April 21, 2017
Hidden Landscapes on Tyneside
Sometimes it's difficult to see the wood from the trees. Easy to be impressed with...
Best looking Bus Stops on Tyneside
At one time it was difficult to find a bus stop that had all of its windows in tact, in which there was still glass, a bus stop that had not been vandalised was a rare thing. today there is a uniformity about bus stops, they are all maintained regularly cleaned and have adverts which are replaced regularly, advances in materials have made them just about vandal proof, or perhaps the vandals are no driving around in fast German cars. What sets one bus stop apart from another is the backdrop, the view from behind, the things you can see whilst standing in the bus stop.
These stairs hold treasured memories of weddings, anniversaries and other happy occasions, providing a great location for photo shoots over the years, generations of people have snaps in their photo albums in which these stairs provide an beautiful and interesting backdrop.
Listed Grade II, the Grand Hotel building was built in 1872. Some believe it was commissioned as a summer residence, by the Duke of Northumberland, for the Duchess and that the Grand Hotel assumed its current role as a hotel around 1877. As the finest luxury hotel at the coast, the Grand Hotel was noted for its magnificent sweeping staircase.
The hotel benefitted from the growth in Tynemouth as a seaside resort during the Victorian period and was well established during the early 20th Century when the attractiveness of Tynemouth encouraged an influx of visitors.
During World War One the site was used to accommodate army officers. The officers paid little attention to the grandeur of their venue and even less to maintaining it. The site was neglected and closure and refurbishment were required before reopening to the public in 1922.
The Grand Hotel was featured in the prestigious Egon Ronay’s Good Food Guide in the early 1960s but has always been known for its quality food offer.
In 1993 The Grand Hotel was bought and following major renovation The Grand was once again restored to a state of splendor and elegance combining historic features with all the facilities of a modern luxury hotel and a modern setting for sampling the heritage of the coast.
In its time, the hotel has attracted numerous celebrities including, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Stan Laurel already had strong connections with Tynemouth. Between 1897 and 1902 he lived at Dockwray Square, North Shields and attended The King’s School, Tynemouth before moving to Glasgow with his parents. The comedy duo first stayed at the Grand Hotel on Thursday 28th July 1932. They returned again on Wednesday 26th February 1947, for a civic reception with the Mayor of Tynemouth, while appearing at the Newcastle Empire Theatre.
Their last stay at the Grand Hotel was from Monday 17th March 1952, for two weeks, while they were once again performing at the Newcastle Empire. The hotel has a room named after the duo.Grand Hotel visitors include:Laurel and Hardy, Dame Vera Lynn, Mike and Bernie Winters, Stanley Baker, Margaret Rutherford, Dave Allen, Stephen Tompkinson, John Middleton, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Bobby Robson. Hope House – Battery Observation PostDuring World War One, 47A Percy Gardens was owned by the War Office and used as a command centre for coastal defence. It had an observation and range-finding post built into the roof to control the Tyne guns. Around 1916 a six-storey tower was constructed at the back of the property and acted as a command centre for the two Tyne gun turrets.
For a long time, we have gotten used to the idea that bigger is better, at least in retail, this was the way of the future, supermarkets kept getting bigger, people went to fewer and fewer shops, the supermarket giants started in invade the space once occupied by the corner shops, soon we would all be living in a world with a handful of small chains, Tescos and Sanisburys would be every where But the future hasn’t quite panned out like that, go to Tynemouth and the only brand name you are likely to find is a single subway, all the rest of the retail outlets are small independent retaile, no McDonald’, no Starbucks, just a whole bunch of beautiful cafes bars restaurants and small shops.
One of the great unsung discoveries in recent years was the realisation that you could grow alpine flowers easily silly and cheaply anywhere there was room, on verges of busy roads, in parks, these meadows provide an often unexpected glimpse of color
Living close to the sea, there is an unimpeded view of the horizon, this offers great views of the sun going down, even though the sun sets in the West and the coastline is on the east side there are still great views to be had. As the sun goes down it does weird and wonderful things to the colour of the sea
The quality of life in North East England can be very high, people who come here to work tend to be surprised, at just what a good life it is possible to enjoy here. When people, come here, they are usually reluctant to leave. It is very very hard for someone living in London for example, to enjoy quite the same quality of life.
The start, or the end of the day, is nearly always the best time to take photographs. Getting up at first light in the middle of the summer is a lot harder (4.00am) than doing it in winter (7.00am). At this time of the day there is nearly always something to see and the light is often great for photographs, whatever the weather, no two mornings are the same.