Ducklings with Mallard Hen

Ducklings are exploring the water and stones but staying close to Mother. Is it a Hen when its a female Duck? Just a Duck? as opposed to Drake?
What a lovely sight, I felt so happy looking at them.
After I had come out from my appointment at the RVI today I decided to spend a bit of time with the birds, to improve my mood.

I had really felt very angry on Thursday when I found the top part of Leazes Park had been blocked off with fences by the Food and Drink Festival, which starts on Saturday. HOW DARE THEY BLOCK OFF OUR PARK! I fumed. Its really unfair because the Festival is only on Saturday and Sunday and the access to the top part of the park has been closed, from the Derelict Park House right down to the lake, including the Terrace and bandstand, and Lime Tree Avenue!
Its unusual for access to paths in the Park to be completely blocked.

I do have issues with anger management, I will admit the fury gets easily triggered when I am feeling a bit down or tired, so I thought the waterbird therapy was a good idea.


Old New Mills

Old Cottage on New Mills Newcastle

An old photo from
Newcastle Libraries Flickr archive showing the site of now New Mills, off Barrack Road, in its industrial past… I would say early 20th century or late 19th century.

Apparently the large building behind the “cottage” is the Todd’s Nook school, which was demolished in the 1990’s after a period as an Adult Education centre.

There used to be a pub on New Mills,  called The Darnell, or maybe The New Darnell? The Darnell was also  demolished in the 1990s and a block of low rise 5 bedroomed flats was built.

And this one shows an actual Mill, one of the original at New Mills.

Also from  Newcastle Libraries Flickr archive

In the industrial period mills like these  were used to grind grain into flour and powered by either running water from rivers, or from wind , when powered by wind they would have sails, which turned in the wind and drove the wheels of the mill. Mills were also used to make many things, workers in mills made all manner of products, cloth, rope, foodstuffs, various metals, anything mass produced before electricity was widely adopted by industry.The air looks very dirty in these photos, not just because  the photos are old, but because of the massive scale of the  industry in the local area






This is what I saw when I was at the bottom of Barrack Road, at the junction of Strawberry Place, Barrack Road, Gallowgate and Pitt Street.

Look across the road you can see the new buildings, which include Verde and The View, which are student flats owned by Downing Students, also out of the picture behind these, JSK Studios,  property  companies specialising in  modern student flats.

Considering there is a big housing shortage in Newcastle, of any other form than student flats, of which there is a surfeit, were I to move into one of these flats, would I be required to prove I was a student?

Also, were I to claim to be a student when I moved there, would I be required to pay council tax, as under normal circumstances students don’t pay?

If I had a property portfolio, which I wished to purchase one of these flats as an investment, and not get any student to live there, because it would not be worth the hassle, would I be required to pay any tax?

UPDATE… I don’t have a problem with students, I consider they are a benefit to Newcastle. My concern is with the large scale conversion of Newcastle into a large expensive student dormitory, by developers who are just in it to make very large sums of money.

Giles Fraser, writing in the Guardian, pointed this out about  new builds in his parish in London…

“But not only are these flats being sold as piggy banks for east Asian capital looking for a safe place to park itself, many of them are not even occupied. Transparency International did some research looking at electricity use in areas where lots of flats are owned by anonymous companies. And – surprise, surprise – the electricity use was consistent with many of the flats being long-term empty.”


Street Planters, Seats and Trees at the Old Brewery Site

On the old Newcastle Brewery site on Newcastle’s Bath Lane there are some new planters, some concrete, some incorporating seats, also some new trees, and an interesting futuristic building. Near the Science City site.

You can see the People’s Kitchen building, where the People’s Kitchen charity still operates from. This is the only original building on this part of Bath Lane.