Freemen News 2011-2012
July 10th 2012 : Moor Bank Summer Spectacular
We are pleased to announce that the 2012 Summer Social will take place at Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont Road on Saturday 4th August at 1330 hours.
1330 hours Gate Opens
Musical entertainment provided by Heatwave
Hog and Lamb Roast
Chainsaw Wood Sculptor - Tommy Craggs International acclaimed artist
Contingent of the 101 Regiment Royal Artillery Pipe and Drum Band
Botanic Garden tours
1600 hours Farewell
Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
We expect that the demand for places will be high and so, to assist with planning and logistics, please click here to download the attendance form. Once completed, please send the form to:
Summer Spectacular 2012: Tickets
Moor Bank Lodge
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Please note that tickets will not be issued for the Summer Spectacular.
Places will be allocated on a first-come basis. If you have not been allocated any places then you will be informed by the 27th July 2012.
Also note that parking will be difficult as St James Park are hosting an Olympic Football Match at the same time as the Summer Spectacular.
- 1. Access to these web pages, and this form in particular, is logged.
- 2. Anyone who abuses these facilities will be banned, at the I.P. level, for life.
- 3. Anonymous e-mails will be ignored.
June 24th 2012 : Hoppings Opens Today!
Following the disappointing news about the postponement of The Hoppings, originally planned to open on Friday 22 June, The Freemen of Newcastle, Newcastle City Council and the Showmen have been working tirelessly since Thursday afternoon to make improvements to the site. The Town Moor surface was very wet due to the unprecedented bad weather in the run up to the highly anticipated event.
Those involved in the management and restoration of the site have been working non-stop to improve the conditions on the site, which has involved the implementation of major contingency plans.
David Wilson, Vice Chairman of the Freemen of Newcastle explained:
"We have been carrying out regular full site inspections to assess the gravity of the situation. We brought in massive machines to even out the surface. We have also brought in large quantities of bark chippings and straw to soak up some of the water as well as drafting in two submersible pumps to collect water which can then be moved off site.
"Despite the extra investment we have made in drainage for the Town Moor this year, the weather managed to defeat us for a short while, but after a fantastic effort from all on the site we are back and The Hoppings will now be opening on Sunday 24 June. Safety and the enjoyment of the public were our most important priorities and we feel we are now able to open The Hoppings meeting both of those concerns. We are very grateful for the fantastic way that the media has enabled us to keep the public informed of the status of the event on a frequent basis.
"The showmen are keen to open and the public cannot wait to come to The Hoppings, the feedback and support we have had from the public has been amazing.
"This is only the second time The Hoppings has been moved due to adverse weather conditions in 130 years, and we know the people of the North East will support the annual tradition and come along to the Town Moor Hoppings, regardless of the weather! It is still muddy so wear your wellies! Keep Calm Hopping On!"
You can keep up to date with The Hoppings on its website www.hoppingsfunfairs.com or on Twitter (@TheHoppings) and Facebook (The Hoppings).
June 21st 2012 : Hoppings Opening Postponed
We would like to officially announce that the opening of The Hoppings on Newcastle's Town Moor has been postponed.
Bad weather and muddy conditions have forced the postponement of the opening of this year's Town Moor Fair.
The fair known as the Hoppings was due to be officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle tomorrow lunchtime (Friday, 22nd June) but muddy conditions have forced organisers to put back the opening until ground conditions improve.
Thick mud has made it difficult for the showmen to set up rides and stalls and conditions are so bad that the opening has been put back in the interests of public safety.
A statement issued on behalf of Newcastle City Council, the Freemen and the Showmen's Guild, said:
"Due to unprecedented rainfall, the official opening of the Town Moor Fair tomorrow has been postponed. We will assess the weather conditions on a daily basis and make a decision as to when the fair can open based on the ground conditions and weather forecast.
"The reason for the postponement is due to health and safety. Our intention is to ensure that the Town Moor Fair is a safe and enjoyable experience but the continued rainfall is making this difficult to achieve.
"We will use the Newcastle City Council website, Town Moor Fair website, social media, tv, radio and newspapers to keep the community informed of when the fair can open."
May 20th 2012 : New Hoppings Web Site
The new Hoppings Web Site has just been launched.
2nd April 2012 : Exhibition Park Coronation Clock
The Coronation Clock Tower, donated by the Freemen to the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1953 as part of the celebrations surrounding the accession of Queen Elizabeth II, has recently been fully restored by the Freemen in time for 2012's forthcoming Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.
The clock tower was built R.W. Bell Ltd using a special brick supplied by the National Coal Board at a cost of £757 6s 5d, and has two clock faces, one to the north and one to the south. The clock was supplied by David Summerfield, Jewellers and was lit at night. The roof is made of Canadian red cedarwood and the rear access door is Burnese teak. The architect was Charles H. Errington. A Westmorland slate commemorative tablet reads:
THE CLOCK TOWER WAS ERECTED IN 1953 BY THE FREEMEN OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE TO COMMEMORATE THE CORONATION OF HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II. THE CHAIRMAN WAS LORNE C. ROBSON'.
The clock was handed over to the Lord Mayor Ald. W. McKeag on Tuesday 24th November 1953 in a ceremony in the Guildhall.
2nd April 2012 : Photographs from recent swearing-in sessions
30th January 2012 : Server upgrade
freemenofnewcastle.org is now running off a better, faster web server with more storage space and much higher bandwidth. The new server is provided by HostPapa.co.uk, who only use 100% green renewable energy to power their data centres, offices and more. It makes sense that we all do our part to keep the planet healthy for ourselves and those that come after us.
24th January 2012 : Chrismas Guild 2012, Swearing In Ceremony
A swearing-in ceremony was held in The Guildhall on Monday 16th January 2012 in front of the Sheriff of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Councillor Jackie Slesenger
2nd January 2012 : Freemen's Magazine Issue 11
Issue Number Eleven of the Freemen's Magazine is now available for download. Click on the thumbnail on the left or visit the Magazines page to download.
19th December 2011 : Yuletide Greetings
Best Wishes to all Freemen and their Families for a Very Happy Christmas from the Stewards Committee.
7th December 2011 : The Hoppings 2012
We are delighted to announce the dates for The Hoppings 2012, which will be held on Friday 22nd 2012 to Saturday 30th June 2012, inclusive.
12th October 2011 : The National Association of City and Town Sheriffs of England and Wales
The annual meeting of the National Association of City and Town Sheriffs of England and Wales was held in Newcastle upon Tyne during the weekend of 30th September 2nd October. At the request and in association with the Newcastle upon Tyne Lord Mayors Office, the Stewards Committee of the Freemen of Newcastle held a welcome reception in the Guildhall on Friday 30th. A talk by Sir Leonard Fenwick on the history of the Freemen of Newcastle and the importance of its Charters followed a champagne reception.
The Freemen were represented at a Dinner in the Banqueting Suite of the Civic Centre on October 1st
20th September 2011 : Hog Roast
It rained and it rained. Standing on the tarmac area at Moor Bank Lodge on the morning of the 6th of August at about 11.30 I thought the whole day was going to be a wash out. The Marquee roof was showing signs of collapse due to the weight of water that had become trapped it its corners, the rain was at times blowing sideways and the shelter that was there to protect the centrepiece of the day, namely, the Hog Roast looked as if it would disappear into the field.
At about 1.30 the Birds of Prey and the Exotic animals arrived, the rain had eased a little so we were able to direct them to their allotted areas around the ground, but it was at this time that the heavens opened the flood gates again and it became obvious that it would be impossible to work with either the Birds of Prey or the Exotic animals - the smell of panic wafted over the area.
It takes more than a monsoon to put Geordies off, and by 2.30 people began to turn up and by the time the entertainment struck up there were about 200 Freemen and visitors sheltering in the Marquee, and what a smashing afternoon it turned out to be.
The Birds of Prey did not perform but everyone had a chance to see them at close quarters and have their photo taken, the Exotic animals were handled by those that wished and they eventually decamped into a room in Botanic Gardens.
The Botanic Gardens was a haven for many, those that visited there were astounded at the selection of plants that were on display together with advice from a great many knowledgeable people.
The entertainment, The Heartbeats, did a magnificent job playing the afternoon away with songs that were easily recognised by the majority and several of the guests were Rocking and Rolling the afternoon away (probably helped by the wine and beer which was continuously served). I am sure that there were more than a few aching muscles the next day!
Those Freemen that failed to turn up missed out on a great afternoon with good food and plenty of refreshment to wash it down, the conversation was bright and cheerful despite the weather.
My thanks goes out to all that helped me in getting the show on the road, but my big thanks go to all who turned up and made the day such a success.
30th August 2011 : Recent Admissions
Another swearing-in ceremony was held in The Guildhall on 22nd August 2011 in front of the Lord Mayor of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Councillor Geoff O' Brien:
8th August 2011 : Freemen's Magazine
Issue Number Ten of the Freemen's Magazine is now available for download. Click on the thumbnail on the left or visit the Magazines page to download.
29th July 2011 : Photographs from recent swearing-in sessions
1st June 2011 : Photographs from recent swearing-in sessions
May 15th 2011 : Lord Mayor's Parade
The Lord Mayor's Parade will take place on Sunday, 15th May 2011 starting at 9:45 am in St. Nicholas' Cathedral, Mosely Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.
All Freemen are invited to participate in this event. Last year, we saw a huge increase in the numbers attending due to the admission of Lady Freemen. If you can come along then please do so. A limited number of robes are available on a first-come, first served basis.
A courtesy bus is available from Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont Road, Newcastle at 9 am.
March 21st 2011 : Swearing in sessions held on 7th February 2011 and 21st February 2011
At a ceremony held in The Guildhall on 7th February 2011, the following were made Freemen of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in front of Lord Mayor, Councillor Brenda Hindmarsh:
- Kathleen, daughter of Thomas Burns, Joiners
- Sheila Mary, daughter of Albert Edward Harkus, Joiners
- Joan, daughter of George Benjamin Burns, Joiners
- Edna Margaret, daughter of William Scott Harkus, Joiners
- Gwendolyn Muriel, daughter of Albert Edward Harkus, Joiners
- Marjorie, daughter of George Benjamin Burns, Joiners
- Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Burns, Joiners
- Rachel Mary Penelope, daughter of Frank Sutherland Robson, Joiners
- Ellen, daughter of George Benjamin Burns, Joiners
- Margaret Ann, daughter of Thomas Burns, Joiners
- Irene Mary, daughter of William Scott Harkus, Joiners
- Sarah Anne, daughter of Frank Sutherland Robson, Joiners
- Sheila, daughter of Thomas Burns, Joiners
- Kate Adele, daughter of Sir Leonard Fenwick, Shipwrights
At a ceremony held in The Guildhall on 21st February 2011, the following were made Freemen of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in front of Lord Mayor, Councillor Brenda Hindmarsh:
- Anne, daughter of Walter Gray Hall, Masters & Mariners
- Sheila, daughter of Walter Gray Hall, Masters & Mariners
- Brenda, daughter of James Taylor Hall, Masters & Mariners
- Susan, daughter of Ellen Hall, Masters & Mariners
- Sandra Maria, daughter of Henry Hall, Masters & Mariners
- Elizabeth, daughter of Walter Gray Hall, Masters & Mariners
- Keith, son of Ellen Hall, Masters & Mariners
- Charlotte Virginia, daughter of Stephen Christopher Healy, Masters & Mariners
- Lauren Elizabeth, daughter of Stephen Christopher Healy, Masters & Mariners
- Margaret, daughter of Cooper William Hall, Masters & Mariners
- James Francis, son of Dorothy Jeanne Robertson, Masters & Mariners
- Kenneth Leonard, son of Dorothy Jeanne Robertson, Masters & Mariners
- Wendy Rhoda Anne, daughter of Joseph Maurice Grey, Masters & Mariners
- Florence Elizabeth, daughter of Elizabeth Nilsen, Smiths
- Peter, son of Elizabeth Nilsen, Smiths
- Pauline, daughter of Elizabeth Nilsen, Smiths
- Beryl, daughter of Thomas Baron Atkinson, Ropemakers
- Micheline, daughter of Cyril Cato, Plumbers
- Joanne, daughter of Robert Alexander Graham, Plumbers
- Laura Marie, daughter of Robert Dixon, Ropemakers
- Claire Louise, daughter of Valerie Baron Hawkins, Ropemakers
- Michelle, daughter of Joyce Davison, Ropemakers
- Audrey, daughter of James Kitchener Cato, Plumbers
- Victoria, daughter of Brian William Spark, Scriveners
- Ann Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Michael Proctor, Plumbers
- Lorraine, daughter of Brian William Spark, Scriveners
- Charlotte Laura, daughter of Charles Edward Wilkie Smith, Scriveners
- Catherine, daughter of John Redshaw, Currier
- Marie, daughter of John Redshaw, Currier
- Daniella, daughter of Daniel Redshaw, Currier
- Caroline, daughter of Daniel Redshaw, Currier
January 31st 2011 : Swearing in session held 29th November 2010
At a ceremony held in The Guildhall on 29th November 2010, the following were made Freemen of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in front of Lord Mayor, Councillor Brenda Hindmarsh:
- Susan, daughter of Hewison Marshall, Cordwainer
- Karen, daughter of Hewison Marshall, Cordwainer
- James Miller, son of John Stanley Thompson, Cordwainers
- Annie, daughter of John Bolam, Cordwainer
- Enid Irene, daughter of Joseph Colley, Goldsmith
- Olive Osbourne, daughter of David Scotland Fairs, Shipwrights
January 17th 2011 : First Female Stewards attend Close Gild / Swearing in sessions
The first women Stewards to attend Close Gild, held at The Guildhall, Newcastle upon Tyne on January 17th 2011.
From left to right : City Mace Bearer, Ms. Lesley Walker (Goldsmiths), Lord Mayor Councilor Brenda Hindmarsh, Ms. Fiona Hogg (Curriers) and Chairman of the Senior Stewards Committee, Sir Leonard Fenwick.
Following the Close Gild, the following were made Freemen of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in front of Lord Mayor, Councillor Brenda Hindmarsh:
- Caroline Lucy, daughter of Richard Michael Grey, Scrivener
- Louise Rachel, daughter of William Colin Angus, Skinner & Glover
- Sylvia Margaret, daughter of Allen Brown, Smith
- Angela, daughter of James Daniel Melville, Smith
- Caroline, daughter of Thomas Robert Charlton, House Carpenter
January 14th 2011 : Changes to the Hoppings
In a bold move the Freemen of Newcastle are to take a lead role in collaboration with the City Council to setup and manage the 2011 Hoppings funfair.
For a full report select the Hoppings tab.
January 10th 2011 : Recent Swearing-in Sessions
At a ceremony at the Guildhall, Newcastle upon Tyne on Monday 10th January 2011, the following were made Freemen of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in front of Lord Mayor, Councillor Brenda Hindmarsh:
- Elizabeth Denise, daughter of Ronald Denis Elliot, Cordwainer
- Linda, daughter of Kenneth Elliot Marshall, Cordwainer
- Susan, daughter of Elliot Marshall, Cordwainer
- Joan, daughter of Norman Turnbull, Cordwainer
- Christine, daughter of Christine Jackson, Goldsmith
- Margaret, daughter of Wilfred Joseph Harriot, Goldsmith
- Linda, Josephine daughter of John Bainbridge, Goldsmith
- Susan, daughter of Gerald Wilfred Harriot, Goldsmith
- Constance, daughter of Francis Hawksby, House Carpenter
- Marian Louise, daughter of John Clennell Tate, House Carpenter
- Hazel Ann, daughter of Edward Brown, House Carpenter
- Laura Elizabeth, daughter of Lynn Dodds, House Carpenter
- Valerie, daughter of Walter Frizzle, House Carpenter
- Jill, daughter of Robert Henry Atkinson, House Carpenter
- Michael George, son of Vera Marshall, House Carpenter
- Andrea, daughter of Vera Marshall, House Carpenter
- Sheila, daughter of Edward Brown, House Carpenter
- Christine Linda, daughter of George Brown, House Carpenter
- Margaret Alexandra, daughter of Richard Brown, House Carpenter
For news from previous years, please click here