Although many of you reading this blog have long past this milestone, in recent weeks it is proving to be a greater achievement for me than first meets the eye. I thought I'd celebrate the occasion by .... staying at home, but more of that later !!
Coming from this area, one would think that my photo library would be large but if you know me by now you will know that I'm never very much at home in my spare time on saturdays.
The best place to start is with some early history and something from the engineering world demonstrating the achievements of the industrial heritage.
The name of the city is taken from the Castle Keep that towers above the River Tyne. The site once hosted a Roman fort centuries earlier that was part of Hadrian's wall, the northern outpost of the Roman Empire for some time. It is interesting to note that the Roman Government deemed the settlement of lesser importance due to it's distance from Rome ... and a contemporary comparison of citizens of South East England, where all eyes look southwards for the sun, think that either Newcastle is still in production and excavation of ships and coal respectively !! A few more consider the cities proximity to Scotland as weight to believing where the heritage lies. The Geordie dialect probably originates from a variety of Scandinavian countries (Angles) and parts of Germany (Saxons) and is generally unintelligible to the afore mentioned people. Maybe I could cheekily suggest that one of the reasons why the Roman Empire collapsed was their inability to deal with the weather and .. the hardy people :-) A contemporary comparison would be found on a friday night in The Bigg market as the youth celebrate the end of the working week probably wearing a lot less than the Roman soldiers did !!
As the centuries passed by a wooden castle was erected by William the conqueror's son to replace the desolate remains of the Roman structure in 1080 AD.
|Norman's door !!|
The main room is the castle, which houses an exhibition of different styles of existing architecture of Newcastle down through the ages, was not built with the photographer in mind !! ... and this is the only possible shot available. I did however find an interactive link that can rotate the room to give you a better idea....
|The Queen's Chamber|
One of the great features of the building is how all the floors are linked together with a complicated staircase formation down one side of the Castle. During the construction period, a staircase on the opposite side of the building was left unfinished due to an invasion by The King of Scotland. It is not very photogenic but interesting to see nonetheless.
The basement floor on the street level contains a soldiers garrison and an old chapel with ornate Norman arches.
( When I was allowed to visit the city centre as a young teenager with some of my friends, we had great fun on a couple of occasions playing Hide and Seek until the curator discovered that our interest was not historical !! )
|Great fun !!|
The Black Gate was an entrance to the Castle that was later added in 1250 with Portcullis, drawbridge and the works completing the Motte and Bailey of The Norman Castle, not quite like today's wooden footbridges. The upper floors were rebuilt in the Middle ages giving it ... a more homely feel !!
The name of the gate originated in this period by a merchant trader who was a tenant at the time called Patrick Black. The building then developed and expanded into a small housing estate including a public house and by the late 19th century, the overpopulated dwellings needed extensive restoration to preserve it for future generations.
|The modern Scottish Army arrives at ... platform 3... with shopping bags !!|
The above machinery, the class 91 electric locomotive with a potential top speed of 140mph / 225km/h, is my trusty steed for York and Glasgow with occasional trips as blog followers will know to Edinburgh, Peterborough and London.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This leads me nicely into a half time blog break and an opportunity to thank all you followers and commenters that keep me posting here. In recent summer months it has been increasingly difficult for me to keep up to date with the blog due to countless other reasons. During July, I was rarely at home (don't know how I managed to post), August was meant to be the month to do the garden and cut huge hedges but a few other things emerged in addition to the British August weather !! I started making inroads into the work during September and consequently the publication of this post makes it the longest gap for me on blogger since I signed up. On a side note, I additionally appreciate all your support as I am finding with the Google hits I get, the information has to be verified, accurate and a post cannot be written in one night. To be fair, I try to follow other regular blogs throughout the rest of the week and sometimes feel that with other commitments and a full time erratic shiftwork career that posting and following once a week is occasionally too frequent for me in the format that I do. I think I have admitted defeat on replying in my comments section but I will endeavour to answer any questions in the comments section or by e-mail.
I decided on the blog concept for a number of reasons beginning with a mixture of tourist, photography and walking posts but there is a greater meaning to it that is developing although is often obscured by my long solo trips to Scotland, Wales and The Lake District. One reader came very close to discovering what it was all about with my reply in the comments section and hopefully I have a variety of material from this year to continue with shortly.
Once again, as in post 50 it is my mini award ceremony (blogs 51 - 99) ....
Wind @ photographis. Adrian @ adriansimages and Judy @ cranberrymorning are the three very different people who provide me with inspiration in numerous ways to continue with this process. Each of them know exactly what it is that I want from them and their blogs ... long may it continue.
Farmchick @ its a small town life, JoLynne Lyon @ mountain lyon and Duta @ places with character all deserve a special mention for the dedication in following my blog. These three seemed unlikely characters for me to follow at first but I have gradually found out over the months that each have interesting things to talk about and portray.
In the travel section traveling hawk (outstanding dedication to blogging and following), Joo @ Urban stories (just joo) (mainly European photography travels that inspire some of my more specialised photographic interests) , Rafael @ Rafael Lam's Travel & Photography World (the image quality is unbelievable), Phivos @ travelling (My personal holiday brochure).
Always enjoyable for a variety of interest, fun, art and photography are rizalenio, Monika @The Bitch is back, george the lad and luzias art.
I can't forget a special mention to the one who introduced me to blogger in the first instance, my work colleague and early blog mentor ... primrose patch.
The new arrivals are midwest to midlands, cheries place and Ola @ daleka droga. The first two inspire with their photography while the third is the very latest addition to my interest.
I wouldn't want to miss out Sciarada (Anima mundi), Purple Traveller, Brian Walking, Greg (Backpacking), Walkies and Cheesecake, forget me not and Sweet Virginia Breeze. These are accessed by the side bar in addition to any others listed in that column that mean something to me.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Swing Bridge stands on the site of the original historic bridge that crossed the River Tyne river back in Roman times that was replaced in the 13th and 18th centuries. The major problem with the previous bridge was the inability of boats to access the upper reaches of the River Tyne's navigable waters during the industrial revolution.
It was in the interest of Lord Armstrong to design a bridge that rotated 90 degrees to allow the passage of large river traffic to a factory that he owned in this stretch of the water. This would allow his products to be shipped downstream and delivered to his customers.
|Dwarfed ... by Robert Stephenson's High Level Bridge and The Tyne Bridge|
At first, these items were specially developed and innovative hydraulic equipment that later turned into naval armoury and eventually warships due to unsettled international problems. Lord Armstrong was an influential businessman of North East England who has left his mark on a number of regional sites such as Bamburgh Castle and Cragside House.
This allows the structure to stay in working order. The bridge is only open to the public who pre-book on the heritage open doors weekend (2nd saturday in September) The internal photo was taken with symmetrical image of bridge ...12th september 2009, all other riverside shots ... 23rd July 2011 and Castle Keep / Black Gate ... 10th September 2011.