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Monday, 28 September 2015

Down South in the North East

I've spent the last couple of weeks working mostly in North East England, around Newcastle, Darlington and Middlesbrough. This area is normally referred to as 'The North East', even thought it's South of where I live! I took my camera with me and photographed a few things of interest.

The hotel I was staying in last week (in Newcastle) has barriers to stop non-guests parking in their car park.

Next to it was a level crossing (where a railway line crosses the road) without any barriers, just lights and a sounder.

Shows the priorities – it's more important to stop people parking where they shouldn't than it is to stop them driving in front of a train!

One day I was working in Hartlepool and paid a visit to the Headland area of the town. This is the old part of town, which was walled in the Middle Ages (to protect it from Scots!). Very little of the medieval town survives, but the later (mostly Victorian) buildings have been kept to the old layout and more modern buildings have been designed sympathetically to blend in.
I saw this very nice park, the building at the end is a public toilet but that doesn't mean it shouldn't look nice.

There's a small beach, tide was in when I was there, along with the remains of the town wall.

And this interesting church.

Being on the coast Hartlepool was once a fishing town, and this has been remembered on these railings.

I also saw this very well preserved Vespa scooter. Not sure what model it is, but it has a pre-1963 registration.

On the A19 road between Hartlepool and Newcastle I'd seen a sign saying 'Transport Museum', at the same exit as the Nissan factory. I followed the signs, (which changed to 'Aviation Museum'), to the factory, and found the museum up a narrow road next to the main gates.
It's one of those wonderfully ramshackle museums run by enthusiasts, with exhibits being worked on, all sorts of bits and pieces just sitting around, and a great air of 'just explore the place'.
First shed I went to was full of military aircraft.

See what I mean about 'full'!
Ex-Greek Air Force Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
Ex-Argentine Air Force FMA Pucara (found in the Falkland Islands)

Next shed has some vehicles and equipment awaiting restoration. I particularly liked this fire engine.

Next to that was shed with a collection on military vehicles.

One I can remember, a Canadian built Dodge. The British Army used these at the start of WW2, and after the war they were sold off. When I was a teenager in the 70s, I can remember local firm still had one – shows how well built they were.

Note white star – after US entry in WW2, a lot of Allied vehicles has this added to aid identification.

In addition to the ex-Army Can Am (a previous Friday bike), there was this Raleigh Runabout – not sure any army ever used them!

Another shed had some trams, you couldn't go past the barrier just behind these two due to ongoing work.

Outside there was a Vulcan Bomber.

And a Lightning fighter.

Well worth the £5 entry. Museum website.

I spent a few hours in Newcastle city centre. To tie in with the ongoing Rugby World Cup being held in England, a large television screen had been set up in the street showing games (Scotland v Japan when I was there). Was very popular and had drawn a large crowd.

Saw this really good vintage clothes shop!

And this clock.

There's a street called Westgate Road (known locally as 'the hill') that has lots of motorcycle shops. I saw one which specialised in classic bikes, unfortunately it was shut but I managed this photo through the window.
(Blue 'blob' at the rear wheel is the company logo on my shirt!)

As I'm finishing this job in two weeks and starting one without travelling, this was a good opportunity to take advantage of being away from home.

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