Rowlands Gill in old picture postcards

Rowlands Gill in old picture postcards

:   Noël G. Rippeth
:   Tyne & Wear
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5225-9
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Rowlands Gill in old picture postcards'

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9. Rowlands Gilt; looking toward the toll house c1914. This card shows the view that a travelIer would have as he approached the town on the old turnpike raad after passing the Lilley Drift and Cowan Terrace. The bui!dings just behind the single-storied toll house in the centre of the photograph were then newly built. Tbc road to the right led through the town. The raad which branched off to the left of the toll house crossed the bridge over the Derwent to Gibside and Burnopfield. The card can be dated by the dress of the young lady who is striding purposefully toward the camera. Tbe shadows from the trees which overhang the road in the left foreground suggest that the photograph was taken before noon. The crowd of miners waiting at the top of the bank down to the river evidences that this was not an ordinary working day. The men are assembling to trave! 10 Durham for the Annua! Miners Gala. From the way they are grouped it appears that they are going in char-à-bancs, one of which stands to the left of the toll house almost obscured by the hedge.

10. Rowlands Gill; toll house about 1900. This card, on sak around the turn of the century, has a view taken a little nearer the toll house than card 9. FIOm this viewpoint it is possible to see the upper storey of the stationmaster's house behind and to the right of the toll house. The terrace on the right, seen from the back, was built originally for farm labourers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This terrace, which included the first Towneley Arms public house, was almast all there was of a village at Rowlands Gill befare 1835. Then the toll house was built to serve the newly opened turnpike road to Shotley Bridge. The solitary cyclist, in cap and stiff collar. and the children playing on the road are a reminder that the pace of life was less hectic than today. On the roads traffic was mainly horse-drawn and slow. People then hadn't time, energy or money to travel far. Work was hard and the hours long with few labour saving devices at home or down the mine.

11. Rowlands Gilt; the toll house c1900. When the Turnpike Company opened the new road in 1835, they erected turnpikes at intervals, which would only be opened to allow traffic to pass when the appropriate toll had been paid, In some places a suitable house was already available for the turnpike keeper, who had the job of colleering the tolls every day while the road was open. However, when Rowlands Gil! was chosen as a tollgate site, in order to make sure traffic crossing the Derwent paid its way on joining the turnpike, it was necessary to purpose build a house. The architecture reflects the Georgian period, and the high quality stonework projects the solid and reliable image that the Turnpike Company chose to adopt. The going rates during the half century the toll was charged varied from a halfpenny for a pedestrian to two shillings for a coach and six horses. The toll was removed in 1888, when the house became the private residence ofthe Robinsons.

12. Rowlands Gilt; Derwent Bridge at Cowford c1900. This stone built bridge stands on the site of the Cowford ford, which was used by drovers for centuries to take cattle across the river. This bridge replaced an earlier wooden structure that carried a wagonway which ran from Pontop Pit to Derwenthaugh staithes. This wagonway was in use from 1739 unti11810 when the wooden rails were removed. After this date the route of the wagonway was used as a road to Burnopfield, the old sleepers providing 'stepping stones' up the hill. In earlier centuries Cowford was popular with local farmers because the neighbouring ford at Winlaton Mil! had an unsavoury reputation, The 'Mill' ford was used by fugitives from the law to avoid the authorities at Newcastle and its bad reputation had some factual foundation. In 1632 a girl was murdered in Clockburn woods near the ford and in 1814 a Greenside farmer was rob bed of f340 at the ford.

13. Rowlands Gilt; Towneley Arms inn and cottages. This photograph, taken at the end of our period, shows the original public house, already a tied house belonging to Aichies Breweries, and the houses that formed the hamiet of Rowlands Gill in the days before either the turnpike or the railway reached here. The Towneley Arms started life as an inn used by cattle and sheep drovers and wagonway horseleaders. It developed as a post inn with the coming of the turnpike, when it was increased in size as extra rooms were built out in a gable at the back. It started trading as a public house by serving travelers using the ford (later Derwent Bridge) at Cowford with food and home brewed beer in its front parlour. lts closeness to the railway station ensured its future and a place in folklore as the pub in which 'Wor Nanny' drank so much gin that she 'missed the train'. This exploit was the subject ofthe song 'Wor Nanny's a Maizer' , popular 100 years ago in Newcastle's Music Halls. Today's Towneley Arms Hotel replaces the old street.

14. Rowlands Gil!; Station Road c1913. This card is dated between 1910, when the Skating Rink and Concert Hall building, seen on the left, was erected, and 1916 when it burned down. Bebind the Concert Hall is the old toll house. On the right of the street are houses and shops. Dixon's sweet shop in the right foreground has window and enamel advertisements for bath Frys and Rowntrees confectionary. The next building along, the Vale of Derwent Working Mens Club, has contrasring brick corners, giving a distant impression of dressed stone,while the wooden front extension suggests a totally different architectural style. The two boys in charge of the cart and horse are probably delivering grocerics from one of the stores in the town. Further back beside the telegraph pole stands a chauffeur in long coat and cap, awaiting the owner of the open topped car that is parked opposite the Skating Rink. As was usualthen , the camera has caught the attention of most of the children in the streel.

15. Rowlands Gill; view south over the station c1920. This card was on sale in the years following the First World War. It gives a panoramic view of the station end of the town, with a backdrop formed by the eastern Derwent Valley. This composition rel1ected the change to more attractive cards following the rise in postage from 1/2d to l d in 1918. The station ticket office and waiting rooms are in the foreground building. A !ittle behind and to the left is the station master's house while further left is the whitewashed cottage that stood next to the Towneley Arms. To the right are the goods sidings with Station Road running just behind them. There is a feneed off space next to the road to the left of the station yard, where the Concert Room and Skating Rink once stood. Across the road are the shops, the Vale of Derwent W.M. Club and the houses that appeared on card 14. In the background are the wooded grounds of Gibside Hall with the Column to Liberty rising from the trees on the right.


16. Rowlands Gill railway station c1900. A busy time at the station as the afternoon train to Blaydon stops to take on passengers and parcels. The dress of the lady passengers teIls us that the photograph was taken sometime near the turn of the century, on a cold day. The importance of the railway as a means of public transport can be judged by the fact that this train has four coaches, each capable of seating about sixty passen gers and themail van, scen nearest the camera, which took thirty. The coaches are cleristry type with a ventilation box the length of each roof. This allowed a coach to be lit by oil or gas lights. The station itself has oillamps, as there was na gas works in the town. Behind themail coach is the overhanging roof of the goods shed loading bay. The North Eastern Railway, which owned the line, built houses for its employees, and some of these can be seen just behind the station buildings.

17. Rowlands Gill station, waiting for the train. This card, on sale befare 1914, shows the station from the opposite platform to the previous card, with a crowd waiting for the Blaydon train. The walls of the buildings and the wall at the back of the platform are covered with advertisements. Many of these were coloured enamel, produced by chocolate. tobacco, shoe polish and soap companies to keep their produets in the public eye. The Railway Company displayed paper posters, some of them since recognised a~ popular art and keenly sought by collectors. These ilIustrated holiday destinations that could be reached by the trains of the N .E.R. As working men did not then have paid holidays, the posters were designed to attract the salaried managers and professionals who made their homes at Rowlands GilI, but travelled daily on the train to work in Newcastle. This was the railway's golden age, everyone travelled by train. Even the mine owners or local aristocrats, who owned motor cars, used the train for all but the shortest journeys.

18. Rowlands Gilt; view jrom across the Derwent 1905. This photograph, used as a postcard in 1'JU5, illustrates the rather low quality of picture composition that local printers and some national card companies were prepared to issue. The public de mand for new cards, coupled with a limited number of photographers prepared to work outdoors, meant th at just about anything could be sold on a postcard. What the card shows is the growth of Rowlands Gill as a commuter town. The houses that can be seen in the background are recently built, large detached and semi-detached private homes. They were convenient for the station, the dark roofed building is the station signal box, and they formed the smart end of the town. These were the homes of local tradesmen and managers or professionals who chose to live in this delightful rural setting on the Derwent and to travel daily to the factories and offices of industrial Tyneside. Most of the houses seen here would provide employment in domestic service for the daughters of coalminers and workers at the AHoy Works.

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