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Tyne and Wear HER(5063): Newcastle, Exhibition Park - Details

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Newcastle, Exhibition Park



Gardens Parks and Urban Spaces


Public Park

Early Modern



The Exhibition Park was the site of the Royal Jubilee Exhibition of 1887 and the North East Coast Exhibition, which opened on May 14th 1929 The 125 acre site was carved out of the Town Moor. All that survives of the 1887 layout is the bandstand (HER 5065). The 1929 exhibition left us with the former Palace of Arts (HER 5064), and a promenade from Claremont Road. The 1929 exhibition featured palaces of Engineering (occupied by big firms and shipbuilders), Industries (demonstrating new ideas such as sewing machines and vacuum cleaners) and Arts, 12 Egyptian towers and an African village (with imported Africans who were required to live out their daily lives there). It attracted 4,373,138 visitors. The architects for the art deco, Egyptian-style and futuristic buildings were Sunderland's W and TR Milburn, specialists in cinema and theatre design. After the exhibition closed, there were proposals to retain the site as film studios. The palaces were built of concrete and compressed asbestos on steel girder frames. The Palace of Arts (which survives as the Military Vehicles Museum but was once the Newcastle Museum of Science and Engineering, a direct successor to the exhibition) was appoached by an elegant bridge (demolished in 1961) over a widened and deepened lake. There was a festival hall to seat 20,000 people, a fountain lit by coloured lights, an amusement park including a Himalayan railway reaching 80 feetin height, a jungle, a 23 foot high female figure representing industry and the region's first official car park. There were also a range of pavilions - the garden club with roof veranda, the women's and artisans section, restaurents, horticultural exhibitions, gardens, tennis courts and bowling greens (which still survive). Smith's Crisps were launched at the event as was Newcastle Exhibition Ale. The staging of the 1929 exhibition was in response to the gathering Depression. Some firms claimed they won orders through the exhibition, but it also had a great social impact and signified the North East's determination not to stand passively by in the face of a worsening economic climate. LOCAL LIST




<< HER 5063 >> T. Henderson, 1999, When the North made an exhibition of itself, The Journal, May 15 1999, p 36-37 N. Pevsner and I. Richmond, second edition revised by G. McCombie, P. Ryder and H. Welfare, 1992, The Buildings of England: Northumberland, p 454 Tyne and Wear Industrial Monuments Trust, 1979, In Trust, Issue 10, July 1979 RCHME, 1995, Town Moor, Newcastle upon Tyne, Archaeological Survey Report, p 16-18; Grace McCombie, 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead - Pevsner Architectural Guide, p. 34; Pearson, Lynn, 2010, Played in Tyne and Wear - Charting the heritage of people at play, p 35; Bill Pickering, 2015, The Role of Souvenirs at the 1929 North East Coast Exhibition - University Dissertation; J Fulton, 1869, Plan of proposed public park on the Town Moor & Castle Leazes, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle Libraries L912.2 N536,, J Fulton, 1870, Plan of proposed public park on the Town Moor & Castle Leazez, Newcastle upon Tyne, 24th October 1870, Newcastle Libraries, C2 672688 00 FE / L912.2 N536

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