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Having decided a couple of weeks ago to start a blog, I thought a sensible time would be when I had something to say, and more importantly to show, since the purpose of the blog is mainly to share photos I have taken. (The six previous posts were really just practice.)

Newcastle upon Tyne station

Newcastle upon Tyne station

I’ve  not long been back from ten days ‘up north’, as we southerners say, in Newcastle, Glasgow and beautiful Dumfriesshire, but I am not going to post all 550 pictures I took. Over the next few days, in hopefully reasonably sized chunks, I’ll be sharing some of them, with as little explanatory text as I can limit  myself to.  After that, it could be quite a while before I post again.

The excuse for the trip was a symposium of the Open University Geological Society (OUGS) in Newcastle, though there’ll be no photos of that.  I couldn’t go all that way without adding quite a few days on to explore places I had never been to, and meet up with people I was in contact with but had never met.  So on Thursday 16th July, I went up 24 hours before the start of the symposium, by train, and was delighted to find that the hotel I had booked online was not only conveniently placed, opposite the station, but was somewhat above my own normal station in life.

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Having settled in to my comfortable room, and with much of the afternoon left, I decided to do one of the tourist office walks I had downloaded, starting in Grainger Town, named after the 19th century property developer, Richard Grainger, and dominated by Grey’s Monument, erected in 1838 to commemorate the passage by Lord Grey of the Great Reform Bill in 1832.

St John's Church and Grainger Street

St John’s Church and Grainger Street

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Off Grainger Street was the Central Arcade, with it beautiful Edwardian tiling.

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And round the corner was the Theatre Royal, where that evening I was to see the musical ‘Annie’,with Craig Revel Horwood as Miss Hannigan, in a new touring production. Highly recommended.

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Blackfriars was rather older.  Dominican friars arrived here in 1239.

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The original town walls date from 1280-83.

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But this sculpture, round the corner from my hotel, is very recent.

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The rest of my time in Newcastle, tomorrow.