Scratch, Scratch, Squeak

Close up of a black writing slate which has a wooden frame with curved corners. The frame is inscribed in handwriting saying "RUBY"

Imagine the scratchy, squeaky sound this slate pencil made against this slate when five-year-old Alice Conway began practicing her writing on it in 1894 in Berry. Amplify that sound, according to the number of children in her school, all writing at different paces and rhythms, and we hear the uncomfortable noise of a typical nineteenth […]

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Slow to Turn

Its been more than 100 years since electricity was installed at West Wallsend. The bulb and fitting shown here is an electric light that belonged to undertaker and carpenter William Turnbull (Snr). It dates from the era when West Wallsend, then a small coal mining town, switched to using electricity. Today, safe, reliable lighting in […]

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