with others. He spent a considerable amount of time in the north-east, especially in his later years and this aspect of his life will be examined in detail.

‘Old Chapel’ by L S Lowry (Otherwise known as the Sailors’ Bethel, Horatio Street, Ouseburn )

Our Speaker

Ian McCardle attended Heaton Technical and Manor Park schools and then went on to Exeter University to study French and Spanish. He worked for twenty years as a modern languages teacher in England and Germany before joining Newcastle University as Deputy Director of the Language Centre. He has volunteered with Age UK and the Youth Hostel Association and he is a Victoria Tunnel guide on which he also give talks. He has previously given an informative and entertaining talk to our group about the history of the Lit and Phil.

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. The nearest car park is in Paddy Freeman’s Car Park, just round the corner off Freeman Road, about a 3 minute walk away.

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 maria-graham@live.co.uk or 07443 594154

CHANGE Northumberland Hussars 1939-1945 CHANGE

Wednesday 23 November 2022 7.30pm

In a late change to the originally advertised talk, Dave Weatherstone will give a talk on the Northumberland Hussars in World War 2.

This replaces the talk below but the venue and time remain the same (see below). No need to book on this occasion.

We hope to reschedule Bill Griffiths’ talk for a later date.

———————————————————————

To Study the Monument: a history of research into Hadrian’s Wall

Wednesday 23 November 2022 7.30pm Open for Booking – members and non-members

It is only in the last 150 or so years that we have realised that Hadiran’s Wall was built by Hadrian, and new discoveries continue to astound even today in the 1900th anniversary year of the monument. For our November talk,  Bill Griffiths, will explore the research carried out on the frontier since the Roman administration in Britain. collapsed in the early fifth century AD.

William Stukeley’s 18C engraving of Hadrian’s Wall, looking down what is now Shields Road to Newcastle.

Our Speaker

Bill Griffiths is Head of Programmes and Collections at Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives. He also leads the Arts Council England funded Culture Bridge North East and Museum Development North East Sector Support Organisations that TWAM delivers for the region, is a member of the Hadrian’s Wall Management Plan Board, and chairs the Children and Young People’s working group for the North East Cultural Partnership.

Booking and Venue

The event will take place on Wednesday 23 November 2022 at Heaton Baptist Church, Heaton Road, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 5HN at 7.30pm.

We use the Mundella Terrace entrance. There is on street parking nearby and a car park about five minutes walk away off Jesmond Vale Lane in Heaton Park. If you have mobility needs which mean that you you would require access to the very limited parking by the door of the venue, please request this when you book.

The nearest bus stop is that of the number 1 on Second Avenue near the junction with Seventh Avenue. From there it’s a two minute walk to the church. It is about a twelve minute walk from the Coast Road bus stops near the Corner House.

The closest Metro station is Chillingham Road, about twelve minutes walk away.

The doors open at 7.00pm.  All welcome. FREE for Heaton History Group members. £2.50 for non-members. Members have a priority booking window. Please book your place by contacting maria-graham@live.co.uk / 07443 594154

Arrangements

There is ample room for social distancing at Heaton Baptist Church. The building has very high ceilings and  good ventilation. There is even a gallery in which anyone who would prefer to be further apart can sit. Tea and coffee (with biscuits!) is normally available for £1 per cup.

We look forward to seeing old friends and welcoming new members and visitors.

This talk forms part of Heaton History Group’s contribution to Hadrian’s Wall 1900, a year long festival to commemorate the 1900th anniversary of the building of Hadrian’s Wall.

NEW Newcastles of the World NEW

Wednesday 26 October, Heaton Baptist Church 

There are many places in the world named Newcastle. At one time they may have had castles. Some still do. Not all of them are English-speaking. There were new castles in many different countries resulting in names such as Shinshiro, Neuchâtel , Neuburg, and Nové Hrady. And some Newcastles were named after other Newcastles or individuals bearing the name Newcastle. Not all are cities, some are towns or even villages. One is an army settlement. One is a star. They all shine brightly in their own way.


In 1998 a network of Newcastles was formed when the mayor of Shinshiro in Japan invited a number of cities to Japan to attend the first summit of Newcastles. Eight attended and a conference has been held every two years since then in Newcastles around the world with the network gathering momentum and members along the way and spawning a number of youth and cultural projects

In a late change to our advertised programme, David Faulkner OBE will tell us more about some of the Newcastles and the Newcastles of the World programme. David coordinates the work of Newcastles of the World.

He is an eastender – he was born in Byker and grew up in Heaton. He was educated at Ravenswood and Chillingham Road Primary Schools and the former Heaton Grammar School before taking a history degree at the University of York. His mother was a tea packer at Ringtons and his father was a postman for the Shields Road beat. His close ties to Heaton continue: he is currently a trustee of The People’s Theatre.

David’s career  spanned business, the arts and politics. He worked in the electricity industry locally for 30 years and he was on the board of the regional CBI. He has had two spells as a Newcastle City Councillor, first when in his 20s (representing Elswick, and the first Liberal on the Council for 40 years) and much later between 2004 and 2018 representing Fawdon. He was Deputy Leader of the Council for four years and Leader in 2010/11.

We’d like to thank David for stepping in at short notice and apologise for the inconvenience to members and others expecting the originally advertised talk.

Booking and Venue

The event will take place on Wednesday 26 October at Heaton Baptist Church, Heaton Road, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 5HN at 7.30pm.

We use the Mundella Terrace entrance. There is on street parking nearby and a car park about five minutes walk away off Jesmond Vale Lane in Heaton Park. If you have mobility needs which mean that you you would require access to the very limited parking by the door of the venue, please request this when you book.

The nearest bus stop is that of the number 1 on Second Avenue near the junction with Seventh Avenue. From there it’s a two minute walk to the church. It is about a twelve minute walk from the Coast Road bus stops near the Corner House.

The closest Metro station is Chillingham Road, about twelve minutes walk away.

The doors open at 7.00pm.  All welcome. FREE for Heaton History Group members. £2.50 for non-members. Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154

Arrangements

There is ample room for social distancing at Heaton Baptist Church. The building has high ceilings and  good ventilation. There is even a gallery in which anyone who would prefer to be further apart can sit. Tea and coffee is normally available for £1 per cup.

We look forward to seeing old friends and welcoming new members and visitors.

26 October 2022 7.30pm Open for booking – members and non-members

This talk replaces the planned talk by David Stewart-David which we have had to cancel:

North Eastern Railway Heritage 1854 – the present,

North Eastern Railway class S2 and London & North Eastern Railway B15 with an NER J71 tank engine, Heaton c1919
North Eastern Railway class S2 and London & North Eastern Railway B15 with an NER J71 tank engine, Heaton c1919

Harry Hotspur’s Big Night Out: the Battle of Otterburn

Wednesday 23 February 7.30pm at Heaton Baptist Church

Our February talk is about the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, the dramatic border reiver battle of Chevy Chase and the part played by one of Northumbria’s most dashing sons, Harry Hotspur as he took on his Scottish rival, the Earl of Douglas in what became the stuff of legend.

Harry Hotspur

Harry Hotspur, Shrewsbury

Our speaker

Michael Thomson is an artist and historian and, since moving to Northumberland almost 10 years ago following 20 years working in the heritage industry, he has been  exploring the history of the North.

Booking and Venue

The event will take place on Wednesday 23 February 2022 at Heaton Baptist Church, Heaton Road, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 5HN at 7.30pm.

We will be using the Mundella Terrace entrance. There is on street parking nearby and a car park about five minutes walk away off Jesmond Vale Lane in Heaton Park.

The nearest bus stop is the Number 1 on Second Avenue near the junction with Seventh Avenue. From there it’s a two minute walk to the church. It is about a twelve minute walk from the Coast Road bus stops at the Corner House.

The closest Metro station is Chillingham Road, about twelve minutes walk away.

The doors open at 7.00pm.  All welcome. FREE for Heaton History Group members. £2 for non-members. Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154

Arrangements

There is ample room for social distancing at Heaton Baptist Church. The building has very high ceilings and  good ventilation. There is even a gallery in which anyone who would prefer to be further apart can sit. Tea and coffee will be available for £1 per cup.

The church still asks everyone to wear masks as a precaution against Covid so we would ask everyone to respect that.

We look forward to seeing old friends and welcoming new members and visitors.

*** POSTPONED Cobbled Streets and Penny Sweets in ’50s Newcastle POSTPONED ***

We are sorry to announce that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, all Heaton History Group events have been postponed until further notice. As soon as we are able to continue with our programme, we will make an announcement on this website, through social media and in our members’ newsletter.

————————————————————————————————————————–

Cobbled Streets and Penny Sweets is an affectionate, at times hard-hitting and beautifully evocative portrait of life in a city that has changed beyond recognition. Above all, it is a story of family, friendship and getting through the hard times with a healthy dose of Geordie humour.

CremonaToffee3132 RLC

Cremona Park Toffee Factory stood where Sainsbury’s is until the 1960s

So soon after World War Two, the 50s were a time of great hardship and yet people made the best of what little they had, as housewives competed to scrub their doorsteps clean and children turned derelict houses into playgrounds. We’ll hear about some characters of the time and the down as well as the up side of the era.

Our speaker

Yvonne Young`s childhood in 1950s Newcastle was spent at the heart of the city`s industry. With her grandfather working as a ship painter, her uncle Tom helping to build them and neighbours working for the local armaments factory, the shipyards and factories were her community`s lifeblood. Yvonne has published numerous books including: ‘Benwell Remembered’ and ‘Westenders‘ parts 1 and 2, ‘The Grainger Market: the peoples history’.

Book now

The event will take place on Wednesday 22 April 2020 at The Corner House, Heaton NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). All welcome. FREE for Heaton History Group members. £2 for non-members. Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154.

George Stephenson: father of the railways

Our February talk covers the life of George Stephenson from his birth in 1781 in the single family room of the cottage in Wylam to his death in 1848 at his stately country estate in Derbyshire.

StephensonGeorge

George Stephenson

We will hear about his early years in the mines of Northumberland, the development of the steam engine – first static and then ‘moving’ – the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and the Rainhill Trials. His involvement in progressing railways across Europe.  His battle with Sir Humphrey Davy over the provenance of the miner’s safety lamp.  His gradual retirement which left the Stephenson legacy to his son, the prodigy who was Robert Stephenson.

Stephenson_old locos 2

Our Speaker

Malcolm Smith was born in Newcastle and educated at Rutherford Grammar School. His career  was spent at Newcastle General and then in the pharmaceutical and aviation industries. He returned to Northumberland in 2001. Besides giving local history talks, he is a Freemason, supports Newcastle United and flies his light aircraft from Eshott Airfield.

Book now

The event will take place on Wednesday 26 February 2020 at The Corner House, Heaton NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). All welcome. FREE for Heaton History Group members. £2 for non-members. Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154.

The Lit & Phil: ‘a valuable NE institution’

Our January talk will be about a much loved local institution, Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society.

Bust of Charles Hutton by Sebastian Gahagan now in the Lit and Phil

Bust of Charles Hutton, once of High Heaton,  by Sebastian Gahagan in the Lit and Phil

The Lit & Phil is the largest independent library outside London and it’s here in our home town!  The Library has played and continues to play a vigorous role in the cultural life of Newcastle and the region. The talk will take a humorous look at how the Library has developed over more than two hundred years, organising lectures, concerts, book launches and language classes, in addition to collecting and preserving some 170,000 books, some of them valuable and rare.

Our Speaker

Ian McCardle attended Heaton Technical and Manor Park schools and then went on to Exeter University to study French and Spanish. He worked for twenty years as a modern languages teacher in England and Germany before joining Newcastle University as Deputy Director of the Language Centre. He has volunteered with Age UK and the Youth Hostel Association and he is a Victoria Tunnel guide on which he also give talks.

Book now

The event will take place on Wednesday 22 January 2020 at The Corner House, Heaton NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). All welcome. FREE for Heaton History Group members. £2 for non-members. Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154.

The Border Reivers

On 23 October 2019, our talk at the Corner House will be about the Border Reivers.

For three hundred years Northern England and Southern Scotland witnessed the longest and most savage intercnine war in history. This was largely fought by the ‘riding’ names from the upland dales of Northumberland and Liddesdale. These were not Robin Hood characters but well organised and murderous cross-border criminal mafias who preyed on the more exposed lowlands while at the same time pursuing feuds and vendettas of relentless fury which endured for generations.

 

BorderReivers2

This was a world where murder, theft, kidnapping and ransom were everyday activities, where loyalty to family was all that counted, these uplands became a blighted ‘threap’ a war-zone where the arts of civilisation, faith and culture could not endure. Set in authority to mind this shop of horrors were the border wardens, our versions of US Marshals but not a white hat in sight. Often the wardens were more a part of the problem than any sign of a solution.

At regular intervals the standard fare of low level conflict and raiding burst into a tornado of violence when England and Scotland were at war, a far from infrequent occurrence. Two kings of Scotland were killed by the borderers, two more captured for ransom.

Our speaker

Although he worked for nearly thirty years in law and related fields, John Sadler’s main passion has always been for military history. Living in the heart of the historic Anglo Scottish Borderland stimulated a particular  interest in ‘The Steel Bonnets’ – the sixteenth century border reivers.

He has a particular interest in historical re-enactment and interpretation for schools, community and local history groups. His approach to history is to make the experience of telling or teaching as meaningful and interactive for the audience as possible, with displays of clothing, arms, armour and firearms, demonstrations of swordplay, musket drill and the odd dash of drama. He sees delivery as much a performance as a lecture.

John is a member of Equity and a Fellow of The Royal Historical Society.

Book now

Our talk will take place on Wednesday 23 October 2019 at The Corner House, Heaton NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). All welcome. FREE for Heaton History Group members. £2 for non-members. Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154.