Tyne Bridge to Close for Several Weeks for £41m Restoration
Several weeks of overnight closures are planned in order to allow engineers to assess how bad a state the Tyne Bridge is in, before it can be restored to its former glory.
The long-overdue restoration is estimated to cost £41m in order to restore the bridge and refurbish the Central Motorway.
According to a local authority report, the inspection is expected to require the famous crossing to be closed from 10pm to 6am from June 13 to July 1. A number of roads underneath the bridge on the Newcastle Quayside are also due to be affected by the works – with closures due between May 16 and June 10 on Quayside, Lombard Street, Queen Street, and Akenside Hill from 8pm to 6am.
A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “We submitted a bid for £41.4 million to Government which, if approved, will enable a four-year maintenance programme for the Tyne Bridge and the Central Motorway to go ahead. As part of the funding process, we are required to carry out some initial works on the Tyne Bridge.
“This includes a full inspection of the bridge, so we can assess its condition and the scale of works required to finalise the costings and project plans to fully restore and refurbish this major structure. This needs to be completed ahead of funding being approved.
“As we need to inspect the entire span of the bridge, overnight closures may be required on the bridge and roads underneath it, so engineers can complete this work safely. Details on the programming are being finalised.”
The Tyne Bridge has not had any major maintenance for two decades and its much-needed refurbishment has been at the top of council officials’ to do list for years, in the hope of ensuring it is looking its best once again by its 100th birthday in 2028. However, it has been warned that the grade II* listed structure may have deteriorated into a worse condition than currently known and council bosses have warned that, like on other major projects like the Grainger Market’s roof repairs, the refurbishment may take longer than expected.”
Where to watch the Coronation across the North East
The Coronation of King Charles III on May 6 – and the Coronation Concert on May 7 – will be shown for free on big screens in Newcastle, Northumberland, Durham, and Sunderland.
Preparations are under way to erect big outdoor screens so that people can come together to watch the ceremony, as the country gets ready to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.
The big day is Saturday, May 6 when His Majesty the King will be crowned in Westminster Abbey, alongside Camilla as Her Majesty The Queen Consort in a service set to attract a worldwide TV audience. And the grand event will be screened live at various locations across the region for those keen to get out of the house and mingle with others to feel part of the historic occasion.
The Government has made money available to install big screens in public places so that as many people as possible can come together at official sites to watch the coronation events live and for free. Below is our guide to where people in the North East can go to join in.
Newcastle, Northumberland, Sunderland, and Durham all have locations in which you can watch the special occasion.
Alnwick Castle – Northumberland
In collaboration with Northumberland County Council, the castle will be screening Saturday’s coronation as well as Sunday’s concert for free although spaces must be booked.
The event, with gates opening at 10am, is free but those tickets, which will be limited, must be pre-booked. Guests can take along a blanket or chair for the lawn and there will be a variety of food trucks on-site selling treats and drinks.
Northumberland County Council says up to 1,500 people are expected to attend on both days and, on the coronation day, it has invited 500 ‘community heroes’ – volunteers who have made a difference locally – to be among them.
Times Square – Newcastle
A screen in the city centre square will be broadcasting the day’s action for free on Saturday from 9.30am until 4pm, with the service itself due to start at 11am following the arrival of the royal procession from Buckingham Palace.
City and Fenham Libraries – Newcastle
Newcastle City Library has a royal link too, having been opened by the late Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in 2009. Newcastle City Council says street parties and community events will be taking place across the city to mark the historic occasion and residents will receive ‘sweet treats’ as part of its Meals at Home service.
Keel Square in the city centre will be showing the event.
Hylton Castle in Castletown.
Rectory Park in Houghton.
Town Moor, East End.
The Galleries Shopping Centre, Washington.
Durham University – Durham
People are invited to come together to watch the coronation on a big screen being set up by the university in its marquee right next to Durham City Rugby Football Club. Arrival will be from 10am, with plans to have everyone seated in the marquee by 11am for the start of the service.
The event, running until 4pm, will also include family entertainment and, while no alcohol will be allowed, people can take along picnics and soft drinks. The screening will be free, but tickets are required. Note this event is now booked up.
Market Square – Darlington
In another of the free, public events, the town centre has been picked as one of the official screening sites and it will be live broadcasting the coronation ceremony.
The coronation also will be broadcast live from Westminster Abbey – where the late Queen was herself crowned 70 years ago – on BBC1 and iPlayer.
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Durham Walking Tour – Durham’s Architecture and History
Until the Industrial Revolution led to the exploitation of its enormous coalfield in the 19th century, the mediaeval county of Durham was relatively unimportant economically. As a result, it became one of the primary hubs of industrial expansion in Britain. The county was the location of the first passenger railway in history, which ran between Stockton and Darlington and was put into service in 1825. Darlington developed become a hub for locomotive manufacturing and railroad engineering. Gateshead, Hartlepool, Jarrow, South Shields, and Sunderland are some of the other Durham cities that have grown to be hubs for heavy industry, particularly shipbuilding and the manufacturing of iron and steel.
Join us on our walking tour of Durham as we explore its medieval architecture including its gothic church aesthetics; expanding on the history of several buildings and areas of Durham that you may not know about!
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Best of North East
Fenwicks Announce Ticketed Christmas Programme
Tickets are to go on sale this morning for the hugely popular Santa on the Roof events which are a highlight of the festive season at Fenwick in Newcastle.
The city centre store announced the return of the children’s treat as part of its Christmas programme which, besides the grand unveiling of its annual window display, will include the popular Santa’s Cinema, breakfast and supper clubs with the big man and – new for this year – an afternoon tea event.
Santa on the Roof is an immersive experience which sees elves accompany ticket-holders on a Santa’s Express Elevator ride to the store’s rooftop to meet singing reindeer before they take an ‘elf-mobile’ to meet Santa in his cabin. It will be back this year from November 7 up until Christmas Eve, December 24 and this will go on sale first.
Tickets, costing £17.50, will be available from Thursday, September 29. And families will need to be quick off the mark as they are always quickly snapped up.
Sales of Fenwick’s other seasonal experiences, running November and December, will follow in October. These will include tickets for Santa’s Breakfast Club, Santa’s Supper Club, Santa’s Cinema and the new event, Afternoon Tea with Santa.
This year, Fenwick’s says that all restaurant experiences do not include a visit to Santa on the Roof as part of the experience so this must be purchased separately. And, due to the acticipated high demand, Fenwick ticket provider Ticketsource will be providing a virtual queue to help manage bookings. The advice for keen customers – from the moment they join the queue – is to avoid loading multiple tabs or refreshing their browser.
The Santa on the Roof experience will also offer youngsters a chance to enjoy craft activities with the elves, including decorating a bespoke ceramic plate to take home, and there will a stop-off too at Café Claus for winter-warming drinks and sweet treats along with an opportunity to take an ‘Elfie’ inside Santa’s sleigh, says the store.
Santa’s Cinema, screening festive family films, will be located on the fifth floor of the department store from Thursday, November 10 and will cost £17.50. Adults will be able to choose between a complimentary mulled wine or spiced apple juice and young ones can enjoy hot chocolate or juice plus plenty popcorn.
There also will be a Roof Thirty-Nine Pre-Cinema Experience available for £35 where, before the film screening, guests will be able to take in the view from Fenwick’s roof-top restaurant alongside a cocktail, nibbles and a main course.
This year the festive breakfast and supper club events will take place inside Fenwick’s new Arthur’s Restaurant on the first floor. Santa’s Breakfast Club will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings from Friday, November 9 until Friday, December 23, offering waffles, eggs and sausages. Young guests will receive elf hats and colouring books before meeting the mischievous elves and Santa for a picture and Christmas gift. Tickets will be £20.
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