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Old December 19th, 2011, 11:17 PM   #81
G-CPTN
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I'm a newbie here.

I'm a member of a vehicle forum, and an old (1952) photograph of Hexham Priestpopple has been posted by a member:-




The photograph was taken from a building that no longer exists - it was in front of what, I believe, is now Poundland (was Heron Foods).
The ground floor shop was an electrical equipment shop run by Oswald Porteous. His son was in my class at school.

I couldn't remember the details until I searched and found this Tyne Valley forum, then as I compiled my question it came back to me!
(so I have answered my own question . . . )
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Old December 20th, 2011, 12:27 AM   #82
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For me G-CPTN, that is an excellent 'first post' on this forum, as it brings back so many childhood memories for me!

On the left of your photo is THE ROYAL HOTEL, Hexham, as it was in the early 1950s when both my parents were working there, my Father looking after the purchasing of goods for the hotel, and then in the evening he was hotel barman, the bar being just to the 'left' of the central archway.

My Mother worked part-time in the Hotel Off Licence, which was just to the 'right' of the central archway.

Both places can be seen clearly in your photo G-CPTN, my parents were probably in there when it was taken!!

I mentioned this briefly, in an earlier post on this thread . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
.
On the Old Adverts thread, the below edition of Newcastle Life magazine was featured, containing a LOT of adverts and articles from "Hexham in the 1960s" . . .

An important place (The Royal Hotel) for me personally. Both my parents worked in the hotel in the years before I started school, and I was partially 'brought up' by the hotel owner's (mentioned in the advert, 'Captain Gardner') Nanny, in the private quarters at the very top of the hotel.

I remember she was called Audrey, a very nice lady . . .


.

So - I have now sorted out a few 'personal souvenirs' (kept by my father) from those 1950s days, shown below, which supplement the memories that your photo has re-kindled . . .


1 - Another EVENING CHRONICLE photo from the early 1950s, as can be seen, it was taken on the same day! I bought a print of this photo from the Chronicle when it was a 'Remember When' article in the paper in the 1990s . .



2 - An original 1955 Menu, from the Royal Hotel - which was typed by my father, as part of his job there . .



3 - Another 1955 Menu Card . .



4 - A 1950s Royal Hotel Letterheading . .



5 - My Favourite : On the left is a Royal Hotel Wine List, in a photo that I took recently, and on it can be seen the first known SCRAWLINGS on this earth, by yours truly!!


.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #83
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Yes, I remember Captain Arthur Gardner (and, of course, the Royal Hotel).

Your lower photograph of Priestpopple was indeed taken at the same time (same parked cars and the petrol tanker delivering to George and Jobling's garage).

I was also (from about 1960) a regular (though infrequent) customer of the Royal off-licence and remember the lady who was, presumably, your mother. I was also an occasional customer of the hotel bar (not a regular).

I realise that this thread is intended to be devoted to developments, (rather than nostalgia) and I follow 'developments' with interest - not the least being the bus station saga which seems to get shelved whenever it gets 'too difficult'. This has gone on for as long as I can remember.

At one stage there was a proposal to relocate to the site adjacent to the 'new' Cooperative store (now Marks and Spencer) with pedestrian access through to the existing bus station site.

The suggested relocation to Loosing Hill, though not too far distant, seemed flawed for various reasons, not the least of which was inadequate facilities for the crew rest room, and the earlier suggestion of moving the bus station to the railway station, whilst 'logical' in some respects would have meant serious disadvantages to the town.

My personal preference would be to utilise the current empty space that was George and Jobling (I was there when it burned down - though not involved I must point out!), but it seems that it is too valuable to be used for transport when there is 'the potential' for commerce (is there really scope for more shops in Hexham which seems to have been dying over the past decades?). The preponderance of charity shops and pound stores and discount shops seem to outweigh what was once a thriving shopping precinct (Robbs and Robinsons) - but that was several decades ago I admit.
That Robbs has struggled over recent years suggests that things are bad.

Tesco (and ALDI) have moved the emphasis away from the town centre (together with Waitrose and Marks and Spencer - the Coop died when Tesco opened, despite being located near the social housing) and it seems that the rot started when the Auction Mart moved from Argyll Terrace to Tyne Green and the farmers no longer brought their wives to town on a Tuesday. The Market is a mere shadow of its former self - one day recently there was just the fruit stall! - thought the Farmers' Markets seem to be well attended and patronised, as are the 'festive' events.
The November 5th bonfire had an amazing turnout of spectators, so there are people around, though they seem to prefer to shop where they can park for free, even if this means driving 'out of town'.

There are other problems than parking that need to be addressed, but it seems to be the primary cause of dissent.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-CPTN View Post
Yes, I remember Captain Arthur Gardner (and, of course, the Royal Hotel).

Your lower photograph of Priestpopple was indeed taken at the same time (same parked cars and the petrol tanker delivering to George and Jobling's garage).

I was also (from about 1960) a regular (though infrequent) customer of the Royal off-licence and remember the lady who was, presumably, your mother. I was also an occasional customer of the hotel bar (not a regular).

I realise that this thread is intended to be devoted to developments, (rather than nostalgia) and I follow 'developments' with interest - not the least being the bus station saga which seems to get shelved whenever it gets 'too difficult'. This has gone on for as long as I can remember.

Our various 'Developments' threads, for a particular area, while primarily concerned with new developments, can also be used for posts about nostagia/history ("how we got to where we are today") about that particular area.

No problem with that!

However, we do have a number of 'specifically historical' threads that you can use, if you wish.

These are listed under "T" for Threads, on our ALPHABETICAL FORUM INDEX THREAD, here . . .

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1159925

The main two threads of a "general historical" nature (included within the above list) are . . .

1 - Remembering HISTORIC NEWCASTLE - Old Photos, Maps, even Stories . . .
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=982536

2 - HISTORY and OLD PHOTOS of the North East (Outside the Newcastle Boundary)
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=987417


While above thread No. 1 is the busiest thread, I would suggest that historical posts about Hexham (though they can also go onto the 'Tyne Valley Developments Thread') would best go onto thread No. 2.

I, and others I'm sure, will respond about the 'current issues' you mention, in due course.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 09:31 AM   #85
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Boost for Hexham Abbey's £3m appeal
by Paul Tully, The Journal, December 21st 2011



HEXHAM Abbey’s £3m development appeal has received a major boost as it closes in on its target. The internationally-renowned Wolfson Foundation has approved a grant of £50,000 towards the planned new heritage and visitor centre and new community facilities.

It takes the appeal to within £125,000 of its final target ahead of the March 2012 deadline.

The £50,000 grant is the largest single donation to the abbey project fund since it launched a public appeal last March for the final £400,000 towards the £3m figure.

The London-based Wolfson Foundation, which has an endowment in excess of £700m, makes awards through a stringent review process involving leading experts and advisory panels. It was established in 1955 by Sir Isaac Wolfson, chairman of Great Universal Stores, and is run in the family name.

Simon Fourmy, the Foundation’s director of grants, told The Journal: “There were a couple of different aspects of the Hexham Abbey project which caught our attention. “One, clearly, is the significance of the building itself, which is one of the most significant Anglo-Saxon structures in the North East, if not the country.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1hFZshn4g
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 01:55 PM   #86
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I was in Hexham with my girlfriend a little while ago & the traffic and parking around the market square was a nightmare and made it feel far less an attractive town than it actually is. If there was anyway of moving the parking out of the immediate centre and pedestrianising it, it would make for a much more attractive centre.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 05:49 PM   #87
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There has been no traffic warden for Hexham (or other Tyne Valley towns that were covered by Tynedale) since last April, and there will be none until next April, as responsibility passes from the Police to Northumberland County Council.
It was supposed to happen last April, but NCC failed to apply for the necessary authority and the existing wardens left or retired.

The ideal (IMO) would be short term waiting in the existing town centre spaces (but this requires 'policing') and lower cost long-term off-street parking, but, unfortunately there is a shortage of all-day parking as workers travel into the town from surrounding settlements.

The proposal to relocate the bus station to the current Loosing Hill car park will reduce the number of spaces available for visitors. Many seek to park here rather than pay the expensive charges at the Hospital (though if the Hospital was too cheap then commuters would park there).

Both Tesco and Aldi have introduced limits (with £60 'fines' for those overstaying as monitored by ANPR cameras) as have Beales (was Robbs).

If sanctions continue to be applied to motorists then would-be shoppers will avoid the town centre, and footfall will continue to reduce.
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Old December 24th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #88
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Prudhoe town centre redevelopment

An update in the Courant this weekend (can't find the article online, sorry). Seemingly the Co-op successfully objected to the environmental impact assessment and the developers got sent away to fix it. On the day before the planning decision was due.

The nature of these objections being a) that the non-technical summary was inadequate b) that alternatives were not given proper consideration and c) there was no consideration of "cumulative impact of development".

The status is now that the revised EIA is still being worked on. Once this has been resubmitted there will have to be a new round of consultation before any decision is taken.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #89
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The Coop have abandoned Hexham, but they seem to be defending their situation in Prudhoe by objecting to a possible Sainsbury(?) store.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 02:47 PM   #90
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This week's Hexham Courant has an article suggesting that Hexham Bus Station is to be abandoned in favour of a stop in a lay-by to be constructed on Priestpopple (where the current car-parking spaces are located).
To facilitate buses turning around (to return eastwards) a traffic roundabout is proposed at the top of Battle Hill / Beaumont Street by moving Benson's monument and the Park gates.

The reasons being quoted include lack of money . . .
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Old January 17th, 2012, 04:40 PM   #91
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Monument may be moved to make way for buses
By Brian Tilley, Hexham Courant, Monday, 16 January 2012



BOER War hero Col George Benson could be on the march again.

For the statue to the great man, which has stood at the top of Hexham’s Beaumont Street for more than a century, may have to be moved – to accommodate a new roundabout.

A price tag of between £1 million and £1.5 million means that Northumberland County Council cannot afford to press ahead with its plans to move Hexham Bus Station to Loosing Hill, Coun. Terry Robson told Monday’s meeting of Hexham Town Council.

The new thinking is that instead of a full scale bus station, the town will be served by a bus lay-by, located near the Nicholson Portnell solicitors’ offices, in Priestpopple.

A consequence of that would be that Benson’s Monument would have to be moved from the plinth it has occupied since 1904.

The Benson’s Gates and extended footpath on the western side of Beaumont Street would also have to go, to allow a roundabout to be created so buses could turn round.

http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk/news/...buses-1.915241

.

Last edited by Newcastle Historian; January 17th, 2012 at 05:37 PM.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 11:37 AM   #92
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Homebase DIY store set to be opened in Hexham
by Paul Tully, The Journal, January 21st 2012


HEXHAM is set for a major trade boost as DIY giant Homebase is poised to set up shop as part of a new development in the town and several other leading names have thrown their hat into the ring for the multi-million pound development at Hexham railway station’s disused goods yard.

Fashion shop Next and bike and car accessories chain Halfords are said to have expressed an interest, and the site is also set to become home to the regional dramatics group, Theatre Sans Frontieres.

However, it is the planned 20,000sqft Homebase unit, incorporating a DIY store and a garden centre, that will be the most significant arrival. If all goes according to plan, the site will be up-and-running by spring 2013.

The scheme is being put in place by Barnard Castle-based Rokeby Developments and Rokeby director Adrian Goodall said yesterday: “We hope this will attract people to Hexham rather than them having to go miles away for what they want.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1k5VD15Sg
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 06:44 PM   #93
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DIY items are available (from several builders' merchants - Matthew Charlton/Jewson, Doves and MKM) but the non-trade prices are, IMO, excessive.

I doubt, though, whether Hexham (and the surrounding settlements) has the potential to support a new-build Homebase. I suppose it depends how many are making the trip to B&Q Newcastle.

Halfords might take business from the motor factors (Bowmans, Taylors and TMS).

We'll have to see whether the various retailers do their research (and sums) right.

Quote:
Hexham has also gone without a major garden centre since Tynedale Park – on the site of the current Tesco 24-hour superstore – closed in January 2005.
There's Down to Earth (Tyne Mills) and Harlings (Bridge End).
Tynedale Park drew-in crowds from afar at weekends - will Homebase will do the same I wonder?


Quote:
The car park will be built on the north side of the station.
? this would be Tyne Mills (where Carrs Agricultural are).
There is a tranche of land (used to be a railway siding), see here:-

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=54.9733773...6&z=17&l=0&m=h

but access would be over the railway (for pedestrians).

Is there existing vehicular access from Tyne Mills (perhaps near the 'Tynedale' (as was) Council Depot)?

Edited to add:-
There is 'strip' access from behind the Hi-Q tyre depot, here:-
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=tyne...303.38,,1,6.48

See here:- http://wikimapia.org/#lat=54.9744641...2&z=19&l=0&m=h


.

Last edited by G-CPTN; January 22nd, 2012 at 07:30 PM.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 04:49 PM   #94
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'
In continuation of numerous earlier posts on this thread about HEXHAM BUS STATION . . .

Hexham Bus Station - 1,865 sign petition to save it
by Paul Tully, The Journal, February 1st 2012



ALMOST 2,000 people have signed a petition to keep a town’s bus station where it is ahead of a county council debate this afternoon. Now the proposals to move Hexham Bus Station to an edge-of-town site could be dropped by the county’s planners.

A total of 1,865 people signed the petition set up by Anne Pickering and Aileen Henricks and the force of opinion will be heard today at County Hall in Morpeth when the full Northumberland County Council debates the bus station’s future ahead of a decision scheduled to be taken by the executive on March 5.

Miss Pickering, of Oakwood, Hexham, who will address the council, said yesterday: “The bus station is in the centre of the town and it is used by a tremendous number of people. With the price of petrol so high, it is important that people should have the best bus service possible."

“The number of people who have signed the petition demonstrates the strength of feeling there is in the town on this matter. The central bus station on Priestpopple has been allowed to deteriorate badly and it is acknowledged by all sides that something needs to be done urgently."

Last year, it was proposed to relocate the station to Loosing Hill, on the eastern edge of the town centre opposite Hexham General Hospital. The county council-owned station on Priestpopple would then have been vacated for redevelopment, including a link to the Marks & Spencer store 200 yards away.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1l94Om5V0
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 12:02 PM   #95
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At the moment I am writing a "Family History" and am currently writing about the years 1952 to 1959, when my father and mother both worked at the Royal Hotel, as was discussed earlier on in this thread (see 'Post 82').

So my head is currently FULL of what this hotel was like in the 1950s, from my fathers detailed diaries.

As part of this work, we went over to Hexham on Tuesday of this week to have a look at the Royal Hotel, and compared to how it was described as being in the 1950s, it appeared very 'run down' indeed. Now this . . .



Fire at the Royal Hotel Hexham is probed by police
by Paul Tully, The Journal, February 3rd 2012



POLICE were last night investigating a suspicious fire at a historic Northumberland hotel. Firefighters were called out at 3.30am yesterday after the blaze broke out inside the Royal Hotel in Hexham town centre.

The interior of the Grade II-listed former coaching inn on Priestpopple was slightly damaged but the classical exterior, topped by a famous golden dome, escaped unharmed. No one is reported to have been injured in the fire and it is believed no guests were staying at the hotel.

Yesterday, the 192-year-old building, which incorporates a Thai/Indian restaurant, was cordoned off and closed to the public, although restaurant advertising boards were still displayed on the pavement outside.

A single police car stood guard, blocking public access through the archway to the hotel’s rear courtyard and car park.

The fire comes just three weeks after three Bangladeshi men were arrested at the hotel as part of a regional investigation by the UK Border Agency into illegal immigration.

The troubled hotel, which dates back to 1820, was taken over by new owners early in 2008 and the Royal Orchid Thai restaurant was opened in a front suite. Bar Havana, to the rear of the hotel, was relaunched and the 10-roomed, two-star hotel was destined to be “restored to its former glory”.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1lJWSoopD
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Old February 4th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #96
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The below is 'copied over' to here, from the OLD ADVERTS thread . . .


Hexham Courant, Friday August 6th 1948.































Last edited by Newcastle Historian; February 4th, 2012 at 02:45 PM.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
.
we went over to Hexham on Tuesday of this week to have a look at the Royal Hotel,

POLICE were last night investigating a suspicious fire
No connection, I assume?

Quote:
it is believed no guests were staying at the hotel.

the 10-roomed, two-star hotel was destined to be “restored to its former glory”.
http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserRe...d_England.html
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Old February 4th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-CPTN View Post
No connection, I assume?


Ha ha, no, but the place does need a lot doing to it to get it back to the standard it used to be at, and perhaps even more so to get it fully modernised.

I hope it does not suffer from (what is called on other threads on the forum) a "MQF", which I suppose (on this thread) would be either a "MHF" or an "MTVF" . . .
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Old February 4th, 2012, 11:18 PM   #99
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Some interesting memories from those adverts!
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Old February 5th, 2012, 12:44 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-CPTN View Post
Monument may be moved to make way for buses
By Brian Tilley, Hexham Courant, Monday, 16 January 2012



BOER War hero Col George Benson could be on the march again.

For the statue to the great man, which has stood at the top of Hexham’s Beaumont Street for more than a century, may have to be moved – to accommodate a new roundabout.

The new thinking is that instead of a full scale bus station, the town will be served by a bus lay-by, located near the Nicholson Portnell solicitors’ offices, in Priestpopple. A consequence of that would be that Benson’s Monument would have to be moved from the plinth it has occupied since 1904.

http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk/news/...buses-1.915241
.

I really do not think the monument should be moved, it is an important feature of Hexham, in the place where it is, and has been all my life.

Here is a photo of it, that I recently found, taken by my father in August 1930 . . .



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