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R 5

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We can proudly re
successful year in

The Town Moors are a

The Coat of Arms of the much revered jewel in
the crown of our city.
City of Newcastle upon Tyne
As guardians of this
famous ‘city lung’, the
Freemen have an
enshrined in modern
legislation, to care for
and ensure not only a
good standard of
presentation for
effectively grazing
cattle but to preserve
traditional rights of ‘air
and exercise’ for the
benefit of local
communities. In this
regard we work in
partnership with the
City Council whom I
know greatly value
our contribution as
Cover Photo: The Guildhall, Newcastle upon Tyne. part of a common
Copyright: City Repro, The City of Newcastle upon Tyne. purpose.
2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:40 Page 3



BE E 5
We can proudly reflect upon a highly
Editorial 4
successful year in all that we do. Environment 5
FEW Annual General Meeting 6
The Town Moors are a Newcastle Freemen
much revered jewel in have long held values Disenfranchised Company Keepers 7
the crown of our city. and principles dating Durham Visit 9
As guardians of this back hundreds of
Hoppings 10
famous ‘city lung’, the years and successfully
Freemen have an blend these in the Lady Freemen 11
overriding Customs of the Burgesses 12-14
modern age to match
public expectations. Town Moor Joint Working Group 16
enshrined in modern
The themes running
legislation, to care for London Freemen Visit 18
through this
and ensure not only a
publication reflect the Superintendents Report 19
good standard of
presentation for strength of our good Michaelmas Guild 20
effectively grazing governance and
Diary Dates 22
cattle but to preserve demonstrate we are
Various News 8/17/21
traditional rights of ‘air moving forward,
and exercise’ for the fortified by tradition,
benefit of local independence and a
Magazine Co-Editors:
communities. In this commitment to the Jim Johnson-Tanners Company, Stewards Committee.
regard we work in environment. Alan Robson (Resigned)-Bakers & Brewers Company,
partnership with the Gild of Freemen Hon. Treasurer.
City Council whom I Sir Leonard Fenwick
know greatly value The Newcastle upon Tyne Freemen Magazine,
CBE Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont Road,
our contribution as
Chairman Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4NL
part of a common
Stewards Commitee E-mail

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:40 Page 4

The ongoing positive feedback from our readers is a wonderful stimulus to the
Editorial Team.

For it is good to know that our Magazine is Unfortunately, we have to repeat this plea. It is
being so well received. Again we thank you for most important that the Editorial Team are
the kind words, your comments and notified as soon as possible when one of our
suggestions. readers changes his/her address. We must also
be informed of the relocation or passing on of
The benefits available to a Freeman of any Freemen. Thank you in advance for your
Newcastle upon Tyne and his family have been kind co-operation in this matter.
set out in great detail in the first four issues of
our Magazine. We suggest that you keep these Alan Robson has decided to relinquish his post
particular issues for your future reference. It is as joint editor; Alan is a Steward of the Bakers
our intention to reiterate such important and Brewers Company, the Gild of Freemen Hon
information in future publications of the Treasurer, and Past President of the FEW.
Magazine. We must pay tribute to Alan for his contribution
towards making our Magazine such a success,
As you can see from the various articles in this and are sure many readers will join us in
edition, the good management and maintenance thanking Alan for his determination over many
of the Town Moors continues, the Stewards’ of years to sustain the distribution of the original
the various Company Guilds meet on a tri- newsletter, then persuading the Stewards
annual basis to determine strategic priorities and Committee to effectively communicate with the
ensure good governance of the Freemen as a Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne by publishing
whole in serving Newcastle upon Tyne and this Magazine.
working with the City Council.
We look forward to reading your letters and
In our Magazine there are regular articles emails. Please do comment. Ideas always
relating to the fascinating history of the Freedom welcome.
of the City. We do hope these will rekindle your
pride in being a Freeman and encourage you to May we wish you all a very Merry Christmas
become actively involved in all that we do. There and a prosperous New Year.
is always a lot happening, as you can see when
you read through this edition.

“ For it is good to know that our Magazine is

being so well received, as we agonise over
the content for the latest issue. Again we
thank you for the kind words, your
comments and suggestions.

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:40 Page 5

Fence Line
Completion of the latest the Cowgate interchange,
phase of the Elizabethan Dukes Moor, Town Moor
metal fencing has been from Grandstand Road
completed on the Town gates up to the cattle
Moor adjoining pens.
Grandstand Road.
In the region of 4850 This is viewed as a long
metres of wooden fence term investment which no
have been replaced on doubt will pay dividends
various Moors with 4000 in the long term, it has
metres of new secure been gratifying to receive
metal fence and 850 such a positive response
metres of palisade fencing from the public and the
around the boundaries of City Council who are
Newcastle’s Town Moors pleased the Freemen are
over the last two years, investing so much in
this includes completion improving the
of; Castle Leazes, Nuns environment of this much
Moor perimeter facing cherished heritage.
Fenham Hall Drive and

Environmental Awareness
To complement our environmental work The new cattle
we are conscious of the need to recycle, pen which has
when installing the new Elizabethan metal been installed
fence line lengths of wood from the on Hunters
replaced fences are taken to the Moor Moor has been
Bank Lodge yard where it is checked by constructed using a considerable amount
our staff for suitability for reuse and if so of the reclaimed timber from recycled
dressed and cut into useable lengths wooden fences, resulting in a
which is then used in replacing or considerable cost saving on material and
repairing existing wooden fences. benefit to the environment.

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Newcastle Freemen with their partners at Hale

FEW AGM Report by Alan Bainbridge

In April I was asked by the Stewards Committee to take on the
responsibility of representing the Freemen of Newcastle upon
Tyne with the Freemen of England and Wales (FEW).

This was something I was Liverpool City Hall, St Georges I would like to be as
pleased to do as I have always Hall and Albert Dock, which complimentary about the
been a supporter of the turned out to be a wonderful business part of the weekend
Freemen of England and Wales experience, rounded off with a but I can’t, the Annual General
and took to my task with relish. sumptuous Sunday lunch Meeting was shambolic with a
provided for us by the Mayor touch of the Macabre.
One of the great things about of Halton on our final day.
this key responsibility was that I F E W are beavering away to
could attend the F E W Annual The Dinner on the Saturday progress a Bill in Parliament
General Meeting (hosted this night hosted by the Freemen of that would fundamentally
year by the Freemen of Hale Hale, in the Halls of Residence change the rules and customs
together with the Mayors of of Liverpool University, was a of how Freemen would operate
Liverpool and Halton) and splendid affair with all the throughout the kingdom,
participate with a voice of ladies in their best frocks and namely the Borough Freedom
informed authority on behalf of the gentlemen in their best bibs Bill 2, (which is described in
the Stewards Committee and and tuckers sitting down to a detail in this magazine) The
the Guild. gourmet meal, followed by first Stewards Committee is of the
class entertainment and opinion that the FEW should
The Freemen of Hale were dancing, until the small hours. not be acting in this way as the
perfect hosts I enjoyed their A special thank you must go to constitution of this organisation
company and very pleasant Steve Turton of the organising does not prescribe the authority
village environment. I did not committee who did so much to to pronounce on matters of
realise that there was such a make the weekend a total such a far reaching political
picturesque village so close to a social success. We were all very dimension. Subsequently
large industrial city. We enjoyed grateful. Michaelmas Guild confirmed
everything from the tour of that Newcastle would not have

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:40 Page 7

associated ourselves, had we Having witnessed the the various Guilds, that with
known that this was the path workings of FEW at close immediate effect we sever all
that they would take in such a quarters I do not believe links with the FEW until they
unilateral fashion. Newcastle upon Tyne Freemen can demonstrate that their
are best served by this values are similar to ours, was
The FEW constitution states organisation who has carried with only one vote
The objects of The Freemen of demonstrated they do not against, and one abstention all
England and Wales Association wish to listen to others nor of which served to reinforce
are to advance public consider the views that may my confidence in our
education in the freedom and interfere with what they traditions of open debate and
promote research into the consider to be important. democracy in the conduct of
history and legal customs of our affairs as a charitable
ancient towns of England and In an attempt to sum them institution.
Wales and the legal institution up, they are better at dressing
of the freedom, to publish the up for pomp and ceremony Alan Bainbridge
useful results of such research than they are at the business Stewards Committee
and in furtherance of this of addressing fundamental and Steward of the

ridge object to provide advice and

information concerning the
legal institution of the freedom
affairs of a well founded Guild
such as Newcastle who have
such meaningful

within each of those several responsibilities in partnership

places in England and Wales, with our City Council.
being former boroughs or
places where that institution is At Michaelmas Guild my
to be found. proposal to the Stewards of

Disenfranchised Company Keepers

Over a long period Guild has taken a united Freemen who are disenfranchised in respect of
approach to persuade and encourage those their claim to be admitted as Company
Guilds who pursued a policy of excluding Keepers to the House Carpenters. These
Freemen who can trace ancestral lineage back
Freemen from membership, because of, for
many generations, one whose ancestor was
example, a break in continuity through a apprenticed to no other than Henry Grainger
generation or a misdemeanour dating back in in the 19th Century have turned to the
times gone by, even though such Freemen Stewards Commitee in their quest for equity.
hail through the respective Company.
Not deterred and whilst mindful of having no
influence of authority in relation to the good
Guild is of the opinion, provided there is
governance of an individual Company Guild
demonstrable provenance that individual
has resolved to continue to encourage
Freemen should be granted admission to the change. It is recognised that the House
Company of their forefathers. To do otherwise Carpenters rarely give their attendance at
is a scenario Guild is not prepared to Guild, some 6 occasions only out of a possible
countenance. In recent years Companies have 48 since 1985. Due to these circumstances
shown commitment to refresh and modernise the decision was taken that their should be
so as to ensure equity on this issue. greater awareness of this issue across the
Disappointedly their does appear to be several Freelage.

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Exhibition Park Reconfiguration

To facilitate access for other than light vehicles and progress an overall reconfiguration of the Park, the
requirement of a ‘land exchange ‘ has been requested by the City Council.

After seeking and receiving the approval in principle at Guild the Stewards Committee are beginning
to address the detail of the request, assurance can be given that there shall be no loss whatsoever to
the overall herbage or designated Town Moor land thereby ensuring compliance with the
requirements of the Town Moor Act, 1988.

Long and Meritorious Service Motion Carried

Ian Miller, chairman of 1151 Ian receives
certificate from Newcastle Corporate
Squadron Wallsend Air Cadets, Baroness Gibson
was invited to RAF College membership of the Freemen of
Cranwell to receive a certificate England and Wales Association
for ‘long and meritorious discontinued.
service’ in recognition of 50
years with the squadron. The The Michaelmas Guild held on
certificate was presented by 6th October 2008 was virtually
Baroness Gibson. unanimous with all Stewards in
favour other than 1 voting
Apart from 50 years with Air Ian, Steward of the Shipwrights against and 1 abstention of a
cadets, Ian has also had 47 Company for 36 years, 30 as motion moved by Alan
years active involvement with Head Steward, has also served Bainbridge (Goldsmiths) and
the Youth Hostels Association on the Stewards committee for seconded by Chris Atkinson
and is regional vice-president. 18 years, during that time he (Ropemaker).
has also become well known for
To date he has clocked up 205 his work as the Town Moor
Note: This involves corporate
years of voluntary service with a Charity visitor where he and
membership of all Newcastle
variety of charities ranging from Ron Taylor are the link between
Freemen, but does not preclude
Age Concern Insurance and Freemen, their families and the
charity, taking recipients to the Companies or individual
Red Cross Stroke Club to
Dementia Initiative. pantomime and on coach trips. Freemen of a Company
exercising choice in this regard.

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Visit to Durham
An invitation from the Durham Freemen to visit Durham City on Saturday
24th May, resulted in around 75 Newcastle upon Tyne Freemen being
received by the Mayor of Durham Dr Grenville Holland and Mayoress along
with the Chairman of the Wardens of the Durham City Freemen, Mr John
Heslop who was supported by some 35 Durham City Freemen.

Guests were given a short talk on the history of David Wilson invited the hosts to visit Newcastle
the Durham Freemen, followed by a tour of the upon Tyne next year and they gratefully
Town Hall, the Council Chamber and the Burlison accepted.
on Carried Art Gallery, including a viewing of the Durham
Freemen and Corporation silver collection. Thanks are made to Stephen Healy Head Steward
Corporate of Freemen of Trinity House and Master of the
p of the Freemen of According to research done by our hosts, it was Gild, and to Alan Bainbridge Company Steward of
d Wales Association almost two hundred years since a social gathering the Goldsmiths and member of the Stewards
ed. of this kind had taken place between the Committee for liaising locally in Durham.
Freemen of the neighbouring Cities.
elmas Guild held on
er 2008 was virtually
After refreshments John
with all Stewards in
er than 1 voting Heslop presented their
d 1 abstention of a guests with a panoramic
ved by Alan photograph of the city by
(Goldsmiths) and John Atkinson. In return
by Chris Atkinson David Wilson, Vice
er). Chairman of the Newcastle
Freemen and Company
involves corporate Steward of the Ropemakers
p of all Newcastle
presented their hosts with a
ut does not preclude
Decanter on behalf of the
or individual
f a Company Freemen of Newcastle.
choice in this regard.

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Hoppings 2008 Dodging the Poor Weather

Despite the changeable weather, the 2008 Hoppings was viewed
as a successful event, due in the main to the condition of the
site thanks to the hard work of our staff in the preparation of
the site and combined with the kind weather during the
month leading up to the opening day.
The showground had benefited from the In co-operation
drainage works and service road widening which with the City
had been completed early spring 2007. Ricky Council we
Alder of the Stewards Committee a very busy introduced a
farmer and Company Steward of the Butchers bond for the
was on hand and advised on the best fertilization first time
to help the turf recover from the previous year, this year as
and along with the restriction on grazing this a means of
paid dividends as the sward flourished. A recouping unnecessary costs
decision by Kevin Batey not to pasture top the due to thoughtless misuse of the site
sward was found to be of great benefit in the a situation that did need to be curtailed, the
preservation of the site during the pull on, bond being fixed this year at £20,000.
set up, and during the fair. Many of the
show people commented they had Inspection after the event found apart from one
doubted whether the ground would or two concerns which were highlighted, a
be in a fit state after last year, and significant improvement on previous years was
made a point to compliment our apparent hence the decision was taken to return
staff on everything they the bond in full without any penalties.
had done.
The challenge now is to maintain the momentum
and work towards change that can help reduce
the risk of this event becoming non-viable
in the medium to long term. Further
improvement works are being
undertaken in readiness for 2009.

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The Borough Freedom (No.2)Bill

We are all familiar with the commonly confused in content of the No2 Bill has in
scope and content of the practice. The concern being the view of the Stewards
original Borough Freedom the grouping of the two Committee been undertaken
(Family Succession) Bill, together will only add to the without the authority and
conveniently referred to as the confusion.It also deals with mandate of Guild.
‘Beverley Bill’ which instigated giving local councils of certain
the move to ensure the rights Cinque Port towns the power In particular, the admission of
of women were consistently to confer the honour of women should be seen as an
addressed throughout England Freedom status on persons of absolute right in this day
and Wales. Newcastle upon distinction. and age, rather than
Tyne (Freemen and City the subject of ballots.
Council) unequivocally (ii) The Bill should allow for the There has been no
supported the Beverley Bill admission of women as consultation with the
because of its relative Hereditary Freemen per se’, Stewards Committee
simplicity, but unfortunately it does not do so. Instead it in this regard.
this Bill floundered. provides for individual
Freemen to propose this in the Guild expressed an
Lord Graham of Edmonton is form of a resolution, followed unequivocal
currently sponsoring the by a postal ballot of all mandate for the
‘Borough Freedom (No 2) Bill Freemen of the City Stewards Committee
as a fresh endeavour. The Bill is concerned, and would require to promote a much simpler
of direct interest to the a majority vote in favour for private Bill based on the more
Freemen of Newcastle upon women to be admitted as succinct and certainly less
Tyne and consequently of Hereditary Freemen. ambiguous Borough Freedom
indirect interest to the City (Family Succession) Bill. That
Council. (iii) Current legislation on Bill, as already highlighted
equal rights may not be used merely removes any
There are a number of to tackle this anachronism requirement that may exist
concerns about the Bill in its because of the difficulty in limiting admission to the
current form. establishing the provenance of freelage to the sons of
the exact rules relating to the Freemen, thus allowing
These are: rights of admission, the daughters to be admitted.
detailed provision of local
It is long and unnecessarily charters and the status of local The Stewards Committee is
complex, being over four customs and restrictions. liaising with the City Council to
pages in length while the Because of this, specific
ensure a Bill is formulated that
original Borough Freedom legislation is needed allowing
achieves our objectives whilst
(Family Succession) Bill was women to be admitted as
preserving the rights enshrined
about half a page in length. Hereditary Freemen. This will
oblige all Freemen (not just in the Town Moor Act.
(i) The No2 Bill attempts to those who vote to do so) to
deal with not only (a) the acknowledge equality of Contact has also been made
admission of women to the opportunity in the same way with the four Newcastle MPs
freelage by Guilds of Freemen, as the rest of society. i.e. Nick Brown, Jim Cousins,
but also with (b) the Doug Henderson, and David
conferment of the Freedom on The involvement of the FEW Clelland to pinpoint our
persons of distinction by local and their direct negotiations concerns. Do not hesitate to
authorities. The two are quite with Lord Graham as to the contact an MP on this issue.

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The Customs of the

Burgesses of Newcastle
upon Tyne
The Customs are the customary laws which are peculiar to the burgesses of Newcastle
upon Tyne. The influence of the Customs continued well into the nineteenth century,
although many were lost in 1972. From these Customs sprang a large part of municipal
law of seven English boroughs extending from Hartlepool to Alnwick and across to
Carlisle. Most of the Scottish boroughs also based their municipal law on the
Newcastle Customs.

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The earliest version of the granting freedom from tolls is in session in the borough or
Customs of the Burgesses of etc. The Customs from which the outsiders are serving in the
Newcastle upon Tyne, still in the burgesses had long since army or castle-guard. A
existence, is a hand written taken their privileges and burgess may not make
document in the Public based their administration distraint on another burgess
Records Office. (Translation within the borough (and without permission from the
follows this article) Dated continued to do so) had been reeve. If a burgess makes in
around the time of King Henry in existence 300 or more years the borough a loan of
I, It records the Freemen’s earlier. This is some 1200 anything of his to outsiders,
privileges at that time, which years ago in relation to the the debtor shall return it to
in turn gave the status of freedom that we proudly him if he acknowledges the
“borough” to the town. maintain today. debt; if he denies the debt he
Indeed evidence from the full should answer to justice in the
The word borough (Anglo Customs wording indicates borough. Pleas which are
Saxon burh) meant a fortified that roots of the Freemen of initiated in the borough should
place occupied by a settled Newcastle upon Tyne go back be tried and brought to
community of free men who to the Roman times. conclusion there, except those
possessed special privileges, which belong to the crown. If
and by those privileges was any burgess is accused in a
Customs of Newcastle
recognised and distinguished suit, he shall not plead outside
upon Tyne
from other towns and villages the borough unless the court
whose inhabitants did not These are the laws and fails to do justice. Nor, except
possess them. A borough customs which the burgesses in matters involving the crown,
could be a small as well as a of Newcastle upon Tyne had in should he defend without day
relatively large town or village. the time of Henry, king of and term being assigned unless
Consequently not all towns England, and ought to have. first he falls into error in his
were boroughs and not all Burgesses may distrain upon pleading. If a ship comes to
boroughs were towns. outsiders in the marketplace or harbour at Tynemouth, then
outside it, in their houses or wishes to depart, the
The Royal Charter given to the outside them, and within the burgesses may first buy
Burgesses of Newcastle upon borough and outside it, whatever they wish of its
Tyne in 1175 by Henry II was without the permission of the cargo. If a plea arises
of a normal type of the time, reeve, unless the County Court between a burgess and a

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:41 Page 14

"merchet, heriot,
blodwit, nor
Merchet was a fee for a
lord's permission for his
villein's daughter to marry,
and heriot a death duty
payable to the lord of a
deceased villein. Towns
were anxious to be free of
dues or services associated
with agricultural
communities. Blodwit was
a fine for an assault
drawing blood. Stengesdint
was a fine for striking with
a stick (i.e. causing injury
without drawing blood).
travelling merchant, it is to be defend himself by battle. Nor can
brought to conclusion before the a burgess do combat against an
third ebb-tide. Merchandize of outsider, unless he first quits the Footnote:
whatever kind brought by sea burgage. No merchant, unless a To gain an in-depth
ought to be put ashore, except for burgess, can inside or outside the knowledge of our history
salt, while herring should be sold town buy wool, leather, or other we recommend the reading
in the ship. If anyone holds land in merchandize from anyone except of “The Origins of
burgage for a year and a day, burgesses. If a burgess commits a Newcastle upon Tyne” by
lawfully and without claim against wrong, he shall give 6 ounces of Robert Fulton Walker M.A.,
it, he is thereafter not answerable silver to the reeve. There is no LL.M. published by
to any claimant, except one who merchet, heriot, blodwit, nor Thorne’s Students’
has been out of the kingdom or stengesdint in the borough. Any Bookshop Ltd in 1976
who was a child not old enough to burgess may have his own oven (ISBN 0 9504159 1)
bring legal action. If a burgess has and hand-mill if he wishes, saving The late Mr Walker was
a son living with him, the son shall the rights of the king's oven. If a Chairman of the Freemen,
share in the liberty of his father. If woman commits a wrong and hailed through the
a villein comes to reside in the concerning bread or ale, no one Plumbers Company.
borough and lives there for a year should interfere except the reeve.
and a day as if a burgess, he may If she commits the wrong twice, The first common seal of
stay in the borough forever, unless let her penalty be chastisement. If the burgesses dated from
he or his lord had previously she commits wrong a third time, its inscription prior to
announced that he would reside she is to be brought to justice. No- c.1200
only for a set term. If anyone one except a burgess may buy
accuses a burgess of anything, he cloth for the purpose of dyeing,
cannot prosecute by combat with nor make or cut cloth. A burgess
the burgess, but the burgess may may give or sell his land, unless his
defend himself by his law, unless right to it is challenged, and go
the accusation is of treason freely and peacefully wherever he
whereby he is obliged to wishes.

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:41 Page 15

erchet, heriot,
dwit, nor
het was a fee for a
permission for his
's daughter to marry,
Moor Bank Infrastructure Improvement
heriot a death duty Construction of the new agricultural infrastructure yard is to be widened and will include
behind the existing shed at Moor Bank Lodge electronically operated secure gates leading off
ble to the lord of a
began at the end of September with site Claremont Road.
ased villein. Towns preparation, then the laying of the foundations to
anxious to be free of accommodate the new portal frame Building. Completion is anticipated in readiness for start of
or services associated the 2009 grazing season.
agricultural The investment is a key component in a
munities. Blodwit was modernisation programme to provide a secure
for an assault area for storing tractors and other farm
ng blood. Stengesdint equipment, together with a workshop and
a fine for striking with ancillary storage.
k (i.e. causing injury
The old shed will be demolished and that area
out drawing blood). incorporated as part of the yard where a hard
standing is to be provided for plant along with a
car park for staff and visitors. The entrance to the
in an in-depth
ledge of our history

Notice Board
commend the reading
he Origins of
castle upon Tyne” by
Company Announce
rt Fulton Walker M.A.,
. published by
ne’s Students’ Steward Change
shop Ltd in 1976
Cordwainers Comp
any Plumbers Company
0 9504159 1) ior Steward. Richard Joyce Walke
David Loraine. Sen
ate Mr Walker was ward
Derek Lowdon. Ste
man of the Freemen, Scriveners Company
hailed through the Bereavements Peter Fenwick-Smit
bers Company.
Butchers Company Joiners Company
irst common seal of Paul Thompson Thomas Edward Hu
urgesses dated from
cription prior to Freemen of Trinity Taylors Company
0 Lionel Kent Hugh Patterson

Shipwrights Company mpany

Slaters & Tylers Co
Richard Hastings wdon
Thomas Henry Sno

nt Editor of our
igned his post as Joi
Alan Robson has res g to be associated with the FEW –
Magazine, not wishin
Borough Freedom
(No2) Bill article.
AGM Report or the

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 16

Town Moor
Joint Working
Continues to meet on a regular basis
addressing all aspects where joint
involvement occurs, with Freemen,
City Officers, Councillors, and an
Allotment representative attending,
Police presence had been agreed but
unfortunately they failed to appear,
hence this has now been taken up
with the City Council Chief Executive
and the Chief Constable.

Since the inception of the Town Some key issues of note and resurfacing work is
Moor Working group, the co- expected to start during
operation between the Freemen Anti-social behaviour November once the graziers
and the City has developed to a Fortunately occurrences of have removed the cattle.
stage where both parties agree vandalism and fly tipping have
that we now work with a reduced over the last month or
common purpose. so, this is normal during the
A sub group from the working
summer although as autumn
As intended through our moves into winter and the group has been established to
restructure we are now seen as nights cut in it is anticipated concentrate on all aspects of
a can do organisation with a extra vigilance will be required, the event, the lease, and to
willingness to progress issues if any unlawful activities are identify where and how
quickly, Communication seen please report to the police improvements can be made to
between City Officers and the by telephone on 0191-2146500 ensure the event is viable.
Town Moor Superintendent ask for control and obtain a Discussions will be ongoing
Kevin Batey has developed now crime number, then inform with the Northern Syndicate of
issues are progressed Kevin Batey, the Town Moor
the Showmen’s Guild with
immediately, or through liaising Superintendent on
regard to the event layout,
with members of the Stewards 07798771323 who will keep a
Committee Executive or Senior log of all reported incidents. management structure and
City Officers so decisions can responsibilities, as we have a
be taken quickly. Footpaths clear understanding as to
Concerns with regard to the improvements we are looking
footpaths on Castle Leazes are to achieve.
being addressed by the City,

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 17

Derek Lowdon
After serving 16 years on the Stewards Committee, Derek Lowdon of the Cordwainers
Company decided to step down at Michaelmas Guild.
Derek also recently stepped In appreciation for his service and he received a warm
down as Head Steward of his to the Freemen of Newcastle round of applause by the
Company, handing the a presentation of a case of Stewards of the various
administrative lead to David fine wine was made to Derek Guilds. Very much deserved, a
Loraine. Derek at 80 years of by the Chairman Sir Leonard Freeman through and
Fenwick at Derek’s final through, a 12 year stint as a
age said it was time to let
Stewards Committee meeting.
someone a bit younger take trustee of the Mary
over although he would Also, at Michaelmas Guild, Magdalene and Holy Jesus
always be on hand to give Derek was thanked for his Hospital must also not be
advice. commitment to the Freemen forgotten.

Derek says farewell to his Committee colleques.

W.G. Frizzle. C.G. Atkinson. M. Grey. K. Hall. J. Johnson. Sir Leonard Fenwick, Chairman. Derek Lowdon.
A. Bainbridge. D. Wilson, Vice Chairman. P. Anderson. I.F. Miller. H. Alder. F.H. Alder.

FEW - Warden of the North

The Freemen of England and Wales Association has appointed Captain Stephen
Healy as their new Warden of the North. He takes over from Mr J.W.N.Petty.
Stephen is Senior Steward of the Freemen Therefore, if you have any questions
of Trinity House, and current Master of the Gild relating to FEW activities or Individual
of the Freemen of Newcastle. Through which he Membership of their Association, these can now
was actively involved in organizing the visit to be channelled locally through Stephen.
Durham and the visit by the Past Masters of Captain Stephen Healy.
London Livery Companies to Newcastle of 43 Greenlee Drive,
which were both a resounding success. Dalesford Green,
Little Benton,
As FEW Warden, Stephen operates on behalf of Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7GA
the President of the Freemen of England and Tel: 0191 2159356
Wales Association in the North of England. Email:

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 18

Chairman Knighted
In June 2008 our Chairman Leonard Fenwick CBE
received the honour of being knighted in the Queens
Birthday Honours list, for services to Healthcare and to
the community in Tyne and Wear.
Sir Leonard has been our 1976. He became Chief Executive
Chairman for over 22 years and of all the city’s three major
during which time he has used hospitals which came under one
his expertise to ensure the organisation in 1997.
Freemen of Newcastle are
successful whilst fiercely He was quoted in the Press as
defending the values the
Newcastle Freemen hold with saying “He was lost for words, as
such pride and esteem. a Geordie born and bred I’m
very proud of the City and this is
Sir Leonard is Chief Executive of a credit for Newcastle, as well as
the Newcastle upon Tyne myself and colleagues.”
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,
having joined the NHS as a We are sure all Freemen will join
management trainee in 1965, with us in sending our warmest
taking charge of the new congratulations on a well
Freemen Hospital as long ago as deserved honour.

Web Site Success

The success of our new web site following the
launch at Easter Guild 2008 has outstripped all
expectations and is proving to be amazingly
popular with an estimated 1000+ Hits every
month(for the techno phobes that’s how many
times the site is viewed). We have received
compliments and enquiries via the Contact Form
from all over the world demonstrating the power
of the World Wide Web to deliver up-to-date
information on the Freemen of Newcastle any
where in the world 24 hours a day. Although the
majority of visits are from the UK a snapshot
taken over one weekend included visits from David Hughes, Steward of the Coopers Company
Middlefield (Connecticut), Mountain View our web master not only designed and built the
(California), Escanaba (Michigan), Jacksonville site but maintains and monitors the presentation
(Florida), Barrie (Ontario), New Delhi (Delhi), and content through his company
Sydney (New South Wales), Richardson (Texas).

Organisation Restructure
Significant improvement has been introduced and effectively sustained. The impact on the role and
responsibilities of Committee members and that of the Town Moor Superintendent has led to a
much greater cohesion with distinct responsibilities and effective team working.

We continue to address outstanding administrative issues such as better structured and secure
record keeping and archiving which is required to assist with the increase of ancestry
enquiries now received due to the publication of the Magazine and in particular the web site
re-launch which has certainly raised the profile of the Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne.

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 19

Visit by the London

Every year, the Masters of the Livery Companies of London form an
association, of which their Lord Mayor for that year becomes the
President. The 97/98 Association is a particularly active group and
Arnold Currall
approached the Newcastle Gild of Freemen to assist in organising a visit presents memento
to Newcastle upon Tyne, and in the first week of June they arrived. to David W Mann.

Following a visit to meet the Lord Mayor at the The Hostmen’s Company of Freemen.
Civic Centre the party of London Freemen and A talk by Sir Leonard Fenwick, Chairman of the
their partners were taken on a tour of the Town Stewards Committee, on origins of the Freemen
Moors, Keith Hall of the Stewards Committee of Newcastle, the acts of 1774 and 1988 and the
custodianship by the Freemen of the 1,000 acres
and Town Moor Superintendent Kevin Batey of pasture land within the City;
being on hand to answer questions and queries,
also to give a commentary on all aspects of A brief, yet illuminating, history of The Guidhall
activities from our environmental and grazing and the Hostmen’s Company was given by Joe
programme to the many larger events hosted on Petty Senior Steward of The Hostmen’s Company
the various Moors. of Freemen. The reply was given by David W
Mann Chairman, London Livery Past Masters’
The tour included a visit to the Mary Magdalene Association.
and Holy Jesus Trust where they were impressed
at the accommodation and facilities available to After an enjoyable lunch guests were presented
the Newcastle Freemen, Freemen’s wives, with mementoes of their visit. Arnold Currall
widows and daughters. presented an engraving of the Guildhall to David
W.Mann. all guests were presented with the
Then it was off to the Guild Hall where they publications of ‘The Institutions and History of
were greeted by the Hostmen’s Company who
performed their ancient function and organised a The Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne’ by Robin
Buffet Luncheon in the Merchant Adventurers Walker, ‘The Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Court to celebrate the visit, congratulations go to and the Town Moor’, by the Stewards
the Hostmen’s Stewards for a fine, well- committee, last but not least the icing on the
organised event, culminating in ‘A welcome to cake a copy of Issue4 of the Newcastle Freemen
our guests; by Dr Arnold Currall Governor, Magazine.

Letter to the Editor

Such co-operation enabled us We all came away having
Dear Editor to have a very special learned more about the region
In June of this year, a group of programme, which included: in a very privileged and
members of the Livery Past discussions with the Lord personal way. We were
Masters’ Association 1997/98 Mayor of Newcastle and the impressed both by the
of the City of London, of Mayor of Gateshead; lunch in history/traditions and by what
which I am chairman, visited Guildhall as guests of the the region has to offer now.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne together Most of all we were moved by
Hostmen’s Company (with
with their partners. The three- the warmth of the reception,
presentations on the Freemen
day programme was a great which left us wishing to find
of Newcastle as well as the
success and I would draw your some ways of maintaining the
Guildhall and the Company); links that had been formed.
readers’ attention to the
benefits that can come from and a dinner in Trinity House
good co-operation between hosted by our organisation Yours sincerely
groups of Freemen from (with distinguished guests
different cities. singing for their supper). David Mann

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 20

Superintendent’s Report
Reflecting back on what was again another disastrous summer, with
prolonged and heavy rainfall that caused localised flooding that had not
been witnessed since the sixties in many small towns and villages across
our region, it also had a big impact on the environmental programmes
that we had in place and were busy working on.
The installation of the Elizabethan Fencing At present staff are occupied with assisting
was postponed, as the ground was water the graziers to decant their cattle from the
logged to a point where the contractors moors to their winter holdings. And again
could not concrete the posts into position. despite the weather we can reflect back on a
The land has since drained and the Fencing successful grazing season.
installation is now complete, and once again
it is heartening to receive so many kind and Winter works tasks include, - hedge row
supportive comments. The weather had also
planting on the Town Moor and Dukes
stalled our reinstatement works to the Race
Moor incorporating rose hip and bramble.
Week Festival site, which was due to start in
The Moor Bank Lodge yard improvements
early July along with our extensive drainage
are a big morale boost for us. We shall also
scheme that we have had drawn up for the
site, as I write the above mentioned works be assisting specialist contractors with the
are just under way, and the Town Moor Staff reinstatement as well as the new drainage
are assisting with these. on the main Town Moor. On going rubbish
clearing from all Moors as fly tipping and
Guild Photographs courtesy of Steve Brock Photography. Tel 0191-
The Hoppings came and enjoyed a relatively less than desirable public behaviour
dry spell and vacated the site leaving continues to bedevil us in this day and age.
minimal reinstatement. The Chinese State We continue to work with the agencies that
Circus had enjoyed a well-attended affair are holding events on the Town Moors over
until a frightful weekend which flooded out the Winter Period.
their Big Top and put paid to the opening on
the penultimate Saturday and making May I take this opportunity to wish all
vacating the site on the subsequent Sunday readers of the magazine a Happy Christmas
evening for them and our staff a night to

and best wishes for the New Year. Also to

remember. Other charity events that were
express my appreciation to the many local
scheduled to take place on the Moors across
residents as well as City Councillors and staff
our “summer” unfortunately had to be
who assist in so many ways.
cancelled but the likes of the Mela and the
Green Festival were fortunate and these
events went according to plan so it Kevin Batey
was not all doom and gloom. Town Moor Superintendent.

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 21

Stewards Committee
Following their election at Michaelmas Guild the Stewards Committee
were pictured with the Lord Mayor and the Mace and Sword Bearers.

Existing members all stood for re-election with the exception of Derek Lowdon. The Committee
welcomed new member Harry Alder.

T. Carter, Mace Bearer.

F.H. Alder. C.G.
Atkinson. K. Hall. M.
Grey. J. Johnson.
Councillor David Leslie
Wood, Lord Mayor. Sir
Leonard Fenwick,
Chairman. A.
Bainbridge. D. Wilson.
P. Anderson. W.G.
Frizzle. H. Alder. I.F.
Miller. M. Osborne,
Sword Bearer.

New Freemen.
Sworn in 6th
Guild Photographs courtesy of Steve Brock Photography. Tel 0191-

October 2008
Robert, son of
Barry Graham.
Plumber. Harry
Edward Taylor, son
of Richard Michael
Grey. Scrivener.
Jonathan Peter
Lawrence, son of
Peter Lionel Horace
Kent. Master

Mariner. (Freemen
of Trinity House).
James William, son
of David James
Brown. Butcher.

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 22

Diary dates
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Monday 19th January 2009 Close Court of Guild
Christmas Guild, upstairs in the Newcastle (for Company Stewards only) begins at 10am
Guildhall (on Quayside, bottom of Dean Street)
Open Court of Guild
Close Court of Guild (for all Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne)
(for Company Stewards only) begins at 10am commences at 12 noon prompt
You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open
Open Court of Guild Guild in readiness to receive the Lord Mayor.
(for all Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne)
commences at 12 noon prompt, You must be The meeting concludes with new Freemen
seated by 12 Noon for the Open Guild in being called, and if present sworn in by the
readiness to receive the Lord Mayor. Lord Mayor. Following the proceedings a
buffet lunch is served in the Merchant
The meeting concludes with new Freemen Adventurers Court.
being called, and if present sworn in by the
Lord Mayor. Following the proceedings a Annual Guild Days.
buffet lunch is served in the Merchant Christmas Guild - the first Monday after
Adventurers Court. 13th January
Easter Guild - the first Monday after
Monday 20th April 2009 Easter Monday
Easter Guild, upstairs in the Newcastle Guildhall Michaelmas Guild - the first Monday after
(On Quayside, bottom of Dean Street) Michaelmas Monday

Newcastle Gild of Freemen

Monday 8th December 2008

Newcastle Gild of Freemen meeting, upstairs in
the Newcastle Guildhall, starting at 7.30PM

Saturday 13th December

Newcastle Gild of Freemen
Christmas Buffet, upstairs in the
Newcastle Guildhall, starting at
12 noon. Booking forms must be
returned to the Gild Hon.
Treasurer before the 10th
December 2008.

Monday 9th March 2009

Newcastle Gild of Freemen meeting
upstairs in the Newcastle Guildhall,
starting at 7.30pm

Gild Hon Treasurer, Alan Robson

4 Parklands, Hamsterley Mill, Tyne &
Wear, NE39 1HH.
Tel: 01207 543506

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 23

Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne

Superintendent and Office
Mr K. Batey,
Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4NL
Tel: 0191 2615970

Moor Bank Lodge

2 FREEMAN ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 08 21/11/08 14:42 Page 24

The Coat of Arms of the

City of Newcastle upon Tyne

PUBLISHER Cherrington Advertising Limited Tel: 01325 304360 Email:

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