Tag Archives: alderman

Mysterious hoard baffles cathedral experts

The discovery of a forgotten time capsule has baffled history buffs at Durham Cathedral.

Workmen dismantling a Victorian bookcase to make way for a new door were surprised to find two newspapers from 1880 hidden under the base – and names written on the timbers in pencil.

The discovery has puzzled historians who believed the towering bookcases were installed when the stunning Monks’ Dormitory was opened in the 1850s.

Cathedral archaeologist Norman Emery now believes the Dormitory, a library, may have been extended at a later date.

But even that theory raises questions, as Mr Emery explained:

“Perhaps the library was extended at a later date and the new bookcases made as exact copies of the existing ones, but they appear to me to have all been made at the same time, which is baffling.”

Meanwhile, Mr Emery and colleagues are investigating the graffiti, bearing the names John Milbanke, believed to have been a Victorian builder and joiner from Church Street, Durham, and Robert Robson , a builder, mayor, alderman and justice of the peace whose eldest son served as the cathedral’s clerk of works.

The newspapers unearthed were the Newcastle Daily Chronicle of July 13, 1880, and the London Weekly Times of June 17, 1880.

Stories of the day included parliamentary debates, imperial affairs and a Sunderland manslaughter trial, all featured alongside adverts for assorted miracle cures and agricultural show results.

The Times carries a name and address written in ink across the centre page: Mr R Yelloby, Berwick on Tweed.

“It would be fascinating to know the link between this man and the man who ended up with the newspaper,” Mr Emery said.

The mysterious find follows the discovery of Roman pottery and a single pre-historic flint under the cathedral’s Great Kitchen in April.

The cathedral is undergoing major renovation as part of the £10m Open Treasure programme, which will see the creation of a world-class exhibition space capable of hosting priceless artefacts from the cathedral’s collections and across the world.

For more information, visit durhamcathedral.co.uk/open-treasure

Source –  Durham Times,  30 Oct 2014

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W.D. Stephens Fountain, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne

A rather grandiose Edwardian public drinking fountain.

Situated at the junction of the Great North Road and Clayton Road, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Not working.

Erected in memory of William Davies Stephens 1827-1901, mayor and sheriff of Newcastle, methodist and temperance reformer. He started out in business with a chemical firm, Hugh Lee Pattinson & Co, and later developed the Tyne Steam Shipping Co. with William Laing. He was elected a Newcastle councillor in 1874, alderman in 1890 and mayor in 1879 and 1887.

The inscription reads –

Erected by public subscription in recognition of the open hearted charity, ceaseless activity and unfailing geniality of W.D. Stephens, Alderman and J.P. of the city of Newcastle on Tyne, Sherriff 1879-80
Mayor 1887-88

Distinguished as the president of great organizations for the promotion of maritime commerce he earned still higher appreciation in the cause of temperance and the betterment of the poor and needy.

A citizen of lofty ideals and strenuous endeavour.

More info & photos of this fountain at –

http://spiritofplace.weebly.com/newcastle-upon-tyne1.html

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