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ISSUE 6 MAY 2009

The Coat of Arms of the
City of Newcastle upon Tyne

Front Cover Picture:

Black Gate and Castle Keep Newcastle upon Tyne
Foreword Contents
4 Editorial

5 Superintendent’s Report

6-9/15 News

10 Christmas and Easter


11 Lord Mayor

12-14 900 years of New-castle

To say 2009 poses a challenging set
of circumstances for the Freemen of 16 Freemen Social
Newcastle is an understatement.
17 Putting the record straight
The economic downturn is an obvious issue
requiring prudent management to ensure
routine commitments are met as well as 18-19 Looking towards Lady
sustaining a programme of improvements. Freemen
However there is something much more
fundamental and this involves government 20 Mail to the Editor
sponsored legislation which following
extensive amendment in the House of 21 Notice Board
Lords, shall it to progress through the
House of Commons un-amended, serve
to inflict uncertainty and ambiguity into 22 Dairy Dates
the long established soundly based good
governance that has ensured Newcastle
Freemen are held in high esteem. All of
this has so unnecessarily arisen because of
our longstanding simple wish to modernise
affairs and ensure equality with women
as well as men admitted to the Freelage.
We left in trust the task to others who have
lobbied with a different set of values and
as a consequence we may well long
regret the outcome. We are however most
vigilant and shall do all that we can to
persuade Parliament accordingly.
Magazine Editor:
On a more positive note the Magazine is Jim Johnson
receiving such positive feedback. This Tanners Company, Stewards Committee.
is most heartening as the circulation
continues to widen. The Newcastle upon Tyne Freemen
Magazine, Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont
Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4NL
Sir Leonard Fenwick
Chairman, Stewards Committee E-mail

FreemenMagazine 03
The amount of complimentary comments received
following the publication of Issue 5 far surpassed our
expectations and gives us great heart for which we are
very grateful.

Our aim is to keep our readers the introduction of a Forum via our
fully informed on all aspects of the web site, views can be exchanged
Freelage, including the work of the or comments made, enabling all
Stewards Committee intertwined with Freemen to interact.
a touch of the History of the Freelage
and our fair City. Your thoughts ideas or suggestions on
all that we do, and the content of the
In this issue we cover many issues, magazine are always welcomed.
including the good government of
the Freemen of Newcastle, caring for One plea we repeat in each edition
the Moors; Close and Open Guilds; is that we are kept informed of any
and in particular our commitment change of address or circumstance,
to encourage participation of all unfortunately we still had a quantity
Freemen in our affairs. We are actively of Issue 5 returned marked ‘moved
seeking to inform on all aspects of the away’. In essence there are now
Freelage of Newcastle by bringing over 100 Freemen not receiving the
together Freemen with their families publication and as a consequence
at our social event. In addition with are losing out.

04 FreemenMagazine
Superintendent’s Report
Spring is now upon us and the Town this environmental issue. On the Town
Moors have lost that naked feeling Moor and Dukes Moor the planting of
as the cattle returned for the grazing rosehip and bramble is now done and
season. Our fertilizer programme has is growing well, this should encourage
been completed. This is an expensive more wildlife into our hedgerow
“must” if we wish to keep the high and provide more cover and food
standard of herbage for the cattle for its inhabitants. There is as ever a
that graze our Moors. I reported in downside to our job and I have to
the autumn issue of the magazine report that the staff are witnessing
that the Moor Bank Lodge yard a significant increase in “fly tipping”
improvements were underway, I can especially on Nuns Moor North, where
now inform that this project is now we are working closely with the
complete and has been finished City Council. We are determined to
to a very high standard, it has also prosecute offenders who simply see
improved access and security to our the Moors as a convenient dumping
premises. The drainage contract that ground. On another sad note in
has been ongoing for some time has December we witnessed an attack
also been completed, a whole new of illegal bottle digging on Nuns Moor
system has been installed, the new Central. The Stewards Committee had
system picks up all the old drainage to act, and so sought professional help
to ensure that the Race Week Festival through Mr Stuart Platt who removed
site can be drained far better than all bottles. Following reinstatement
in the past. New drainage has also the site has now been fenced off
been installed on the Town Moor and seeded, and fingers crossed the
adjacent to Grandstand Road where problem of illegal digging has also
we had flooding issues, this problem been buried. We continue to strive to
has now been rectified with Mr David maintain and enhance this historical
Walton our drainage contractor and open space.
Mr David McCourt of Newcastle City
Council. It must be said together both Kevin Batey
agencies worked well to overcome Town Moor Superintendent

FreemenMagazine 05
Merchant Adventurers
Progress is ongoing to refurbish and re-decorate the Merchant Adventurers Court
within the Guildhall by specialist contractors. Napper Architects have been
instructed to act as professional advisers, their task is to ensure a professional
approach to tender documentation for the refurbishment and re-decoration
to the decorative plastered upper walls and ceiling as well as cleaning of the
associated artwork. The ceiling dated 1620 will require sensitive professional
restoration. Assurances will be sort from the City, as to the integrity of the roof
and outside walls in respect to ingress of dampness prior to commencement of
the work. Napper shall also act as contract administrator through to satisfactory

Cattle bring the

Moors to life
All Moors were made ready to receive
the Town Moor herd on 31st March,
with fences and cattle pens checked,
rubbish cleared (fly tipping being an
ongoing problem). Some 550 head
of cattle bring the Moors to life once
again, many residents residing on the
perimeter look forward to the return of
the cattle as it signals the onset of Spring.

It is a very busy time for our staff, who

after all the preparation know the

Footpaths hard work starts when the season

kicks in. They have responsibility to
ensure the safety and welfare of the
The City Council responded to cattle with daily rounds of checks, the
concerns expressed during the last being carried out at night which
Town Moor Joint Working Group takes on call staff approximately 2
over the condition of the footpaths hours to complete the visual checks
on Castle Leazes, and at the of cattle decanted on the various
end of the 2008 grazing season Moors. Local residents do play a
moved to resurface the paths vital role by informing staff directly of
from Richardson Road to Halls of potential problems all of which can
Residence and Richardson Road assist in securing a rapid response to
to Barrack Road. The remaining either alleviate the problem, or to
footpaths on Castle Leazes are inform the grazier or arrange visit by
within a rolling program of footpath a vet. This community spirit is so much
improvement by the City Council. appreciated.

06 FreemenMagazine
Bottle Digging Freemen
Vandals Forum
Extensive incursions
by illegal bottle
digging gangs in
November 2008, with Internet forums have become
resultant damage and very popular, and provide a
significant safety issues communication vehicle where
necessitated prompt action to remedy a like minded people can air their
most problematic scenario. Diggings of up views or initiate discussions, you
to six feet in depth appearing overnight can enter a forum and become
presented a considerable danger to the active within a subject or just to
public. Our staff informed by concerned view what is going on. When a
local residents of the presence of diggers member leaves a post it is visible
liaised closely with the Police and directed to all other members who can
them to specific areas thereby enabling react by adding a comment thus
several arrests. generating discussion.

Organised gangs, some travelling from as Our new internet Forum is up and
far as Manchester to undertake extensive running and waiting for your input
excavations in the dead of night, were and comments. It’s a great way
acting, without any concern for the for you to pass comments ask
damageforums have become
and dangerous conditions they You can create
questions oran account
answer queriesviaonthe
very popular,
left. This was a and highlyprovide a
challenging scenario web site ‘news
aspects section’
of the or directly
for everyone in the vehicle where like Often at ‘http://freemenofnewcastle.
local community.
minded people can
when challenged air staff
by our theiror You can create
Police, the’,
views an account
then by following
or initiate
gangs would discussions,
drop theiryou canequipment thesevia
digging the
few web site
simple ‘news
steps – from
enter a forum
and torches and become
(8 digging spades and the home
forks, 6 active section’ or directly
page select at ‘http://
within a subject
12 torches in one or just before
night) to viewscurrying freemenofnewcastle.forumotion.
Information’ then ‘ Registration
away isinto
what the darkness.
going on. When a member com’, then
Guidelines’ by following
before you know these
leaves a post it is visible to all few simple steps – from
you could be participating in the the home
A performance page select ‘General Information’
other memberscontract who canwith a specialist
react by Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
company then ‘ Registration Guidelines’
adding a was
commententered intogenerating
thus by issuing of a forum.
digging licence with payment and security before you know it you could be
bond to cover risk of less than satisfactory participating in the Freemen of
reinstatement. The contractor effectively Newcastle upon Tyne Forum.
Our new internet Forum is up and
cleared the site of Victorian glass artefacts
running and waiting for your input
rendering further illegal digging pointless.
and comments, it’s a great way for
Following the reinstatement of the site
to thetosatisfaction
pass comments ask questions
of the Town Moor
or answer queries on
Superintendent Kevin Batey, all aspects of was
the bond
the Freelage.
returned in full.

We now believe there are no further ash/

earthenware/glass tips dating back to the
19th Century that shall attract these gangs.

FreemenMagazine 07
Environment Improvement
The torrential rain in September completed. To date expenditure
2008 provided a most challenging amounting to £781,000 has been
set of circumstances especially in incurred with an estimated £650,000
and around the Grandstand Road necessary to complete those areas
entrance to the Town Moor, with a that can also benefit from this standard
sizable pond forming. Investigation of installation. In addition, the areas
found the problem was exacerbated where vandalism is a constant
by a silt build up in the drains with challenge and highly problematical
the main drain under the Great to resolve e.g. Cowgate, alternative
North Road being choked with tree solutions to the Elizabethan profile are
roots. As a consequence extensive called for.
drainage work has been undertaken
in partnership with the City Council to Due to the prevailing economic
resolve the problem. conditions a cautious approach to
capital expenditure is being taken
The phased installation of the and this shall impact on the pace and
Elizabethan metal fence adjacent phasing of further works in the overall
to the Jubilee plantation has been programme of improvements.

Visitors on the Drainage

Improvement on
Town Moor Hoppings Site
A local ornithologist has informed of a
flock of Golden Plovers which inhabit The drainage in the southern areas
the Town Moor as their winter roost. of the Hoppings site has over the
Numbers have been increasing over years with compaction become
the last few years. The Plover appears ineffective and combined with the
to have found an ideal spot to take wet end to 2008 caused saturation
up residency. Kevin Batey, Town Moor of the turf creating a situation
Superintendent does say how pleasing where major drainage works
it is to observe wild life benefiting from became necessary.
the environment and
how the flock is now A specialist drainage contractor,
so strong. We do David Walton, has undertaken a
take as great a care full survey and then undertaken
as possible not to significant work over the first
disturb the habitat of quarter of 2009 to ensure necessary
this much welcomed improvements were completed in
visitor. time for the Hoppings.

08 FreemenMagazine
Moor Bank Lodge
Moor Bank Lodge agricultural area
reconfiguration has now been
completed, with the construction of
the new agricultural building, and
the demolition of the old shed. It
provides a modern, spacious facility
with enhanced security and storage
for our plant and safekeeping of fuel
and materials. Future plans include
minor refurbishment of the 19th century
outbuildings to facilitate an improved Finally the yard area has been finished
workshop for plant maintenance and with the laying of tarmac giving a
staff room facilities. much improved working surface and
parking area, all finished with pin kerb
The access leading from Claremont edging.
Road has been widened to
accommodate the ever increasing Moor Bank Lodge will in the coming
size of agricultural plant, electronically months be upgraded to improve
operated security gates have also the residence of the Town Moor
been installed. The gates were specially Superintendent and also address
made by local craftsmen to enhance elements of backlog maintenance
the entrance to Moor Bank Lodge while as well as essential refurbishment
giving a high level of security. including some minor demolitions.
Internet forums have become You can create an account via the
very popular, and provide a web site ‘news section’ or directly
communication vehicle where like at ‘http://freemenofnewcastle.

Hoppings 2009
minded people can air their views
or initiate discussions, you can
enter a forum and become active’, then by following
these few simple steps – from
the home page select ‘General
within a subject or just to view Information’ then ‘ Registration
We are looking forward to welcoming of the sward. Leaving the grass long
what is going on. When a member Guidelines’ before you know it
the Showmen who will be arriving was found to not only help protect the
leaves a post it is visible to all you could be participating in the
week commencing 15th June 2009 to surface but assist in absorbing excess
other members who can react by
begin the setting up of the Rides and
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
moisture this protecting the surface.
adding a comment
Stalls which make up thus generating
the spectacular forum.
that is the Hoppings, which will A decision was taken by ourselves
be opened by the Lord Mayor at and the City Council to defer any rent
Our newFriday
1:30pm internet
19th . isThe
andhas increase this year and hold cost at last
receivedand waiting for your
a considerable amount input
of years level. We feel this demonstrates
and comments,
preparation it’s a great way
and improvement overfor our commitment to the Hoppings and
you to pass
the past comments
year, ask questions
including improved an understanding of the difficulties
or answerand sward
queries oncultivation.
all aspects There
of business is experiencing in times of
will be
the no grazing of the area prior to
Freelage. severe economic downturn.
the event to allow maximum growth

FreemenMagazine 09
LEFT: Trevor Cartner, Mace Bearer.
David Wood, Lord Mayor. Thomas J. Green.
Sir Leonard Fenwick, Chairman.
M. Osborne Sword Bearer.

BELOW: New Freemen with Trevor Cartner,

Mace Bearer. David Wood, Lord Mayor.
Sir Leonard Fenwick, Chairman.
M. Osborne Sword Bearer.

Christmas Guild 19th January 2009

New Freemen
Thomas James son of James Curry Green - Cordwainer.

Apprenticeship Callings
1st Calling
Paul Stubley. Apprenticed to Capt David Harkness - Master Mariner.
(Freemen of Trinity House)
Joseph Anderson. Apprenticed to Capt David Harkness - Master Mariner.
(Freemen of Trinity House)
Steven McNaught. Apprenticed to Capt John Fielding - Master Mariner.
(Freemen of Trinity House)

Easter Guild
20th April 2009
New Freemen called and sworn in.

Kenneth son of Stanley Brown - Smith

Thomas Stewart son of Thomas Stewart - House Carpenter
Andrew John son of Stephen Foggin - Taylor
Anthony Stephen son of Stephen Foggin - Taylor
Paul John son of John Charles Foggin - Taylor
Jonathan David son of Malcolm George McGill - Cooper
William Robert son of Robert Row - Bricklayer

New Freemen called at Guild, swearing in to be arranged.

Michael Sebastian Christopher son of Christopher Peter Bulman - Tanner

Guild photographs courtesy of - STEVE BROCK Photography

Tel: 0191-2863430 Email: STEVE@STEVEBROCK.CO.UK

10 FreemenMagazine
A Year in Office as Lord Mayor
Having been born and educated in accepted. The look of sheer terror
Newcastle I felt extremely proud and on my face can be plainly seen but
privileged in May of last year to be having been offered a substantial
elected to the position of Lord Mayor amount of money for my chosen
of Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle charity to participate gave me no
is a proud and ancient city and to be option and I thoroughly enjoyed
able to promote and participate in myself.
many different events was something
the Lady Mayoress and I were looking To be able to participate in the Guilds
forward to with anticipation. has given me much pleasure and on
behalf of the City I wish to place on
One of the very first “duties” when record my thanks to all involved in
becoming Lord Mayor is to officially continuing this wonderful tradition. The
open the “Hoppings”. When I was a Freemen of the City play a big part in
young boy I looked forward every the heritage of Newcastle and long
year to the fair coming to the Town may it continue. When my term as
Moor and never thought that one day I Lord Mayor comes to an end I shall
would have the privilege of officiating remember you with great affection and
at the ceremony. As I was growing up look forward to meeting up with friends
I was unaware (as were a lot people) I have made in the years to come.
of the association that the Freemen of
the City had with the fair and the Town Rest assured I shall still be attending the
Moor but having been acquainted with Hoppings with my granddaughter but
Sir Leonard Fenwick (then just plain old taking part in more sedate concessions
Len) over the ensuing years he was which will not fill me with such fear.
quick to inform me of the nature of the
relationship. Best wishes

On the day of the opening I was David Wood, Lord Mayor of the City of
“challenged” by the organisers to ride Newcastle upon Tyne.
on the “Wall of Death” and I gleefully

FreemenMagazine 11
900 years of

In the year 1080, William the Conqueror Northumberland as part of a treaty with
sent his eldest son, Robert Curthose, King Stephen of England. The Scots held
north to fight King Malcolm, he led his Newcastle and Northumberland for 18
troops north to Egglesbroth, but found years, and in 1156 a treaty was signed
no opposition. So, he turned back south returning Newcastle to English control.
again and built the ‘new castle’ by the Between 1168 and 1178, King Henry
Tyne. The castle built on a strategic site ordered the ‘new castle’ be rebuilt in
was probably built of earth and timber. stone at a cost of £1,114,5s,6d. In 1174
William of Scotland (known as the Lion)
In 1086, the year the Domesday Book invaded Northumberland, William was
was completed, the ‘new castle passed captured and imprisoned in Newcastle’s
into the hands of Robert de Mowbray, unfinished Keep, before being shipped
Earl of Northumberland, a supporter to Rouen where he was ransomed for
of Curthose’s claim to the throne. £4000.
Nine years later, William Rufus and
his army besieged the ‘new castle’ In 1213, King John of England ordered
damaging the fortress enough so that repairs to be made to the Castle walls,
the defenders surrendered, Robert de and 1000 jars filled with lime were
Mowbray escaped to Bamburgh, where ordered for defenders to throw at the
he continued to resist the king. After the enemy. Between 1247 and 1250, the
Earl was finally caught, William Rufus Barbican (Black Gate) was added
repaired the damage to the ‘new castle’ to the castle, twenty years later the
Keep underwent major repairs and in
In 1135, King David I of Scotland 1272 the Town Walls of Newcastle were
captured Newcastle, and four years begun under the reign of Edward I.
later Henry, David’s son became Earl of William Wallace was turned away from

12 FreemenMagazine

Newcastle in 1297, then in 1298 after his of local authority jurisdiction, many
execution, his right arm was displayed offenders took refuge inside. Between
on one of the bridges crossing the Tyne, 1400 and 1415 Newcastle witnessed a
and other parts of his anatomy were put rebellion against Henry IV by the Percy
on show on the Keep. In 1333, Edward III family, part of the quartered body of
ordered repairs to the Town Walls and a Harry Hotspur, son of Henry Percy (Earl
survey to be done on the castle. In 1335, of Northumberland) was displayed on
the survey showed the castle was “so the Castle walls. Later the head of Sir
decayed and left to neglect that there Thomas Grey of Wark was displayed
is not in all the castle a single room over the gate at Newcastle after his
where one can be sheltered, nor a gate execution for treason.
that can shut”. Seven years later, after
the defeat at Neville’s Cross, Scots King In 1589 Queen Elizabeth granted the
David was imprisoned in the Newcastle town authorities licence to enter the
Keep. grounds to seize criminals. In 1640 the
Scots occupied Newcastle for a year,
In 1348, the Black Plague ravaged until the English Parliament paid the
the country, and about a third of the Scots £300,000 to leave. During the first
population was decimated. The year English Civil War in 1642 Newcastle
1400 saw a big political change to remained staunchly Royalist, and Sir
Newcastle, when King Henry IV granted John Marley was elected Mayor. When
a charter essentially making Newcastle 21,500 Scottish troops led by Alexander
into a county in its own right, with the Leslie attacked Newcastle in 1644, it is
exclusion of the castle and county gaol reported Marley used dung from the
and its lands which remained part of huge accumulated dung and rubbish
Northumberland and therefore outside heap to reinforce the castle walls. The

FreemenMagazine 13
Scots besieged the castle for 3 weeks, 7th May 1812, John Robson, a gunner
before turning south and defeating fired the first shot, and forgot to swab
the Royalist Army sent to defend out the cannon before he put in the
Newcastle, and then returned to the second shot. The cannon, still hot, lit
siege at Newcastle. An additional the second charge before he was
10,000 Scots under the Earl of ready, blowing off Robson’s hand and
Callender came south to join the siege the impact threw him from the roof
which lasted two months until finally of the keep. It was noted that firing
the Scottish guns breached the walls the cannon was often setting fire to
on 19th Oct, Marley and his garrison the densely packed houses around
retreated to the Keep, where they the Keep… and the practice was
held out for a further three days. It was discontinued.
this siege that gave Newcastle the
motto ‘Fortiter Defendit Triumphans’ On 19th June 1813 the fully restored
(‘she bravely defends and triumphs’) Keep was opened to public view, yet
awarded by a very impressed Charles I. continued to be used as a debtors
prison until moved to a new gaol in
In 1685 King James II, made the Castle 1823. In 1847, a railway viaduct was
Garth part of the town of Newcastle. constructed directly though Castle
One of the most bizarre incidents in Garth, effectively cutting the Castle
the Keep’s history took place in 1733, in two. A year later the, the Society of
that of the Flying Donkey. A showman Antiquaries rented the Keep for their
drew a crowd with the statement that museum, In 1882, Newcastle became
he would wear wings and fly from the a City, and between 1883-1885, the
top of the keep: however, he became Barbican, or Black Gate was restored
nervous and instead strapped wings to and the Society of Antiquaries moved
a donkey and pushed it from the top there, though they continued to
of the 100’ tall tower. Amazingly, the manage the Keep for the City Council.
donkey survived the fall,due much to
the unfortunate spectator on whom
the beast landed (who didn’t survive).
In 1778, records indicated that the
Chapel was being used as a beer
cellar, and by the end of the century,
the Keep was in such a state of
disrepair as to be no longer regarded
as a defensive structure. An icehouse
had been dug into the southwest
corner, and a currier was known to
have a workshop within the building.
The roof was even used as a cabbage

Between 1810 and 1812 this began to

change. The Newcastle Corporation
purchased the remains of the Castle
and began restoration, the authorities
decided to fire a cannon from the roof
of the Keep at noon each day and on
special occasions. Unfortunately, on

14 FreemenMagazine
Armistice Sunday 2008
An invitation from the Lord Mayor Monument, where he took the salute
Councillor David Leslie Wood to join from the various Regiments and Services.
the Civic Party in the Remembrance
Day parade was graciously accepted
by the Stewards Committee.

The Parade left from the Brunswick

Centre and processed along Blackett
St to the City War Memorial Eldon
Square. David Wilson, Keith Hall,
Alan Bainbridge, Bill Frizzle, and Jim
Johnson, accompanied Sir Leonard as
he laid a poppy wreath on behalf of
the Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Following the service and laying of the

wreaths the party accompanied the
Lord Mayor to the saluting dais at Greys

Freeman Honoured
The late Mr John G.Annan, submitted the press cutting below from
World War 1. Captain J.A.Liddell V.C. Freeman of Newcastle upon Tyne,
and a Company Keeper of the Tanners Company.


The death has occurred at La Panne, Belgium, on August 31st, of Captain John Aidan
Liddell, V.C., 3rd Battalion (Princess Louise’s) Argyll Sutherland Highlanders and the Royal
Flying Corps. The late Captain Liddell was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs John Liddell, of
Sherfield Manor, Basingstoke, formerly of Prudhoe Hall, and the grandson of the late Mr
J Liddell of Benwell. He died from wounds received on July 31st, while making a flying
reconnaissance over Ostend, Bruges, -Ghent, and the heroic feat performed by him on
that occasion earned for him the Victoria Cross.

Although his right thigh was broken, which caused momentary unconsciousness, he
succeeded by great effort in recovering partial control of his machine. It had dropped
nearly 3,000 feet, and notwithstanding his collapsed state, he succeeded, although
continually fired at, in completing his course, and brought the aeroplane into our lines
half an hour after he had been wounded. The difficulties experienced in saving his
machine and the life of his observer cannot be readily expressed, but as the control
wheel and throttle control were smashed, and also one of the under carriage struts,
it would seem incredible that he could have accomplished his task. Captain Liddell
received many congratulations on the distinction which his Majesty had bestowed upon
him. Sympathy will be felt for his family, who have long associations with the North of
England, and regret at the loss sustained by the country of a gallant officer.

FreemenMagazine 15
Freemen Social
A willingness to expand on the success Charity, and the Holy Jesus and Mary
of the web site and the desire to Magdalene Trust, many taking the
engage more effectively with the opportunity to purchase Freemen of
Freemen of Newcastle resulted in an Newcastle Ties, pin badges and cuff
invitation by the Stewards Committee links.
for all Freemen and their families to
attend a social event at the Guildhall It was pleasing to see so many
on April 18th, a decision which proved Freemen with their families from the
extremely popular, demonstrated various companies in attendance,
by the overwhelming response with many saying how much they had
in excess of 200 participating. After enjoyed the day in particular meeting
refreshments on arrival, the event and chatting with Freemen from other
included talks by Sir Leonard Fenwick, companies.
Chairman of the Stewards Committee,
Val Dodds, Head of Legal Services Following the overwhelming positive
(Town Clerk) and Councillor David feedback and suggestions regarding
Faulkner, Deputy Leader of the City a pa system which we have noted,
Council, Entertainment was provided it is our intention to arrange a further
by local group Best of Fettle singing event during the Christmas period and
local songs mixed with Geordie will hope to see you there, if you have
humour, one song “Wor Geordie’s suggestions for future events please let
lost his Penker” stimulated a debate us know.
within the hall as to whether it was
‘Penker’ or ‘Liggy’(not that it made The organisational lead being Alan
any difference as he found it in his Bainbridge assisted on the day by his
pocket!). Our guests also enjoyed wife Jean. Paul Anderson organised
a buffet and an opportunity to chat the seating, other members of the
whilst browsing the various stands with Stewards Committee assisted and to
information on the Town Moor Money whom we extend our thanks.

16 FreemenMagazine
Putting the record straight
A report in the FEW magazine vis a’ vis the March Court
Meeting included the Reports by the respective Wardens
and Newcastle upon Tyne was highlighted by the
‘Warden of the North’.
The report contained several
misleading statements to which we
would seek to clarify. For example
“Newcastle upon Tyne Stewards
Committee have recently withdrawn
their affiliation to FEW”. It was in fact
a resolution of the Court of Guild in
Newcastle who voted overwhelmingly
to withdraw the membership.
Accordingly, the Stewards Committee
acted on the resolution. It is further
stated “Since the AGM, a number of
efforts have been made to bring the
FEW President and the Chairman of
the Stewards Committee together
in dialogue; but thus far have
failed.” Since the withdrawal of
FEW membership there has been
ongoing dialogue between the
FEW President Colin Hardcastle
and David Wilson, Vice Chairman
of the Stewards Committee to
ensure cordial relations continue
and to find common ground
and a way forward. A meeting
is to be held in late June at the
mutual convenience of the FEW
President with Sir Leonard Fenwick,
Chairman of the Stewards Committee.
It is also quoted “Feelings still run
high within the Stewards Committee
towards the FEW and there continues Sir Leonard
to be strong dialogue at times. This is at Guild stated, “we will continue to
a challenge that may not be easily liaise with the President of the FEW
met, but considering the part that and when there is a demonstrable
Newcastle Freemen played in the improvement in the way the executive
formation of FEW it is one that we manage constitutional matters and
should continue to overcome”. In affairs, we would like to think we
reality this is not a true reflection of the could be in a position to recommend
Stewards Committee stance. Indeed Corporate membership once again”.

FreemenMagazine 17
Looking towards Lady Freemen
but with a lot more in prospect!
The failure in Parliament of the original The Guild at Easter unanimously (1)
Borough Freedom (Family Succession) determined:
Bill – commonly referred to as the n Admission of women to the Freelage
‘Beverley Bill’ was a disappointing must be an absolute right and
outcome for Newcastle upon Tyne. The n Delegated authority to the Stewards
subsequent Borough Freedom (No.2) Bill Committee to progress matters in
which was sponsored by Lord Graham partnership with Newcastle City Council
of Edmonton (actively encouraged by and to take all necessary actions to
The Freemen of England & Wales and ensure the elements of this new Bill which
who influenced a plethora of ‘catch relate to admission to the Roll of Freemen
all’ clauses covering every possible as opposed to the conferment of the
eventuality across the country) did Freedom of the City, are amended
not appear in the new Parliamentary accordingly when the Bill is debated in
year. This was welcomed and Guild the House of Commons.
authorised the Stewards Committee to
progress matters to ensure Newcastle All that was required from the Newcastle
was not compromised. However it perspective was a simple amendment to
came to light that Lord Graham most Section 248 of the Local Government Act
pro-actively facilitated significant 1972 saying:
amendments to a Government Bill Where currently the son of a Freeman
namely ‘Local Democracy Economic may claim to be admitted as a Freeman,
Development and Construction Bill’ the daughter of a Freeman may likewise
that has served as a vehicle to not claim to be admitted, whether born
only incorporate the provisions of before or after the admission of his or her
the Borough Freedom (No.2) Bill but parent and wherever he or she is born…
enhance a range of new legislation This being the unambiguous wording of
that is now overly complex and serves the original Beverley Bill.
to conflate hereditary Freemen and All in all, the legislation if enacted, will
Honorary Freemen. This is very worrying bring about a scenario of governance
– so much so the Court of Guild are ambiguity and a charter for interference
obliged to challenge matters as the Bill in the established rights of the Newcastle
heads into the House of Commons with Freemen.
a second reading scheduled for 1st
Note (1) a single abstention was subsequently
June 2009. advised of following closure of the Guild.

18 FreemenMagazine
Abstracts of
To put a civil partner or surviving
civil partner of a person admitted
to freedom of a city or town in
the same position as a spouse or
surviving spouse of such a person

Power to amend royal charters

A qualifying resolution may

amend the law relating to rights of
admission to freedom of a city or
town where the law is established
by custom

An amendment for the purpose

of putting a person who by
marriage, civil partnership, descent,
employment or otherwise is or has
been related to or associated with
that person in the same position as
a person correspondingly related to
or associated with any other person
admitted to that freedom

A resolution proposed by three or

more eligible persons
It is unfortunate
To make consequential that the Freemen
amendments to any enactment, or of England & Wales are of
the law established by custom the opinion that the Municipal
Corporation Act l835 interfered with
our rights because in Newcastle
“eligible person” means a person upon Tyne then as well as now,
whose name is on the roll of with the good governance and
persons admitted to the freedom of the bedrock of extant legalisation,
the city or town concerned there was not an issue as to erosion
or risk to the Freelage.

FreemenMagazine 19
Plea for Information
I have been interested in the First World there are a lot of young Freemen, just
War period for many years now. In fact wondered if there was a recruiting drive
I do a lot of research for friends at work and did Freemen join as individuals or
who had relatives, relations, who died as a body of Freemen! I know it is a lot
for their country. This got me thinking, to ask, and would take a lot of time,
during the National emergency and but knowing the history of the Freelage
the call-to-arms during the 1914-1918 of Newcastle I would guess they would
period, did any of the companies have jumped at the chance. Hope this
of Freemen hold any extra-ordinary creates a bit of interest, because it is
meetings to do a recruitment drive? something I thought about when I was
I know there were “PALS” battalions, at the 2008 Remembrance Parade at
where factories, universities, etc, Eldon Square.
all joined up together. Just like our
meetings of today when you look Yours in anticipation, Stephen Foggin.
around during the calling of the roll, Taylors Company.

Becoming Involved
We received an interesting email from This is of course the reason we
one of our readers complimenting the continually encourage Companies
Magazine, also saying how the content to accept Freemen who hail through
had stimulated interest in the affairs of their Guild, having said that there
the Freemen having lost touch since still remain examples in this day and
being sworn in. He also asked “Would it age of Freemen who are effectively
be possible in some forthcoming edition disenfranchised by not being welcome
of the magazine to have an article on to become a Company Keeper.
“becoming more involved” and this may However this disappointing state of
have the effect of creating more interest affairs involves only a single Company.
and involvement of people like myself.” Some sense of optimism that equity
and common sense may soon prevail
First contact should be made through through a change of heart.
the Head Steward of the Company
you hale through, and whose details All Freemen, Company keepers and
can be found in the respective those who are disenfranchised, are
Company section on the web site, welcome at the Open Guild meetings
‘’ where you can be part of the centuries
Company Head meetings are an ideal old Open Court of Guild attended by
opportunity to meet fellow members the Lord Mayor prior to the swearing
of your Guild and to find out how to in of new Freemen, afterwards enjoy
participate in Company and Freelage a buffet luncheon, which is also an
affairs. We would encourage all excellent opportunity to meet other
Freemen to become involved in their Freemen from the various Guilds.
Company, this adds strength to your
Company and consequently strength to Dates of Guild Days can be found in the
the Newcastle Freelage as a whole. Diary page.

20 FreemenMagazine
Notice Board

Barber Surgeons Company

Pin Badges
John.T. Maule The Stewards Committee
commissioned a Freemen of Newcastle
upon Tyne pin badge which was
distributed to all Freemen of Newcastle.
The 16mm badge depicts the armorial
Smiths Company bearings of the City circled by the
James William Bell inscription “Freemen of the City of
Newcastle upon Tyne”.

Badges can be ordered from Mr Batey,

Town Moor Superintendent, Moor Bank
Tanners Company Lodge, these are available in ‘pin’
John George Annan form at a cost of £3.00 each as well
William Charles Sutherland as in ‘stick’ ie long pin form at £4.00.
In addition a pair of cuff links can be
purchased at £6.00. All prices include
postage and packing.

Plumber and Glaziers Company In addition Freemen of Newcastle upon

and Hostmen Company Tyne silk ties are available at a cost of
and Scriveners Company £21. There is a choice of a single crest
Peter S.D. Walker or multi crest designs.

By cheque payable to ‘Freemen of

Newcastle upon Tyne’ and to the
address at the rear of the magazine.
House Carpenters Company
John Haydock Charlton

Joiners Company
Anthony Paul Adrian Inness

Freemen of Trinity House Company

Joseph Stuart Grey

FreemenMagazine 21
Dates for your Diary
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne

Monday 12th October 2009

Michaelmas Guild, upstairs in the Newcastle Guildhall
(on Quayside, bottom of Dean Street)

Close Court of Guild (for Company Stewards only) begins at 10am

At this particular meeting the Stewards’ Committee is democratically
elected via ballot for the ensuing year.

Open Court of Guild

(for all Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne) commences at 12 noon prompt
You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open Guild in readiness to receive
the Lord Mayor.

The meeting concludes with new Freemen being called, and if present
sworn in by the Lord Mayor. Following the proceedings a buffet lunch is
available in the Merchant Adventurers Court.

Monday 18th January 2010

Christmas Guild, upstairs in the Newcastle Guildhall
(on Quayside, bottom of Dean Street)

Close Court of Guild (for Company Stewards only) begins at 10am

Open Court of Guild

(for all Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne) commences at 12 noon prompt
You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open Guild in readiness to receive
the Lord Mayor.

The meeting concludes with new Freemen being called, and if present
sworn in by the Lord Mayor. Following the proceedings a buffet lunch is
available in the Merchant Adventurers Court.

Annual Guild Days

Christmas Guild - the first Monday after 13th January
Easter Guild - the first Monday after Easter Monday
Michaelmas Guild - the first Monday after Michaelmas Monday

22 FreemenMagazine
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Superintendent and Office
Mr Kevin Batey,
Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4NL
Tel: 0191 2615970
The Coat of Arms of the
City of Newcastle upon Tyne