BRANCH North Tyneside
North Tyneside Branch,
First Floor Meeting Room
Whitley Bay Library and Customer First Centre
York Road
Whitley Bay
NE26 1AB
Contact: Susan Lynn (chair, NT Branch)


Meetings on 1st Tuesday in the month at 1.30 p.m.
(No meeting in July & August)

All visitors are welcome

Date Subject of Talk Speaker
2nd July 2024 No Meeting
6th August 2024 No Meeting
3rd September 2024 Family history and links to the local publican trade Val Anderson
1st October 2024 “ Impressed….you will be”. Tales of the pressgang in 18th and early 19th Century. Susan Lynn
5th November 2024 Members Forum
3rd December 2024 Christmas Lunch

Branch Newsletter


Reports of meetings

June 2024

North Tyneside branch had their annual summer outing, this year we visited Holy Saviour Church in Tynemouth. We all enjoyed a wonderful talk by Peter Jackson, regarding the background to the church being built and its history followed by a guided tour and a look at the beautiful stained glass windows. Afterwards we retired into the adjacent church hall for teas/coffee and cake. 10 members attended apologies for 7 had been received – mostly members were away on holiday.
Please note there will be no meetings in July and August, but normal meetings will resume on Sept 3rd at 1.30pm in Whitley Bay library where one of our members Val Anderson will talk about her interesting family history and its links to the local publican trade .

April 2024

We had 13 members attend, with 6 apologies on April 2nd. Last minute change to advertised programme as speaker was unwell. Keiran Keilty gave us an interesting talk about Monkseaton village. This was followed by a members forum and a wide ranging discussion on genealogy research.
Our next meeting on 7th May there will be a talk on Augustus Welby Pugin, Gods Architect by one of our members, Bill Nicholson.
The meeting will take place in Whitley Bay Library at 1.30pm, all members and visitors welcome.

March 2024

We had 12 members present with 8 apologies at the meeting held on the 5 March. Tony Stephenson gave us an excellent presentation about the life and times of Newcastle poet Basil Bunting. He was a man whose life was extraordinary having been at various times a journalist, a diplomat and a spy; a poet who deserves to be better known”. Talk highly recommended.

Next meeting we will have Steve Allerdyce talking about the Rising Sun Colliery Wallsend

February 2024

We have 18 people attend our meeting in February at our new venue at Whitley Bay library.

Our guest speaker this month was our very own John Heckles with a very enlightened talk regarding Chirupula, a man who was a native Tyneside who sought his fortune in Africa and encountered many adventures and a couple of wives along the way.

Our next speaker will be Tony Stephenson on the topic of Basil Bunting, the meeting will take place once again in Whitley Bay library at 1.30pm on Tuesday 5th March. All welcome.

November 2023

November was our members forum, which was well attended. The Branch Secretary delivered a short power presentation entitled A Day at the Seaside which featured a number of pictures of old Whitley Bay/Cullercoats/ Tynemouth. Our members were asked to bring along old photos of their family at the beach and shared lots of memories of holidays spent at the coast.

Tea coffee and biscuits were served as it was our last meeting to be held at North Shields library.

Our December meeting will be our annual Christmas lunch at Davanti Italian restaurant in Tynemouth on the 5th Dec. There will be no meeting in January 2024, and from February our new location will be in Whitley Bay library. Meetings will continue to be on the first Tuesday of each month at 1.30pm.

October 2023

The October meeting had 15 attendees with apologies from 3 members.

Our Chair explained we would no longer be able to meet at North Shields Library in the New Year due to the room being booked for day long classes in future. We have hopefully secured rooms in Whitley Bay Library for February 2024 – further information to be discussed at our November Meeting.

It was decided that our annual Christmas Party will take place on Dec 5th at Divante Italian Restaurant at Tynemouth Metro Station – Chair to take deposits at our next meeting.

Our Speaker in October was the excellent Ann Franklin, who took us on her personal journey including visiting America, tracing possible ancestors in a talk entitled ” A Yankee in Tyneside”. Stemming from tales as a child of a relative who had commanded a Fort in the USA, Ann explored information regarding a Mr Thomas Hurlbutt who set sail from London in the 17th century for Boston. She traced where he met with native Americans and the possible connection to her great, great, grandfather William Henry Hurlbutt who census records place in North Sheilds over two hundred years later.

Our next Meeting will be at 1.30pm in North Sheilds Library (for the last time) on Tuesday 7th Nov. It will be a Members Forum with the Topic being “a Day at the Seaside” when all will be encouraged to talk about their family memories of trips to the coast.

September 2023

At our NDFHS meeting on Tuesday 5th Sept we had 13 members in attendance, with 7 apologies and 1 visitor.

One of our members George Aitchison delivered a very interesting talk on John Wiiliam Salmon born in 1862 who had resided in Newcastle Terrace., North Shields, in his early years. As an adult he immigrated to New Zealand where he became one of their most influential and renowned jurist. He brought order to Māori law and lands. In 1918 he became a Knight of the Realm, and in 1920 a Supreme Court judge. Whist he was a very prominent person in New Zealand, very little few people in his native North Shields were aware of his fame. The talk was very well documented and detailed.

We were given an updated Trustees report from Prof John Heckles which included details of the Society change of premises from MEA House and looking at possible other locations where it maybe re housed. We discussed options for our Christmas luncheon venue and it was suggested to go for a pizza in Tynemouth, Chair will take this forward.

June 2023

The June meeting was well attended by 15 members plus 1 visitor, 4 apologies.

Our guest speaker was Anne Clouston, the subject of her talk being Westoe Cemetry. Anne provided some interesting information on the symbols of headstones and monuments together with lots of facts about burials including pictures of Body Safes, invented to prevent the work of body snatchers! Anne spoke about several prominent local people buried in the cemetery including Dr Winterbottom and Robert Ingham MP and Roberts Redhead the shipbuilder.

Please be aware our group will not be meeting over the summer, our next session will be on Tuesday 5th Sept in North Shields library at 1.30pm.

May 2023

We did not have an actual meeting in June but instead visited Christ Church in North Shields accompanied by their guide, Michael Scott, which we could highly recommend to other groups.
The church dates back to the 1660 s with many alterations and additions over the centuries and an interesting tale about the font which has only in recent years been discovered.

Our June meeting is back again in North Shields Library with Ann Clouston as our guest speaker on Weston Cemetery.

Last updated: 4th June 2024