Outreach May 2020 newsletter

May 2020 Newsletter

Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

Adult Health and Wellbeing

Newsletter May 2020

Hello from Tyne and Wear Archive and Museum’s Outreach team. We wanted to keep in touch and share with you some museum inspired interesting facts, fun and games whilst we can’t get to you in person. This month we are looking at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, so even though you can’t visit at the minute, we can look at some information about the building and its contents.

Many people in Newcastle remember the Museum building as the old Co-operative Wholesale Society building - Blandford House, which opened in 1899. The building was used as the Co-op North East headquarters, including a central courtyard for deliveries, warehouses and offices. Blandford House became a museum in 1978 when the Co-op moved out. The building became the new home of the ‘Municipal Museum of Science and Industry’ that used to be located in Exhibition Park and was re-launched as Discovery Museum in 1993.

You can still see this 1930s co-op logo – the Wheatsheaf stained glass window inside the building.

Upon stepping into the museum you'll come face to face with Turbinia. Built in 1894, Charles Parsons' 34 metre steam powered ship that was once the fastest ship in the world and an iconic part of the history of Tyneside.

Turbinia in 1897

Here are some objects on display inside the museum – can you tell us what they are….

This was used by many Geordies in their place of work in the past – what is it...?

This is a prototype of an invention we couldn’t do without when travelling. What is it....?

This was used in the RVI hospital in Newcastle until 1989. Do you know what it is...?

This is from 1905. What is it...?

Art inside the Museum

'The Banquet given on the Occasion of the Opening of the Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1835', by the artist Henry Perlee Parker

This painting shows the public dinner held in the main hall of Grainger Market on October 22nd 1835, to celebrate its completion. Around two thousand men attended, and three hundred women were admitted to a special viewing gallery. The market was designed by the Newcastle architect John Dobson. Henry Perlee Parker was one of the leading artists in Newcastle at this time.

Story behind the object….

A lot of people remember Chinese, blue and white Willow Pattern plates being popular up until around the 1980s. The painting on the plate depicts an old story about a father disapproving of his daughter eloping to marry a commoner. In short he has them killed and they transform into two doves – shown in the picture.

Virtual Tour

Whilst you can’t visit us in person The Evening Chronicle have created a video showing visiting the museum online – so sit back and take a virtual tour inside our galleries…

Click here to watch the video

Next month we will be virtually visiting the Laing Art Gallery.

Scroll down if you want to see the answers to the object quiz....


The answers to the museum object quiz are:

George Stephenson’s miner’s safety lamp - invented in 1815. Some people say this is why people from Newcastle are called Geordies – After George Stephenson’s lamp.

A prototype for windscreen wipers, created by Gladstone Adams, who lived in Newcastle in 1911

An Iron Lung from the RVI in Newcastle -  1950s – 1989

An old shop till from 1905