Daily Archives: Monday, 19th May 2008

Tyneside Cinema – Back, Bigger and Better

I have fond memories of the Tyneside Cinema. In the early 1980s, when I was in a prolonged period of unemployment, it offered a remarkably cheap source of entertainment. The cinema always sold tickets at a substantial discount to people on benefits, and they showed a mind-bogglingly eclectic range of movies. Not just art house and minority interest stuff, but major films (usually after their main run at more expensive places), and incredibly good value marathon packages of Hollywood classics. It was there that I first saw the Talking Heads concert movie Stop Making Sense. It was also the second and third place I saw it, as I dragged friends along to see it.

As time went on, I found I got round to going there less and less. This is more to do with me having other things to do (computers, DVDs, that camera thingy…) than with the lack of movies to see at the Tyneside. Now that it’s reopening, maybe I’ll persuade myself to make more of an effort and to actually see more movies on the big screen rather than waiting for the DVD. We shall see.

The main screen is in a glorious (and now fully restored) 1930s auditorium. It was originally a venue for showing newsreels, apparently. Upstairs was a smaller cinema and the ever-popular coffee rooms. All of this has now been restored, with additional rooms in expanded upper floors. This album currently contains just a few pictures of the outside of the building. I’ll try to get some more later.

Find out all about the Tyneside Cinema, including what’s on, on their own site:

Tyneside Cinema


For regular readers who may have been wondering what the photon is going on, I have noticed that my posting volume has increased lately. I’ve no idea why I’m suddenly finding more random stuff to write about, or why I’ve finally started getting to grips with the huge backlog of photos, much less why both these things are happening at the same time. I thought last month’s total of 101 posts was high, as it worked out at an average of something just over 3.3 posts per day, but this month looks like beating that by a large margin – as of today, I seem to be managing an average of 4.5 posts per day. Which is quite a lot, really. Maybe I’ll calm down a bit later…

Oh, and talking of volume, today I took my 8000th photograph with the Canon 30D. That’s a lot of pictures…

Eldon Square Redevelopment – 19 May 2008

This is the latest set of pictures showing the progress at the Eldon Square South redevelopment site. The concrete towers that were the main feature in the last few sets are growing ever taller, and now they’re being joined by the first sections of steel framework. Most of the site is still an open space, but it looks like that won’t be the case for long.

Haymarket Redevelopment – 19 May 2008

This is the first batch of pictures showing the redevelopment of Haymarket Metro Station. The familiar round building has been surrounded by a metal fence for quite some time now, but nothing much seemed to be happening. I’m told[1] that work has been going on underground, but I haven’t found the time to get a ticket and descend into the bowels of the Earth yet[2].

But as I mentioned on Friday, the project has now moved on to a more interesting stage. A quite impressively hefty crane (labelled as “1000 Tonne Telescopic”) is on site, and it’s being used to lift some quite impressively big bits of steelwork. These are being assembled into the basic frame of the new building, which will be substantially larger than the current one.

In this album, you can see the framework, that big crane, and the general location. More to follow as the project progresses.

[1] Hi Sam! :wave:
[2] Haymarket has looooooong escalators

Newcastle City Library – 19 May 2008

Here are today’s pictures of the new Newcastle City Library. Now the basic frame is complete, work is going on inside and out – floors are being added, and cladding and glass are appearing on the outside. There’s still a long way to go, but very real and visible progress is being made.

Weight Report – 19 May 2008

No change in my weight from yesterday, but it’s a significant improvement on this time last week.

What a difference a bit of sunshine makes. After the grey gloom of last week, this week started with bright sunshine, which was enough to persuade me to walk to work. At lunchtime, I had a wander past the refurbished Tyneside Cinema, which reopens on Thursday in its old home after a stay in Gateshead’s old town hall. From there, I went to the Newcastle City Library site, and got some pictures of the latest developments – it’s really beginning to look more like a building and less like a framework now. Then it was on to the Haymarket for a look at the Metro station redevelopment, and finally I visited the Eldon Square redevelopment site, where more progress has been made. Pictures of all of these will appear soonish.

After that, I had something to eat – just a sandwich, would you believe, despite the best worst efforts of my loyal evil staff[1] to persuade me that what I really wanted was a sausage roll or three.

And at the end of the day, I walked home, shock, horror, sensation.

[1] Hi Aaron!! :wave: [2]
[2] Hi Alex!! :wave:

I Can’t Wait For the Comments

Our dear Prime Minister Prudence Gordon Brown[1] has obviously taken on board criticisms that he’s too distant and out of touch with the public, especially younger voters. Stung by Tory leader Callmedave Cameron’s hilarious[2] video performances, Gordon has been persuaded that the Thing To Do is to get himself on YouTube. And so we now have the Ask the PM on the existing Downing St Channel.

So far, there’s a characteristically wooden video of Gordon lying about telling us how happy is to be on this new-fangled interweb thingy, and (this is the best bit) inviting questions from the YouTube-viewing public. Yes, he wants video responses. Which leads me to wonder if he’s ever actually looked at YouTube.

I have a sneaking suspicion that he’s being set up.

[1] Is it just me, or does that still require a mental gear shift?
[2] Well I laughed