Played in Tyne and Wear

Charting the heritage of a city at play


By: Lynn Pearson
RRP: £14.99 (post-free to UK)
Format: 200 pp softback 210mm x 210mm
ISBN: 978 1905624 744
Published by English Heritage in September 2010

Played in Tyne and Wear is supported by Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, South Tyneside Council, Sunderland City Council and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

It used to be said that whenever a football manager needed a goal scorer all he had to do was head to the north east, call down a mineshaft and up would pop a centre forward.

But while the careers of Alan Shearer, Raich Carter, Bobby Robson, Brian Clough and Jackie Milburn all attest to the famous description of the north east as 'the hotbed of football', the region's miners and shipbuilders were just as likely to be formidable boxers, rowers, runners, cricketers or pigeon-racers.

In Played on Tyne and Wear, architectural historian Lynn Pearson guides the reader on an intimate tour of the area's sporting treasures; from the site of the celebrated Blaydon Races just outside Newcastle to a cockfighting pit in Tynemouth, and from the cantilevered heights of Sunderland's Stadium of Light to the homespun delights of Britain's only listed pigeon cree in Ryhope.

On Newcastle's Town Moor – one of the great open spaces of urban Britain – Pearson traces the path of the Toon's old racecourse and the haunts of strong-armed potshare bowlers (whose matches drew tens of thousands of gamblers in the 19th century), while an echo from the other side of the Moor recalls the smoky clamour of the 5,000 capacity New St James's Hall, where the likes of 'Seaman' Tommy Watson and Jack Casey ('the Sunderland Assassin') drew massive crowds between the wars. The River Tyne itself has witnessed many an epic rowing battle, not least featuring the legendary oarsman Harry Clasper, whose funeral drew an estimated 100,000 to the streets in 1870.

More recently the likes of Brendan Foster and Steve Cram have continued the North East's reputation for great athletes and headline events, such as the Great North Run and the now annual Gateshead Grand Prix. Lesser known gems from the Victorian era include the Ashbrooke sports ground in Sunderland, a real tennis court at Jesmond, a model boating club in Tynemouth and a handball wall in Wallsend, while the region is dotted with charming bowls and tennis pavilions, golf courses and cricket grounds.

Profusely illustrated with archive images, specially commissioned contemporary photographs and detailed mapping, Pearson's study may not get Geordies and Mackems to bury the past, but it shows they have sporting heritage aplenty to share as neighbours.

Hawkey's Hall Quoit Club

Hawkey's Hall Quoit Club

A summer evening at Hawkey's Hall Quoit Club, tucked away behind a wooden fence next to the Tynemouth Golf Club. The members have a minute book going back to 1863 but believe that the club may actually have formed three years earlier, thus making 2010 their 150th anniversary..

From page 1 of Played in Tyne and Wear
(Photograph © English Heritage.)

Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club

Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club

The court at Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club, built in 1894 in the grounds of Jesmond Dene House for the physicist and armaments expert, Sir Andrew Noble. The court is much praised by visiting players, as much for the way it plays as for its hammerbeam roof, fine brickwork and generous glazing.

From page 144 of Played in Tyne and Wear
(Photograph © Simon Inglis.)

Paddy Freeman's Park

Paddy Freeman's Park

Given the north east's shipbuilding heritage, it should be no surprise that model boating is so deeply rooted, or rather firmly anchored, in Tyne and Wear. Or that the area has three long established clubs, more than any other part of Britain. Here at Paddy Freeman's Park one club member shows off the mastery of his craft.

From page 167 of Played in Tyne and Wear
(Photograph © English Heritage.)

Played in Tyne and Wear contents

Chapter 1: Played in Tyne and Wear - setting the scene • sports clubs celebrating 150 years • Blaydon Races • growth of Newcastle, Sunderland and Gateshead • map of the region's main sports-related sites •

Chapter 2: Town Moor, Newcastle - cradle of sport since 18th century • Race Week • the Hoppings • potshare bowls • map of Town Moor's sports-related sites • Town Moor racecourse • first site of City of Newcastle Golf Club • Newcastle United Golf Club • Exhibition Park • Leazes Park • development of St James' Park •

Chapter 3: Gosforth - High Gosforth Park • map of Gosforth's sports-related sites • Newcastle Racecourse • Northumberland Golf Club • City of Newcastle Golf Club • Gosforth Golf Club • Northern FC • Gosforth RFC •

Chapter 4: Hillheads - Whitley Bay • Rockcliff Rugby Football Club • Whitley Bay Cricket Club • Whitley Bay Young Peoples' Club • Whitley Bay Ice Rink • Whitley Warriors • Whitley Bay Football Club •

Chapter 5: Wearmouth - Sunderland's Town Moor • horse racing • Sunderland Cricket Club • boxing • map of sports-related sites • High Street Bath • Crowtree Leisure Centre • Newcastle Road Baths • Blue House Ground • Sunderland AFC • Raich Carter Sports Centre • Roker Park • Archibald Leitch • Stadium of Light •

Chapter 6: Ashbrooke - multi-sport club • Sunderland Cricket Club • Sunderland Football Club • Sunderland Bowling Club • Sunderland RFC • Sunderland Strollers •

Chapter 7: Clubhouses and pavilions - Gateshead Bowling Green Club • Jesmond Cricket Ground • Tynemouth Cricket Club • Close House Golf Course • Tyneside Golf Club • Saltwell Park, Gateshead • Cochrane Park, High Heaton • Cartington Terrace, Heaton • Wood Terrace, South Shields • Sutherland Park, Longbenton • Wallsend Boys Club • Whitley Bay Golf Club • Whitburn Cricket Club • South Northumberland Cricket Club • South Shields Golf Club •

Chapter 8: Grounds and grandstands - Dean Road, South Shields • Cartington Terrace, Heaton • Spout Lane, Albany Park • Glebe Ground, Whickham • South Drive, Hebburn • Filtrona Park, South Shields • Crow Trees, Swalwell • Appleby Park, North Shields • Kingston Park •

Chapter 9: Stadiums and tracks -White City Stadium, Blaydon • Gosforth Stadium • South Shields Greyhound Stadium, Horsley Hill • Gateshead Greyhound Stadium, Redheugh Park • Brough Park, Byker • Pelaw Grange Greyhound Stadium • Sunderland Greyhound Stadium, East Boldon • City Stadium • Gypsies Green Stadium, South Shields • Monkton Stadium, Jarrow • Silksworth Sports Complex, Sunderland • Gateshead International Stadium •

Chapter 10: Cock fighting - Turk's Head pit, Bigg Market • Front Street, Tynemouth •

Chapter 11: Quoits - Lindisfarne Social Club, Wallsend • Dorset Arms Hotel, Wallsend • Hawkey's Hall Quoit Club •

Chapter 12: Bowls - Gateshead Bowling Green Club • Bath Lane, West Walls, Newcastle • Portland Bowling Green Club, Jesmond • West End Bowling Green • Rockcliffe Bowling and Tennis Club, Whitley Bay • Hodgkin Park, Benwell • Alexandra Bowling Centre, Sunderland • Forth Bowling Club, Monkseaton • Byker Village Bowling Club • Summerhill Bowling Club • Gosforth Bowling Club •

Chapter 13: Real Tennis - Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club •

Chapter 14: Running - Elswick Harriers • The Morpeth • Saltwell Road Race • Blaydon Race • Great North Run •

Chapter 15: Pigeon Racing - Newcastle upon Tyne Homing Society • Northern Federation • Up North Combine • Royal Pigeon Racing Association • Dalton Street, Byker • Skinnerburn Road • Queen's Road, Sunderland • Bensham, Gateshead • Hollywood Avenue, South Gosforth • Back Ryhope Street, Ryhope •

Chapter 16: Rowing - Elswick Works Amateur Rowing Club • Harry Clasper • Robert Chambers • James Renforth • Tyne Amateur Rowing Club • Tynemouth Rowing Club • Sunderland City Rowing Club • memorials • Northumbria University Boat Club • Tyne United Rowing Club • Gateshead Rowing Development Partnership • Northumbrian Water University Boat Race •

Chapter 17: Model boating - North East Coast Regatta • Newcastle Model Yacht Club • Gateshead Model Yacht Club • South Shields Model Yacht Club • Tynemouth Model Boat Club • Heaton & District Model Power Boat Club • Wearside Model Boat Club • Saltwell Park Model Boat Club • Roker Park Model Boat Club • Herrington Model Boat Club •

Chapter 18: Swimming - High Street Baths, Sunderland • Byker Baths • Arthur's Hill Baths • Elswick Baths • Montagu Baths • New Public Baths, Newcastle • Northumberland Baths • Victoria Sea Water Swimming Baths, South Shields • Lawson Street Baths, Wallsend • Gibson Street Baths • City Pool • Fenham Baths • Jesmond Baths • Shipcote Baths • Felling Pool • Newburn Pool • Whitley Bay Pool • Elswick Pool • East End Pool • Sunderland Aquatic Centre • Hawkey's lane Salt Water Swimming Bath • South Shields open air pool • Scout Camp pool • Tynemouth Open Air Pool • Table Rocks, Whitley Bay • Whitley and Monkseaton Bathing Club • Panama Swimming Club •

Chapter 19: Conclusions - Heritage Open Days • Commemorations • Historic sports buildings • Collections and archives • Oral histories • Online collections •