My mind jogged by NH on the 'might have been' thread, I'd recommend 'Ryder and Yates' by Rutter Carol (RIBA Publishing, 2009). It's the story of what was probably the most important NE architectural practice of the twentieth century. In the 1940s Gordon Ryder taught architecture at Kings College Newcastle, and Peter Yates studied under Le Corbusier. Together they joined Berthold Lubetkin's team which produced an astonishingly modernist (but, in the end, unexecuted) plan for the New Town of Peterlee. They then formed their own partnership which over the next thirty-plus years came up with pioneering modernist buildings in the north-east, including housing developments at Fenham, Kenton Bar and Albany (Washington); the Salvation Army Men's Palace and MEA House in Newcastle; and a significant cluster of developments in Killingworth, notably for the gas industry, including Norgas House and the British Gas Engineering Research Station. The book is well illustrated as is written in a fairly accessible style (not too much jargon) and is well worth getting for anyone who is interested in the face of the region in the later twentieth century.