Amberley Publishing - Transport, Military, Local and General History

Secret Newcastle by Ken Hutchinson

I was asked to write this book by Amberley Publishing following on from my book on Lost Newcastle published in 2014. Lost Newcastle as its title suggests features buildings and structures that have disappeared from the streets of Newcastle over the years.

As a direct contrast this book concentrates on features of Newcastle past and present that are all visible today. The reason why they are there is often unknown, has been forgotten, or in other words is a ‘Secret’. Many of the subjects featured in the book are ‘invisible’, in full view to everyone. In other words people walk past them every day taking them for granted, or have never noticed them before, or indeed have walked over them every day for years.

Newcastle - Microsoft Word - Document1 The Response Memorial, Barras Bridge. It is a narrative sculpture telling different stories of the individuals called in the First World War.

This was certainly true in my case, as I discovered a few years ago as I trained to be a Newcastle City Guide. All these features were pointed out to me and despite thinking I knew Newcastle like the back of my hand, having lived and worked here for well over 50 years, my eyes were well and truly reopened. Most of the photographs I have used show plaques, statues, sculptures, artworks and buildings that I have walked past for years without realising the reason for their existence, or their significance, both locally and nationally.

Newcastle - Microsoft Word - Document1 Northumberland Street Scultptures. Thomas Bewick the famous wood carver.

Newcastle and the surrounding areas have produced some of the most influential people in British and world history as well as great inventors, musicians, artists and politicians. The city has welcomed a wide range of British and international visitors including many visits by Royalty. All of this is recorded in the streets around us, in the centre of Newcastle, if you know where to look. This book has been arranged to follow five different walks around Newcastle. The first four radiate from Grey’s Monument in the centre of the city and the last is based on the Quayside starting at the Guildhall. Most are about a mile in length and are fairly flat and accessible to all. The Quayside walk is slightly longer but starts and finishes close to bus stops linking with the town centre. When I do my guided tours around Newcastle and the surrounding area, I always give out a general health warning at the start. This advises you to take care when you start looking above shop front level and down on pavements. You will discover so many features of interest that you may well forget to watch where you are going and might trip over a kerb or walk into a bollard. So be careful out there you have been warned!

All the royalties from this book will be divided between St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Newcastle - 9781445641270

Ken Hutchinson's book Secret Newcastle is available for purchase now.