Week in Review: 15th - 21st July

Hi everyone,

I only started properly promoting the site a week ago and there has been such an amazing response. We’ve had 2000 page views in one week, dozens of people joining the mailing list and lots of great feedback from people from all walks of life. Thankyou so much for taking the time to see what we are trying to achieve.

As mentioned in the previous post, I had promoted it early so I can use the small platform I have to amplify the regions black history, both its injustices and causes for celebration. So far, we have added around 5 features which specifically focus on black history. These include Muhammed Ali’s visit to South Shields, Frederick Douglass and his emancipation by the Richardson Family from 5 Summerhill Grove, and Harriet Martineau, a prolific journalist and abolitionist who used her platform to promote the abolition of slavery. She lived on a Front Street, Tynemouth while ill to be closer to her doctor whose practice was at Eldon Square. It’s been great to hear from people who had never heard of some of these stories, making it well worthwhile. We will continue publishing these features going forwards, while also looking to other north east histories which may not garner the attention they deserve.

In the meantime we’ve also been publishing other features focused on less documented historical assets all over the north east. Firstly the Monks Stone, which was situated just north of Tynemouth, garner plenty of interest on social media. The early medieval tablet is a sort of folklore in the area, featuring an inscription of an old tale passed down by generations. Its main purpose was to materialise an ecclesiastical boundary between the area of Tynemouth and beyond. The stone has now been moved to the grounds of Tynemouth Priory, but the area it once sat in has recognisable street names such as Monkstone Way.

Secondly, the Orchard Cottage at Offerton, near Hylton and Washington. The dwelling sat by the Wear in the middle of the countryside, High Barmston being the closest village. It is likely the dwelling was occupied by a gentleman who operated the small ferry service to the other side of the Wear, and can be seen on pictures a small Jetty on its doorstep with a rowing boat. While researching, a gentleman on Facebook advised his ancestors actually resided in this property. Nowadays there is no sign of this cottage as it was demolished in the late 40s/early 50s, and sits next to the golf club adjacent.

I will be writing up weekly reviews on the blog to highlight the weeks content and any news for the site. Again, I’d like to give my thanks to anyone that has taken interest in the site, and those who have registered to the mailing list. I hope the site will be worth your time going forwards as it grows. Next week may be a bit slower as we are currently in the process of moving house! There will still be a regular stream of content, just perhaps at a slower pace.