Wednesday, 21 October 2015


Grainger Market 180th Birthday Celebrations

Date and Location: Wednesday 28th October, Grainger Market

5.30pm - Entertainment from Sawdust Jacks (local folk group), Keith Armstrong (poet), Gordon Phillips (poet), Ann Sessoms (Northumbrian Piper)
6pm - Welcome to celebrations by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Ian Graham
6.05pm - Welcome from John Phillips, Chairman of Grainger Market Traders Association
6.10pm - John Grundy – talks about the Grainger Market and Newcastle
6.20pm - Lord Mayor and Sheriff award Grainger Market Customer Service Award winner with certificates and hamper
6.30pm - Gifts awarded to dignitaries/special guests
6.35pm - Lord Mayor and John Phillips cut the Birthday cake and open the Buffet
6.40pm - Entertainment from Sawdust Jacks, Keith Armstrong (poet),
Gordon Phillips (poet), Ann Sessoms (Northumbrian Piper)
7.30pm - Finish

Access - Please note access to this event from 5.30pm is via Entrance 1 of the Grainger Market on Grainger Street between Skipton Building Society and the Wildtrack store.

This is life,
the gloss and the flesh,
Weigh House of passion and flame.

You can get lost in this market’s amazement
but you can never lose yourself.

a sleep walk in these grazing crowds
can feel like a stroll through your brain.

Keith Armstrong

A city
within a city,

light cage.

Bazaar and blind,
these swollen alleys

flow with a teeming life’s blood.

Geordie !

Swim for your life !

Keith Armstrong


bred in a market arch 
a struggle
in a city's armpit

that flower
in your time-rough hands 
a beautiful girl in a slum alley

all that kindness in your face

and you're right

the times are not what they were
this England's not what it was

flowers shrink in that crumbling vase
dusk creeps in on a cart

and Maud the sun is choking 

Maud this island's sinking 

and all that swollen sea is 

the silent majority 


Keith Armstrong

Photos: Keith Armstrong & Peter Dixon

Friday, 9 October 2015

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Greetings one and all,

A First Tuesday meeting will be held at the Bridge Hotel, at 7.00 pm on 6th October 2015.

   The Belgian Refugees: A Hundred Years On.

Next year marks one hundred years since the arrival of Belgian refugees into the region. Bill Lawrence  will bring us up to date with they and their families, and will discuss the events and publications planned, both in the North East and Belgium,  to  commemorate the centenary. Keith Armstrong will present his poem that has been specially commissioned as part of the celebrations.

Brian Bennison