Sunday, 30 June 2013

Newcastle - City Centre (South)

We start with the second of the golden clocks (the first of which was included in the Newcastle - City Centre posting). This is at the junction of Clayton Street West and Westgate Road. Now used by, the building was once a branch of Northern Goldsmiths.

The clock, like its sister, was commissioned in 1932. It has a total height, including the female figure, of 14.5 feet and weighs 1.5 tons. It is covered in 24 ct gold leaf.

Unfortunately this clock is not on good repair. It is not working, and the base of the clock fell off in 2006. This does however mean that we can peek up into the inner workings.

Westgate Hall is at the junction of Westgate Road and Corporation Street, with the view below looking towards the city centre.

This is a Potts clock of 1902.

Back towards the city centre, and we come across this curiosity - an old building marooned in modern paving and surrounded by modern buildings.

This is the old Cattle Market Office, which has now been incorporated in the Life Centre. The older building dates from 1840, although the plaque on the wall suggests it dates from 1831.

Just down the road is Newcastle Central Station. Inside, under the curved arched roof, are two identical Potts drum clocks.

And outside on the three faces of the portico is another Potts clock, this one dating from 1888 and with 5ft 6in diameter faces.

Opposite the railway station is the church of St John, originally dating from the 14th century.

Keeping with religious buildings, our next stop is the Cathedral of St Nicholas on St Nicholas Street / Mosley Street.

This beautiful clock is another product of the Potts company, and was set going on 5 November 1895. At the time it was said to be the largest public clock in Britain outside of London.

Walking down past the cathedral along The Side, we arrive at the Guildhall. The building originally dates from 1655, but underwent substantial alterations to its exterior in 1823 - 25.

Around the corner on Queen Street you can glimpse between the buildings the tall spire of All Saints church.

This is another Potts clock, originally installed in 1924, but subsequently destroyed by fire in 1946. It was then replaced in 1948 by one from Blackburn Cathedral (a Potts clock dating from 1883).

Turning your head to the right to our view above, you will see the modern housing development known as Blue Anchor Court.

And now on to a true oddity. This is Keelmen's Hospital of 1701 - 04 on City Road.

The style of the tower and the design of the clock face are both highly unusual. And if the clock is not working (which it isn't) there is also a helpful sundial.

Our final port of call is further along City Road, and the church of St Ann. This building was rebuilt in 1764 - 68 using stone from a recently demolished section of the town walls.

The clock is not currently working.

Okay, all aboard for our next tour which will be to the east of the city centre.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Newcastle - City Centre (North)

To the north of the city centre lies the church of St Thomas, seen here with the Civic Centre in the background and the South African War Memorial in the foreground. The church itself dates from 1827-30.

Across the road can be found the campus of Newcastle University, including the Students Union building.

The clock, by Potts of Leeds, was installed in September 1924.

Exhibition Park (opened in 1878) forms the south-east corner of Town Moor, separated from the city centre by the A167 motorway. It is the home of this splendid brick clock tower.

On a sunny weekday this was a peaceful location, with lust the hissing of the sprinkler on the croquet lawn, and a swan gliding past on the pond.

Plaques on the tower show that it was erected in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and that it has been restored in time for the Diamond Jubilee.

Exiting the park on the eastern side you enter into Jesmond. If you choose to walk along Clayton Road you have the opportunity to sample the splendid brownies in Willi's Café. Suitably refreshed, turning into Eskdale Terrace takes you past the Royal Grammar School of 1905 - 07.

And here is another Potts clock.

Nearby is Jesmond Parish Church of 1857 - 61. This has a clock on one face of the tower only, which is now somewhat difficult to photograph due to the main road outside.

Our next stop will be the south of the city centre.