BRANCH North Tyneside
North Tyneside Branch,
Meeting Room 1, 1st Floor,
North Shields Central Library,
Northumberland Square,
North Shields
NE30 1QU
Contact: Susan Lynn (chair, NT Branch)


Image © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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
5th July 2022 No Meeting
2nd August 2022 No Meeting
6th September 2022 Making sense of the census Ed. Young
4th October 2022 Graveyard Gleanings Ann Clouston
1st November 2022 Members Forum
6th December 2022 Christmas Lunch
3rd January 2023 AGM

Reports of meetings

June 2022

North Tyneside branch had their annual outing this month, not wanting to travel far due to covid, the group had a tour of Tynemouth Railway stations. The current metro stop was the actually the fifth station in the village, dating from 1882, and designed for North Eastern railways by William Bell a renowned architect. We explored lots of its original features, heard about the large workforce and discovered where the three Blyth and Tyne stations had been situated in the village. We made a brief detour to look at the remains of the oldest station from 1847, which was designed by John and Benjamin Green (architects of Newcastle Theatre Royal). It was was built when the railway line was extended from North Shields, running to Carliol Square Station in Newcastle. Following the tour tea and cakes were enjoyed in Tynemouth Village.

The branch now rests over the summer period and returns for the autumn meeting in a September.

May 2022

11 members present plus 5 apologies attended the meeting on 3 May 2022 when members discussed volunteers to help at local & family history fair on 14 May and the branch outing on 7 June.

The talk: “Lifeboats and Rescues RNLI”, Speaker Bill Nicholson gave a talk about the RNLI with particular reference to the rescue of the hospital ship ’Rohilla’ in 1914 and the part played by the lifeboat ‘Henry Vernon’. Bill’s ancestor Thomas Cummings was a crew member and was awarded a silver medal for his part in the rescue.

April 2022

Our monthly meeting was held on Tuesday 5th April as per usual in North Shields Library, 8 apologises were given, 10 members were in attendance.

Feedback was given on the meeting of the Trustees (by Rhona), Chair Susan Lynn informed the group we were to have a table at the Local History Fair which is being held in North Shields library on the 14th May, volunteers welcome.

A very interesting presentation was given by Theresa Brolly on the topic of three generations of Charles Parsons family. Starting in Ireland with his parents, his father being the Earl of Rosse the inventor of the largest telescope in the world, built in the 1880s, we followed Charles early life including paying a premium to be an apprentice with Armstrong and the subsequent development of his own works including the Turbine engine. The presentation explored the family dynamics and included a number of photos of his family life with his supportive wife Catherine. The third generation consisted of a son who lost his life in WW1 and their well-educated, formidable, feminist supporting daughter Rachel, who was sadly murdered.

March 2022

10 members and 1 guest enjoyed a talk by Pat Lowery about ‘Leisure in Newcastle’

If you were rich you had hunting, shooting and fishing. If you were not, you could watch the rowing on the river with Harry Clasper for free. Later there was football, horse racing or golf, if you could avoid the cows. Also on the Town Moor were the Hoppings which had originally started as a Temperance Festival. Later still you might visit the Theatre Royal, the cinema or, if you wanted to make a night of it, the Dolce Vita.

February 2022

On the 1st February 15 members enjoyed a talk by Ann Frank!in entitled The Providence lifeboat disaster 1849 and her Burn family’s involvement.

The Burn’s were a family of Tyne Pilots. Tyne Pilots were family institutions where membership was passed down from father to son. Sea Pilots would go out in their cobles to look for ships heading for the Tyne. For centuries the Pilots also volunteered to man the lifeboats.

On 4th December 1849 the South Shields lifeboat ‘Providence’ went to the aid of the brig Betsy which had run aground on Herd Sands in gale force winds. On board the Providence were 24 Tyne Pilots. When it reached the Betsy a massive wave overturned it and it was unable to right itself and capsized with the loss of 20 men. One man was able to climb onto the Betsy and he was rescued along with the crew of the Betsy by the North Shield’s lifeboat ‘Northumberland’. The three pilots who were clinging to the keel of the Providence were picked up by the South Shields lifeboat ‘Tyne’. Among the men 20 men lost were brothers Launcelot & John Burn, their nephew John Burn Jnr and brother-in-law Thomas Marshall. In 1896 a commemorative plaque was unveiled in St Stephen’s Church and at that time it was reported in the Shields Gazette the 20 men who had tragically died had between them saved over 450 lives at sea.

January 2022

8 members attended the January meeting being the branch AGM and Forum. The Chair opened by commenting she was pleased the meetings were up and running again and that it was the intention to continue the monthly newsletter. Reports were presented by the Secretary, Treasurer and Branch Trustee. As the current Secretary had made the decision to retire, Kieran Keilty was elected as the new Secretary. The current Officers and Trustee were re-elected unopposed.

The members asked that their appreciation should be shown to the Chair for her interesting and informative newsletter which she had produced during the lockdown. This was followed by a branch member giving a slideshow of old photographs of the war damage done in North Shields, Tynemouth and Cullercoats. Another member, whose father had been an electrical engineer, had formed in 1949 the Production, Inspection and Test branch for the British Electricity Authority in Newcastle. She had a photograph dated 1955 which showed a map of all the regional offices of PIT with photographs of all the managers including her father.

December 2021

In December we went out for a Christmas lunch

November 2021

For the November meeting 15 members and 1 guest. We had a thought provoking talk by John Heckels about DNA in Family History

October 2021

We restarted our meetings in North Shields library in October with a talk to 13 members by our Chair Susan Lynn entitled Hunting the whale: Whaling in the North East.


The editor is Susan Lynn and items for inclusion can be sent to her at:

Number 1 – September 2020
Number 2 – October 2020
Number 3 – November 2020
Number 4 – Christmas 2020
Number 5 – January 2021
Number 6 – February 2021
Number 7 – March 2021
Number 8 – April 2021
Number 9 – May 2021
Number 10 – June 2021
Number 11 – July 2021
Number 12 – August 2021
Number 13 – September 2021
Number 14 – October 2021
Number 15 – November 2021
Number 16 – December 2021
Number 17 – January 2022
Number 18 – February 2022
Number 19 – March 2022
Number 20 – April 2022

Last updated: 29th June 2022