2016 will be the 800th anniversary of the creation, by King John, of Newcastle’s Mayoralty, and of Newcastle’s Burgesses (Freemen).
The Council and the Freemen are keen to take a joint approach to mark this landmark 800th anniversary consideration.
To commemorate the 800 years, the City Council is delivering a programme of activities which draw attention to the city’s history, and celebrates the benefits of democracy, public service, and civic life.
To date a service of thanksgiving has been held in the cathedral church of St Nicholas, four community champions have been awarded the Lord Mayor 800 award, and a commemorative plaque has been erected on the Guildhall (the oldest existing seat of local governance). A pilot education programme has been delivered to upper primary school children (KS2) in partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, who will roll this out to other schools throughout the year, and develop further school activities with secondary school (KS3) pupils.
Banners (financed by the Freemen of the City) will be going up on lampposts in the city centre to raise awareness of the 800th anniversary year, and the forthcoming programme of events.
Please see below for a list of all the upcoming events commerating the 800th anniversary of Newcastle's Mayoralty:-
In July 2016, we will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme (1 July). On 2 July, the Lord Mayor will take part in a drumhead service led by the British Legion at the Renwick Memorial. She will then initiate a Poppy Field of Remembrance on the grassed area opposite the memorial.
A painting of the Renwick Memorial, with a contemporary twist, will be given to the city on long loan by the Lord Mayor, and will be on display in the Grand Entrance for a short time, before going on permanent display in the City Library.
The City Library will be hosting an exhibition from early October to January 2017 featuring historic Mayoralty regalia, silver normally on display in the Silver Gallery, paintings and artefacts including the crest from old town hall. There will also be a collection of documents and books highlighting the history of the city, including loans of rare material from the universities and the British Library.
Exhibition panels and a story box of factsheets will be available from July to be used locally if you would like to engage residents and groups in your wards.
Hot Air Balloons!
Newcastle City Council’s Freeman have arranged for a mega fun weekend of hot air balloons, music acts, theme park rides, and entertainment for all the family in the Town Moor over the weekend of 5/6/7 August 2016.
The Friday admission is just £1 as the day will be a funfair special only and for £3 only on Saturday/Sunday.
Throughout Saturday/Sunday, a breath-taking display of hot air balloons will tither and there will be stage based musical performances a line-up of pop music tribute acts including Rihanna, Pink, Beyoncé and Adele, and local bands.
For more information about activities and openings, please click here
Picnic in the Park / Lord Mayor’s Park Parade
A free complementary picnic in Exhibition Park is being organised by the Active Newcastle Team for Sunday 7 August. This will be a family fun day open to the public who will be able to join in with any of the sporting/physical activity or other activities on offer throughout the celebrations. The full list of activities will be confirmed at a later date, but up to now they include the following:
- Climbing Wall;
- Crazy Golf;
- Football Inflatable and
There will also be an area where Active Newcastle dance crews will perform throughout the day interspersed with announcements and incidental music. A selection of acoustic musical performances will also be taking place at the recently restored park bandstand.
Although everyone will be welcome to bring their own picnics to enjoy on the designated picnic area in front of the stage, refreshments will also be on sale at the Exhibition Park café.
It is anticipated that the Lord Mayor will arrive at the picnic in the Lord Mayor’s coach. A military band will accompany the horse drawn coach as it parades around the park.
John Grundy book
A specially commissioned book by John Grundy will be launched in early September.
John Grundy, the North East’s favourite TV historian turns his attention to the history of Newcastle upon Tyne. In his inimitable style he tackles questions such as:
- Where did the Roman bridge at Newcastle actually lead to?
- What did St Wilfred choose as a holiday souvenir from his trip to Rome?
- Why did medieval Newcastle need town walls?
- How was Newcastle reviewed on the 17th century version of Trip Advisor?
- Where did Newcastle imprison the King?
Always knowledgeable, often funny and sometimes irreverent, this book will be treasured by anyone who is interested in our great regional capital.
Heritage Open Days
Over the weekend of 9/10/11 September, and in additional to the existing tours offered, there will be additional guided tours of the Guildhall, Mansion House and Silver Gallery, subject to demand.
During Heritage Open Days, there will be a guided tour around the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle as part of the Lord Mayor’s 800th anniversary.
This distinctive Victorian Manor was gifted to the City of Newcastle upon Tyne by Lord Sutherland for the use of the people of Newcastle. The building has welcomed some very influential dignitaries over the years to Newcastle, including royalty, and is managed by the Mansion House Trust in conjunction with Newcastle City Council.
To pre-book please e-mail: email@example.com
Open: Thurs 8 Sept: Tours 10.00, 12.00 & 14.00
During Heritage Open Days, Newcastle City Guides can take you on an informative tour of this historic grade I listed building as part of the Lord Mayor’s 800th anniversary. See the Mayor’s Parlour, the original courtroom and the Merchant Venturers Hall.
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Open: Thurs 8 Sept & Fri 9 Sept:
Tours 10.00, 10.30, 11.00, 11.30, 12.00, 12.30, 13.00 & 13.30
The Civic Centre
During Heritage Open Days, there will be a guided tour around Newcastle Civic Centre as part of the Lord Mayor’s 800th anniversary. This grade II building is a true modern classic – a post-war building that never fails to impress its visitors. The guided tour will allow you to see the commissioned Bavarian Crystal Chandeliers, original art work, Banqueting Suite, Council Chamber beautiful marbled floors, unique specially designed carpets and the magnificent Lord Mayor’s Silver Gallery.
Not suitable for children under 5 years old.
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Open: Sat 10 Sept: Tour 12.00
There will also be a Show & Tell event at Discovery Museum (displaying all the surviving City Charters) on Saturday 10 September 2016.
A cathedral trail to highlight where some of the City’s colourful Mayors from history are buried or commemorated is being planned.
Programme of talks
A programme of talks is being developed and will be delivered throughout the 800th year. Some will be given in the Bewick Hall at the City Library, but other venues are being considered, and it is possible that a talk on the Freemen of Newcastle will be held at the Guildhall. Another possibility is a debate on civic twinning to be planned around the Mayor of Bergen’s annual Christmas Tree visit.
Discussions are also ongoing about the talks programme potentially culminating in a public symposium and question and answer event in early December to look at civic leadership.
Newcastle Allotment & Garden Fete 2016
Budding gardeners and green-fingered enthusiasts are invited to show off their gardening skills at the annual Newcastle Allotment and Garden Fete (as its held outdoors this year) . Newcastle Allotment and Garden Fete 2016, organised by Newcastle City Council in partnership with the city’s Allotments Working Group (AWG), will be on Sunday 25th September, all taking place in a marquee within the beautiful setting of Leazes Park, Newcastle’s oldest park, close to the city centre. A fun filled weekend for friends and family, including entertainment, children’s activities, music, funfair rides, circus skills, children’s crafts, raffles, stalls selling a wide range of flowers, produce and preserves, advice on bee keeping and organic gardening and much more.
The public show starts at 11am on Sunday 25th September , when it will be officially opened by the 800th Lord Mayor of Newcastle’s Mayoralty and Burgesses (better known today as the Freemen of Newcastle). Over the years these valued institutions are credited with giving Newcastle stability, social cohesion, justice, law and administration. The city’s allotment and gardening tradition is testament to the community spirit embedded in our cultural heritage. To honour this important anniversary, Lord Mayor Councillor Hazel Stephenson will open the 2016 Newcastle Allotment and Garden Fete and will also be involved in judging some of the exhibits. The Allotment and Garden Show Fete will draw to a close at 4pm.