Tynemouth in old picture postcards

Tynemouth in old picture postcards

:   Eric Hollerton
:   Tyne & Wear
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3496-5
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Tynemouth in old picture postcards'

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79. In the 18208 Pier Road was a coach road from Tynemouth Village to the sea-water baths in Prior's Haven. It was owned by Mister Hutchinson and Miss Spurrier , of the Bath Hotel in Front Street. Above and to the right, is the brick office block built over the original castle gateshouse, and despised by antiquarians since its construction in about 1783. It was removed after catching fire in 1936. It has been said that the castle moat is not as originally built, it having been enlarged by the first contractor on the North Pier, whilst he was looking for suitable building stone.

80. In the foreground are the timbers on the concrete jetty at the North Pier, at which the Tyne General Ferry boats used to tie up. On this occasion their ferry appears to have called at the long jetty from Spanish Battery field, which existed during the 1890s. The skyline is instantly recognisable, and yet there are differences to the modern scene. Admiral Collingwood's monument towers above everything, and is the most significant landmark in the area. In the centre, the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade watch house is flying a great many signal flags. When the photograph was taken, only one of the two towers existed, and even that was later raised in height.

81. From the old Bath Hotel, at Bath Terrace, it was possible to watch the reconstruction of the North Pier, between 1898 and 1909. In earlier days the smoke from the sea-water baths, with which the hotel was associated, wou1d have been visible. At the far side of Prior's Park, the low-lying area known as the Howlings was filled with materials for the building of the pier. The three gantries straddled railway lines from Tynemouth Station. As always, Collingwood's Monument dominated the scene, and had done since 1845. To its left is the wooden building used by the Volunteer Life Brigade since 1887. The tower was higher after 1905.

82. The distant view of the lighthouse at Tynemouth castle identifies the photograph as a soutb-west view of Spanish Battery, taken before 1898. When the Priory was dissolved in 1539 the surrounding fortifications were in a state of considerable disrepair. Plans were laid to turn the castle into astrong fortress for the defence of the Tyne. Early in 1545 one thousand impressed workmen began reinforcing the walls, and building a new curtain wall to cover the harbour entrance. In April of that year 1,300 Spanish mercenaries were landed at Newcastle, and a party of them was sent to man the new guns, hence - Spanish Battery.

83. Spanish Battery, built under instruetions from the Privy Couneil and Sir Riehard Lee, was a small fortress of low stone walls. In active service it would have been diffieult to observe from the sea. Shortly before the English Civil War, in 1643, the fortifieations were strengthened, with the aid of public subseriptions. The stone walls had a briek superstrueture raised upon them. The embrasures covering the river are hidden behind the barraeks and storerooms. In later years, from the 1880s, the battery was used to train Volunteer Corps, including the Submarine Miners, known locally as 'Mussel Shifters', from the effeets of their mines on the river. In recent years the area became a car park.

84. Cuthbert Collingwood was born in Newcastle in 1748, the son of a merchant, and member of a family with extensive localland holdings. He went to sea with the Royal Navy in 1761, and rose to be Admiral Lord Collingwood, second in command of the British fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, in 1805. Following the battle he was at sea until his death in 1810. In 1838 the first move was made to create a local monument to him. John Gordon Lough was commissioned to sculpt the statue, which arrived at the riverside site on 19th August 1845; it was completed on the 30th. The guns came from his flagship 'Royal Sovereign', and were put up in 1849.

85. Many subscribers withdrew their offers of help when it was decided to erect the monument at the coast rather than in Newcastle. The people of Tynemouth, however, were proud of the statue, and perhaps never more so than on the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar. On 21st October 1905, a procession marched from the village to the cliffs. It was the first function for the Harbour Boroughs Companies of the Royal Naval Volunteers, but the boys of the training ship 'Wellesley' were old hands at the Trafalgar Day celebrations. The Coastguard and the Royal Garrison Artillery also participated, and members of the Collingwood family were in attendance. The Volunteer Life Brigade closed the proceedings with a roeket exercise.


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86. The Tyne is essentially a commercial river, and has been one of the foremost ports in the country. For centuries Newcastle claimed the bulk of the trade on the river, but the ruins of Tynemouth Priory, in the distance, are a reminder that the city did not have things all their own way. As early as 1225 the Prior was encouraging fishermen to trade at the Pow Burn, the birthplace of North Shields. A fish quay built there in 1870 brought fleets from the length of the North-East coast. The sailing drifter, here, had come from Kirkcaldy. Paddle tugs towed the boats to the fishing grounds, and in later years were converted for trawling.

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87. Spanish Battery and the searchlight emplacements below were never to claim the ships and lives that had been lost to the shallows they overlooked. Even with the completion of the piers, shortly before the photograph was taken, ships were swept onto the Black Middens. Once ashore it was always difficult to refloat the stranded vessels, and salvage work was dangerous. Even attempting rescues was extremely hazardous. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution boathouse, in the foreground, was erected at the Black Middens to allowan easier approach to shipwrecks.

88. Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade's watch house has stood on the cliffs near Spanish Battery since 1887, having replaced an earlier building nearby. The Brigade operates alongside the Coastguard in the saving of lives from shipwreck. Indeed, the stone-built houses were once the abode of Coastguardmen. From 1905 the tower on the watch house has had an extra storey, to house a searchlight. The organisation was founded at the end of 1864, following a series ofwrecks at the mouth of the Tyne. The most notabie was that of the steamer 'Stanley'. One of their principal tools was the roeket line and breeches buoy.

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