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Secondhand September

Many Alnwick buildings have found a new purpose. There are numerous examples. The Maltings and both former Workhouses are now residential. Plans have been prepared to convert 2, Bailiffgate and Sion Chapel to hotels. Historic England have used the conversion of St Mary’s Church to Bailiffgate Museum as a case study in sustainability. So when … Continue reading Secondhand September

Mechanics’ Institute

Is this the oldest purpose-built Mechanics’ Institute that has survived? The Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle began as a “conversation club” in 1793, and by 1825 had evolved into a library and a meeting point where the city’s intelligentsia could debate matters of the day. Similar societies were formed in Manchester (1781), Birmingham (1789), … Continue reading Mechanics’ Institute

Recognise that accent?

The Office of National Statistics publishes estimates of the numbers who move into Northumberland and the numbers who move out. Last year they reckon that half of those who moved into Northumberland came from the North-East. Roughly a third came from immediately south of the county: 21% from Newcastle upon Tyne, and 15% from North … Continue reading Recognise that accent?