Newburn in old picture postcards

Newburn in old picture postcards

:   Noël G. Rippeth
:   Tyne & Wear
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5542-7
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Newburn in old picture postcards'

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9. Newbum, Speneer's furnacemen, 1909. An interior shot showing the two furnacemen ilIuminated by the flames. In the foreground is the fuel for the furnace and in the background a pile of iron pigs. These were turned into steel by the furnace process, then worked into shape in another shop in the factory. Steel plate was one of the main products of the factory; much of that produced in the early years of the century was sent down the Tyne for use in the shipyards which were then fully occupied building liners, merchant ships and naval vessels. The two men wore safety goggles, as they had to look into the furnace and use their experience to judge wh en to discharge the steel to produce optimum strength. It was on workers such as these that the reputation of Speneer's steel depended worldwide.

10. Newburn, engine house at Millfield . John Spencer set up his first factory in Newcastle in 1810 to produce files. He had previously learned his craft as an apprentice in Sheffield, then gained experience working for 'Crowley's Crew' in Winlaton. His business soon outgrew the Fighting Cock's yard off the Bigg Market and, in 1822, he bought the corn mill at Newburn to use as a power source. Continued success meant that the demands for power outstripped the capacity of the mill. Steam power was supplied first in 1845 with the erection of a Hawthorn-built stationary engine. This card shows the engine house at Millfield as it was in the 1920s. The introduetion of steampower enabled the firm to expand its range of produets from files to springs and complete buffers for railway rolling stock, at a time when all over the world nations were orde ring railways from local engineers. The wooden structures to the right of the picture are pigeon duckets. These belonged to one of the volunteer firemen shown on card No. 5.

11. Newburn, view trom the Chair, 1909. This photograph was taken from a parcel ofland called the Chair between the railway and the Tyne. In the right foreground is the 'New Burn', at this point near enough the river to rise and fall with the tides. Tidal flowaffects the Tyne upstream beyond the village to a point marked by the tidestone. This is an inscribed stone set in the ground near the riverside footpath between Newburn and Wylam, about a mile upstream from where the 'New Burn' joins the Tyne. The houses in the centre of the picture are the backs of Firernens' Row while the larger building behind and facing them is Spencers offices. The spread of the factory buildings to the right and behind the offices gives some idea of the way in which the firm developed down the valley of the New Burn from the Millfield buildings as trade expanded and diversified. In the years between 1872 and 1910 there appeared acid-process furnaces, a heavy casting steel foundry, a rolling rnill, a boiler plate plant, a new larger machine shop and a forge shop with a hydraulic press.

12. Newburn, Spencer's, plates tor London cl910. The N .E.R 0-6-0 steam locomotive shown here is shunting two plate wagons each carrying a large steel plate. These plates were produced in Speneer's centenary year for exhibition. They are here being moved from Speneer's sidings onto the line to Newcastle. This was to be the first leg of their journey to an international Trade Exhibition in London. During the second half of the 19th century Speneer's began to riyal other, longer established suppliers. In those early days as the firm strove to gain recognition, Newburn was referred to as 'New Sheffield'. However, by the turn of the century Speneer's had become a world renowned supplier of quality steel and Newburn became as synonymous with steel as Sheffield.

13. Newburn, the millstream c1885. This, and cards Nos. 14 and 15, are taken from old photographs reproduced in the Spencer Centenary Book, published by the firrn in 1910. The photograph clearly shows the potential power of the water as it falls over the rocks in the steeply inclined stream bed. This power was harnessed by diverting the flowing water into a mil!race parallel to the stream. In the mil! race it feil against the mil! wheel converting its potential energy into the rotary power of the turning mill, The deep hole on the right of the picture between the stream and the mil! wall marks the course of the mil! race. Up to about fifty years before John Spencer set up business at this mill, the burn boasted two flour mil!s. The site of Speneer's mill was originally the lower rnill. The high mil! was swept away in the great flood of 1771, which also destroyed al! but one of the Tyne's bridges and caused the river bed to move southward over a stretch of a few hundred yards between Wylam and Newburn,

14. Newburn, Speneer's breast mill, 1885. This card shows the breast miJl built by Speneer's in 1830. This miJIlay weil downstream ofthe old corn mil! on a newly dug narrow , steep and stonelined mil! race, and had a 30 ft diameter wheel. This millwheel was of wooden construction of a type known as 'undershot'. This meant that the water hit the wheel and drove it around as it passed under it. Large undershot wheels were used with smal! fast flowing streams, like the miJlrace. A big wheel, like the one shown here, generated more power per revolution from the water than a smal! one could. The power from this wheel was used to drive the machinery of the grinding miJl, leaving the corn mil!, renamed No. 1 mil!, to provide power for rolling steel. The building of the breast miJl was one ofthe first steps in the development of Spencer's. The expansion of the firm was destined to continue througbout the 19th century, filling up the mil!stream valley with workshops and turning Newburn into a 'company town'.

15. Newburn, interior of No. 1 mill1885. Through the opening on the right the mill wheel is visible. Notice how much wider it is than the breast millwheel. This enabled it to take advantage of the much wider mill race. The spot chosen by the builders of this mill was at a point where the stream had formed a natural pool which was both deep and wide. When this photograph was taken the factory was in the final stages of switching to steam power, and the mill was being decommissioned. The machinery which takes up the middle and right of the picture was used for rolling and compressing the steel into plates. The size of the plates was limited by the water power available. As demand grew from the shipyards ofthe Tyne for bigger plates made from harder steel, the usefulness of No. 1 mill, which had begun life as the village corn mill, came to an end.

16. Newburn, High Street looking west c1900. A view westward along the High Street. The walls in the foreground farm part of the bridge which carried the road over the New Burn. The mixture of house styles and ages, mostly set weIl back from the road, reflects social change over more than 150 years. The old single-storey, white-washed cottages were first built for paar farm workers or rivermen. The two- storey, double-fronted houses Iess than a century old are a result of the growth of the steel and coal industries during the 1800s. This development brought a more prosperous class of residents to the village. Skilled workers and theirmanagers came here and made it their home. The striking lines of the briek-built Alrnshouses, fronted by a smart avenue oftrees and a neat boundary wall by the road, is a reminder that these are not merely artisans' houses, but the gift to the village of the Duke of Northumberland. This point is ernphazised in the difference between them and other working class dwellings on the street.

17. Newburn, Firemen's Row c1900. This card gives a closer view of some ofthe houses shown on card 16. These dwellings later became known as 'Firernen's Row', when the Council Fire Station was built opposite them (see card 5). The house in the centre was also an 'off licence' . In the years following the Second World War this was owned and run by the Melville family. The state ofthe roof on the middle block provides a historical curiosity, as it appears to be covered by slates with several areas then patched with pantiles. This is opposite to what is normally found, as slate roofing became popular only in the 1870s, replacing the locally produced pantiles which had in turn superceded thatch thirty or forty years earlier. The pattern of patching suggests that attic windows have been removed, and the close proximity of the village to several colliery brickworks, all possible somces for pantiles, gives a clue to solving this apparent anaehronism.

18. Newburn, High Street and Institute cl900. This card shows the western end of High Street, the railings on the right belonged to the Almshouses. The boys in the street are all intrigued by the camera and tripod and watch it carefully. From the caps and Eton collars worn by the boys and the direction and shortness of the shadows we can conclude that the photograph was taken as the boys were returning to school for the afternoon session. The buildings at this end of the High Street look newer, bigger and generally smarter than those on card 16. Frorn the number of chirnney pots on the building in the right background we can conclude th at large coal bills were quite acceptable to its weil-off inhabitants. This was, and still is, the part oftown where the Vicar and Doctor live. The building in the left background was then the Working Mens Institute. The light-coloured walls ofthe Institute in a town of sooty chirnneys indicate that it was then newly built.

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