We had been invited to a financial seminar in Newcastle today (I strongly deny that I only went as a buffet lunch was included!). As Malcolm wasn't overly keen on driving into the city and finding somewhere to park (which would probably be somewhat expensive), we decided to go by train
a pretty welcome to Morpeth station
I didn't expect to find a Victorian post box in the station!
many, many years ago, I worked in the Civil Engineers office of British Rail (and I have to tell you they were anything but civil!). So I could give you all the technical details about the rail, the sleepers, the clips ....... but maybe not!
while we waited for our train (we are always early) this sleek intercity train whizzed through the station ......
then our clunky, rattling train arrived
20 minutes later, we were in Newcastle, admiring the grand entrance to the station
the elegant carving is so much better than the brash signage on modern buildings
this is the library, which has a copy of every book on the subject of mining
the stunning roof
and the beautiful windows (sorry about the quality of the photo, but I was using the point-and-shoot camera)
some of the oldest books in the library
this is Nicholas Wood, the founder of the Institute, who was a great believer in education. When the Institute opened, it trained more people to graduate level than Durham University. To obtain a qualification from the Institute, you had to have worked in a mine - none of this learning from a book and thinking you knew it all
this translates as I advise and defend
there is a spiral staircase in each corner of the room
this was probably used to emboss a stamp on the degree certificates
there are two large fireplaces in the library, but these days it is heated by radiators
after a delicious lunch, we were given a guided tour by the exceedingly knowledgeable chap at the podium. The panelling and benches are Cuban mahogany, which he said is now so rare it is actually as expensive as gold
there is a lot of exploratory work going on under the floor, as they want to upgrade part of the building. This hole is already 6 feet deep, and they haven't yet reached the foundations
this Victorian ceiling was boarded over for 50 years, but was recently uncovered and restored
another large hole
the tour continues outside
where we had the chance to admire the ornate carvings
which have survived city centre dirt and grime
but the main focus .........
......... was on this trench. Although we couldn't see it, there are remains of Hadrian's Wall under the foundations of a building which pre-dates the Institute. This had thrown up a dilemma - should they dig up more of the old foundations, to uncover more of the wall? They have decided to extend the trench to the right of where is has already been dug out
we had some time to kill before we got the train home, but I will save them for another day. So, to finish, a quirky doorway which caught my eye ........
........ did you notice the strange creature over the door?