Sunday, 19 May 2013
The past two nights in Newcastle and Gateshead have seen The Late Shows taking place - venues normally closed, opening late til 11pm, entry free to all. It was a fantastic opportunity to take a peek inside places I'd not usually frequent due to exorbitant prices or through lack of time etc. First up was Seven Stories - The National Centre for Children's Books in Ouseburn. I've resisted going before - the prices are astronomical, and as an adult sans enfant, I felt I didn't have enough of a reason. This year however, they're hosting an Enid Blyton exhibition which I really wanted to see, remembering The Famous Five, The Magic Faraway Tree and Noddy. It's an impressive building and I loved the exhibition, spending a few minutes talking to a member of staff about the modern printings of the books and how the publishers have thought it necessary (unnecessarily in my view) to change certain things for the modern reader. Next up was 36 Lime Street, just next door, home of creatives a-plenty, in particular Jim Edwards whose paintings of Newcastle and the environs will look lovely on my wall, and the fantastic glasswork of Zoe. I also got my very first glow stick here! Sheltered life! Moving on to St. Nicholas' Cathedral back in the heart of Newcastle. The exterior of this building gives little clue as to the marvellous interior. The carving of stone, wood and marble, the stained glass... I confess I had a moment. It's beautiful. Last, but certainly in no way least, the Lit and Phil. Just down from the station, this public library is one of the town's best kept secrets. Last night it was a little over-crowded to be appreciated fully (shame) but it is open to all. You need only be a member to take books out,and I'm told OWNE have had the odd night there too! Looking forward to next year's Late Shows already.