Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Battlefield to Baltic Part the Second

The second a final part of my walk to the Baltic Art Gallery on the Quayside.

When I first came to live in this city, Newcastle Quayside enjoyed a certain reputation. Not a place to stroll along for fun; absolutely not at night. The Tyne was a sewer.

Now look at it!

The first time I ever saw a Salmon leap was here a few years back.

It followed some much needed civil engineering in the 70s and the saving of the Newcastle Quayside from the plans developers who wanted to demolish all of it (!) to build offices. Thanks to the Amber film collective who, under the late Murray Martin had set up on the Side when it was very unfashionable (still there) this absolutely appalling idea was dropped. Much has resulted from that epic decision, some good, arguably some less so. People regret the loss of 'character's' and the edginess of Tyneside and its replacement by swank and money. But I think that's nostalgia; the old Quayside was no haven for anyone by the late 20th century. What's there today works for more people. It has also brought something to this city that was missing up until recently, a 'critical mass' of people who are willing and able to support the arts and leisure industries.

The Quayside is certainly a place to take visitors from anywhere to see what this city has for spectacle and splendour.

The Kittiwakes like it.

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