View Full Version : Archived: Disappearing Newcastle: Leslie Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne 25/04/2009

26-04-2009, 06:05 PM
Having gotten bored after an hour in Primark (I know – I have a short attention span:p) I decided that I’d take a look round some of my favourite places (that aren’t shops ) in Newcastle. I’ve worn a groove into the pavement the number of times I have walked this route, looking for a loose board, or an open door. I love walking the little alleyways, forgotten by most people, except for maybe really determined shortcutters and graffiti artists.

Leslie Terrace is one which now not even the most dedicated shortcutter would bother with. I’ve been coming here for years now, just when I’m bored, or need somewhere to think. Access used to be easy, just walking off the street, or latterly crawling under some half-hearted herras fencing, but since the area has been ‘gentrified’ with the addition of swanky apartment blocks and the ‘regeneration’ of the Stephenson Quarter - which has, incidentally, seen the Robert Stephenson Trust (http://www.robertstephensontrust.com/) removed from it’s offices at the only surviving part of Robert Stephenson’s locomotive works on South Street due to spiralling rents :( – Leslie Street is hidden from public view with 6 ft high chipboard hoardings.

From a ‘Historical Account of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’ by Eneas MacKenzie in 1827 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43343:

Most of the inhabitants near the west end are engaged in the adjoining glass and iron works. A wide and commodious road conducts from its extremity up a bold ascent to the Infirmary and Forth. On the west side of this road, called the Forth Banks, and just beyond Skinner-burn, are, the Northumberland Flint Glass-house, a flour steam-mill, a foundry, a plate-glass manufactory, and an extensive brewery. The opposite side is now nearly covered with a double row of dwelling-houses, mostly occupied by workmen. Some of the higher houses, and Forth Row, near the top of the bank, are very neatly built.

This is the only reference I can find to the houses at Leslie Terrace – it doesn’t appear in the 1901 or 1911 censuses under that name, and it’s name only briefly appears on an OS map published in 1954, then disappears in later editions. The cottages were obviously ‘nicely built’ in 1827, however they are now in a very sorry state indeed. The remnant of the 1up-1down workers terraces survive roofless and mostly lacking walls, with only their fireplaces suspended in mid-air as an indication that myriad lives once bustled within their tiny footprints.

I don’t know who owns Leslie Terrace now. I would have expected it to have been flatted in the slavering rush for real estate during the past few years, but it’s simply grown more and bigger weeds, and more and bigger hoardings. The local kids and graff artists don’t even seem to bother with it anymore, so paths through the jungle are becoming few and far between. Eventually, the dividing walls with their suspended fireplaces will succomb to the will of gravity, and Leslie Terrace will be lost completely.

Anyway, here are the pics. I’m sure more stuff survives underground but I didn’t have a sledgehammer to hand. I found a tiny bit of cellar under some steps, but I was using my handbag as a tripod and my little fenix to lightpaint whilst lying on my stomach on an ant-infested pile of leaves so the shots weren’t great. It was pretty tiny anyway, but I was pleased with myself for having improvised.:) Buddleia, nettles and briars cover the place several feet thick, and it was only through judicious use of my sunglasses and a large handbag that I wasn’t blinded or stabbed to bits by the undergrowth (notes to self; handbags mage good bludgeons for squashing undergrowth, if in doubt, fall over and flatten stuff, don’t wear ballet pumps with no socks when exploring in nettles :o).









And here are the pics from earlier, with some extra nice work from Newcastle’s resident graffiti artists including a 3-way collaboration between Hush, Copyright and Prefab77 which I feel pretty lucky to have seen before some council nitwit paints over it :rolleyes:. And yes, I know graffiti is an acquired taste, but I think there’s a time and place for it, and an unremarkable wall, in an unremarkable back lane is it. Not the main hall of an asylum, for example:rolleyes:.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3381/3476104191_9ca2658db9.jpg?v=0 http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3336/3476115855_cf98991260.jpg?v=0


And someone’s done something natty with the netty at the top of Forth Banks :D

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3642/3476102245_7008b11947.jpg?v=0 http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3403/3476911172_23d591fd7e.jpg?v=0


And a rather wobbly rooftop pano from the girl who is scared of heights :o


doozer :)

p.s. apologies for crapness on forums lately; I have a new job which means I'm working too hard for the looking at the internets. Or, in fact, anything at all.