Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tyne Tunnel

Built in 1951
Built in 1951

Closed in 2013

Another tale of municipal ineptitude?

The Tunnel makes for a superb film location

Described as a unique ceramic experience

It’s true value may be realised in the future, if .. and it’s a big if, the tunnel ever reopens

The Pedestrian Tunnel is even less well known than Newcastle’s Victoria Tunnel.

Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel

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Tyneside Cinema

The Tyneside Cinema is one of Newcastle’s top attractions. The building may look unremarkable from the outside but it has a fascinating interior.

Regular tours of the building take place most weeks, just give the cinema a call and tell them you want to go on one. The cinema has a large number of art deco adornments, features which are often overlooked, even by regular local visitors, the building tour is well worth the time.

Tyneside Cinema

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The Tyneside Cinema

Newcastle City of Tiles

The so called ‘Blue Carpet’, now barely discernable, outside the Laing Art Gallery, is probably not the best place to start on a review of Newcastle’s finest tiles. A few ‘in tact’ tiles remain, but the bulk are almost completely faded, the ravages of rain and wind rather than footfall, have taken their toll.
A better place to start might be the RVI a few of the ‘Nursery Rhyme” tiles remain accessible at the out patients entrance. For the first young patients on the children’s wards at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary in 1906, the 60 brightly coloured nursery rhyme panels adorning the walls must have been a wonderful sight. Depicting a plethora of what were then childhood favourites, Little Bo Peep, Little Red Riding Hood and Old Mother Hubbard, these original artworks by some of the best artists of the day were located above each child’s bed to entertain and amuse the sick youngsters. One hundred  and ten years later, the 55 surviving Royal Doulton ceramic panels which flank the walls of wards 14 and 18 at the RVI are as beautiful as the day they were made.
With each panel standing 4ft 6in high and 2ft wide and made up of 36 individual tiles, the pictures are estimated to be worth at least £40,000 each. Today they comprise the largest collection of Royal Doulton tiles in the world.

1 – Lady Bird Lady Bird Fly Away Home
2 – Tom Tom The Piper’s Son Stole The Pig And Away Did Run
3 – Tom Went Roaring Down The Street
4 – Little Girl Little Girl Where Have You Been
5 – Little Bo-Peep Has Lost Her Sheep
6 – Let Them Alone And They’ll Come Home
7 – Ding Dong Bell, Pussy’s In The Well
8 – Little Betty Blue Lost Her Holiday Shoe
9 – There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe
10 – Little Tommy Tucker Sang For His Supper
11 – Curly Locks Shall Sew A Fine Seam And Feed Upon Strawberries, Sugar And Cream
12 – Higgledy Piggledy, My Black Hen
13 – Little Miss Muffet, She Sat On A Tuffet
14 – Simple Simon Went A-Fishing
15 – Simple Simon Met A Pieman
16 – Hickory Dickory Dock, The Mouse Ran Up The Clock
17 – The Clock Struck One, The Mouse Ran Down
18 – Where Are You Going My Pretty Maid? – I’m Going A Milking Sir She Said
19 – Then I Can’t Marry You My Pretty Maid – Nobody Asked You Sir, She Said
20 – Old Mother Hubbard Went To The Cupboard
21 – Old Mother Goose
22 – The King Was In His Counting House, Counting Out His Money
23 – The Queen Was In The Parlour, Eating Bread And Honey
24 – The Maid Was In The Garden, Hanging Out The Clothes
25 – I Had A Little Husband
26 – Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been
27 – Hush-A-Bye Baby, On The Tree Top
28 – St Swithin’s Day If Thou Dost Rain, For Forty Days It Will Remain
29 – Here We Go Gathering Nuts In May
30 – Little Jack Horner Sat In A Corner
31 – Hush-A-Bye Baby, On The Tree Top (version two)
32 – The Sleeping Beauty In The Enchanted Palace
33 – Little Boy Blue Come Blow On Your Horn
34 – Daffy-Down-Dilly Has Come To Town
35 – Hark Hark, The Dogs Do Bark
36 – Old King Cole Was A Merry Old Soul
37 – Blow Wind, Blow, And Go Mill Go
38 – Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow
39 – I Have Been Up To London To See The Queen
40 – I Saw A Ship A-Sailing
41 – Baa Baa Black Sheep, Have You Any Wool?
42 – Goosey-Goosey Gander, Wither Dost Thou Wander?
43 – Lady Queen Anne She Sits In The Sun
44 – Oh, Who Is So Merry, Hey Ho! As The Light-Hearted Fairy, Hey Ho!
45 – Bless You, Bless You Burny Bee; Say When Will Your Wedding Be?
46 – Cinderella In The Corner
47 – The Fairy Sends Cinderella To The Ball
48 – Cinderella Puts On The Glass Slipper
49 – Lucy Locket Lost Her Pocket, Kitty Fisher Found It
50 – Little Red Riding Hood
51 – The Knave Of Hearts Who Stole The Tarts
52 – My Maid Mary, She Minds The Dairy
53 – And Jill Came Tumbling After
54 – The Queen Of Hearts She Made Some Tarts
55 – The Rose Is Red, The Violet Blue, The Gilly-Flower Sweet And So Are You

Newcastle City Of Tiles

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Newcastle City of Mosaics

Collingwood Street is a particularly overlooked street when it comes to mosaics, forgotten door wells clearly visible as you walk contain many faded and incomplete mosaics, like some ancient roman archaeological dig. Perhaps the most heavily used and under appreciated mosaics are the glass mosaic floors of the Tyneside Cinema, which were built to last 150 years and still have half of their working life left. Rather surprisingly, the mosaic floor of the Central Arcade (1906), only dates from 1980, it is less easy to ignore and in pristine condition.

The most exciting and surprising mosaics are probably those in the Grade 1 Listed Church of St George, in Jesmond, a five minute walk from West Jesmond Metro. The Shipbuilding magnet, Charles Mitchel, spared no expense in his efforts to turn Jesmond into the Ravenna of the North. The church is normally open to visitors on Saturday morning and is well worth a visit for those that have not yet seen it. Where ever you go in Newcastle, there is bound to be a mosaic of some sort.

Newcastle City Of Mosaics

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Newcastle City of Glass

Newcastle has lots of beautiful glass, some in buildings others as standalone art works by artists such as Cate Watkinson. Some Glass is easy to see, some of it is only visible to those with sharp eyes, who happen to walk along a certain street at a certain time, when the sun is setting. Such as this work which is on Market Street East, high up in an old law building.

Market Street East

Newcastle City Of Glass

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Newcastle’s Amazing Extraordinary Doors

Newcastle’s Doors may not even warrant a second glance, you may think, but these doors reveal a myriad of stories and information about the cities illustrious past. At one time the front door to a building was a like a logo or an advertisment, that gave some indication about what a building was all about. Up until now, Newcastle has made no attempt to capitalise on its doors.

Other cities have been more forthcoming, Dublin for example. It was 1970 around St. Patrick’s Day that a colourful collage of Dublin doors appeared in the window of the Irish Tourism offices on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Perhaps it’s time that Newcastle took a leaf from Dublin’s book and made more of this particular adornment?

Finding the doors is relatively easy as this article and this ‘Storify’ article both show. It’s not just the doors that are interesting, often you need only look to your feet to see some dazzling and not so dazzling mosaic door wells.

Newcastle City Of Doors

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Gibson Street Baths and Wash House


On the corner of New Bridge Street and Gibson Street, by the side of what is now the busy commuter route, the A193, heading east toward Byker.
Gibson Street Baths closed in 1965, and has not been used as swimming pool since then. Many of the orginal tiles and fixtures are still there but are inaccessible. The building is used occasionally as a badminton court.




Mosaic Hunt in Newcastle

Newcastle Upon Tyne is full of beautiful buildings, some features tend to get overlooked, some time in the nineteenth century, there was a fashion for beautiful mosaic doorwells, it’s still possible to see many of these adornments, without actually going into the building itself.

Bruce Building, Percy Street, Newcastle

Bruce Building, Percy Street
Bruce Building, Percy Street

The Bridge Hotel, Castle Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RQ

Bridge Hotel
Bridge Hotel


St Nicholas Chambers, Amen Corner, Newcastle

St Nicholas Chambers
St Nicholas Chambers

Northern Goldsmiths, Blackett St

Northern Goldsmiths, Blackett St
Northern Goldsmiths, Blackett St

National Farmers Union

National Farmers Union, Clayton St
National Farmers Union, Clayton St

Newcastle’s Spectacular Door Wells

Sometimes it pays to look at your feet, particularly when you are walking around a city as interesting and diverse as Newcastle. At one time it must have been a mark of status to have an interesting and lavish doorway, these mosaic ‘doorwells’ were almost a nineteenth century logo, the first thing you saw when you came into a building. A sign of wealth and success, today most people ignore them or just don’t notice.

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Newcastle’s Blackfriars Mosaics

Newcastle came to have five friaries within its walls:
1) Blackfriars (Dominican) 1239;
2) Whitefriars (Carmelite) 1262;
3) Austinfriars (Augustinian) 1290 (now the site of the Holy Jesus Hospital);
4) Greyfriars (Franciscans) 1274
5) Trinitarians 1360

Of these Friaries Only the Blackfriars buildings remain in Newcastle

Newcastle’s Blackfriars
Newcastle’s Blackfriars – History of Newcastle in Mosaics, Jesmond

CastleGate Building

The Manors Power Station was built between 1901 and 1904 to generate electricity for the Newcastle Electric Trams system and the new electrically driven cranes on Newcastle’s Quayside.  Electricity generation for the trolly-bus system stopped in 1966, after which the building was used as a maintenance centre. Later it was used as an indoor car park. During the construction of the Metro system in the 70’s a full size mockup station was constructed in the Turbine Hall for training purposes.

The best time to see this building is in September when it normally is accessible for the Heritage Open Day Weekend. Guided Tours are provided on this weekend and are quite enthralling.

Stagecoach owned the building until 1996, after which it was bought by City Church. The building was renamed CastleGate and the Turbine Hall is used as a Conference Centre. The Turbine Hall still houses a giant 50 ton crane, once used to lift new turbines into place.

Home - CastleGate

Home – CastleGatehttp://thecastlegate.co.uk/A historic conference and events venue in the heart of Newcastle


FIRST TRAMS GOSFORTH PARK , NEWCASTLE – YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cRi_DQWTgEBUY DVD NOW PMP FILMS http://www.pmpfilms.com the world’s largest collection of transport hobby films, see website for shop, lists, links, blog etc

Bridge Hotel

The Bridge Hotel, at the Newcastle end of the High Level Bridge, next to the Castle Keep, has an amazing array of stained glass.   It is worth the price of a cup of coffee just to go inside and look at the windows.  There is an open air beer garden to the rear overlooking the majestic river and bridges.
Location:The Bridge Hotel Castle Square, NE1 1RQ. Some people say it is the best vantage point of the River Tyne to be had any where, all we know is its called ‘The Bridge”


Bridge Hotel Doorwell Mosaic
Bridge Hotel Doorwell Mosaic
Bridge Hotel Doorwell Mosaic
Bridge Hotel Doorwell Mosaic

Web:  http://www.bridgehotelnewcastle.co.uk/

Dean Street Door-well

As you walk down Dean Street to the Quayside, four doorways still have mosaic floor. These mosaics are visible even when the retail outlets are closed. Marco Polos- 33-37 Dean St, Offices 31 Dean St, , Sounds Alive 27-29 Dean Street..