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Tyne and Wear HER(7520): Gateshead, Hudson Street, Railway Club - Details

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Gateshead, Hudson Street, Railway Club




Licensed Premises

Public House

Early Modern


Extant Building

The historic importance of this building lies in its connection with the Greenesfield Railway Works, as it was constructed for the North Eastern Railway Company as a Literary Institute for their workers (formed in 1854 and previously housed in the Old Rectory in Oakwellgate). The building included apartments for a caretaker, a library, a lecture room with a capacity of 600 people, class rooms, billiard rooms, and two large dining rooms. Whellan (1894) describes how the catering staff were all male, and: “...the meals are cooked in the gas ovens without charge, and each man’s dinner or breakfast, as the case may be, is numbered, and put in its place just before the electric bells in the various workshops announce the meal hours. In the two rooms combined dinners are provided for nearly 1,000 men daily.” Manders (1973) also notes that: “The Institute was throughout supported by the local management and was much more enterprising than was usual in such societies. Science and Art classes were held there from the 1880s, for example. The library held over 12,000 volumes.” Part of the ground floor was given over to the North Eastern Provident Society, which in 1894 had a membership of 1100. Later, the BR Staff Association took over the premises, and the current uses of a health club, gymnasium, and Railway Club are now set to change again. The Club forms part of the group of buildings in the area adjacent to the High Level Bridge which all grew up in association with the railways. The warm brick, the height and the large arched windows are striking and imposing, and the building forms an unusually-shaped block with those on Wellington Street. It is of 3 storeys in red brick, with stone dressings and black brick string courses. The slate roof is steeply pitched, with part a mansard. Large painted timber mullioned windows with brick arched heads animate the ground floor, with stone keystones and endstones. Simple inset panels offer some detailing, and the corners are smoothly curved, enabling carriages to pass by easily, towards the segmental carriage arch set into the north wall. MATERIALS Red brick, sandstone, slate, timber ARCHITECT William Bell DATES 1887 (Plans) 1889 (Opened). It was recorded by Peter Ryder and The Archaeological Practice Ltd. In 2006 ahead of its conversion into apartments. LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List X20/LL/143; Grace McCombie, 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead - Pevsner Architectural Guide, p. 30; Bridges THI Stage II bid, appendix 4: Street Gazetteer; Tyne and Wear Archives CB GA/BC/plan/1887/93; The Archaeological Practice Ltd.2006, Gateshead Railway Club and Institute, Historic Buildings Recording

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