Category Archives: Events

Joseph Cowen and Radical Newcastle

Joseph Cowen was the leading political figure in north east England in the second half of the 19th century. A visionary and hugely influential personality, Cowen was at the heart of the ‘radical citadel‘ that was Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the late 1800s. Using his positions as Newcastle MP and editor of the ‘Daily Chronicle’, Cowen pursued an agenda, which aimed to spread wealth and power amongst all the people of Tyneside, not just the rich and powerful.

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Joseph Cowen as a young man

For our December talk, Peter Sagar will tell us much more about this fascinating figure, including how he was exactly 100 years ahead of time on one major issue, was important nationally on another issue, which continues to affect us now… and how he may have fallen foul of anti-terror legislation had he lived today. Peter will also reflect on what we can learn from Cowen about our own world today.

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Joseph Cowen’s statue on Westgate Road, Newcastle

The  talk will take place on Wednesday 13 December 2017 at The Corner House, Heaton Road NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154. Until 28 September booking will be open to Heaton History Group members only.

Different Kind of Courage: conscientious objectors from the NE in WW1

For our October talk, Andrew Greaves will retrace his grandfather’s journey during and after the First World War. He was a founder member of The Friends Ambulance Unit, a pioneering humanitarian organisation active on the Western Front.

He will contrast his grandfather’s story with Corder Catchpool’s very different experience as a prisoner of conscience back in England.

WW1 CO Talk (i)ed

We’ll learn too about other conscientious objectors from the north-east of England, notably the group known as the Harwich Frenchmen,  the first non-combatants to be sentenced to death in WW1 for refusing to take up arms, and whose courageous personal witness led to the eventual recognition of conscientious objection to war as an internationally-accepted human right throughout the world.

WW1 CO Talk (ii)ed

Andrew is a former schoolteacher and a member of Hexham Quaker Meeting, who lives in rural Northumberland.

The  talk will take place on Wednesday 25 October 2017 at The Corner House, Heaton Road NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154. Until 27 July booking will be open to Heaton History Group members only.

Jesmond Dene: past, present and future

Our August guided walk will take us to Jesmond Dene. The Ouseburn Parks Volunteer Guides will help participants explore this much-loved park – its history, its buildings and the families connected with it.

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Jesmond Dene

We will meet at 6.30pm (Please note the earlier start time) on Wednesday 23 August at the Ouseburn Parks’ Visitor Centre in Jesmond Dene. Booking is essential and until Thursday 25 May is open to Heaton History Group members only.

Lower Ouseburn Valley

Our July walk, led by well-known local historian writer, Alan Morgan, will take us on a journey around the lower Ouseburn valley. We will look at many interesting sites in a place synonymous with the development of Tyneside. We’ll visit old bridges, the culvert, the site of the cattle sanatorium, the entrance to the Victoria Tunnel and a former burial ground, as well as learn more about the importance of industries such as glass, lead and pottery. We’ll also see for ourselves how recent developments are transforming this former industrial area.

The walk will take place on Wednesday 26 July 2017, starting at 7.30pm at the Ship Inn at the foot of Stepney Bank. Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154. Until 25 May, booking is open only to members of Heaton History Group.

Thank you  to Hilary Bray (nee Bates) who gave Heaton History Group permission to digitise and use photographs below of the Ouseburn valley from her postcard collection.

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Hadrian’s Wall in Prose, Poetry, Pictures, Song and Music

Hadrian’s Wall defines us as Heatonians. Many southerners believe that, living north of it as we do, we must be in Scotland. It’s about time then, that this world famous historic edifice that passes along Shields Road, featured again at a Heaton History Group talk. So on Wednesday 22 March we’ve invited along Hazel Graham and Hilary East and their partners (who previously entertained and educated us about the lives of  Cullercoats fishwives)  to present aspects of local history along the Hadrian’s Wall Path through prose, pictures, poetry, live music and song.

Reconstructed section of Hadrian's Wall, Wallsend

Reconstructed section of Hadrian’s Wall, Wallsend

The talk will take place at The Corner House, Heaton Road NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org /07443 594154.

Grim up North? J B Priestley in NE England

J B Priestley’s ‘English Journey’ is considered the renown dramatist’s greatest non-fiction work.  In the 1934 travelogue, undertaken at the depth of ‘The Great Depression’, Priestley created a lasting but controversial portrait of our region. He loathed the Geordie accent; pitied the unemployed of Gateshead; but admired the still-surviving Bensham Community Project and praised the People’s Theatre (a Heaton institution, of course).

JB Priestley at his desk in 1947

In our talk on 26 April, media historian Chris Phipps will retrace the author’s often enigmatic footsteps in Newcastle and Gateshead and ask whether Priestley was truly compassionate or unfairly critical about what he saw here?  And he will ask whether it was J B Priestley who first persuaded photographers and film makers that it was ‘grim up north’?

The event will take place at The Corner House, Heaton Road NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org /07443 594154. All welcome but until Thursday 26 January, booking will be open to Heaton History Group members only. Find out more about membership here.

Byker: wall to wall

Our talk on Monday 25 January will be about the long and rich history of our neighbouring district of Byker from the building of Hadrian’s Wall to that of the Byker Wall almost 2000 years later.

Here are a few images from Hilary Bray’s extensive local postcard collection to whet your appetite.

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Alan Morgan, historian, speaker, author and Heaton History Group Honorary President, has carried out extensive research into the history of Byker for his new book ‘Byker and the Lower Ouseburn’. See below for an invitation to the book launch (but if you’d like to go, you must RSVP).

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Come and hear Alan’s fascinating talk on Wednesday 25 January. The talk will take place at The Corner House, Heaton Road NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). It will be very popular so please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org /07443 594154. Until Thursday 24 November booking will be open to Heaton History Group members only.