Tyne and Wear HER(7104): Newcastle, Blackett St, YMCA - Details
Title of image: Y.M.C.A. Blackett Street/Grainger Street
Artist: P.M. Laws
Additional info: Print black and white
Location/Collection: Newcastle Libraries/Newcastle Local Studies Youth Organisations Collection
Accession number: NCL 053148
Provider: Newcastle City Library
Copyright: All rights reserved, if you would like a printed copy of this image please contact Newcastle Libraries.
Newcastle, Blackett St, YMCA
In 1884 the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) bought St. James Chapel on Blackett Street (HER 6986). However they soon needed a larger purpose-built building and so the chapel was demolished. The new YMCA building was designed by J.W. Taylor. It cost £50,000 to build. The foundation stones were laid in 1896 by the Countess of Ravensworth, Sir Richard Webster, Mr Cruddas and Mr Emmerson Bainbridge MP. The finished building was imposing, tapering towards the front with a tall octagonal tower. It was opened on 9th May 1900 by Queen Victoria's son Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and his wife Louise. As they opened the door with a gold key, a 6 gun salute was fired by the Royal Artillery at Heaton. The building including Connaught Hall which had two halls to seat 700 and 300 people, a reception room, reading room and library. The ground floor was leased to shopkeepers. The YMCA was demolished in the 1970s to make way for Eldon Square Shopping Centre.
L. Wilkes and G. Dodds, 1964, Tyneside Classical - The Newcastle of Grainger, Dobson and Clayton; Middlebrook, 1950, Newcastle upon Tyne: Its Growth and Achievements; Newcastle U3A Local History Group, 2001, A Brief History of Eldon Square South, Newcastle upon Tyne; Paul Usherwood, Jeremy Beach and Catherine Morris, 2000, Public Sculpture of North East England, p 127-9