Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Newcastle - City Centre

This is the first of several posts covering the Newcastle area - the geographical boundaries I have used are somewhat arbitrary.

Let's start in the city, in fact at the very heart by Grey's Monument.

Emerson Chambers is a fantastic building (and hosts a branch of Waterstones, so must be good), topped by this ornate clock turret. the building dates from 1903 and is Grade II listed.

It is described in Pevsner (Pevsner Architectural Guides: Newcastle and Gateshead - Yale University Press 2009) as "a glorious confection of canted oriels, strapwork and friezes, balconies and domed turrets, dormers and little roof-lights with high pyramidical roofs, and high corniced chimneys." Who could argue? Although it says nothing about the clock.

From one gem of a building to Gem House, just a few yards down Blackett Street. This is the home to Reid and Sons Ltd and their lovely clock.

And just a very short way along the road is the even more glorious clock on the building of Northern Goldsmiths. The building dates from 1895, and the clock (with its female figure by Alfred Glover) from 1932.

The proximity to Reid and Sons can be seen in the above photograph.

And we shall see in a later posting that there is an identical clock in the city centre, although the second version is in a much worse state of repair.

Having walked along Blackett Street, it is now time to turn left into Northumberland Street to visit another trio of clocks.

First up is the one provided by Nobles Amusements, and is found in an alleyway that connects Northumberland Street to the side entrance of the new library.

Further up Northumberland Street is a branch of H Samuel - here in Newcastle their clock is rather better than their standard design which can be found all over the country.

And further along is a Northern Rock clock in tip top (or should that be tick tock?) condition.

We have now reached transport interchange territory. Turning south at Haymarket Metro station (the building shown below) we come to Haymarket Bus Station. This bus station, originally opened in 1930 but rebuilt in 1997, is blessed with three clocks (there seems to be a pattern forming).

The first is this set of four clock faces set high up on a column.

The plaque near the base of the column gives details of its origins.

The second clock is within the bus station itself, and handily reminds you of the name.

The third example is actually mounted very high up on a branch of Marks and Spencer, but as the building forms the eastern wall to the bus station I have included it as one of the station's clock triplets.

The clock is very high up, and the way that it is mounted makes it even more difficult to read. I can't help thinking that a modern design of clock fixed flush on the wall would look more appropriate here, and would be easier to read.

Across the road is Eldon Bus Station - Haymarket and Eldon bus stations are in effect part of the same interchange.

But as luck would have it, Eldon Bus Station has its own clock, and of a completely different design to its Haymarket neighbour.

Where next? Oh yes, south along Percy Street (home of the twin bus stations) and into Newgate Street, this time for an ex clock. This is the former Co-op building, and you can clearly see where the clocks were in its two towers.

Will the clocks come back when the building is put back into use? I do hope so.

we now turn right into St Andrews Street and then into Gallowgate where, under the shadow of St James' Park (i.e. home of Newcastle United) we can find the Tyneside Irish Club.

And no prizes for guessing that the time here is Guinness Time!

Retracing our steps onto Newgate Street and then left up Clayton Street (wouldn't be so much easier if I provided maps in this blog), we come across Grainger Market. The market dates from 1835, and is my idea of how indoor shopping should be - light and airy, all on one level, a simple grid pattern of 'streets' and an obvious orientation to the outside street pattern. Did I bother to visit the modern Metro Centre? What do you think?!

Grainger Market has two clocks (thus ruining my emerging pattern of multiples of three). The Hunters clock is in one of the aisles, and is a Potts clock dating from 1922.

A second clock can be found mounted on one of the northern end walls.

Surely another Potts clock?

And now we take a short break before exploring more of Newcastle's clocks.


  1. Emmerson Chambers clock is a Potts

  2. Very interesting But do you know who is responsible for the Haymarket Bus terminus clock. It has not worked for more than three years and with showing two different times is not a good advert for bus timetables or for that matter Newcastlwe