Now available as a signed, numbered and embossed print in The Sea Collection.
Wandering in the lower reaches of the Ouseburn Valley here in Newcastle, it’s impossible to miss one of my favourite locations — a spot where a collection of fine bridges has spanned the valley in some way shape or form since the 18th Century.
To stroll among these marvels of civil engineering is breathtaking, a sensation akin to gazing at an art gallery laden with Old Master paintings.
My favourites are the 280 metre 1839 railway viaduct and the 800 metre long 1982 Metro light-rail bridge, both from very different times but both individually stunning.
I’ve really missed having access to this part of our local habitat…
Over the last couple of years, the railway viaduct has undergone a £10million refurbishment during which time the surroundings have become a no-go area; a scaffolding-clad 24/7 hive of bustling industry.
We’ll be able to wonder among this gallery again soon, however, as the scaffolding is finally coming down.
The rejuvenated viaduct looks truly resplendent in its new raven-black coat.
In a couple of years or so, when the scarred landscape has had time to recover, I’ll look forward to rephotographing this favourite spot…
— Signed Prints
I make prints of Byker Bridges and Metro Bridge that are numbered, signed and embossed — you can buy them directly from my Cornerstone Collection.
Almost as far North as you can possibly journey within the bounds of England lies Berwick upon Tweed, nestled just a couple of miles from the Scottish border.
On Saturday, I made the 65 mile rail journey north with a friend to see Paul Kenny’s latest show open at The Berwick Watchtower.
As we wandered the streets of this garrison town, the sensations we experienced were odd and uneasy, enough for us to discuss it regularly throughout the day…
On the face of it, Berwick is pretty. However, it doesn’t take too long to sense a melancholy and fatigue hanging over the town.
There are small pockets where this isn’t the case but, overall, Berwick certainly appears to be a very northern outpost burdened with a tangible raw edge, perhaps the bleeding edge of the ongoing economic crisis.
Buildings look tired with many high street shops closing or, indeed, closed down. Local estate agents, too, seem awash with property for sale.
There is, however, plenty to admire as some of the architecture is stunning, not least the beautifully named Royal Border Bridge — a vital artery carrying the East Coast Mainline, connecting this remote town at high speed with the rest of the country.
To my mind, Berwick’s outpost feel is largely due to its geography, eclectic history and confused identity where, in the modern era, one can still be left wondering, “Is Berwick Scottish or English?”
Embroiled in bitter, bloody border wars for so many years, it’s hard to know.
Technically, Berwick is English after the most recent capture in 1482 but that’s not always been the case.
In fact, it was even recently pondered whether or not Berwick was technically at war with Russia after it was ‘left out’ of the conclusion to the Crimean War in the 1856 Treaty of Paris!
Perhaps you can now begin to see why I describe an eclectic history?
Not helping matters, Berwick Rangers FC remains the only English football club in the land to compete in the Scottish Football League.
All-in-all, an unconventional day out and one to get the cogs turning.
Paul’s show, of course, look resplendent — his Seaworks so appropriately on display at the coast.
Ultimately, though, it was time to journey home and leave this very northern outpost behind, carrying plenty of feelings to digest and thoughts to ponder about this quirky nation of ours…
Today, the sun’s been shining and the snowy weather is fast becoming a distant memory.
Some scenes captured over the last few weeks as I trudged around in the white stuff…
Following on from my post last week, you are now among the first to be able to view Duncan Davis’ tribute to his old mate of 35 years, Keith Crombie.
Last Monday, Newcastle came to a standstill as Keith’s friends joined him on his last journey from Pink Lane, through the city centre — a tiny bit of which he transformed into his own corner of Paris, the Jazz Café.
Perched 130ft atop Grey’s Monument in the icy weather, I was honoured to be able to help Duncan film the extraordinary funeral procession.
So, it’s Sunday morning…time to pour your favourite hot beverage, take your seat at the Jazz Café and settle down to enjoy Duncan’s tribute to a Newcastle legend.