You are on page 1of 24

FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:58 Page 1

freemen THE NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

MAGAZINE

4
E
08
M SU
20
IS
AY
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:58 Page 2

The Coat of Arms of the


City of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Front Cover Town Moor looking towards the


City of Newcastle upon Tyne
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:58 Page 3

freemen
THE NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

MAGAZINE

Foreword
Each year brings something of a fresh
challenge for the Freemen of Newcastle
and 2008 is no exception.
Town Moor Act
l988. In this regard,

20 4
08
AY E
M SU
Newcastle City

IS
Council have a duty
of care in relation to
our affairs and I am
pleased to say they
are very much
committed to
supporting this
Contents
objective. We are Editorial 4
not an organisation
Stewards Committee report 5-10
that is prepared to
compromise Notice Board 11
For more than long inheritance and Being Lord Mayor 12
enough we have responsibility in all
that we do, but do Lord Mayor Easter Guild 13
looked to others
from a national readily acknowledge Christmas and Easter Guilds 14
perspective to change is inevitable
if we are to move Companies of Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne 15
facilitate the
opportunity of forward as we have Town Moor Money Charity 16
ensuring the rights done so successfully
throughout the Guild Hall Merchants Court 17
of the Freelage and
all this entails is centuries. It is our Freemen’s Bungalows 18
extended to women intention to promote
Freemen of England and Wales 19
and thereby ‘Lady opportunities over
Freemen’. Alas the coming months. Thomas Davison & Sir Thomas White 20
expectations have Freemen who carved a name for himself 21
not come to fruition In addition to the
above, it is business Diary Dates 22
hence the time is
right for Newcastle as usual. We look Contacts 23
to seize the moment forward to a
and ‘modernise’ successful Hoppings,
accordingly. That effective grazing Magazine Co-Editors:
said this is not a season and ongoing Jim Johnson-Tanners Company, Stewards Commitee.
simple task because environmental Alan Robson-Bakers & Brewers Company, Gild of
when introducing improvements.
Freemen Hon. Treasurer.
change we need to
be mindful to As ever, feedback
and comments The Newcastle upon Tyne
protect longstanding
welcomed. Freemen Magazine
and proven
governance so much Moor Bank Lodge
of which is enshrined L R Fenwick CBE Claremont Road
in the legislation laid Chairman, Stewards Newcastle upon Tyne
down by of the Committee NE2 4NL
E-mail freemenmagazine@tiscali.co.uk

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 3
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 4

Editorial Team
We are pleased to report that the world- administered by the City Council to assist
wide distribution of our magazine is now young Freemen setting up in business.
extended beyond the Freemen of It is also reported that the Stewards’
Newcastle upon Tyne and their Committee are with the assistance of the
dependents, and is being exceptionally City Council to refresh the momentum to
well received. The Stewards’ Committee bring about the introduction of Lady
requested the Editorial Team to give due Freemen.
consideration to the content to maintain
and develop the interest of the overall As this magazine is published bi-annually
readership. This we are doing. we regret not being able to publish
information or application forms in a
In addition to the many comments and timely manner for events organised by
welcome feedback, we do continue to our Gild of Freemen. If you reside in the
receive magazines returned marked vicinity of the North East, and would like
”Gone away - address unknown.” If you to be sure that you have the opportunity
are moving house, do not forget to write of participating in Gild organised
to the office at Moor Bank Lodge activities, may we suggest you become a
(address on the inside rear cover) to let member of the Gild of Freemen. Do not
us know your of your current hesitate to make contact with the Hon.
whereabouts. It is equally important to Treasurer for an application form - his
advise of the death of a Freeman. In such details are on the inner rear cover.
cases future magazines can be re-
addressed to the widow and dependents. Keep on sending your comments,
contributions and ideas. It is your interest
The Freemen of Newcastle and the in the magazine that sustains enthusiasm.
Stewards’ Committee in particular remain
very active on many fronts. In this edition
we particularly highlight the charities Editorial Team


“ The Freemen of Newcastle and the
Stewards Committee in particular
remain very active on many fronts

4 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 5

New Gator
We have taken delivery of a which at times can be rather New work-wear has been
‘Gator’, this specialist vehicle frequent.As a spend to save issued to our staff, bearing the
will be deployed on all Moors initiative coupled with reducing Freemen’s coat of arms and
and shall give greater flexibility the environmental impact it is their names, the new Gator
and effectiveness in dealing envisaged the cost of the and our Tractors have been
with day to day operational vehicle will also be offset by liveried so they will be easily
requirements including out of savings made in time recognised as Freemen of
hours emergency call outs and fuel. Newcastle vehicles.

Moor Bank Lodge – Investment Programme


In preparation for the major to accommodate the range of plant and
improvements planned to the external equipment is envisaged to be constructed
agricultural infrastructure at Moor Bank later this year. It is to be noted planning
Lodge new cattle pens are to be installed permission is required. A capital
on Hunters Moor. This shall enable cattle expenditure will be in the region of
to be decanted via Hunters Road. £130,000.
Enhanced security measures, including
electronic surveillance are to be installed
at the Moor Bank yard.

The existing agricultural outbuildings are


no longer suitable hence a new building

FREEMEN
FREEMENMAGAZINE
MAGAZINE 5
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 6

TOWN MOOR FOOTPATH CASTLE LEAZES FOOTPATH


THE GOOD THE BAD

Town Moor Joint


Working Group
We continue to meet with City Officers and Councillors to address issues
concerning the Town Moor and environs.

Matters of particular is essential but the overall issue motorcycles) who have been
note: is proving to be highly bailed pending investigation.
problematical and shall not be This incident of mindless
Anti-social behaviour easily resolved. The matter has
behaviour on defenceless
Is an ongoing problem, with been raised by the Chief
animals is of particular concern,
wilful damage, being directly Executive of the City Council
thankfully we are able to report
related to alcohol and drug with the Chief Constable and
combined with the pressure by the animal has fully recovered.
related behaviour having been
highlighted. As the summer our staff constantly reporting
months beckon it is anticipated incidents as a crime we are Footpaths
the return of the problems hopeful of some improvement. The condition of the Castle
encountered over the past two Of note when going to press Leazes footpaths have been
years. There is also a significant there was an incident on Nuns
highlighted and require urgent
nuisance factor by motorcycles Moor where paint was spayed
attention. The City Council
particularly over the weekends into a cows face, the Police
have indicated consideration is
on Nuns Moor North which is were able to secure the arrest
of four youths (two on being given to the issue.
of concern. Police involvement

6 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 7

Hoppings 2008 environmental impact and Initial engagement with


Consideration was given as to changing dimensions of the Showmen has been
whether or not the event travelling fairground industry. encouraging. The inherent
should go ahead following the The City Council and the rights and traditions of the
excessive damage arising out of Showmen’s Guild of Great
Stewards Committee are of
the extremely adverse weather Britain does however pose a
common purpose and
in 2007. In essence to enable complex set of issues but the
understanding on what needs
full recovery and benefit from recognition that fundamental
to be done from the
an extensive reinstatement change is unavoidable to secure
perspective of
programme, a year without the the long term viability of the
event beckoned. The decision (i) event management event is acknowledged.
has been reached to progress (ii) communications and The Hoppings will be open to
with the letting but also to respective organisation role and the public from Friday 20th
begin to facilitate change to responsibilities and (iii) financial June 2008 until Saturday 29th
more effectively deal with the considerations. June 2008.

Armistice Sunday 2007


The Stewards Committee were pleased to accept and
invitation by the Lord Mayor to join the Civic Party at
the Remembrance Day parade. Members of the
Stewards Committee joined the official party in
procession from the Civic Centre to the refurbished
Renwick Memorial for the service of remembrance, part
of the service included the laying of a wreath at the
Memorial on behalf of the Freemen of Newcastle by
our Chairman Len Fenwick. Following the service the
Lord Mayor and Party proceeded to the Saluting Dais
where the Parade of various regiments and services
marched passed; the Lord Lieutenant taking the Salute.
The Lord Mayor spoke of how delighted he was to
reinstate the lost tradition of attendance by Freemen at
the parade.

Back row from left Alan Bainbridge, Len Fenwick, Bill It is now added to the Stewards Committee annual
Frizzle, Jim Johnson, Bottom row Keith Hall, David Wilson
calendar.

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 7
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 8

Hoppings Site
The condition of the Hoppings site is of inclement weather coupled with the intensity
concern having not fully recovered from the of modern plant and equipment in the
2007 event, it may look fine on the surface travelling Fairground industry is an issue for
but there is very little root structure and the an area where reasonable hard standing can
fear is the sward will easily churn up if the never be guaranteed, yet part of the fun and
weather is less than optimal. character of the UK Fairground is the
environment and atmosphere.
To alleviate the damage caused by heavy
goods vehicles during pulling on and off the The Showmen’s Guild, City Council,
site, we have enhanced the service roads. ourselves and the public have their fingers
crossed this year.
Regretfully active grazing of the Hoppings
site has been suspended this year , a loss of
more than 50 acres the intention is to give
the grass the best possible growth period
prior to the Fairground people pulling on.
We currently have an ongoing programme of
assessing and improving with new and
reinstatement works the drainage of the site.
Several problem areas have been identified.
Some areas of drainage do of course date
back to the 19th Century and recent years of

‘Elizabethan’ Metal Fences


The planned phased replacement of the timber Local community response has been
fence line with the Elizabethan metal fence overwhelmingly in favour of this type of fence,
continues on the Nuns Moor perimeter to the although one or two do say they prefer the
timber ranch style look. The decision as to
north of Fenham Hall Drive and the Ponteland
the suitability of the type of replacement
Road junction. This area is one of high visual will continue to be taken Moor by Moor
impact the photograph demonstrates the basis and in further consultation with all
enormity of the task we are undertaking!. interested parties.

8 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 9

Web Site re-launch


The web site had served us about redesigning the original
well, but to keep up with site, and at Easter Guild he
technological advances the was able to demonstrate and
decision was taken to revamp gave Stewards the
the site and bring it into the opportunity to view the
21st Century. finished product which was
received enthusiastically
During a recent visit to India with many positive
our Chairman was shown how comments.
information technology was so
readily accessed with his hosts We believe we now have a
proudly displaying this vibrant, informative, and
magazine via our web site, flexible user friendly site,
demonstrating the ease which which can deliver up to date
the World Wide Web is information not just locally but
utilised hence making us so world wide.
mindful of the importance of
having a website the Freemen The result can be viewed at
can be proud of. www.freemenofnewcastle.org
as ever feedback welcomed.
David Hughes a Steward of
the Coopers Company offered David Hughes,
his expertise in web design e-mail: infectionmedia@
through his company infectionmusic.com,
‘Infection Media’, On receipt web site:
of the initial brief David set www.infectionmedia.co.uk

News from the Town Moor Superintendent


As the winter came across the Moors the staff Oddly enough the weather has been kind in
assisted the graziers to decant more than respect of our Winter Works and environmental
550cattle to winter holdings. Whilst we endured improvement programme. It is heartening to
one of wettest summers in living memory the receive so many supportive and kind comments.
graziers have reflected upon the grazing season During February and March the main tasks for
as a success. The animals flourished on the Moors the Staff were to carry out necessary fencing
and the pasture stood well for what is the repairs to the boundary fence lines, also clean out
overriding purpose of the open space. and repair all water troughs, clear all rubbish from
the Moors in readiness for the cattle returning to
graze from the beginning of April.As we go to
print it is all hands on deck to address the
challenge of preparing the Hoppings (Town Moor
Festival) site.

My concerns do however primarily concern the


minority of people who show scant respect for
the environment and the animals. In reality this is
becoming our major challenge and the staff are
determined to do all that they can in this respect.
We shall in our endeavours need the continuing
help of our local communities and enforcement
agencies in this task.

Kevin Batey
From left to right David Holland, Kevin Batey, Billy Harland Town Moor Superintendent.

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 9
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 10

Disenfranchised Freemen
– Non-Company Keepers
Subsequent to the debate clear and most upon any Company to operate within the spirit
unequivocal direction expressed at Guild, of equity and justice on such matters.
a ‘watch and wait’ approach has been taken.
In essence , this is not about ‘Closed
Companies’ becoming ‘open’ but simply that It is clear the current situation is something of
in modern times, those Freemen who can an anachronism hence the sense of
claim to hail through a respective Company via consternation spoken by the overwhelming
prime documentary evidence i.e. possession of majority of Stewards and the determination of
an Oath paper and lineage on the Roll, do
all forward thinking Freemen to ensure the
need to be accepted for admission as a
Company Keeper. institution as a whole is progressive and
influential whilst ensuring the long founded
It is acknowledged that neither Guild nor the traditions and fundamental values of equity
Stewards Committee can give an overriding and commitment to all that we do in
direction on such matters hence only prevail Newcastle upon Tyne.

Snuff Box
During the reorganisation at Moor Bank
Lodge one of the many interesting artifacts to
be uncovered is an antique Snuff box which
gives an interesting insight into life in the late
19th century. Silver Snuff box Made in 1892.
Gilt inside and engraved with the following:-

Ye Box of Ye Incorporated Companies of the


Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Chairman, Jno.D.Walker 1891 to 1923. The use of the box appears to have stopped
J.R.Andrews 1923: Vice Chairman, Faraday suddenly as it still contains a quantity of Snuff,
Spence 1891 – 96. Henry Robson 1897 – 02 perhaps due to the onset of the 2nd world
John S.Smirk 1902 – 21. Robert Robson 1921 war. Ps; the present Committee declined the
– 23 .C.S.Errington 1923 – 35. W.Story 1935 - offer to take a take a pinch!

10 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 11

Photographs
at Guild
Photographer Steve Brock is to bring
printing equipment to the Guilds
enabling instant printing of photographs
he takes at the swearing in ceremony. taken, just have a word with Steve on
New Freemen and their families can the day and he will accommodate.
have photographs taken, and receive
them on the day. Anyone attending Photographs will be available in 8”x 6”
Open Guild may have photographs prints priced at £6.50 each.

Few
Representative
Notice Board
ments
Company Announce
Steward Change

Smiths Company
eward.
D.Melville, Head St

Bereavements Alan Bainbridge, Goldsmith and


member of the Stewards

Plumbers Company Committee has taken on the


responsibility as the Newcastle
James Anderson. Freemen representative for the
Freemen of England and Wales
mpany
House Carpenters Co
Association FEW. Alan a
Stewards Committee member for
William Sample. some six years is also a Trustee of
the Mary Magdalene and Holy
House
Freemen of Trinity
Jesus Trust, has gained a wealth
of experience in the affairs of the
Lesley Taylor Freemen which shall prove to be
invaluable in addressing issues
from a national perspective

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 11
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 12

Being Lord Mayor


“ Now that I’m rapidly approaching the end
of my term as Lord Mayor, it is the right
time to look back.

The first and obvious comment dressed smartly, I have to meet life. Without them, Newcastle
is that it is like no other job in a lot of new people almost would be a much poorer place
local government. You have to daily, I have to be careful what I in every sense of that word.
be a councillor to do the job, say, and I am conscious all the
but you spend the year not while that I am the And then there have been the
acting as a councillor. Yes, there representative of the whole city, traditional events, such as
are casework issues to deal and must give a good Remembrance Sunday, the Gilds
with, but the ordinary round of impression of Newcastle at all of the Freemen, royal visits,
activities, such as attending times! It’s enough to try the courtesy calls by foreign
committee meetings and patience of a saint, let alone ambassadors visiting the city,
campaigning politically, are someone with my background and the captains of Royal Navy
strictly off-limits. You quickly and temperament! ships, as well as a whole host of
lose touch with the realities of other visitors from all over the
council life unless you are As Lord Mayor I have met world. One thing I hadn’t
determined to keep in touch people and been to places other expected has been the number
with them. politicians don’t. That’s because of occasions when I’ve been
as the first citizen I am seen as with the military. It’s been a
Next, your time is not your representing everyone, and very humbling eye-opener into
own.Your diary is controlled by people and organisations are a world I’ve not known a great
the staff in the Lord Mayor’s keen to show you what they do deal about, and I’m very
Office, and even though you and how they contribute to the grateful for their patience and
can decide which events to go life of the city. I’ve particularly their willingness to explain their
to, a lot is decided by tradition enjoyed meeting community role and purpose in our local
and precedent. I now have a and voluntary groups, and and national life.
much better understanding of seeing the work that charities
what it must be like to be a do. I have been very impressed Finally, I’m realistic enough to
member of the royal family. As by their passionate concern for understand that the office of
Lord Mayor I always have to be their small bit of our corporate Lord Mayor is without any real

12 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 13

significance in terms of political power, but it of a throwback to a former time, but the
has real significance to a wide range of people opportunities available to us to do good in the
in the community. They enjoy a visit from the here and now remains undiminished.
Lord Mayor. It gives the seal of approval to I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to
their activities, and there’s nothing like a bit of be Lord Mayor of the City of Newcastle upon
pomp and ceremony to brighten up Tyne upon Tyne. It’s given me much pleasure
someone’s day! It also shows the power of to remind all of our visitors that our great city
tradition, something that marks Britain off as is the centre of the known universe, and that
different in our thoroughly modern world. Like we Tynesiders are the canniest folk on earth!
the Freemen, the Lord Mayor has lost a lot of
real power, but gained so much positive
influence instead. We may both be something Lord Mayor Peter Arnold

Easter Guild 2008


The Open Guild was presided over by the Lord Mayor Peter Arnold, assisted by City staff,
also in attendance James Bartle a student of Manor Park School who was shadowing Ian
Humphries, Manager, Lord Mayor’s Office as part of his work experience.

From left to right


Trevor Cartner, Mace Bearer. Ian Humphries, Manager, Lord Mayor’s Office.
The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne Cllr Peter Arnold.
Mrs Val Dodds, Head of Legal Services. Bill Bage, Lord Mayor’s Chauffeur/Butler.
James Bartle, Manor Park School. Patrick Tracey, Lord Mayor’s Chauffeur/Butler

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 13
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 14

Christmas Guild
New Freemen sworn in at Christmas
Guild January 14th 2008
Craig, son of Kenneth Brett
– Ropemaker.
Graham Peregrine, son of Owen Richard
Oxnard – Cooper.

Apprenticeship Callings.
1st Calling,
Alexander James Spooner Simon Nicholas Harvey
Apprenticed to Capt John Lawrence Apprenticed to Capt John Lawrence
Fielding, Master Mariner. Fielding, Master Mariner.
(Freemen of Trinity House) (Freemen of Trinity House)

Easter Guild
New Freemen sworn in at Easter
Guild March 31st 2008
Robert Richard, son of Robert Richard
Atkinson (Snr) – Ropemaker.
Bryan, son of Robert Richard Atkinson
(Snr) – Ropemaker.
Nigel Julian, son of Clive Alwin Story
– Tanner.
Giles William, son of Clive Alwin Story
– Tanner.
Benjamin Stanley Roy, son of John
Rowland Lishman – Shipwright.

New Freemen sworn in at the Lord


Mayors Chamber Civic Centre

8th February 2008


Ian Anthony, son of John Michael
Andrews – Saddler.

28th April 2008 Guild photographs


Richard David, son of David William courtesy of Steve Brock Photography.
Marshall – Cordwainer. Tel 0191-2863430
Andrew Keir, son of David William Mobile 07932948245
Marshall – Cordwainer. email: steve@stevebrock.co.uk

14 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 15

The Companies of
the Freemen of
Newcastle upon Tyne
2008
Throughout England, in the twelfth Companies known as
and thirteenth centuries, Freemen’s Mysteries,
companies proliferated in nearly all
Merchant Adventures. Skinners
principal towns. Some of the earlier
Glovers. Taylors. Bakers Brewers.
companies were referred to as
Tanners. Cordwainers. Saddlers.
Mysteries – the name being derived
Butchers. Smiths.
from the French word “mistiere” , in
modern French “métier” (a trade).
There were other companies called Companies known as
Bye-Trades. Bye-Trades.
Master Mariners (renamed ‘Freemen
The purpose of a Freemen’s Company of Trinity House’2007). Weavers.
(whatever its title) was to strictly Barber Surgeons. Shipwrights.
maintain the standards, quality and Coopers. House Carpenters. Masons.
control of their particular trade within Joiners. Millers. Curriers. Colliers.
the town. The Freemen of these Slaters & Tylers. Plumbers.
companies also had a duty and
liability for the proper government of
Companies not of the
their town and for its defence from
Bye-Trades.
attack – exemplified in the motto on
Goldsmiths. Upholsterers. Bricklayers
our City’s Coat of Arms “Fortiter
Wallers Plasterers. Ropermakers.
Defendit Triumphans” (Triumphing by
Brave Defence). To this day, when a Scriveners.
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne is
admitted he is sworn before the Lord Hostmen, had no grant of Arms but
Mayor to defend the City. used a common seal.

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 15
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 16

Town Moor
Money Charity
The Charity exists to offer and you
financial help to Freemen, could be
Widows or Daughters in receipt
irrespective of where they live of a bi-
provided they are on a lower annual grant
income, grants are awarded in while you’re
June and December. in education.

One group we can also assist is In addition to


students, sons or daughters of the scheduled
Freemen who are embarking on Grants, our
Higher Education courses. With Charity can also
the cost of going to help Freemen,
University/College often a Widows or
burden, the TMMC is already Daughters, who
helping a number of students. “are in need”
If you know of a son or through unexpected encouraging to hear the
daughter of a Freeman who is expense at any time, grants have made such a
attending or about to start we can also assist with difference.
University/College please the purchase of disability items
encourage them to complete an or mobility equipment, if you Application Forms are available
application form and let us help are in doubt and would like to from Company Stewards, or
ease the financial burden so know if you would qualify, Moor
they can concentrate on write to me at the Moor Bank Bank
succeeding in acquiring their Lodge office with the Lodge
qualifications. particulars of your request, the
It is not just young people who address can Keith Hall
can benefit from the Charity in be found at the back of this Chairman
this way, Freemen entering into publication. and
adult Higher Education courses Trustee,
are often surprised to discover We have received many letters Town
they qualify; it only costs the of appreciation from applicants Moor
time to fill in the application who have benefited from the Money
form and the price of a stamp charity. May I say that it is very Charity.

16 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 17

Guild Hall, the


Merchants Court
We are currently considering redecorating the Merchants
Court. As a consequence of the age of the ornaments we
are seeking advice from English Heritage and shall be
speaking to those who specialise in this type of work.

The Merchants Court is a Christ’s feet; Christ healing


beautiful panelled room the blind man; the
within the Guild Hall, it feeding of the multitude;
was originally in the and John the Baptist
Maison Dieu and was built preaching in the
by Roger Thornton as a wilderness.
hospital in 1412.
The frieze around the top
In 1629 his descendant, Sir of the room depicts in
Richard Lumley sold the relief the planetary deities,
building to the Mayor and each seated in a wheeled
Burgesses of Newcastle for chariot drawn by an
the sum of £100. The animal, they are from left
Maison Dieu was rebuilt in to right Saturn, Juniper,
the mid 17th century as Mercury, the Sun, Venus,
the Guildhall by the Mars, and Mercury again.
architect Robert Trollope. The ceiling bears the date
The Merchants allowed 1620 shown by separate
the Maison Dieu to be figures in each of its four
demolished on condition corners. Arms of the past
the ornaments and benefactors and governors
furniture were preserved. adorn the walls, also the
governors chair and a fine
The chief ornament is the escutcheon showing the
magnificent carved mantel arms of the Merchants
taken from the Maison Adventurers of Newcastle.
Dieu bearing the date
1636, the two large Open Guild receptions are
carvings represent ‘The held in the Court after the
Miraculous Draught of swearing in of new
Fishes’ and the ‘ The Freemen. Many Guilds
Judgement of Solomon’ also use the room for their
smaller carvings depict meetings and associated
Mary Magdalene washing functions.

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 17
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 18

Freemen’s Bungalows
at Spital Tongues
A safe and friendly environment Although the properties are self the appropriate criteria.
to live being ideally situated and contained, residents who don’t
set in private landscaped feel like cooking may use the Bungalows are administered by
gardens, half a mile by bus or a
dining room to enjoy lunch in the St Mary Magdalene & Holy
nice stroll to Newcastle City
the company of like minded Jesus Trust,
centre for shopping and its
residents. Social activities are a
transport links to all regions (use
the new bus pass! if your lucky regular feature should you wish To have a look around please
enough to have one).There are a to participate. contact:
number of homes allocated
specifically for Freemen, their All in all the choice is yours you Miss Sharon Hepple,
widows or unmarried daughters can be self contained or be part General Manager
(unmarried daughters or being a
of an active community, but no St Mary Magdalene & Holy
divorced or widowed daughter
matter what the personal wish Jesus Trust,
of a Freeman) who would meet
income and capital criteria. So if or circumstances, assistance is Claremont Road,
you’re over 50 why not come always on hand giving peace of Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4NN
along and view the properties mind. There is also a residential Tel: 0191 2697920
and see if you qualify, but be care home for those who require emil: st.marymagdalene@
prepared to be hooked. a little extra help and who meet btconnect.com

18 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 19

Freemen of
England and
Wales Association
AGM Weekend 2008
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st August
The Freemen of England and Wales FEW Guild Membership on behalf of all
(FEW) is an association of Guilds or the Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne.
similar bodies of Freemen linked to What this means is that any Freeman of
various towns and cities throughout Newcastle upon Tyne, with his partner
England and Wales. There is also and family, may attend the FEW-AGM
“Individual Membership” available to weekends. This year, during the weekend
Freemen who have a strong commitment 29th to 31st August, the Freemen of Hale
to the objectives of the Association. will be the hosts for this popular 3-day
These objectives being: event.
To advance by research and The FEW-AGM weekend will be centred
publication, knowledge of the history at the Carnatic Conference Park (10
and legal custom of boroughs of minutes from the centre of Liverpool).
England and Wales, and the legal Apart from accommodation and meals,
Institution of the freedom the AGM, the lavish Gala Dinner and the
colourful Church Parade, there will Civic
To support and protect the legal
Receptions, sightseeing tours and talks
Institution of the freedom, within
on the local freedom packed into the
each of those several places in
weekend package. As always, there will
England and Wales being former
boroughs where that institution is to be plenty of opportunity to meet and
be found. chat to fellow Freemen who will have
travelled from the various towns and
In 1966, the Freemen of the City of cities spread all over England and Wales.
Newcastle upon Tyne were amongst the Total weekend package for 2 persons is
founders of the Association and only £315.
maintained a close involvement. Under
the auspices of FEW, the eminent For full details of this special weekend,
Newcastle Freeman, Robin Walker, and to obtain a booking form, contact
worked closely with Harry Ward and Mr Steve Turton, Tree Tops, Within Way,
Charles Sparrow QC to rectify the Hale, Liverpool L24 4BZ
omission of Freemen’s rights in the 1972 emil: steve.turton@dsl.pipex.com
Local Government Act. Then during the or telephone 0151 425 1361
years 1999-2002, Alan Robson (co-editor
of our magazine) was the President of
FEW. Today, Newcastle Freeman Joe
Petty is Chairman of the FEW Trustees
and is also FEW Warden of the North.
Our Stewards’ Committee maintains a Alan Robson

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 19
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 20

Thomas Davison and


Sir Thomas White Charities
Under 25 years old? Thinking of setting up a business, as a Freemen of Newcastle
you may qualify for assistance.
Thomas Davison the Younger Provided that you are a Freeman Applications should be made to
Charity, under a declaration of of Newcastle upon Tyne, and Barry Richardson Enterprise
trust dated 19th August 1755, is residing in and Development Team Manager,
for making gifts to young Economic Development Team,
Newcastle residents in need of intending to set up business Environment & Regeneration
assistance in setting up business within the City and less than 25 Directorate at the Civic Centre
in the City and preference is years old - then you may apply telephone 0191 232 8520
for help from the Thomas ext. 25668.
given to Freemen
Davison Charity or the Sir
Thomas White Charity.
Sir Thomas White Charity,
regulated by declaration of trust
Each Charity may issue a
dated 1st July 1566, is for
grant up to the amount set
making loans, free of interest for out as follows.
a period not exceeding ten
years, to young Newcastle Thomas Davison £2,600
residents in need of assistance in approx
setting up business in the City
and preference is given to Sir Thomas White £7,000
Freemen. approx

20 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 21

The Freemen
who carved a
name for himself
Peter Robinson of the Incorporated Company of Smiths has spoken of his great-great-
uncle Gerrard Robinson, who was born on 22nd December 1834 in Forth Street, Forth
Banks, Newcastle upon Tyne – son of a “Whitesmith”. He became a woodcarving
genius, famous for his detailed high relief carved furniture, oak panels and other pieces
which graced stately homes and churches of the time.

Gerrard Robinson is Robinson’s work held in the not a wealthy man.


particularly remembered for Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle “Unfortunately for himself”
his magnificent carved oak upon Tyne and the Shipley Art
wrote one of his
sideboards which each tell a Gallery, Gateshead. Samples
obituaries”Mr Robinson was
story like a book or a series of of his work can still be
three dimensional paintings admired today at these two so retiring and diffident a man
and are still highly prized venues. that he never got the credit
among the fine art and reputation that was due
connoisseurs of today. Among 2001 saw one of the Chevy to him. A more self-assertive
these are the Robinson Crusoe Chase Sideboards come up for
artist with half his talent
Sideboard, the Chevy Chase auction at Sotherbys, and they
would have made fame and
Sideboards (two were made), described it as one of the
the Shakespeare Sideboard, most important pieces of 19th fortune” However, there is
the Derby Day Sideboard, the century English furniture. It no doubt that the world of
Ivanhoe Sideboard, the Robin was sold to an American fine art is all that richer
Hood Sideboard and the buyer for $750,000.
because of the lifetime work
Burns Sideboard.
of this Newcastle upon Tyne
When Gerrard Robinson died
In 1991 there was a special from Phenomena on the 16th Freeman and master
exhibition of Gerrard March 1891 (aged 57) he was craftsman - Gerrard Robinson.

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 21
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 22

Diary dates
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st August (for all Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne)
FEW Weekend commences at 12 noon prompt. You must be
Freemen of England and Wales AGM weekend seated by 12 noon for the Open Guild in
in the Village of Hale, near Liverpool. readiness to receive the Lord Mayor.
The meeting concludes with new Freemen
Monday 6th October 2008 being called, and if present sworn in by the
Michaelmas Guild, upstairs in the Newcastle Lord Mayor. Following the proceedings a
Guildhall (on Quayside, bottom of Dean Street) buffet lunch is available in the Merchant
Adventurers Court.
Close Court of Guild
(for Company Stewards only) begins at 10am. Annual Guild Days
At this particular meeting the Stewards’ Christmas Guild
Committee is democratically elected via ballot - the first Monday after 13th January
for the ensuing year. Easter Guild
- the first Monday after Easter Monday
Open Court of Guild Michaelmas Guild
(for all Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne) - the first Monday after Michaelmas Monday
commences at 12 noon prompt. You must be
seated by 12 Noon for the Open Guild in
readiness to receive the Lord Mayor.
Gild of Freeman
The meeting concludes with new Freemen Monday 13th October 2008
being called, and if present sworn in by the Newcastle Gild of Freemen meeting, upstairs
Lord Mayor. Following the proceedings a buffet in the Newcastle Guildhall, starting at 7.30pm.
lunch is available in the Merchant Adventurers
Court. Monday 8th December 2008
Newcastle Gild of Freemen meeting, upstairs
Monday 19th January 2009 in the Newcastle Guildhall, starting at 7.30pm.
Christmas Guild, upstairs in the Newcastle
Guildhall (On Quayside, bottom of Dean Saturday 13th December 2008
Street) Newcastle Gild of Freemen Christmas Buffet,
upstairs in the Newcastle Guildhall, starting at
Close Court of Guild 12 noon. Booking forms must be returned to
(for Company Stewards only)) begins the Gild Hon. Treasurer before the
at 10am 10th December 2008.

Open Court of Guilds

22 FREEMEN MAGAZINE
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 23

Contacts
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Superintendent and Office
Mr K. Batey,
Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4NL
Tel: 0191 2615970
email: admin@freemenofnewcastle.org
Website: www.freemenofnewcastle.org

Gild of Freemen of Newcastle


Gild of Freemen of Newcastle,
Mr A. Robson,
“Monarkens Fryd,”
4 Parklands,
Hamsterley Mill,
Rowlands Gill,
Tyne and Wear, NE39 1HH
Tel: 01207 543509
email: alan.robson@freemenofnewcastle.org

Freemen of England and Wales Association


Warden for the North of England
Mr J.W.N. Petty
7 Wentworth Grange
The Grove, Gosforth
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1NL
Tel: 0191 2850591

FREEMEN MAGAZINE 23
FREEMAN ISSUE 5 MAY rework9 18/5/08 14:59 Page 24

Related Interests