Weight and Stuff Report – 13 September 2014

Up a wee bit today…

After the usual Frankie and Benny’s breakfast and the even more usual shopping, it was time for some more Heritage Open Day activity. After checking times and things, I decided to start with the most distant. I got the bus to Gateshead then walked north. I headed down Bottle Bank and along the riverside path, and kept going. My target was this:

Dunston Staithes

Dunston Staithes

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/110s
Focal length: 78.7mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 13 September, 2014
Location: 54° 57.5765′ 0″ N 1° 37.3673′ 0″ W

Dunston Staithes is a huge timber structure (believed to be the biggest in western Europe). It was used to load coal onto ships, and is now a scheduled ancient monument. It’s been damaged by fire several times, but it’s now being restored. The plan is to make it fully accessible to the public, which is the kind of thing that makes me happy. Limited access to part of the structure had been announced for this weekend, and I didn’t want to miss it. But when I approached, at first I thought it wasn’t going to be open after all. My little brain had convinced me that it was the end nearer to Gateshead that was going to be open:

The Gateshead End

The Gateshead End

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 21.6mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 13 September, 2014
Location: 54° 57.4747′ 0″ N 1° 37.758′ 0″ W

But no, the gates were closed. Oh – that cone on top isn’t part of the original design. It’s art, apparently. Well, thought I’d walk along and see the rest of it while I was there, and then I noticed people walking on the other end, which looks more like this:

An entrance!

An entrance!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/320s
Focal length: 22.4mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 13 September, 2014
Location: 54° 57.4298′ 0″ N 1° 38.2176′ 0″ W

The section behind those grey gates was open, and there’s a path sloping up on the other side that leads to the entrance to the massive upper deck. So far, the restoration work has got as far as the first blue gantry that you can see above. And it was a pleasure to walk along this piece of industrial history. Quite apart from the interest of the thing itself, and appreciating how much work has gone into making it safe (a lot of timber has had to be replaced), it also gives unique views along the river in both directions. The other thing is that while it’s visible from a long way up river, and is obviously large, you don’t really appreciate the scale of it until you actually get on that deck:

Up close

Up close

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/280s
Focal length: 23.3mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 13 September, 2014
Location: 54° 57.4537′ 0″ N 1° 38.1769′ 0″ W

After a good wander over the Staithes, I walked up to the main road for a bus into Newcastle, then a bus to the Quayside, where I arrived at Trinity House just in time for a short guided tour. No photographs were allowed inside, but I did see this nice, if ineffective, sundial:

What's the time?

What’s the time?

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 116.1mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 13 September, 2014
Location: 54° 58.2138′ 0″ N 1° 36.3201′ 0″ W

After that, I walked over the Swing Bridge and uphill towards the Gateshead Visitor Centre in the old St Mary’s Church to see the latest exhibition. I was passed by a suitably heritage-related vehicle on my way

Hold on tight

Hold on tight

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/5
Shutter speed: 1/300s
Focal length: 27.9mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 13 September, 2014
Location: 54° 58.0134′ 0″ N 1° 36.3451′ 0″ W

By this point, my feet were complaining, and my knees muttering, so I crossed the road just in time to catch a bus to Gateshead and another one home.

Assuming I recover, I’ve got another trip planned for tomorrow…