‘Newcastle Beer’ from A Beauk o’ Newcassel Sangs (Joseph Crawhall II Collection, Crawhall 12)
“When fame brought the news of Great Britain’s success,
And told at Olympus each Gallic defeat,
Glad Mars sent to Mercury orders express,
To summon the Deities was plac’d
To guide the gay feast,
And freely declar’d there was choice of good cheer;
Yet vow’d to his thinking,
For exquisite drinking,
Their Nectar was nothing to Newcastle Beer.”
Joseph Crawhall II was born in Newcastle in 1821 and was the son of Joseph Crawhall I, who was a sheriff of Newcastle. As well as running the family ropery business with his brothers, he also spent his time illustrating, making woodcuts and producing books.
25th December 1942 diary extract from Professor Duff
Extract from Professor Duff’s 1942 diary entry. Professor Duff explains what he did on Christmas day and of the assassination of admiral Darlan during World War II.
FRIDAY 25 Christmas Day – Bank Holiday in U.K.
“Sunday” bells allowed to ring for Christmas everywhere. We exchanged presents and greetings. Damp most of the day. Another considerable mail came to us. At a short Xmas service Dr. Bacon addressed his congregation on the significance of the shepherds going to Bethlehem, Luke 2.15
Christmas midday dinner at the grand Hotel. 2-3 Wireless greetings to and from allies all over the world & “peeps” into Christmas parties. 3pm. The King spoke urging brotherhood. He was much less hesitating than usual. We made an early black-out, & by 3.45 we all four were at the Anderstones for tea. Home again n time for 6 o’clock news – chief item this morning at 9 a.m. was the assassination in Algiers of admiral Darlan who came over recently to the allied side though had unfairly at an earlier time slandered Britain as hostile to them the “generous” Hitler!!
25th December 1843 diary entry from William Brewis’ diary (Brewis Diaries, WB/1/9)Christmas Day diary extract from William Brewis’ 1843 diary,
The Old year wears away and has been the finest autumn, the oldest person living never saw such another, we have scarsely ever had a shower of Rain, since the great fall in May & June, the Harvest proved the finest weather ever known, we never had a lost Hour, the corn was got in so well not a spoiled sheaf, and the small is equally as fair and sound as the very best, only the overwhell rainy wet that fel during the spring, caused the gift to be very bad
The diaries of William Brewis (1778-1850), farmer, of Throphill Farm, Mitford, Northumberland, cover the years 1833-1850 and are a fascinating compilation of information and anecdotes about farming matters and the local Mitford community. Alongside daily notes of the farming year, Brewis has added comments on local and national events of a political and societal nature.
Front cover of Christmas Supplement to Illustrated London News (19th Century Collection, 19th C. Coll 030ILL)“While shepherds watched their flocks by night, – All seated on the ground”
Front page from the Christmas Supplement to the Illustrated London News, 22nd December 1855. Illustration drawn by J. Gilbert and printed by George C. Leighton Red Lion Square.
The pages of the Christmas Supplement consisted of an 8 page insert, containing a full colour cover and 3 additional full page colour images printed from woodblocks by George C. Leighton (who was seen to be the most prolific graphic artist of his day). Leighton’s production of these colour images demonstrated that colour printing could be done in large quantities to meet the high circulation of the Illustrated London News at a low cost.
Illustration from ‘Lady Tabitha and Us’ (Rare Books, RB823.912 AIN)Lady Tabitha At Home Christmas Eve…Come and Play. So we all went –
‘Lady Tabitha and Us’ is an illustrated book that describes the adventures of Lady Tabitha and other wooden dolls at a Christmas Eve party. The illustration depicts peg dolls at home getting ready, putting on make-up, preparing hair and getting dressed for a Christmas Party. You join Tabitha as the others as they play games, including musical chairs, hunt the slipper and dumb crumbs.
Published by Castell Brothers Ltd: London and created by Kathleen Ainslie. Kathleen Ainslie was an illustrator, active in the years 1900-1911. She is best-known for her series of children’s books based on jointed Dutch peg dolls which were popular during the 19th and early-20th centuries (Florence Kate Upton’s The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg had been published in 1895).
Inner pages of a programme for a Christmas pantomime, ‘Dick Whittington’, produced by army troops and directed by Lieutenant Walter Thomas (Thomas Baker Brown Archive, TBB/1/9/1)This is a programme for a 1917 Christmas pantomime, ‘Dick Whittington’, produced by army troops and directed by Lieutenant Walter Thomas.
Thomas Baker Brown, born 22nd December 1896, a soldier who fought in World War I. In December 1915, he was serving in the ‘Clerks Platoon’ for the 6th Northumberland Fusiliers at a training camp at Scarcroft School, York. As a soldier, or “tommy”, training would begin with basic physical fitness, drill, march discipline and essential field craft. Tommies would later specialise in a role and Brown received training in bombing, signalling and musketry. He suffered from poor eyesight and was issued with glasses. After failing to be transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, Brown was placed into the signalling section and later drafted to France alongside his brother George, as part of the 2/6th Northumberland Fusiliers, 32nd Division.
By the 1st August 1916, Brown was moved to the 21st Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd Tyneside Scottish 37th Division) and was sent on his first journey to the front line trenches. Later, in March 1917, Brown was awarded the Military Medal for his ‘heroism’ and ‘bravery’.
‘It was the night before Christmas, and not surprisingly, Kelly Jane Davidson was wide awake. It wasn’t that she wanted to be. It wasn’t as if she believed in Santa and expected to catch him coming down the chimney onto the coal-effect gas fire in the living-room. After all, she was nearly eight now…’
Front cover of Stranded (Flambard Press, 823.914 MCD)
So goes the opening of the short story ‘The Girl Who Killed Santa Claus’ by renowned crime writer, Val McDermid. The story can be found in her collection Stranded which was published by Flambard Press in 2005.
Flambard Press was a North East-based independent press which published a range of poetry and fiction, as well as some non-fiction and visual-art books. It was particularly focused on publishing new and neglected writers in the North of England, as well as promoting live literature.
Door no. 21
This letter was written by Joseph Swan to Rothbury photographer John Worsnop on 9th November 1897, in which he describes the first use of his incandescent lightbulb in a private residence other than his own, at Lord Armstrong’s house, Cragside. He writes, “…the effect was splendid and never to be forgotten”.
Sunderland-born physicist and chemist Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914) is world-renowned for his invention of an early electric incandescent lightbulb, which became the very first to light public spaces and private residences. Swan conducted many of the experiments in perfecting this landmark technology at his home in Low Fell, Gateshead. He personally supervised the installation of lightbulbs at Cragside, the Northumberland residence of his friend, industrialist Lord William Armstrong, in December 1880. In this letter, he gives a vivid account of that momentous occasion.
Door no. 19
The story starts with peg dolls sitting at a dinner table…
and not a penny left.
Something must be
done at once.”
You join two peg dolls on their journey trying to earn some money, through setting up (with varying successes) different businesses, such as a sewing and clothes alterations shop, a tea shop in their garden, becoming market gardeners and growing their own vegetables, selling buttonholes and teaching other peg dolls to dance.
Page from ‘Me and Catharine Susan earns an honest penny’ showing one of the peg dolls create buttonholes to sell (Rare Books, RB 823.912 AIN)
Page from ‘Me and Catharine Susan earns an honest penny’ showing one of the peg dolls showing the ‘Buttonholers’ to dance (Rare Books, RB 823.912 AIN)
Explore another Kathleen Ainslie book that we have in Special Collections; ‘Catherine Susan and Me’s Coming Out’, in our February 2017 Treasure of the Month Feature.
Door No. 17
Page from Illustrated London News, Vol. 92, dated 7th January 1888.
Image depicts ‘Life at San Remo – The Crown Prince and family in the billiard room, Villa Zirio : The Christmas Tree’