Not enough bits and bobs to post yet, but here’s some more history and edumacation about the North East, and in particular Hebburn, a 10 minute drive down the road from me. Following on from the Winter Fair, Sophie and I noticed a tall spire in the not-too-distance and went off to explore which led to some interesting finds.
Firstly this is St.Andrews church as we walked down the road.
It looked very grand, but as we came closer it became apparent that the lower building to the left was separate from the church.
The roof of the lower building was well habited..
We could see there were builders stuff about, scaffolding and the like, and could here banging coming from inside. We poked our heads in and Sophie went into action shooting while I tried to engage a worker, but he didn’t speak English. I was quite surprised to see the painting they were installing..
at which point a gentleman wearing trappist monk robes came up to me and asked what we were doing. I said we were just looking round and asked what was happening, he told me the church is being renovated and being turned into a buddhist meditation centre and it would be best if we were to come back at a later time, when it’s finished i.e politely chucked us out 🙂 Sophie was oblivious as she was shooting the ceiling at the time,
so I hollered to her and we skedaddled.
We walked around the front of the buildings and found that the lower building was a girls school,
but obviously not in use. We took some more shots of the exterior of the church, and found out what is to become of the church.
After we finished we walked down to the riverside, and came across a large abandoned building, we didn’t know what it was all about but this gave me a clue for further research..
Hawthorn Leslie, it turns out, was a company formed by the merger of the shipbuilder A.Leslie & Company in Hebburn with the locomotive works of R and W Hawthorn at St.Peter’s in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1886. With the demise of the shipbuilding industry, the company close in 1982, and though the building was sold it now stands derelict. We couldn’t find a way in but took some shots from the outside.
In doing a bit of fact finding I found that Andrew Leslie (of Hawthorn & Leslie)was quite a guy, and instrumental in both these buildings.
I wonder what he’d think of it now becoming a buddhist meditation centre! The church was sold in 2013 for £100.000, which doesn’t seem that much, but they’re spending £500,000 on the renovation. I for one am pleased that the church will be preserved, although the interior has all gone. And it will be interesting to see the transformation and see the festivals when they happen. I checked it out on the local news and it’s planned that services will be held on a monthly basis, and will be open to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. I might just pop along!
Anyways, back to work tomorrow,