Seven Stories, the national centre for children’s books, in Ouseburn, is hosting a Villainous Wizards Afternoon Tea at 3pm on October 29th and 31st.
The hour-long magic-theme event (perfect for Potterheads) promises to be a school lesson with a difference and will test families knowledge in a Magic Potter quiz.
A ‘delicious feast’ of a tea will feature alongside themed activities.
Suitable for those aged seven-plus, the teas cost £15.50 and both an adult and children’s menu is available.
Other half-term activities include twice-daily illustration workshops on October 24th to mark the birthday of Dark Materials author Phillip Pullman and storytelling sessions with Winnie the Witch on October 26th and 28th too!
For information check out their website here: https://www.sevenstories.org.uk/whats-on
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Newcastle Clean Air Zone explained: Where it is, when tolls start, and who has to pay
Daily charges for some vehicles entering Newcastle city centre are not a tax-raising scheme for the council, its leader has said.
Launching on 30 January, the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will cover most of the city centre.
Private cars will be exempt but older taxis will be charged £12.50 per day and non-compliant lorries, buses and coaches will have to pay £50 each day.
Opponents warn it could deter people from visiting the city. They also claim recently-installed signs advertising the zone are confusing as they do not specify who could be charged.
Vans and light goods vehicles will not face charges until July to allow extra time for vehicle replacements, which are currently affected by a national supply shortage.
Who has to pay a toll?
Under the CAZ, only some older, more polluting vehicles will be subject to daily fees to drive into Newcastle city centre. All private cars have been made exempt from the tolls, but other vehicles that do not comply with modern emissions standards will face charges.
Non-compliant lorries, buses and coaches will be hit with £50-a-day tolls, while the worst polluting vans and taxis will be charged £12.50 per day.
Petrol vans and taxis that meet ‘Euro 4’ standards are exempt, as are ‘Euro 6’ diesels, so it is important to check what class your vehicle is in. All HGVs, buses and coaches must be of ‘Euro 6’ standard to avoid the toll.
Newcastle and Gateshead councils say that, as a general rule, the following vehicles should meet the minimum standard, therefore be exempt from tolls:
- Taxis – Diesels registered after September 2015, petrol cars registered after 2005;
- Vans – Diesels registered after September 2016, petrol after January 2006;
- HGVs, buses and coaches registered after 2014.
When do the tolls start?
You may have seen signs popping up around the city centre warning road users about the new CAZ charges, stating that “charges apply, pay online”.
The first set of tolls will begin on January 30, 2023 and will apply only to taxis, private hire vehicles, buses, coaches and HGVs. Vans and light goods vehicles will not face charges until July 2023, with extra time having been afforded due to a national shortage of vans making it harder for people to upgrade to newer, cleaner models.
Originally, the CAZ was supposed to come into force in January 2021, but was pushed back amid delays caused by a High Court battle and the Covid-19 pandemic. It was then expected to start in July this year, before being pushed back again amid concerns over the financial impact it could have on struggling residents and small businesses in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
What area does the CAZ cover?
The toll zone is in Newcastle city centre only, including the routes in over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges. Earlier versions of the plans included a much larger CAZ that would have also included parts of Gateshead, a stretch of the Coast Road, and up to Gosforth, but the scheme was scaled back. Councils also ditched the idea of halving the number of lanes on the Tyne Bridge in order to deter car journeys.
Why has the CAZ been introduced?
This project has been years in the making and is a result of local councils being issued with a legal order from the Government to reduce illegal levels of air pollution in emissions hotspots, which has been linked to more than 300 deaths on Tyneside each year. Charging CAZ areas are the Government’s chosen means of improving air quality in the shortest possible time and there are versions already in operation in places like Birmingham, with the aim of reducing the number of high-polluting vehicles on the road.
Where can I pay my toll and how quickly do I need to pay?
Once the charges begin on January 30, 2023, affected drivers will be able to pay online via the Government website. You will also be able to pay using an online contact form or by calling a hotline on 0300 029 888, open from Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8am to 2pm. Taxi owners licenced by Newcastle, Gateshead, or North Tyneside councils can also apply for a seven-day permit at a cost of £50, instead of the standard charge of £12.50 per day.
Once the charges launch, drivers will be able to pay up to six days before their journey or six days after. Payments cannot be made before January 30, 2023.
What if I don’t pay the charge on time?
Owners of non-compliant vehicles that do not pay their toll will be issued with a penalty charge notice set at £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.
Are there any more exemptions, aside from private cars?
Yes, there will be. These include:
- Disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class;
- Certain types of agricultural vehicles;
- Historic vehicles;
- Military vehicles;
- Ultra low emission vehicles;
- Vehicles retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS);
- Specialist agricultural and similar vehicles such as tractors, gritters, snow ploughs, mowing machines digging machines, road-rollers, mobile cranes, mobile pumping vehicles and steam-powered vehicles.
- Emergency services;
- Showmen’s vehicles registered to the business of travelling showmen that have been specifically modified or constructed to be used to provide the performance and are permanently fitted with a special type of body or superstructure forming part of the equipment of the show, and are used solely by that person for the purposes of their business;
- Non-commercial vintage buses aged between 20 and 39 years;
- Vehicles awaiting replacement or retrofitting, where evidence is supplied that a compliant vehicle has been ordered or proof that the vehicle has been accepted for retrofitting by an approved supplier and is awaiting work to take place;
- Taxis and private hire vehicles subject to an ongoing finance agreement;
- Wheelchair accessible taxis/private hire vehicles;
- Motor Caravans;
- Community Transport Vehicles;
- Vehicles registered to businesses located within the CAZ;
- Emergency rail replacement buses and coaches;
- Bus and HGV driver training vehicles;
- Breakdown recovery vehicles;
- Hybrid vehicles;
- Taxis and vans belonging to people living within the CAZ.
You can check if your vehicle is compliant or not by entering your registration number at gov.uk/clean-air-zones.
Karen’s On Tour: The Rudest Restaurant in The World is about to pop up in Newcastle!
Don’t you dare ask for the manager…
Karen’s On Tour has a simple mission, to be as rude to as many people as possible allover Great Britain. They guarantee the worst service in Europe whilst ensuring that the New York style food is great.
“Once you’re in a Karen’s”, said Ryan Blackburn, Managing Director of Karen’s On Tour, “you’ll not be thinking about strikes, Brexit or electricity costs, you’ll just be wanting to survive!”
The company behind Karen’s Diners currently has multiple stores across Australia, the UK and America, including Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Birmingham (Grand Central)
“Customers would need to expect plenty of sass, great food, and a sprinkle of bad attitude”, said Ryan, ”so don’t expect special treatment as it’s all about Karen, and she won’t be taking any nonsense!
All will be able to have fun and wind the staff up to unleash their full inner Karen potential”.
Newcastle Karen’s can expect a full menu with “In your face” burgers, sweet treats, thick shakes and, of course, the Karen inspired cocktail menu. There is even some Karen’s merch on offer! Vegetarians, vegans & non alcoholics will all be catered for but don’t expect Karen to be happy about it.
The North East Updates team makes it’s first exclusive visit to Karen’s On Tour on Wed 18th January to film some unsuspecting guests! Karen’s on tour opens fully to the public on in Febuary 2023, who will you bring?
Video coming soon to the North East Updates channel! Subscribe here: http://www.youtube.com/@northeastupdates
Don’t miss out on this great food but awful service! Whatever you do, don’t ask for a refund!
Booking essential https://www.karensontour.co.uk
Stag and Hen ideas in Newcastle upon Tyne!
Whether you’re a local or planning a trip North for a stag/hen weekend trip, Newcastle is the ideal city to celebrate. There’s so much to do in the city, from a great variety of places to eat and drink, fun nights out, to ample day-time activities! Here’s a list of some of the best stag and hen ideas to pack into your stag/hen weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne, some traditional and some slightly more unique…
1/ Dance classes
Dance City in Newcastle offers amazing Hen and Stag party experiences that ensure you’ll be spending quality time with your friends before the big day. They offer a variety of different classes to suit everyone!
Try their ‘Come fly with us’ experience, for 2 hours learning how to create shapes on the trapeze, dance in the cocoons, use the silks and spin in the hoop! Or you could try their burlesque workshops and street dance classes. Their musical theatre experience provides the bride-to-be an opportunity to choose a song to perform with her friends, ready to be showcased on the big day!
It’s guaranteed to be a fun-packed day.
2/ NE Bubble football
If you want to get you and your friends involved in a hilarious, must-try activity, then try out Bubble Football, only 10 minutes away from Newcastle City centre. All players are put into zorbs and games are taught by a qualified instructor. You can compete against each other in tournaments and choose between the standard 60-minute options or up to the 120 minute option.
It’s a great activity to involve all your friends in a day-time activity to remember. They also offer goggle football (https://nebubblefootball.co.uk/gogglefootball.php) which is another great, alternative activity to try out – perfect for stag and hen dos, and combat archery.
This cross between dodgeball and paintball (using bows and foam tipped arrows) is a fun activity pitting groups against each other in an intense game with inflatable bunkers to hide behind.
It’s another great team-building activity, enabling you to spend quality time with friends and make some hilarious memories. (https://nebubblefootball.co.uk/combatarchery.php)
3/ Cocktail making classes
For a social day-time activity guaranteed to start off an evening of drinking and celebrating perfectly, get yourself and your friends to a cocktail making class!
There are absolutely loads to choose from in Newcastle, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
- All Bar One offer classic cocktail masterclasses starting at £25 each where you have the chance to mix, muddle and mash three of your own cocktails. (https://www.allbarone.co.uk/national-search/northeast/all-bar-one-newcastle/cocktailmasterclasses#/)
- Lola Jeans provide masterclasses in their hidden Speakeasy in the Newcastle venue, and you can add a grazing platter to ensure you have plenty to eat whilst making delicious cocktails (https://www.allbarone.co.uk/national-search/northeast/all-bar-one-newcastle/cocktailmasterclasses#/)
- Banyan Newcastle offers cocktail making classes with your own personal bartender starting at £30pp (https://www.banyanbar.co.uk/bars/newcastle/cocktail-masterclass)
- And finally, The Botanist offers popular masterclasses packages with games and competitions included! (https://thebotanist.uk.com/locations/newcastle/cocktail-masterclass
Plus many more…
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