Friends of Saltwell Park

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Events programme

All events are open to Members of the Friends of Saltwell Park and Non-Members.
Most events take place in, or from, the Training Centre in Saltwell Park and start at 10.30am (unless and alternative is specified).  Events generally last an hour and a half, and there is no need to book unless otherwise specified.
For events in the Training Centre there is a charge of £1 Members / £2 Non Members which includes refreshments (served before the event starts so please arrive 15 minutes before the start time if you wish to join us for refreshments).
Please note, events listed below are all organised by Friends of Saltwell Park.  For information about other events in the Park please visit Gateshead Council's website
Events 2019



(look for the bandstand!) 1:00-3:30pm

(30 minute interval at 2:00pm)


18th August  - Low Fell Ukes

25th August  - Whickham Wind Band

Bring a blanket and a picnic, relax and

listen to free music from local bands!

Please note this is organised by

Gateshead Council not by

Friends of Saltwell Park

If you would like to see more live music  in
Gateshead Parks,
Tweet #liveparkmusic to @GMBCouncil
Tuesday 20 August 8-9.30pm
Bat Walk
Northumberland Bat Group guide us on this
popular event- there are limited spaces
therefore booking is essential via our website- 
see right side of Events page.
  Saturday 7 September 10.30am
City Slickers and Country Yokels
Urban and suburban areas are increasingly popular
with beekeepers. In our countryside, intensive
agriculture is not always welcoming to honeybees,
whereas in towns and cities there is a surprising
amount of diverse food to be found. But where
exactly do our urban honeybees go?
Join members of Tyneside Bee Keepers to find out
at this event.
Heritage Open Days 2019 –  13 - 22 September
Saturday 12 October 10.30am
Heritage Talk
Ian Daley tells us about the Great and the Good
of Gateshead.
Saturday 9 November 10.30am
Prisoners of the British 
Bernard Hope returns to give us a fascinating
account of the confinement in Britain of German
Servicemen between 1939 and 1948.
Saturday 7 December 10.30am
Christmas at St Chad’s Church, Bensham
The Low Fell Ukes will be playing and singing
a wide range of songs celebrating Christmas.

Past Events

Saturday 10 August 10.30am
Heritage Walk
Despite rain before and after we joined Ian Daley
to discover the heritage of the Park. 
Thank you Ian for an informative and enjoyable
Love Parks Week 2019 – 12th - 21st July
FoSP in partnership with Gateshead Council
Join Us in July:
Sunday 14th & Wednesday 17th
For a display and sailing of Model Boats –
next to the lake 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 16th
Health Walk - stroll around the Park –
meet at North doors of the Towers 11am - 12noon
Wednesday 17th
Bird Walk - learn more about birds in the Park -
meet at North doors of the Towers 10am – 11am
Wednesday 17th
Park Practical Task morning – help with some gardening in Park -
meet at North doors of the Towers 10:30am – 12:30pm
Wednesday 17th
Heritage Walk - learn more about the heritage in the Park -
meet at North doors of the Towers 1pm – 2:30pm
All events are free
Saturday 6 July
History of the Tyneside Cinema
Thank you Margaret Dodds for telling
us about the history of the
Tyneside Cinema which opened in 1937
and is the last surviving news theatre
still operating as a cinema.
Saturday 8th June -
Amanda Cuskin joined us with volunteer John
to tell us about Bowes Railway and the
Heritage Trail Challenge.  Watch out for further
information about how you can obtain your
Heritage Trail Passport and collect stamps
when you complete a trail.  Thank you Amanda,
history on our doorstep.  Hope Friends visit.
Sunday 12th May - Bird Walk
Michael Turner lead us around the Park looking
and listening for birds that live in the Park all year 
round or are just passing through. 
Lots of birds seen and heard ... including 5 cygnets
which made their first appearance today!
Weather perfect too.  Thank you Michael for 
a lovely walk and for sharing your knowledge.
Wednesday 24th April - AGM
All welcome.  Join us from 6.45pm for refreshments
before the meeting starts at 7pm.
Saturday 13th April - Lit & Phil
The Literary & Philosophical Society was formed
in 1793 and its historic library is Newcastle's
must-see visitor attraction. 
Lit & Phil guide Pat Lowery gave us a fascinating
 insight into its history and hidden treasures.
Saturday 9th March - Honest Graft
We entered a world of tree grafting adventures with
 Tyneside Beekeeper's Association - diverse,
weird and wonderful!  We discovered the benefits of tree
grafting both to us and pollination insects. 

After the talk the Tyneside Beekeeper's Association
ran a grafting workshop at the Training Centre
in Saltwell Park, with tools provided.
Thank you Alistair Robinson from
Honest Graft.

Saturday 9th February - Land of Oak & Iron
Karen Daglish joined us to speak about the
Land of Oak & Iron, an area that was once home to a
world-leading iron and steel industry and is now an
area of natural beauty.
Thank you Karen, very significant history right on
our doorstep.

Saturday 12th January 2019 - History of the Clippy Mat

An excellent talk and demonstration by Jo Wilson on rag

mats, known locally as Clippy Mats, that were a common

sight in most working class homes in the North East until 

the 20th century.  Today the craft is being preserved by

local groupsAfter the talk and demonstration we were

able to have a go ourselves. 

Saturday 8th December 2018
Christmas at St Chad's Church, Bensham
Seasonal fayre and songs from Sharon Durrant's
Urban Chorus choir.  Thank you to all who
contributed to this event to make it so special.
Saturday 10th November - End of the First World War
Germany 1918: Armistice and Aftermath
As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the
end of the First World War, Ian McArdle from the
Lit & Phil returned and gave us another fascinating talk.

This talk recounted from the German point of view the

major events from the offensive in March, 1918 leading

up to the Armistice on November 11th. The talk then

continued by examining some of the reactions of the

defeated troops and their bitter return to a deeply

unstable and dangerous homeland.

A most informative and moving talk, thank you Ian.

Displays in Shipley Art Gallery Lounge:

Saltwell Park Game "The Keeper" &

"Six Honest Servants"

Please visit the Shipley Art Gallery and see

results of our art work with Dingy Butterflies

over the summer.

Exhibition opens on Saturday 15th September

to 27th October.  There will be talks by the

artists who undertook these projects on 6th

and 13th October.

More details will follow but look in the Council

News too.

Saturday 13th October
Life in the 1930s / 40s / 50s

Andrew Clark, local author, encouraged us to
discuss what life was like during these years,
with memories of the Park in those times. What
a great discussion!  New stories for Andrew
too. Thank you very much Andrew - especially
from those who still remember their old
Co-op Divi number!

Those Northern Lights, So Pretty
Dingy Butterflies.  Venues across
Bensham & Saltwell, Gateshead - including
Saltwell Park
Sunday 9 September 10.30am - 12 noon
Meet at Gate 1 (LittleTheatre entrance).
Be one of the first to try out the newly
created "The Keeper" game.

Events from 22 June to 9 September...
Dingy Butterflies presents ‘Those Northern
Lights, So Pretty’; a project working with
Northern artists Dominic Smith, Toby Lloyd
and art group Moveable Feast to explore
the themes of heritage, environment
and community whilst living, playing and
working in Gateshead in the past, present
and future.
Next Workshop is Wednesday 15th August,
10am - 1pm Training Centre. Please contact us
if you would like to attend.
There will be workshops and events around
Gateshead with artists for you to get involved
in and contribute to the project alongside
artworks and installations in Saltwell Park and
Shipley Art Gallery towards the end of the
Great Exhibition of the North. Keep your eye
on the @GatesheadALive social media for
further information.
Commissioned by Gateshead Council.

For more information email:

Please note the Friends of Saltwell Park are
not organising these events but we are
supporting them.  If you would like to help us
to do this then please
Saturday 8th September - Open Meeting
Every one came to hear about what is going
on in the Park and tell us about their
experiences and concerns in the Park. 
This time we also asked those present for
help with making all the things we do happen. 
If everyone does a little bit to help then we
can make big things happen!  Some of you
already do a lot.  However, if you have yet
to volunteer for something and you feel 
you can help us then please let us know by 

Wednesday 15th August -  Workshop

Dingy Butterflies

Toby Lloyd -Workshop

10am - 1pm Training Centre.

Toby Lloyd (August 2018)  - His project, 
Six Honest Servants, will explore questions concerning
public and private spaces and services, asking
questions such as what are they, how do we access
them, and who control’s them?  Workshops will include
map making, creative activities and the mapping of
Gateshead areas, including Saltwell Park, that
participants use, exploring which areas are private and
public space, which services they use, how these have
changed over the years. From these discussions and
creative activities Toby will develop a series of artworks
that will be exhibited in the Shipley Art Gallery in
September and October.
This work is supported by Durham University. 
Saltwell Park Training Centre,
Wednesday 15th August, 10-1pm
Please contact us if you would like to attend
as you need to book your place for this event.

More information can be found about this

event by scrolling down to "Those Northern

Lights So Pretty"

Saturday 11th August - Chase Park
Peter Craig, Friends of Chase Park in Whickham,
told us about Chase Park and the process the
Friends of Chase Park (FoCP) went through with
Heritage Lottery Funding.  They have taken on
so much responsibility for their park, they are
inspiring.  FoCP is very different to FoSP but we 
can learn a lot from each other.
Those Northern Lights So Pretty
Dingy Butterflies presents a project working with
Northern artists in the Saltwell and Bensham area. 
Please see further down list for full details
Confirmed Workshop dates in the Park:
Training Centre 2 - 5pm Saturday 7th July
Training Centre 2 - 5pm Sunday 15th July
Sunday 15th July is Love Parks Day in Saltwell Park

Sunday 15th July - Community Open Day 11am-4pm
Following the success of last year we are pleased to be
able to tell you this event is to run again. 

Activities during the day include:
 ~ Music in the Bandstand:
11.00am - Big Muddy - Jazz with Jude Murphy
12.30pm - Choir with Sharon Durant
2.00pm - North East Concert Band
4.00pm - Finale - solo singer Julie Pendleton (who will
also be singing with the NE Concert Band)
4.15pm - End of Music in the Park

~ Bee installation in the Training Centre
~ Model Boats exhibition at the lake side
~ Information about Parkrun
~ and much, much more! 

Why not bring a picnic and spend the day in
the Park?
  Contact us if you would
like to offer help on the day.

Saturday 14th July - Bees in Parks
Barbara Keating, Tyneside Bee Keepers, helped us
learn about Honey Bees with the most wonderful
installation and question and answer session.
If you missed it it will be in the Training
Centre tomorrow at the Community Open Day.

Saturday 9th June -
The Great Exhibition of the North is coming:
22 June to 9 September
It's the biggest Exhibition in England.

Carol Bell, Director of the Great Exhibition of the North
gave us an excellend overview of this free summer
long programme of amazing exhibits, live performances,
displays of innovation, new artworks and unforgettable
For more information about GETNorth 2018
or click here.

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Sunday 13th May - Bird Walk 9.30am start

Thank you to Michael Turner for leading us around
the Park looking and listening for birds which live
in the Park or are passing through. 
Quite quiet in the Park after the heavy rain but
some bird activity seen and bird song heard and
lots of ducklings.
Wednesday 25th April - AGM
7.00pm Training Centre
All welcome.  Join us from 6.30pm for refreshments
before the meeting starts at 7.00pm
Saturday 14th April
Joseph Shipley

Thank you to Ian Daley who provided a very interesting
illustrated talk about Joseph Shipley and
the Shipley Art Gallery.  Another of our local heroes.
Saturday 10th March - Friends of Jesmond Dene
Thank you to 2 enthusiastic Friends of Jesmond Dene
who told us about the history of the Dene and the
their activities.  Many similarities to Friends of
Saltwell Park, lots to learn!


(Cuppa with a Copper)


Friday 9th March 2018, between11am – 12noon at

Saltwell Towers.

Join PC Nicola Smith to discuss your concerns about

activities in the Park and hear about what the Friends

of Saltwell Park are doing to help make the Park more

safe and secure. All welcome.
Saturday 10th February - Penshaw Monument
Bernard Hope gave us a fascinating account
of John George Lambton and Penshaw Monument.
Thank you - and we hope Bernard will return
next year as we see he has new talks to offer.
If you would like to see a full list of Bernard's
talks please visit his website.
Saturday 13th January - Family History Workshop
Thank you to Yvonne Kennedy and team for helping
us discover how to research our family trees.   
WiFi was provided for this event, and the event was
sponsored by Allay Claims Ltd.
Saturday 9th December 2017 10.30am start - AT
ST CHAD'S CHURCH ... arrive
any time from
10am for tea / coffee and biscuits - with a
festive theme.

Topic: Christmas at St Chad's
Our annual event - with Carols around the Organ. 
A lovely event to start our Christmas celebrations
and wish everyone well fro Christmas and New Year..
Saturday 11th November 2017 10.30am start - arrive
any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Medical Services during World War 1
Thank you to Ian McArdle from the Literary and
Philosophical Society, Newcastle gave a fascinating
account of how the medical services coped
during WW1.  The conditions the soldiers and the
medics coped with were described in some detail
which showed the true horror of war.  We also
observed 2 minutes silence during this event.
Saturday 14th October 2017 10.30am start - arrive
any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Behind the Scenes at the Little Theatre
A big thank you to Irene Crankshaw who told us about
all the work which goes on by the Progressive
Players so that plays can be put on at this notable
local building which gives pleasure to so

Saturday 16th September
2017 10.30am start - arrive
any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Open Meeting
A great meeting.  Lots to hear about and lots of questions
Saturday 12th August 2017 10.30am start - arrive
any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Newcastle Quayside
Thank you to Bill Saunders, who made a very welcome
return to the Friends, and told us about a lot of places
on the Newcastle Quayside which you may walk past
and not notice as they are tucked away.

What Ever Happened to Saltwell Park Museum? 
Guided Walk and Talk

A guided walk led by Michael Turner (Chair of FoSP)
around Saltwell Park looking at several of the
Grade ll listed structures. This was  followed by a walk
to the Shipley Art Gallery, with refreshments and two
further presentations by Ian Daley, Chair of Friends
of Shipley Art Gallery and Michael McHugh from
Tyne and Wear Archive Museum (TWAM).  An excellent
time had by all.

SUNDAY 16th JULY 2017

Saltwell Park's Celebration for Love Parks Week (14th-23rd July)

Wow!  What a day of brilliant music - and sunshine too!

Friends of Saltwell Park brought to you:

Music in Saltwell Park Bandstand in The Grove

Featuring Bands: NE Concert Band; Big Muddy; Urban Chorus;

and GiDiMaPa

Other activities throughout the day:

Model Boat club, Saltwell Bowlers,
Muddy Monsters and Little Movers.

Tyneside Bee Keepers,Wildlife Trust, and RSPB. 

Northumbria Police, Police Cadets and
Tyne and Wear fire Brigade.


Saturday 8th July 2017 10.30am start - arrive
any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Change of View
Julian Harrop, Collections Resources Officer, Beamish
Museum,gave a wonderful illustrated talk about how
places around North Durham and Tyne & Wear have
changed over the years, using images from the
Beamish Collection.

SUNDAY 11th June
2017 2-4pm

Topic: Music in the Bandstand
The Silver Wind Band returned to provide rowsing

music in the Park - much missed by all in recent

times.  Certainly attracted good weather and a crowd!

Watch out for similar event 16 July 2017.


Saturday 6th May 2017 10.30am start - arrive
any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Bees in Parks
Thank you Barbara Keating from the Tyneside
Bee Keepers - your example of a park in
Manchester which keeps bees and sells its
own honey was inspiring.  We look forward to
sampling Saltwell Park Honey in the future.

Wednesday 26th April, 2017 7pm start - arrive
any time from 6.30pm for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: AGM

All members are invited to come along to hear about

what is happening in the Park and join us to decide

who will be on the Committee for the year.

Saturday 8th April 2017 10.30am start - PLEASE

Topic: 12 Grade 2 Listed Structures in Saltwell Park

The sun shone on us as Michael Turner led the walk around
 the Park to see these structures which we usually take
for granted.  Saltwell Park has a fascinating Heritage.
Thank you Michael for an entertaining and informative walk.
Saturday 11th March 2017 10.30am start - arrive
any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Capability Brown
Anthea Lang visited the Friends to enlighten us about
another local "celebrity" who created world class
gardens and landscapes.
An excellent talk, thank you very much Anthea.
It is amazing how many he influenced.

Saturday 11th February 2017 10.30am start - arrive
any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Eddie Chapman, North East Double Agent
Bernard Hope returned to tell us about this
local "Celebrity" from Burnhopefield. Bernard talked
to a packed room and everyone was enthralled by
the story. Thank you Bernard for all the research you
have done into Eddie Chapman and telling and
illustrating the story in such a fascinating way.

Saturday 14th January, 2017 10.30am start - arrive

any time from 10am for tea / coffee and biscuits.

Topic: Healthy Eating.  After the festive over
indulgence John Roughey created mouth watering,
vegetarian, healthy, recipes in front of our eyes.  We
had the opportunity to sample them afterwards - delicious.
Thank you John.

Saturday 10 December 2016

Topic: Our usual Christmas cheer with

the Big River Ukelele Band 

What a wonderful morning we had at 

St Chad's.  Tea, coffee, mince pies and

other assorted goodies, music and chat.

Has Slade's "Merry Christmas" ever been

sung in this church before?

Saturday 12 November 2016

Topic: Durham Pals

In full uniform and equipment Durham Pals 

brought to life conditions in the trenches

using examples of equipment. A real eye

opener.  Thank you Neil for an excellent


Saturday 8 October 2016

Topic: Red Cross and Saltwell Towers

Margaret Musgrave came to talk to us about

the Red Cross, past, present and future.

We all agreed that we did not

realise how much the Red Cross does - world 

natural disasters and conflict, but much closer

to home too e.g. floods in Cumbria and 

helping isolated individuals who need support.

Thank you Margaret for this fascinating insite.

Sunday 2nd October 2016 12 noon - 2.00pm
Sage Gateshead Silver Wind Band

A fabulous event - the Bandstand filled with
musicians and visitors hearing their
wonderful music.
Excellent weather too, a perfect afternoon.
A huge thank you to all the Band members
and the FoSP volunteers who came along to
move the chairs to and from the event.

Saturday 10 September 2016 10.30am

Topic: Open Meeting

This was an informal chance to discuss items

important to you in the Park. Topics discussed:

Friends of Saltwell Park Consultation; Thrive's

activities in the Park; the arrival of Bees in the

Park; the RSPB Summer Project.  We also met

Cllr Jeannie Kielty, recently elected to Saltwell

Ward, who listened to our activities and concerns

and is looking forward to working with FoSP in

the future.

Thursday 8 and Friday 9 September 2016
Topic: Heritage Open Days

An excellent, informative walk around the 12
listed structures in Saltwell Park, thank you
Michael Turner for leading this walk.

Saturday 20 August 2016

Topic: Parks in Australia

Maria Goulding told us about the parks 

she visited in Australia. There was a lot

of inspiration for what Saltwell Park

could be like - make it even more

beautiful!  Thank you Maria.

Tuesday 23 August 2016, 7:30-9:30pm

Topic: Go Batty in the Park

Noel Jackson from Durham Bat Group 

joined us for a very interesting and 

informative talk and walk in the Park.

3 different type of bats spotted with the
bat detectors! Thank you very much

Saturday 16 July 2016
Topic: Dunston: Staiths, Steamers & Teemers

A fascinating talk by Tony Stephenson from the
Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum about the history
of Dunston as well as the Staiths.  Thank you
Tony - so much industrial history, mostly now gone.
Pleased the Staiths still there as an iconic reminder.

Saturday 25 June 2016, 9.30am


Thank you to all who attended the consultation at

Gateshead Old Town Hall.  We are collating all

the many ideas generated and will let you know

our vision for the next 5 years ASAP.

Saturday 11 June 2016, 10.30am

Topic: Visit to Whickham Hermitage Garden

Following on from our talk in April we visited this

beautiful garden. 20 Friends of Saltwell Park

enjoyed a guided tour, refreshments in the new

cafe and bought plants from a large selection.

Well worth a visit.

Sunday 8 May 2016, 9.30am

Topic: Spring Bird Walk

Thank you Michael for a very informative

walk on a most beautiful day weather wise.

The pair of swans produced their newly

hatched 6 cygnets on this day and swifts

gave us an aerial display.

Saturday 9 April 2016 10.30 am

Topic: Whickham Hermitage Garden

Thank you David Peacock MBE for your 

inspirational talk this morning.  You and the 

volunteers are obviously passionate about 

the garden. We look forward to visiting 

it on Saturday 11th June.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Topic: Annual General Meeting

A chance for the Friends to review the last year.

Very positive meeting.  Part of the AGM was

devoted to outlining the consultation which will

happen on 25th June.  Watch this space for details.

Saturday 12 March 2016
Topic: Museum Memories

Thank you to Michael McHugh
for giving us an insight into the
future Saltwell Park Museum exhibition
at the Shipley Art Gallery.

Saturday 9 January 2016 10.30am
Topic: Nearly 40 years at the chalk face

Thanks to Bernard Hope for his very funny account 
of his life as a teacher with entertaining stories 
and unbelievable exam answers.  He cheered up a rather
dull morning, weather-wise.

Saturday 12 December 2015 10.30am
Topic:  Silver Wind Band

The Friends of Saltwell Park thank the Silver Wind
Band for  their festive melodies at St Chad’s Church

Saturday 14 November 2015 10.30am
Topic: Thrive - Chris Tait

Thank you, Chris, for a very interesting insight
into the work of Thrive.  We did not realise Thrive
did so much.  Anyone keen to help with their
 'Health and Horticulture' scheme contact Chris