Sunday, 28 June 2015

South Causey Inn

South Causey Inn June 15 (1)

The South Causey Inn, on the A6076 near Stanley, Co Durham, is only a few minutes' drive from my house. We had often gone past and seen a notice outside about a market every Tuesday. So recently I decided to pay the market a visit.

South Causey Inn June 15 (4)

Time well spent. It's not a big market but it was interesting to see what was on sale. I particularly liked the cheese stall (though as a goat keeper I produce my own cheese). The bar and cafe were also open and live music was playing. Worth a visit.

South Causey Inn June 15 (3)

Monday, 22 June 2015

Tanfield Railway Steam Gala Weekend

Tanfield Railway June 15 (25)

I visited the Tanfield Railway yesterday for the annual steam gala. The Tanfield Railway is on the A6076 on the Gateshead/Co Durham border and conveniently, the railway line terminates at Sunniside, the village where I live.

Tanfield Railway June 15 (23)

The railway is the world's longest continuously running steam railway. It is run by volunteers who operate the trains on most Saturdays. We can hear them from our house.

Tanfield Railway June 15 (4)

Tanfield Railway June 15 (7)

A couple of the locomotives were on loan for the weekend though they originally worked on local lines in the age of steam, before they were pensioned off to the heritage industry.

Tanfield Railway June 15 (8)

Tanfield Railway June 15 (2)

Sunday, 14 June 2015

US hotels booked

More pieces of the forthcoming trip to the US have now been put in place. Through I've now booked the Beacon Hotel in Washington DC and the Evelyn Hotel in New York. Accommodation in Philadelphia and Baltimore will be sorted shortly. I'm rather looking forward to this trip. I've been to the USA twice before but only to New York. It will be great to see other places as well. As the country however is so vast, I appreciate that we are still just scratching the surface.

Friday, 12 June 2015

The Gloucester in Gateshead

Gloucester Gateshead June 15

I hadn't been to the Gloucester, the pub opposite Gateshead Civic Centre, for over a decade. On Wednesday I ended my record of absence. I met up with a group of people there. It has changed a bit since I was last there. It's much more open plan now. Given that the group I was meeting are likely to meet there on a regular basis, it seems I will be frequenting the Gloucester more often than once a decade from now on.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Harry Clasper in Whickham

Harry Clasper Wetherspoons Apr 15 1

Harry Clasper is a Wetherspoon pub in Whickham, Gateshead, which opened last year in the former Whickham Council offices. The building has a sentimental connection for me. My great grandfather, Henry Wallace, was the first chairman of Whickham Urban District Council at the end of the Victorian period though he died just before the building was occupied by the council in 1901. When Whickham UDC was abolished in 1974, Gateshead Council took it over. It became surplus to requirements a few years ago, hence its new guise as a pub.

Wetherspoons have done a good job with converting the building. The choice of name is popular as well. Harry Clasper was a local lad who went on to be a world champion rower.

I visited the pub recently for lunch. As it's a Wetherspoons outlet, the food is competitively priced and not bad.

Harry Clasper Wetherspoons Apr 15 2

I had the burger and chips.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Visiting Bill Quay Community Farm

Bill Quay Farm piglets June 15 (1)

I went to Bill Quay Community Farm in Gateshead yesterday to go to the goat show. I am a goatkeeper myself though I wasn't putting any of my animals on show. A few hours before I arrived, the piglets did! This large black sow gave birth to a litter. Time to go aaahhhhh!

Bill Quay Farm piglets June 15 (3)

Bill Quay Goat Show June 15 (14)

Bill Quay Goat Show June 15 (16)

I like to be in America!

I am heading back to the US in the near future for 2 weeks. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York will be on the travel agenda. Flight to Washington and return from New York are booked. Travel between cities will be by train. Hotels still to be booked. Looking forward to it.

Going around in circles

Beamish Museum May 15 (62)

The carousel at Beamish has been there for some years but I had never had a ride on it - until last week. Only £1.50. Good fun. Took me back over 40 years to holidays in Blackpool!

Beamish Museum May 15 (60)

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Black bullets and bakeries

Beamish Museum May 15 (79)

The sweet shop in the town at Beamish Museum, set in 1913, also has a sweet factory. When we were there last week, we watched black bullets being made in the traditional way (though without the crushed black beetles that were used 100 years ago to colour the sweets).

Across the road, the recreated bakery was in full swing, pumping out lots of loaves, cakes and pies. The bakery opened 2 years ago. I attended the opening and filmed it though never got round to editing the video. If I can find the old files, and have a few spare minutes, I will do the editing and post it on to YouTube.

Beamish Museum May 15 (71)

Beamish Museum May 15 (70)

Beamish Museum May 15 (69)

Beamish Museum May 15 (68)

Friday, 5 June 2015

St Helens Church at Beamish

Beamish Museum May 15 (27)

St Helen's Church at Beamish Museum was originally from Eston, near Middlesbrough. It was dismantled and rebuilt at the Museum but the project is yet to be finished. It is set in the Georgian area of Beamish. The interior is still incomplete and fundraising is still on-going to complete the work.

Beamish Museum May 15 (30)

Beamish Museum May 15 (31)

On Sunday we visited it for the first time.

Davy's Fried Fish at Beamish Museum

Beamish Museum May 15 (44)

I was on the joint committee that oversaw Beamish Museum when the decision was taken to set up Davy's Fried Fish, the fish and chip shop in the pit village. It was a superb investment as it paid for itself in a very short space of time. My warning is, if you want to get fish and chips there, expect a queue. Nevertheless, the wait is worth it. We had lunch there on Sunday when visiting the museum.

Beamish Museum May 15 (43)

Beamish Museum May 15 (45)

The deep fat fryer is coal fired. The equipment is the real thing, used 100 years ago, not a replica.

Beamish Museum May 15 (47)

Beamish Museum May 15 (48)

Beamish Museum May 15 (50)

Beamish Museum May 15 (51)

Georgian Fair at Beamish Museum

Beamish Museum May 15 (5)

Beamish remains my favourite museum and we visited it on Sunday to go to the Georgian Fair they were hosting next to Pockerley Manor and the steam engine workshop. Various craft events, a recruiting session for the Georgian army and animals to enjoy, including the only zorse (a cross between a horse and zebra) in the country.

Beamish Museum May 15 (4)

Beamish Museum May 15 (7)

Beamish Museum May 15 (11)

Beamish Museum May 15 (15)

Beamish Museum May 15 (17)

Beamish Museum May 15 (22)

Beamish Museum May 15 (23)

Beamish Museum May 15 (25)

Beamish Museum May 15 (21)

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Sontana, Whickham

Sontana Whickham May 15 6

The restaurant that is now Sontana Pizzeria in Whickham, Gateshead, has lived through a number of food nationalities. We had previously visited it when it was a Spanish restaurant. Sontana was visited by us on Saturday evening. I had heard mixed views but we were quite happy with the meal and the service. I don't have a problem in recommending a visit.

Sontana Whickham May 15 3

Sontana Whickham May 15 5

Sontana Whickham May 15 4

Sontana Whickham May 15 2

Bayberry Hollow

Bayberry Hollow May 15 1

On the way back home from Chesters Roman fort on Saturday, we made a detour to Tanfield Lea, in Co. Durham, to visit a tea room and craft gallery called Bayberry Hollow. I think it used to be a pub. Pleasant and worth a visit. Lots of small craftwork and in the cafe, some very nice looking scones. Sadly, we had only tea or wine. We'd already eaten in Chollerford.

The George Hotel, Chollerford

George Hotel Chollerford May 15 1

The George Hotel at Chollerford, Northumberland, was our venue for lunch on Saturday after visiting the Roman fort at Chesters. Very pleasant surroundings on the banks of the North Tyne, and next to the Chollerford Bridge, it is one of those places where you just want to relax and enjoy the venue.

North Tyne River Chollerford May 15 2

George Hotel Chollerford May 15 5

George Hotel Chollerford May 15 4

George Hotel Chollerford May 15 3

George Hotel Chollerford May 15 2

We simply had sandwiches for lunch. Roast beef and horseradish sauce was especially enjoyable.

George Hotel Chollerford May 15 7

George Hotel Chollerford May 15 6