Wynyard Gardens ~ October 2019

Sophie and I decided to visit Wynyard Gardens even though the flower season was over, we thought we’d do a recce and return in spring if we thought it worthwhile. The gardens are part of the Wynyard Hall estate, currently owned by Sir John Hall, a North East property developer ( and life president of Newcastle United Football Club). We only saw the hall from a distance as it is a very nice hotel now, but the gardens are open to the public all year round. The history bit . ( Cup of tea time 🙂 ) We’ll begin by…

Preston Tower ~ Part 2 ~ Oct 2019

Part 1 HERE As well as the tower, there is a house and some other buildings we had a look at. The first house on the site was unfortunately burned down in 1781. The estate was then bought by Edmund Craster, who built the house you can see above, in 1802. In 1861 AJ Baker Creswell bought the house for his son Henry, who added an east wing and moved the front door to the north side in 1830, and when GG Baker Cresswell inherited the house he added an entrance hall in 1915. The Baker Cresswells have a long…

Preston Tower ~ October 2019

The history bit. Built in 1392, Preston Tower was built in a time of warfare between England and Scotland. By the time of Agincourt in 1415, it was one of 78 Pele Towers and Tower Houses in the county. One of its owners, Sir Guiscard Harbottle was killed in hand to hand combat with King James IV at the battle of Flodden in 1513. The Battle of Flodden, Flodden Field, or occasionally Branxton (Brainston Moor) was a battle fought on 9 September 1513 during the War of the League of Cambrai between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of…

Washington Wetland Center – October 2019

After we’d visited NELSAM we still had a couple of hours of daylight so decided to visit WWT Washington Wetland Centre as it was only up the road from the museum and is always good for birds and otters. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust started out in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, and was set up by Sir Peter Scott, (son of Scott of the Antarctic).  Peter became an Olympic sailing medallist and a well-known painter and broadcaster. He created the IUCN red list which measures whether species are threatened or endangered. He was the founding chair of WWF – and even drew…

NELSAM ~ October 2019

The North East Land Sea & Air Museum – NELSAM – sits on the former RAF Usworth and Sunderland airport site, next to the Sunderland Nissan factory, and comprises of the former Aircraft museum (NEAM), military vehicles collection, and the North East Electric Traction Trust (NEETT) is also based on the site. The museum houses over 30 aircraft and a wide collection of aero engines, as well as weaponry, vehicles and other historical exhibits, and is run by volunteers. Amongst the varied and unique exhibits is a cold war Avro Vulcan B2 Bomber, which flew into the former airport to…

Newcastle- Sept 2019 – St.Marys Cathedral

St. Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle is a grade 1 listed building, catholic cathedral and the mother church of the Dioscese of Hexam & Newcastle and seat of the Bishop of the diocese. The cathedral was designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, an English architect, designer,artist and critic and was a pioneer of the Gothic Revival style of architecture. He designed many churches in England, Ireland and as far as Australia, but also the interior of the Palace of Westminster, and its iconic clock tower, later named the Elizabeth Tower which houses the bell known as Big Ben. Construction of the…

Newcastle ~September 2019 ~ Elmer edition

St.Oswalds Hospice in Newcastle cares for both adults, children and babies who have terminal illnesses.  It is a registered charitable trust, and whilst the NHS regulates it, it does not fund it. The childrens hospice has to raise over £7.5 million each year to keep its doors open and its service free to those who need it, and relies a fair bit on volunteers, (who’s equivalent salary comes to around £180 million a year, if they were paid minimum contract wages). It is well run and very well thought of by those who have been unfortunate enough to need its…

Newcastle Upon Tyne ~ September 2019 ~ 2

Part 1 HERE After our somewhat disappointing ‘tour’ around All Saints, Sophie and I went off to find an interesting building Sophie had spotted from a train. According to Sophie it wasn’t too far away, so we left All Saints and headed down to the quayside. We walked down the quayside and I was amused to see that a temporary beach had been set up for summer. You may notice an elephant in the middle of the picture, this is something that happens every year in the North East, and will have a post of it’s own next time.  In…