NorthEastern Population by Age, 2011


How many people there are, by age, in each of the mutually exclusive regions labeled GHD (Gateshead), NCL (Newcastle upon Tyne), NT (North Tyneside), ST (South Tyneside) and SU (Sunderland).

Spiky, innit?

Figures from an excel spreadsheet freely downloadable from a page at the ONS 2011 Census results.




In the issue of The Engineer dated 2 February 1917 are pictures – on pages 110 and 125, of the Pyrmont Bridge. This is a swing bridge over the Darling Harbour at Sydney. Sydney has, of course, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, built by the same people who had put up a similar structure over the River Tyne at Newcastle in 1926. And Newcastle also has Armstrong’s Swing Bridge of 1876. It’s almost as if the Australians are copycatting the Geordies.

Look Out – Spout About

Photographs of extreme weather events, especially the relatively short-lived ones like tornadoes and thunderstorms, are fairly common these days. There are so many inexpensive devices capable of capturing them knocking around, and so many of us have them.

But such photos were pretty thin on the ground back in 1917. Here’s a waterspout – near Genoa – caught on camera at Sestri-Ponente.19170223spout1024

Pic from The Engineer, 23 February 1917 issue, page 183.


19171109newquebecbridge1024A bridge, the longest cantilever in the world, finally crossed the St Lawrence in August 1917, The photo is from The Engineer, the 9 November 1917 issue, page 403.

Although no Tacoma Narrows, its place in bridgy history is significant. It’s largely due to the two previous failed attempts that we now have professional institutes of engineers, designed to protect both the body municipal and the engineers themselves from those who don’t know what they’re doing or who don’t care how they build.

Not that this seems to have helped Italian Seismologists.


Not too many places on the High Street where you can pop in for a bag of bridges. The Motherwell Bridge Company is, today, quite a large concern. This is an advert from 1917, found amongst all the adverts piled in at the back of the volume containing all of the issues of the journal The Engineer for that year.

This one’s from a Bristol company, Llewellins (an unusual spelling), also still around after 95 years – which is good to see. The great pile of worm and spur reduction gears in the ad is impressive, but there’s no sense of scale. They feel big though.

To get a sense of scale, there’s nothing quite like putting a working engineer in the picture, standing next to the product. Let’s see the ad for one of our very own Steel casters, John Spencer of Newcastle upon Tyne at Newburn.

Finally, still in 1917, there’s this Ferodo ad. The brake-pad people. They are still around but I’m wondering if they are now so embedded into the infrastructure that nobody needs to mention them any more. Last I heard their name was on some small pieces of plastic scenery adorning a scalextric set. And that was when I was a youngster.

pre Dame

Edward Woodward‘s in it. Philip Madoc‘s in it. And Miss Judy Dench is in it too – as yet much too young to be heading up a branch of the security services. What more could you wish of an evening’s entertainment? Right after the News, at 9:15 pm on Tuesday 23 October, is presented George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara. So get in your time machine and turn back that knob by exactly fifty years.


Listing from that week’s The Viewer.

What’s on

Week commencing Sunday October 21, what’s showing this week at the local cinema? Fifty years ago, that is.


On at the Odeon is The Miracle Worker, bizarrely X-certificated, supported by the B-picture The Lamp in Assassin Mews – a comic murder romp with Francis Matthews (aka Captain Scarlet or Paul Temple). At the Queen’s – our local widescreen cinerama theatre at the time – is the sunken epic Barabbas, one of the less often shown spectacles on the box (has it ever been on?). Then, up the road, there’s Dr No supported by another B-movie called Deadly Duo. All links lead to IMdb.

It is the time of the Twist, as the evenings advertised in the local palaces of dance proclaim.