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The Ladies hit Newcastle|!

Between July 29th and August 1st six lady members took part in what is increasingly becoming a regular event during the summer break,. Jill Toman’s organisational skills ensured that the flight to this year’s chosen city destination, Newcastle Upon Tyne, and the accommodation quayside were up to scratch, and that we were all reunited with our luggage at the appropriate moments!

While Janice Cuer took the opportunity to re-acquaint herself with former haunts of her newly-married self, we explored the quayside where the physical presence of the bridges are always the focus but where the light at different times of the day was a photographer’s dream. The weather was good to us, and it only rained when convenient, so that post shower reflections and dramatic skies only added to the menu of delights. The town of Newcastle has much to offer in terms of architecture and history, but with the additional bonus of this year’s Exhibition of the North in full swing we were really spoilt for choice. The various museums, art exhibitions and library provided the entertainment, and provided us with a wealth of ideas for future competition focuses and Tri Battle challenges. We walked for miles, crossing all the bridges at least once to enjoy and experience from above the colour and the atmosphere of the bustling city.

The architecture of the magnificent building housing the museum exhibits, that included a special view of Stephenson’s Rocket, contrasted starkly with the modern steel and glass structure that is The Sage that rises like a giant bubble over the quay. A visit to the historic Bessie Surtees House took us back to 16th century Jacobean merchant glories. The romance of the ever open window through which she had eloped, much to the disapproval of her father, appealed to us all, as did the home-made pies and mash served in the pub next door where we went for lunch on the last day.

Public transport in Newcastle is second to none and a trip to St Mary’s Lighthouse, beyond Whitley Bay, as well as to The Angel of the North, were a doddle. Seals basked in the sunshine on the rocks near the lighthouse, and Gormley’s metal Angel soaring above us, rusting magnificently, reminded us of last year’s trip to Liverpool and his statues on the beach at Crosby.

We witnessed some local stupidity in the form of idiots disturbing the seals.at close quarters, and a bit of drama as a “jumper” was rescued from swiftly flowing waters of the murky river, but the locals were overwhelmingly friendly and helpful, even if we did need an interpreter at times! Planning is already underway for next year, even before the photos from this trip have been fully processed, but it will have to be a pretty special place to top Newcastle.

That is it now until 6th September, when members resume the programme with an evening that will feature photos on the theme of “Yellow” and “Wings”, and we hand in our entries for the DPI competition on “Wheels”.
Jenny Short 3.8.18