Tag Archive for tyne

Ye Olde

It should by now be common knowledge that the use of Ye, for the, is based on a mistaking of the older orthographic rendering of the word the as Þe. Maybe it’s odd that an almost equally common misreading of ſ – the old long form for s, as an f, hasn’t produced a bunch of Ye olde tea fop from Þe Olde Tea ſhoppe, but the shop’s h probably stops that happening.

But Ye Olde has been around a lot longer than I thought. Here it turns up on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1887. They even had the quainty-wainty f-word (that’s Fayre) back then.


This picture is an engraved illustration from The Graphic (1869 – 1932) of May 21 1887, reporting on the Newcastle Exhibition where they’d had the wherewithal to build a complete half-scale model of the heavily ſhoppe-laden medieval Tyne Bridge which had been washed away in the flood of 1771.

Said Jubilee is why Exhibition Park was born, and is also what spawned Newcastle Exhibition Ale

Mind the Gap


So, it’s still here then. Seven months after the couple of dozen metres or so of riverside path collapsed into the river Tyne, the pile of dis-integrated bankside remains visible on your left as you cross the river by tram from Newcastle to Gateshead over the Queen Elizabeth II Metro Bridge. There doesn’t appear to be any online information about this either at the Gateshead Council, or Newcastle Council, or the River Tyne Authority (although this last bunch might have little interest in it since it’s so far upstream from the actual port).

Here’s an interesting comment, by one ‘mikeymo’, on the Chronicle’s article:

I was with a friend when walking along the river a couple of weeks ago and noticed the ground had split opened! I even stated to my pal that it could fall into the river!! 2 days later walked along the same path and the council had patched the gap witht tarmac!! I still thought that that there could be internal damage! The council are trying to cover up by blaming vandals when thy actually sent workmen to patch it!!! Thank God I had not been out that night!!

It rather looks as if the collapse was hastened by the ‘patch’, doesn’t it? I wonder how much the repair will cost and indeed – in this economy – if it’s just too difficult to do anything about. Rebuilding a riverbank has got to be quite a tricky and expensive piece of engineering.

Here’s an idea though – they could build a flat mini-bridge to span the gap. I suggest of a thick glass, or at least a transparent polymer. Kids could have a bit of a thrill walking along it and cyclists along the Sculpture Trail might encounter an unexpected surprise. Cats (scaredy or real) – well – they could just mosey nonchalantly up the bank a bit and walk around it. Like it’s what they meant to do all along, like whistling insouciantly as you avoid walking under a ladder.

It might be quite cheap and also a tourist attraction. Just sweep the muddy rubble into the river, by the way – it could do with a bit of a re-dredge.