Fine Prospect: pilot newspaper to tell the changing story of Newcastle’s West End.

13 October 2016

"In Fine Prospect we are using images and photographs to try and tell different stories about an area that is constantly changing and evolving..."

Jimmy Forsyth, 'Blenheim Street from Westmorland Road', June 1988. Discovery Museum is visible in the background. West Newcastle Picture History Collection ref 10798.

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums is set to launch a newspaper for Newcastle’s West End in partnership with West Newcastle Picture History Collection and St James’ Heritage & Environment Group.

The pilot publication – called Fine Prospect – is inspired by a two-mile section of Hadrian’s Wall that runs from the site of the Roman Fort in Benwell to the Mining Institute in Newcastle City Centre.

The newspaper has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Hadrian’s Wall Community Champions Project. It uses images and photographs from West Newcastle Picture History Collection, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and Newcastle City Libraries to present an alternative view of one of the most historical routes into Newcastle City Centre from the West.

Michael McHugh, Project Co-ordinator for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said:

“West Road and Westgate Road run right through the heart of Newcastle’s West End with Benwell, Elswick, Fenham and Arthur’s Hill situated to its North and South. It is one of the most historical and culturally diverse roads in Tyneside and the fact that the remains of Hadrian’s Wall run directly underneath is often over looked.

“In Fine Prospect we are using images and photographs to try and tell different stories about an area that is constantly changing and evolving. It’s not just about the Roman heritage, we want to explore and present more contemporary aspects of Newcastle’s West End in a way that will make people think differently about it.”

Interior of the Essoldo Cinema on Westgate Road, 1938. Newcastle City Libraries ref 53735.

The newspaper has been produced in partnership with West Newcastle Picture History Collection, a volunteer-run archive based at West End Library on Condercum Road in Benwell. Since it was set up in 1984 the collection has amassed over 19,000 images of Newcastle’s West End and is open to the public every Monday between 10am and 4pm.

Ian Farrier, Secretary of West Newcastle Picture History Collection, said:

“We have worked in partnership with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on and off for nearly three years now on various projects through the St James’ Heritage & Environment Group. Working together and creating a newspaper has been a great way for our archive to reach a wider audience in the West End.

“We are a vital resource for many local residents in the West End and the archive documents how the area has changed and keeps changing.”

The paper also includes illustrations from West End based graphic artist Erin McGrath as well as an essay by local historian Mike Greatbatch.

A special launch event for the newspaper, open to all, will take place at the MFA bowling alley on Westgate Road from 7-9pm, Tuesday 25 October. Sign up for a free game of ten-pin bowling at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fine-prospect-newsp... - limited places, waiting list available.

For more information contact Michael McHugh: Michael.McHugh@twmuseums.org.uk 0191 277 2298