Newcastle Voted Best City in England

A photo of Newcastle’s Grey Street. Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme recently voted it the finest street in the UK. It was Gladstone’s favourite. Pevsner described it as “one of the best in England.” And Betjeman considered it…

Newcastle Firsts

Newcastle is responsible for many world firsts. Here are some things which Newcastle had before anyone else… First Railway Bridge 1727 First Steam Railway 1825 First Dog Show 1859 (silly but true) First Electric Lighting 1879 First Lightbulb Factory 1881…

Newcastle Famous People

Some famous Geordies, from Newcastle and nearby. The Venerable Bede – England’s first historian. (I used to think he was called “The Vulnerable Bede” when I was a child). Henry Percy, aka Harry Hotspur, who inspired the Shakespeare character. (I’m…

Newcastle Academia

England’s third oldest university Durham (see photo) is just south of Newcastle. It’s a collegiate university like Oxford and Cambridge. Durham’s oldest college is known as “Castle”. This is because it is in fact…a real castle. Undergraduates dine in the…

Newcastle Arts

A photo I took of Baltic and the Millennium Bridge. Baltic is one of the largest and most respected modern art spaces in Europe. It has an acclaimed penthouse restaurant with one of the finest views in the UK. More…

Newcastle Trivia

Many famous ships were built in Newcastle, in an area logically named ‘Wallsend’ (it’s at the end of the Roman Wall). They include the Ark Royal, the Carpathia, which braved icebergs to rescue survivors from the Titanic disaster, and the…

Happy 5th Birthday Bollinger!

Bollinger’s five today, along with Tigger, Piggy and her other brother, who live in Oxford. Happy Birthday to all of them. Boll woke me up at 6.10 am to celebrate. I gave her a mouse on an elastic string and…