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As we begin to look We can all be truly proud of those who
forward to 2017, The have gone before us over the Centuries
Freemen of the City establishing and sustaining as we do today
can reflect upon with both traditional and progressive values in
great pride as to what all that we do as guardians of such a great,
5 19 we have achieved in
this year of the 800th
nationally renowned environment that so
positively contributes to the culture and
Anniversary celebrating wellbeing of such a great city.

Mayoralty and Freemen.
18 Holy Jesus Hospital The respective Trade
Please do not hesitate to let us know where
we can do better and also feedback too in
and Merchant Guild that so predominantly relation to the magazine shall be very much
4 800 Years of Freemen 19 Town Moor Beef? feature on lighting columns right throughout
the city centre thoroughfares have served

to not only raise our profile but prompt

5 Alan Shearer Statue interest and enlightenment as to the scope Sir Leonard Fenwick CBE
of statutory responsibilities we so consistently Chairman of the Stewards Committee
Newcastle 800th Plates exercise as guardians of the Town Moor and
associated environs.

6 Easter Guild
Lord Mayor’s Parade

7 Michaelmas Guild
As we come to the end of 2016 the
Editorial Group have once again
8 Annual Church Service brought together a range of topics,
both historic and contemporary, in
Annual Events 20 Hoppings 2016 this our 20th Issue. We hope that you
find the articles both entertaining
9 Keith’s Half Marathon 22 Diary Dates and informative. In the magazine we
can only provide a small insight into a
few of the many and varied aspects
10 What is a Stint? 23 Notice Board of the Freemen of Newcastle upon
Tyne, hopefully keeping you in touch
11 The Hutch with the Freemen; further information
on Freemen activities can always be
obtained from your Company Stewards
12 A Visitor’s Tales or directly from our office at Moorbank
Lodge (contact details on the back
14 Superintendent’s Report cover). Although there is no letters
section in the magazine we are happy
to receive letters or emails from readers,
16 Trade Guilds The Coat of Arms of the
just preface your communication with
City of Newcastle upon Tyne ‘Editorial Group’.
17 Wingrove Allotments Front cover photograph & Guild swearing
Edited by Freemen of Newcastle Upon Tyne Editorial Team

in photographs taken by Steve Brock. The Newcastle Upon Tyne Freemen Magazine, Moor Bank
Lodge, Claremont Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 4NL
Official Photographer, Steve Brock Photography.
Copies available from
Tel 01912863430
FreemenMagazine 3
800 Years of
Mayoralty and
Freemen in
Newcastle Upon
Street Banners
To raise awareness of the 800th Anniversary
of the award of the Charter from King John
to the Burgesses (Freemen) of Newcastle, the
Stewards Committee have commissioned
banners showing the armorial bearings of all
the Guilds of Newcastle upon Tyne which are
being displayed in Newcastle City Centre.
The banners contain the Freemen of
Alan Shearer Statue
Newcastle badge and the Armorial Bearings
of the active Guilds, they can be seen in A statue to honour Alan Shearer was unveiled reviewing the area around St James’ Park we
Northumberland Street, Grainger Street and jointly by the Lord Mayor and Alan Shearer on identified the former toilet block on Barrack
Percy Street. 12th September. Road and gave permission for this area the
be used, subsequently Freddie received
The £250.000 statue was commissioned by
Exhibition former NUFC Chairman, Freddie Shepherd,
approval from the City Council to demolish
the toilets and refurbish the area for the plinth.
An exhibition charting 800 years of He had hoped it could be installed within the
Newcastle’s Freemen and Mayoralty, is now curtilage of St James’ Park but the Club were Consequently the 9ft 6ins statue stands
on at the City Library, New Bridge Street. unable to accommodate his request. in a prime position adjacent to the main
Newcastle upon Tyne. It is taking place road next to the stadium where the public
between 3rd October 2016 and 31st January Freddie approached the Freemen of have easy access thanks to the Freemen of
2017. The exhibition, celebrating the one of Newcastle to ask if there was a suitable area Newcastle.
the oldest surviving institutions of Newcastle, within the Town Moors to site the statue, on
an unbroken chain of office dating back to
the times of King John, features items from
the Lord Mayor’s Silver Gallery and the Lord
Mayor’s official residence, the Mansion
Newcastle 800th Plates
House. As part of their celebrations of 800 years
of Mayoralty and Freemen in Newcastle,
Newcastle City Council have produced
Book commemorative plates. The plates were
As a memento of the 800th Anniversary, produced by Chris Aston Ceramics and
local historian John Grundy has compiled come in two sizes. A large 12 inch plate
a special book entitled “John Grundy’s with 22 carat gold edging, and a smaller 7
History of Newcastle” which was launched inch plate. Both plates are bone china and from City Library by calling David Hepworth,
on 21st October at the City Library where it is feature the Civic Crest. Publications Manager on 0191 277 4174.
available at a cost of £10.
There are a very limited number of plates The 12 inch plate retails at £70 and the 7 inch
available to buy to commemorate the plate at £20, post and packaging is included
800 year celebrations – they are available in the price.

4 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 5
Easter Guild 2016 Michaelmas Guild 2016
The Easter Guild held on Monday 4th April was He then officiated in his final swearing in session Michaelmas Guild was held at on Michael Grey was appointed as Honorary
presided over by Lord Mayor Cllr Ian Graham, as swearing in 8 new freemen: Monday 10th October. Treasurer.
this was the final Guild in his term of office he was Katharine Judith O’Shea, Bricklayers. Sarah
presented with a gift of wine and a Freemen tie Dawn McGill, Coopers. Julie Dawn Rogerson, Michaelmas Close Guild which is Michaelmas Open Guild which is open
in appreciation for his support of the Freemen of Coopers. Steven James Winter, Coopers. Gillian attended by Company Stewards opened to all Freemen of Newcastle opened
Newcastle during his time in office. Ruth Tait, Coopers. Hayleigh Armstrong, House at 10.a.m with prayers taken by Canon at 12.15 after a slight delay and was
Carpenters. Thomas Jackson, Plumbers. Rachael Stephen Harvey, the company roll call presided over by Lord Mayor Cllr Hazel
Janet Avery, Taylors. took place followed by the annual Stephenson, her first of the three Guilds in
election of the Steward Committee, the Lord Mayors calendar. The Chairman
there were 14 nominations for the 12 addressed the Lord Mayor, the acting
positions, the Company Stewards present Town Clerk John Softley, and Lord Mayors
completed the ballot papers, voting for Secretary Brenda Joyce. The Lord Mayor
no less than 9 and no more than 12, the and acting Town Clerk responded. Brenda
following 12 stewards being elected. F.H. Joyce called the names of those claiming
Alder: H. Alder: P. Anderson: C.G. Atkinson: their Freedom, following the close of the
N.B. Atkinson: A.R. Bainbridge: meeting 15 new Freemen were sworn in,
Sir L.R. Fenwick: K. Hall: J. Johnson: receiving a Freemen badge and history
S. Pashley: P. Powell: H.D. Wilson: books from the Freemen of Newcastle in
addition to their oath paper and a gift of
Sir Leonard Fenwick was re-elected as an 800th anniversary badge from the Lord
Chairman: David Wilson was re-elected Mayor.
as Vice Chairman both unanimously.

‘big picnic’ was as part of the Newcastle

Lord Mayor’s
Helen Elizabeth Reed, Butchers: Louise Charlotte Bradley, Coopers: Nicola Newman, House Carpenter:
Fiesta. Evelyn Avery, Joiners: Mark Bowman, Joiners: Sean Barlow, Master Mariners: Sarah Amanda Fife, Ropemakers: Richard
Fullerton, Ropemakers: Rachel Reed, Shipwrights: Mary Porter, Skinner & Glovers: Abigail Jane Carruthers, Tanners: Asher James

Carruthers, Tanners: Helen Victoria Wellings, Taylors: Chris James Waugh, Upholterers: Ian Robert Waugh, Upholterers:
This was the first time most of the public
had seen the coach in a parade and
they couldn’t have been more impressed Brewery, around the lake then onto the which included many activities arranged
The Lord Mayors Coach had its first outing
as the Lord Mayor waved and children Moor to view the Fairground on the old by the City Park Life team.
since being acquired by the Freemen
cheered around the park. TSE site continuing through the park back
of Newcastle in partnership with the The photograph of the coach with
Shepherd family, the coach in all its The Lord Mayor Cllr Hazel Stephenson to the brewery.
members of the Stewards Committee with
splendour was pulled by two coaching accompanied by Trevor her husband the After the parade the Lord Mayor and her Bruce and Freddie Shepherd, Consort
horses arranged by Freddie and Bruce Consort travelled around the Exhibition family were escorted by a member of the and Lord Mayor and City Council Cabinet
Shepherd for the Lord Mayors Parade on Park starting from the former Palace of Stewards Committee for an informal tour Member Cllr Ged Bell.
7th August 2016, the event billed as the the Arts building now home to the Wylam of the fairground and the Exhibition Park
6 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 7
Annual Church Keith’s Half Marathon Milestone
Service Keith Hall (Master Mariner / Colliers
Company) a member of the Stewards
always tough,
but generally
The Freemen’s annual church service at St Committee since 1996 and Chairman of the I enjoy it, I
Nicholas Cathedral was held on 8th May Town Moor Money Charity since 1994 this never stop, I
2016, commencing with the Lord Mayor and year reached a milestone running in the just keep going
Freemen walking in procession around the Great North Run. at my own
Cathedral. pace. Keith’s
This was Lord Mayor Hazel Stephenson’s Keith ran his first Great North Run in 1992 and fastest time was
first engagement following her election this year completed his 25th consecutive recorded in
as Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne in Great North Run at the age of 75! Keith 2000 at the age
this the 800th anniversary of the Mayoralty treads the famous route each year to raise of 59 when he
and Freemen, and fittingly it was one of the money for motor neurone disease (MND) completed the course in 1hr 39 minutes.
best attended service for many years with after losing his sister-in-law Irene to the
condition six years ago and he is showing no Before the death of his sister-in-law Irene,
Freemen of Newcastle traveling from far and
sign of slowing down. To date he estimates Keith used to raise cash for other various
near to participate, consequently the limited
he has raised in excess of £10,000 for MND charities including Macmillan Cancer
number of robes were soon snapped up.
and local cancer charities. Support.
It is hoped that the support shown this year
will continue to increase. Keith has had the bug ever since completing Keith’s fundraising has made a real
his first Great North Run and runs on his own, difference to the charities he supports.
he isn’t a member of any running club and
David Hart, Communications Director for
trains by running six miles two to three times
the Great North Run Company recently
a week. In the fortnight before the race he
added “The loyalty of a growing number of
runs the full distance of 13.1 miles.
our runners never ceases to amaze us and
He says the race presents its challenges but
what an amazing feat for Keith to complete
overall he enjoys the experience. “I tend
his 25th consecutive run. Many people stop
to start a bit too quickly and the last mile is
when they reach their 50’s rather than start!”

Annual Events courtesy of the Great North Run, with over 57,000 runners.
Readers will be aware of the finish

Freemen of Newcastle infrastructure at South Shields but may not be

aware that the Town Moors play a significant
role in the event.
In addition to the Hoppings, the Town Moors have expressed great appreciation to
host many annual events which take place the Freemen for support in planning and The old TSE is used for 4 days to setup as the
due to the assistance of the Freemen of preparation. It is a very inclusive event registration point for all runners, Claremont
Newcastle. popular with the Asian community with many Road is used as a bus drop off point and
travelling from the wider Northern Region. It baggage drop the verge houses the
The Pride, was once again a successful event is notable that year on year there is greater temporary toilets. The bottom of the main
with growing attendance year on year, over diversity of attendees across a wide range of Town Moor houses a helicopter landing pad
which takes the VIP’s from the start line to the Newcastle Military Show
20,000 this year.,The event is held on the Town ethnic groups. The main event is held in the
finish at South Shields. 2016 was the third time this show had been
Moor on the old Tyneside Summer Exhibition Exhibition Park with the fairground element
held, each year increasing in popularlty. In
(TSE) site. on the Town Moor next to the park on the old
Cancer Research UK – 2015 and 2016 the event has been held in
TSE site.
Race for Life and Pretty Muddy conjunction with the Hoppings, taking place
The Mela, A successful event with much
This is one of the most successful Cancer over the first weekend of the Hoppings.
increased attendance compared to the Moscow State Circus, Once again a popular
previous year, in part due to the good event on the Town Moor in the Newcastle Research events in the UK and raises
significant funds for the Charity. In addition there are the many fun run events
weather which helped to ensure an calendar.
attracting thousands of runners raising funds
enjoyable time for attendees. Organisers
for various charities.

8 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 9
Committee) decides how many cattle can
What is a stint? graze on the Moor each year. Farmers
apply to the Stewards Committee and are
The Hutch -
allocated places. The farmers pay rent to the an extract from Reid’s
Stewards Committee and cattle graze on the
Older Geordies, and possibly younger ones,
Moor from March to October.
Handbook to Newcastle upon
will be familiar with the phrase “dinna stint
yersel hinny” translated as “have another The number of cattle is limited in any year by Tyne by J Collingwood Bruce in
slab of cake, another pint etc.” Stint is an the area availablle for grazing and the state 1863
Old English word and, when used as a noun, of the Moor, hence the use of the word stint.
means a limited supply or allotted piece of The rent from grazing one cow is known as
work. a stint. As Freemen and widows of Freemen Formerly all the offices of the Corporation were
living within Newcastle were historically able concentrated in the Guildhall and amongst
When you tell someone that you are a
to graze their cattle on the Moor then the stint them that of the treasurer, which was on the
Freeman of Newcastle they inevitably ask if
money is paid to them. ground floor. Before banks existed a strong
you are grazing a cow on the Town Moor. At
one time Freemen did graze their own cattle Stints are now paid annually to Freemen and treasure box called a Hutch was provided, into
on the Moor, bringing them back within the widows and widowers of Freemen living in which the town dues were put as they were
Newcastle (within the City boundaries). A received.  By a natural process of thought the
City Walls at night. Newcastle grew and
term Hutch was extended to the place where
became an industrial town and the practice ballot is held in the Guildhall in April to decide
the business of the treasurer was transacted
ceased. on the allocation. As there are generally
and to the treasurer himself.
more cattle than applicants, everyone gets Judy Dowling, Laing Art Gallery
It is essential that cattle continue to graze
at least one stint; generally two or three. In The identical chest, long in use at the Guildhall
the Moor. The Freemen only manage the
recent years applicants have received £30 is now in the Treasurer’s office in the new Town
Town Moor so long as they exercise their
to £45. Hall.  It is a curious relic of a state of things long
right to herbage (to graze cattle), otherwise
past, being probably about 400 years old. 
management reverts to the City Council New Freemen living within the City are
There is a hole in the lid to admit the money
which actually owns the Town Moor. This is automatically entered on the stint list when and it is provided with eight locks.  The Mayor
all set out in the Newcastle upon Tyne Town they are sworn in. If however you lived kept the key of one and seven chamberlains
Moor Act 1988 which can be found on the outside Newcastle but have moved into the the others, so that it could only be opened in
City Council website on in the library. City you should contact the Freemen’s office the presence, or with the consent of, all the
at Moor Bank Lodge (details on the back of eight persons.
Grazing rights are let to farmers. The Stewards’
the magazine) to claim your stints.
Committee (formerly known as the Herbage During business hours two chamberlains sat,
day after day, one each side of the Hutch. 
They counted the money which the Treasurer
received and saw him duly drop the cash Hutch, Newcastle Libraries
into the chest.  At certain times the Hutch was
opened, the money counted and the requisite
payments made.  In the new office of the Judy Downey’s death is immortalised in a
Town Treasurer there is a picture which gives verse of The Newcassel Props by William
us a glimpse into the state of manners half a Oliver.
century ago.  It is a portrait of “Old Judy”, the
messenger to the Hutch,  Judith Dowlings was But when maw lugs was lectrified
in truth the guardian of the Hutch.  With that Wiv Judy Downey’s deeth,
stick of hers, which she was nothing loth to use, Alang wi’ Heufy Scott aw cried,
she kept at bay all whom she conceived had Till byeth was out o’ breeth;
no right to come there.  Some shoulders still For greet and sma, fishwives an’ a’,
ached at the thought of her! Luik’d up tiv her wi’ veneration –
If Judy’s in the Courts above,
As Judy Downey her death is immortalised in a
Then for au’d Nick there’ll be ne casion
verse of The Newcassel Props by William Oliver.
The earliest date we’ve found for this ballad in
1827, which puts Old Judy’s demise prior to that The Hutch is on permanent display at the
date. Discovery Museum in the Newcastle Story
gallery on the ground floor.

10 FreemenMaga- FreemenMagazine 11
A Visitor’s Tales
Ethel was a wee widow in her eighties
who claimed to weigh “six stones
dripping wet”.  On one trip the coach
driver and I were helping people off the
coach and Ethel took hold of our hands
and launched herself off the top step
with a cry of “Geronimo” and floated
down to earth.
For years she had cashed her charity
cheques at the corner shop but the
government got wind of old ladies like
her money-laundering and decreed that
her cheques must go into her personal
bank account.  Sure enough, Sunday
when she sorted out her problems, she
rang me saying “it’s got Lloyds on my
cheque, do I have to take it to Lloyds One windy day when I called on her, Hospice in the phone book to see if it grandfather, then the father and finally
Bank?”  I explained that she could go to she asked what it was like outside and was there – alas in vain.  However she the son.  There was about £2,000 in her
any bank she wished and got the reply I said that it was much too windy for said that the Hospice would do instead bank passbook getting 3% interest and
“I’ve never been in a bank before.”  I to venture out as I had had trouble because it was for cancer which had yet she had happily borrowed £60 from
took the hint and agreed to call on keeping my feet.  She replied “I know, killed her husband and her father.  So her ticket man paying him 20% interest
Wednesday and take her to a bank. many is the time that I have bought half that was settled apart from executor, instead!
a stone of tatties that I didn’t need, just which I anticipated would be me but
However on Wednesday her bingo pal to make sure I didn’t get blown away!” was relieved when she nominated one Once the funeral was over I naively
rang me early to say that Ethel was of her bingo pals. thought that that was that but I was
ill and could not move without pain.  On one outing, faced with a plateful bombarded with raffle tickets and
When I called she was a sorry sight as A year or two later one of her pals rang begging letters from the Hospice.  Finally
of fish and chips and mushy peas,
they waited for the doctor.  I took her me to say that Ethel had died and the three weeks later an American lady rang
she summoned me over to ask how I
cheque, pension book and rent book undertaker was coming on Saturday to me to ask how I was managing after my
expected her to eat it when the fish
and opened up an account for her.  discuss the funeral, could I come then?  bereavement and reminded me about
was bigger than her! Another Sunday
In the afternoon I returned with her When I got there the two beneficiaries Ethel.  I pointed out that she was just one
afternoon the phone rang and it was
passbook and she seemed quite chirpy, were there and one gently handed me of many people that I visited and she
Ethel who said that she was feeling
so I asked what the doctor had done to a red tin box saying “Everything is in said “Gee, can I call and have a talk with
miserable.  I queried what she expected
make such an improvement and was there.”  I opened it to find, not Ethel,  but you?”  It turned out that she wanted me
me to do about it but she continued
told that she had advised Ethel to take it pension book, will etc. and I explained to be an “introducer” and to supply her
with “Av gettin one of those will forms
easy in future and remember her age! that I was not the executor – only to with likely addresses, there would be no
from the Post Office and the more I look
be told that Ethel had told them that if sales involved, she would do that, and
Apparently as it was fifty years since at it, the more I know I’m going to make
anything happened to her, I would deal if successful I would get £50! (deviously
the end of the war there had been a a mess of it.”  Again I took the hint and
with everything!  A bank withdrawal from the old person’s family)   I declined
party on in her tower block the previous agreed to call to help. Being a childless
of £1,000 had been made about the but realised that the undertaker that Ethel
evening and Ethel had been doing the widow with no nieces or nephews
time we had written the will and this had chosen had pocketed £50 as well as
Hokey-cokey putting her left leg out the will was straightforward.  Her two
had been for a funeral plan.  A little his profit from the funeral!
and then her right etc. and shaking it all bingo pals were to have their choice of
blue book showed weekly payments
about!  I shook my head in disbelief and keepsakes from the flat and everything I’ll never forget Ethel.
of £2 being made to her “ticket man”
she winked saying that they had had a else was to go to the MacMillan Nurses. 
and apparently she had been going to
right good night! Problem was that we could not find an
him ever since her marriage– first to the
address for the nurses and looked under

12 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 13
site clearance to be completed by the City have been carried out Ricky Alder and I will
Superintendent’s Council as the Cancer Research Race for
Life took over the site for their Pretty Muddy
event which took place on the 9th of July
be meeting with our contractor to determine
if the site is ready to hand back to us.

Report with the Main Race event taking place on

Sunday the 10th. The de-rigging of the event
had to be completed by Monday the 11th
The Stewards Committee employed the
services of Steve Haddon from Ryal Ecology
Services to carry out soil testing across the
to enable the Northern Pride to commence whole of the site. Two analyses were carried
It was another cold damp start to our grazing work on the same site for their annual event. out, one for a grazing pasture and the
season this Spring which resulted in a slow other for root vegetables. Both reports are
build-up of cattle on the Town Moors. Our On the 16th of July each year our grass important in enabling us to determine where
Grazier’s were selective with their cattle topping programme begins, the date is in we need to go with phase 2 of the works
putting the bigger hairier beasts out first line with the end of the ground nesting bird relating to this site.
and as the weather warmed, and the grass season. We have a very healthy population
really started to grow, the smaller thinner of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits on the As we move into autumn our staff will
skinned heifers were brought on to increase Town Moor and signs that English Grey be busy assisting the Graziers with the
the numbers. Our fertiliser programme Partridge may be returning, so we follow the removal of their cattle, at present both the
was delayed but by the 3rd week in April guidelines that hopefully give these birds Dukes Moor and Hunters Moor have been
the dressing was applied. As the year has all the help they need to flourish within our vacated.
progressed it has proved to be an excellent environment. 700 acres of our grazing land
season in general for grass growth with the requires pasture topping; cutting at this time Hunters Moor was emptied of cattle at
swards on all moors carrying the cattle right encourages a second flush of good grass the beginning of August as the Stewards
through to the end of our season with ease. to grow which will in turn carry the grazing Committee received a request from St Mary
animal into the final days of our season. Magdalene & Holy Jesus Trust regarding
As we moved into early May our working access for their new housing complex. Mr
attentions and agenda turned to the During August we carried out some drainage Chris Siswick our grazier on this parcel of
marking out of the fairground site for our works on Nuns Moor North as there was Town Moor was informed of the request
annual visit of Europe’s largest travelling ponding occurring that was not safe for and he agreed to remove the 19 cattle
Fun Fair known locally as the Hoppings. man nor beast. After a day of investigatory that were grazing. The cattle were taken
The event swallows up almost all of our work we found some field drains that had to Dukes Moor where Mr Siswick shared the
working hours over a two and a half months become silted up and some collapsed; grazing with his good friend Paul Henderson
period, only when we are well on top of repairs to the system were carried out to for a few weeks until it was time for the
our site preparations do the staff nip away allow the area to drain; a couple of months cattle to be removed and sold. The Holy
to try and keep up to date with the grass on and all is looking well. Jesus bungalows are being demolished
cutting programme that we have in place and replaced with ultra-modern living I will update you on our environmental works
for Forsyth Road Playing fields, Little Moor Our other environmental programme, which accommodation; the contractors need programmes that we have lined up as part
Boundary, Grandstand road verges and is on-going at the former Brighton Grove access across Hunters Moor to enter the site of our winter works programme in the next
then to Walter Terrace recreation ground. Nuns Moor Allotment site, is now entering and permission was granted by the Stewards issue.
Not all can be done at once but we do try into its final stage of site clearance works. A Committee so that a temporary road could
to keep on top of these works. This year the final surface pick is required along with some be laid over Hunters Moor giving access to Kevin Batey
Hoppings vacated the Moor on the 29th boundary grading work once these tasks the Holy Jesus site. Town Moor Superintendent.
of June leaving only 6 working days for the

14 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 15
from a board hung in their hall, having them joining together, as “Sharers,” in
Newcastle Upon their arms on it, and under them purchasing their leather, and dividing
the following inscription:—”Compy it afterwards; as appears by an old
Tyne Trade Guilds: Cordwainers incorporated 17th K. Henry
VI. confirmed by K. Philip and Q. Mary,
book, entitled, “The Company’s Sharers’

Information from reconfirmed by Q. Eliz. & lastly by King

James 1st.” The ordinary of this society is In 1748, the company allowed twelve
persons, by a grant from them, called
signed by 31 brethren, dated December
British History online 17, 1566; mentions their meeting-house
in the lately dissolved monastry of Black
the “Coblers’ Bond,” to follow the trade
of coblers, “so long as they quarterly
Friars; enjoins that every apprentice pay to the said company sixpence a
should serve ten years, five of which to piece,” and also to follow the trade,
PLUMBERS, PEWTERERS, be expired before a second could be “save only in a bulk.”
AND GLAZIERS. taken; and that foreigners might be
admitted into the company on payment
When the Cordwainers’ old hall, near Wingrove Allotments
St. Nicholas’ church, was pulled down
The ordinary of this of £5, one half to go to the fellowship, by order of the corporation, that body As reported in the last issue the allotments
society, anciently and the other to the reparation of Tyne voted the sum of £200 to the company, on Nuns Moor south had over a period
consisting of Goldsmiths, Bridge. The society, in 1690, met on as an equivalent. Their present meeting- of time descended into a deplorable
Plumbers, Glaziers, the head-meeting day, on Forth Hill. house, or hall, and leather-market, in state despite encouragement from the
Pewterers, and Painters, and This custom ceased on their repairing Freemen of Newcastle to improve and
the High Bridge, were in consequence
dated September 1, 1536, enjoined their late hall, at the foot of the Old adhere to the terms of their lease. With
built, and in which they held their first
them to go together on the feast of Flesh Market. They obtained the first the allotment society’s agreement they
meeting on August 25, 1794. It is a neat, vacated the site to allow clearance,
Corpus Christi, and maintain their play lease of this building, then called “The plain stone building. A stone in the front
of “The Three Kings of Coleyn;” to have the plan being to reduce the size of
House of Charitie,” of the corporation of contains the following inscription:- the site and allow a much smaller
four wardens, one Goldsmith, one Newcastle, A. D. 1668. “This hall and leather warehouse were model allotment site to be established,
Plumber, one Glazier, and one Pewterer built at the expense of the company
The company is in possession of a grant unfortunately circumstances necessitated
or Painter; to be sworn on admission of Cordwainers, Anno Domini 1794. a change to the plan.
not to interfere with each other’s from the common council, dated June
2, 1617, stating that, “divers persons, for William Yielder, Esq. mayor; Henry
occupation; that no Scotsman born Joseph Hounson, Esq. sheriff. John We employed a specialist contractor to
should be taken apprentice, or suffered years, under colour of exercising the
Tallintyre, John Ratcliffe, stewards. clear the site of the hundreds of tons of
to work in Newcastle, on pain of trade of a cobler, who should only mend material which had been brought onto
old shoes that are brought to them to Building committee, Benj. Brunton, Jon.
forfeiting 3s. 4d. one half of which to go Stevenson, Robt. Widdrington, Thomas the site over decades at a cost to the
to the upholding of Tyne Bridge, and the be mended, do buy great numbers of Freemen of Newcastle of £150,000.
old shoes mended and made fit to be Fenton, Robt. Young, William Burn.”
other to the society. Among other orders
in the old books of the society, the worn at London and elsewhere, and This company has always firmly opposed After 10 months work we were able to
following occurs: “September 7, 1730, no cause them to be brought to Newcastle the encroachments of power. A large access the site and carry out soil sampling
upon Tyne, and in the coblers’ houses, board, hung in their hall, commemorates tests, the report from the specialist was to
brother to lend his diamond, except to
and in the market within the said town, say the least very disturbing showing a
a free brother of this company, on pain the decision obtained against the
sell them to the best advantage, high level of contamination and reporting
of forfeiting 6s. 8d.” This society, which magistrates on August 10, 1773, to show
whereby the fraternity of Cordwainers that as a consequence the site was
consisted at the ime of 50 members, posterity “that oppression’s iron hand unfit for growing root crops for human
held their meetings in Morden Tower. of Newcastle aforesaid is much ought ever to be legally resisted.” From consumption.
impoverished.” The common council the year 1566, to July, 1825, there were
then proceeds to empower the stewards 530 persons admitted to the freedom of The cost to remove such contamination
CORDWAINERS to fine the aforesaid “coblers,” for the this company. The number of members is far beyond our remit, we are working
preservation of their “antient customs, at the time was 92; and the annual with the analyst to ascertain what work
The company of rights, and privileges.” income of the company was £220. is necessary to ensure that the ground
Cordwainers was is suitable to be returned to grazing ,
About the years 1712 and 1728, the
incorporated in the 17th something which at this time looks a long
brethren of the company appear to way off.
King Henry VI. as appears
have been in the practice of several of
16 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 17
Visit to Holy
Jesus Hospital
In April a group of Freemen (mostly
Shipwrights) had a tour of the Holy Jesus
Hospital on City Road Newcastle.

The building was of course an almshouse

for Freemen and their dependants but
the site has had a number of uses over
the years. In the late 13th century,
it was occupied by an Augustine
Town Moor Beef?
Priory. Following the dissolution of the Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah shares her vision for city centre cattle
monasteries in 1539, the Friary buildings
were used by Henry VIII’s Council of the
North and known as the King’s Manor. A
tower was built and that is still standing as Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah took a welcome Nun’s Moor South and are among a total of
break away from the current political turmoil 550 cattle grazing the Moor each year.
are some remnants of the Friary.
to spend time enjoying the peace of the Town
Moor. Since becoming an MP in 2010, locally-born Ms
By 1648 the building belonged to Onwurah said she has been told regularly by
Newcastle Corporation which of course The Labour politician was keen to learn more residents how much they value the city’s green
comprised Freemen and in 1682 it was about the prime green haven in the heart of the heartland which is actually made up of eight
rebuilt and opened as an almshouse city centre and took up an invitation from the moors covering 1,000 acres.
for poor Freemen and later for their Freemen of Newcastle to have a guided tour.
dependants. In 1880 a soup kitchen for Occasionally she answers concerns or
the deserving poor was added. The MP for Newcastle Central, whose questions raised by them over its use or
constituency includes the Town Moor, was condition, she said, and she wants more
interested in learning about the side of the people to know about what she calls a
In the 20th century the Freemen moved
public space that people rarely get to see. “precious asset”.
out and the building was used by
commercial concerns and later as the And she had an idea about how it - and the “I love the Town Moor; it’s something I’ve
George John Joicey Museum. It narrowly quality of the cattle which graze there - could grown up with,” she added.
avoided demolition when the Pilgrim be showcased; saying she would like to see the
Street roundabout was built in the 1960s. promotion of “Town Moor beef”. “In my maiden speech in 2010 I remember I
The Museum moved out in the 1990s and said something about cows grazing grass in
The buildings are in good condition
the building was again empty. “I have a personal mission to introduce Toon the centre of Newcastle and local grass roots
despite the traffic thundering past on
Beef to the market,” she said. politics - and people laughed.”
the motorway. The Almshouse rooms
The National Trust leased the building in are intact and must have provided more Ms Onwurah heard from Town Moor Ms Onwurah said: “I wanted to know more
2000 and it was restored again in 2003. space for one person than was usual in Superintendent Kevin Batey about its year- about how it’s kept and maintained and how
They used it for a community project but the 17h century. It was fascinating to see round range of uses - including the current Pride the cows use it. It’s nice to have a feeling for
that wasn’t viable so it now houses their where some of our ancestors lived and and recent Hoppings - and about its upkeep. the work that goes on here.”
regional offices. Although the building died.
has been open to the public in the past Joining them was Ponteland farmer Ricky Alder From the end of March to the end of October
it now only opens on occasions such as from the Stewards Committee of Freemen and each year, nine different farmers graze animals
It is a shame that the building is not open
Heritage Open Days. the only Freeman to exercise his right to graze on the Moor which can take up to 800 cattle.
on a regular basis but it is separated from
cattle on the Moor.
the rest of the City’s medieval heritage
We were able to arrange a visit lasting The ‘old’ grass is proper pasture and its quality
by the central motorway, however that Ms Onwurah also got up close and personal
around an hour and a member of the closely monitored.
provides an interesting juxtaposition of the with some of Ricky’s Aberdeen Angus and
National Trust staff acted as a guide. historic and the modern. Belgian Blue which are currently wandering

18 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 19
This is the sixth year the Freemen of
Hoppings 2016 Newcastle have organised the Hopping fair The Freemen of
in partnership with the City Council which
procures a large part of the infrastructure, all
of the administration being carried out from
Newcastle shop is open
our office at Moor Bank Lodge; although
planning is ongoing throughout the year Freemen of Newcastle upon
work starts in earnest from February through Tyne pin badges are available
to July. now. The 16mm badge depicts
2016 proved to be one of the best displays the armorial bearings of the
the fairground industry has to offer, which, City circled by the inscription
combined with good weather, contributed “Freemen of the City of
to a very successful event. Newcastle upon Tyne”.
We had many compliments on the varied
aspects of such a large event starting with The ever popular multi crested
the opening ceremony which was described silk ties are back in stock.
as the best fairground opening seen in the
UK, including the Lord Mayor Cllr Hazel
Stephenson riding on a ‘Frog ride’ with the And new for the ladies - 25mm Charm,
Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Band, a first for Necklaces are also available complete
the fairground industry, raising great online on a 60mm chain, both depict the
interest with 80,000 online views within 24 armorial bearings of the City circled by
the inscription “Freemen of the City of
Prior to the opening of the event we assisted Newcastle upon Tyne”.
the Showmen who organised a sports day
for the families of the showmen which was
billed as the ‘Olympics’. A large turnout Orders to Kevin
enjoyed a fun filled day raising £2000 for the Batey Town Moor
Great North Children’s Hospital, the cheque Superintendent
was presented to Sir Leonard Fenwick by at Moozr Bank
the organisers Showmen Frankie Smith Jnr Lodge, payment
and Asa Ashcroft. Sports days have been
a feature of the Hoppings before; prior to with order by
World War II a sports day for local school cheque payable
children was held on the morning of the first to ‘Freemen of
Saturday of the Fair, the main activities being Newcastle upon
running races.
Tyne’ - the address can be found at the
Running over the Saturday and Sunday of rear of the magazine.
first weekend the Newcastle Military Show
took place. This event had moved this year Ties - £27.00
to a new position at the north east corner of Pin Badge - £3.00
the site facing Great North Rd which proved
Stick Pin Badge - £4.00
to be a huge success.
Charm - £6.00
The main event ran over 9 days, closing at
11.00pm on Saturday 25th June when the Necklace - £7.00
exodus of over 1000 support vehicles, 400
living vans and 300+ attractions began, the
last vacating the site on Wednesday 29th
June. Site clearance and reinstatement
continued over the following few weeks to
ensure the turf was once again fit for grazing.

20 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 21
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Diary Dates Annual Church Parade
Sunday 7th May 2017
Notice Board
Held in the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas.
Robing in the Cathedral Refectory at
Christmas Guild 9.30a.m. for commencement of parade Bereavements Company Notices
Monday 16th January 2017 into the Cathedral at 9.45 a.m. with the Lord
Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne. William Sexton Blake The Head Meeting
Held upstairs in Newcastle Guildhall (on
All Newcastle upon Tyne Freemen are of the Tanners Guild
Quayside, bottom of Dean Street)
welcome. Plumbers
Close Court of Guild (for Company Stewards
Should you need to borrow a robe there will will be held at the
only) begins at 10.00 am. Ellen Hall Freemen’s Hall,
be a small quantity available on the day.
Open Court of Guild (for all Freemen of Master Mariners
To assist on the day, parking will be available Blackfriars, Friars Street,
Newcastle upon Tyne) commences at 12
at Moor Bank Lodge and transport at Newcastle upon Tyne, on Monday
noon prompt.
9:00am to and from the Cathedral will be John Alexander Foggin
You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open
provided. 5th December, commencing at
Guild in readiness to receive the Lord Mayor. Taylors
6.45pm. Members are requested
The meeting concludes with new Freemen
being called, and if present being sworn in Hoppings Fair Brenda Sparham to inform the secretary of
by the Lord Mayor. Friday 16th – 24th June. Tanners their attendance via email:
Following the proceedings a buffet lunch is or
served in the Merchant Adventurers Court. Michaelmas Guild Peggy Inglis Tel: 07988533855
Monday 9th October 2017 Shipwrights
Easter Guild
Held upstairs in Newcastle Guildhall (on
Monday 24th April 2017 Quayside, bottom of Dean Street) Peggy Whitehead
Held upstairs in Newcastle Guildhall (on Close Court of Guild (for Company Stewards Upholsterers
Quayside, bottom of Dean Street) only) begins at 10.00 am. At this particular
Close Court of Guild (for Company Stewards meeting the Stewards Committee is Alan Thompson Alderson
only) begins at 10.30 am. democratically elected via ballot for the Plumbers. Past Hon Treasurer
Open Court of Guild (for all Freemen of ensuing year.
and Chairman of the Freemen
Newcastle upon Tyne) commences at 12 Open Court of Guild (for all Freemen of
noon prompt. Newcastle upon Tyne) commences at 12 of Newcastle
You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open noon prompt.
Guild in readiness to receive the Lord Mayor.
The meeting concludes with new Freemen
You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open
Guild in readiness to receive the Lord Mayor. New Stewards
being called, and if present being sworn in The meeting concludes with new Freemen
by the Lord Mayor. being called, and if present being sworn in Gary Annan
Following the proceedings a buffet lunch is by the Lord Mayor. Tanners
served in the Merchant Adventurers Court. Following the proceedings a buffet lunch is
served in the Merchant Adventurers Court. Stephen David Mills
Josephine Smith

Ronald Elliot
Liz Appleby
Annual Guild Days Cordwainers
Christmas Guild - the first Monday after 13th January Timothy Cooper
Easter Guild - the first Monday after Easter Monday Millers
Michaelmas Guild - the first Monday after Michaelmas Monday

22 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 23
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Superintendent and Office
Mr Kevin Batey,
Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4NL
Tel: 0191 2615970

COPYRIGHT: Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne.

PUBLISHER: Riney Publishing Limited, Sue Riney-Smith
Tel: 01325 304360 Email: