Local History Talks and Films


Monday 9th January 1pm at West End Library

North East life in the 1960s

Revisit this memorable decade with local author Andrew Clark, with stories of childhood, music, fashion, entertainment, sport, work and holidays.

Friday 13th January 10.30am at Denton Burn Library

Discovering Scotswood

Take your seats for a visual journey through the history and heritage of Scotswood with John Taberham. You will be surprised what is out there. 

Monday 6th February 1pm at West End Library

The Lemington Canaries of Canary Island

Film and illustrated talk by John Taberham about this largely forgotten story.  Follow the journey back to the First World War to find the secret armaments factory, learn how the women who worked there got the nickname of the Lemington Canaries, and hear what dangers they faced on a daily basis.

Friday 17th February 1pm at West End Library

The West End in Film

Join us to watch a variety of archive films about local life through the years. 

Monday 6th March 1pm at West End Library

Memories of Old Benwell Village

An illustrated talk by West Newcastle Picture History Collection about the history of the original Benwell Village.  We invite you to share your memories and photographs with us. .    


Guided Walks and Visits


Tuesday 17th January 10.30

Guided tour of the New Tyne Theatre, Westgate Road

Explore one of our most precious historic buildings – the Tyne Theatre.  Your guide Alan Butland will take you behind the scenes, including underneath the stage, to see how it all works. Numbers limited.  

Tuesday 21st March 10.30am at the Discovery Museum

A journey through Newcastle

Join us for a non-walking tour of Newcastle, with photographs and objects from the museum’s collections. Explore stories of local history and notable landmarks with the Communities Team.  

Tuesday 18th April 11am, leaving from outside the Discovery Museum

Exploring Summerhill

Guided tour by Olive Taylor of the historic Summerhill area on the western edge of the old town, home to many prominent Newcastle families during the 19th century.

Wednesday 10th May 1pm, leaving from St James’ Graveyard, Benwell Lane

Benwell’s Lost Coalmines

This circular walk visits sites linked with Benwell’s coalmining heritage.  On the way we will look at how the area has changed over the years.        


Big Local History Event


Monday 15th May 10.30am to 4pm at West End Library

A date for your diary!  Programme to follow.  Book early to ensure your place.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL for all activities    

Email: stjamesbenwell@gmail.com          Phone: 0191 2528675 to leave a message including contact details

Download the full programme by clicking here.


New film celebrating the route of Hadrian’s Wall through Newcastle

4. Native Britons at Newcastle castle

“Gannin’ Alang the Wall” was written and directed by St James’ Heritage & Environment Group.  This film follows the route of the Wall through Newcastle, starting at the fort of Segedunum just east of the city boundary and travelling west as far as Heddon. 

6. Roman soldier outside Gregg's on Shields Rd

On the way, we meet a host of characters including a troop of Roman soldiers marching up Westgate Hill, several disaffected natives, and some present day residents from communities along the route of the Wall.  To watch the film, click here.

Sharing the Film

The film can be used by other organisations and groups for public showings free of charge, provided that we are informed in advance.  DVD copies are available for this purpose – contact us at stjamesbenwell@gmail.com for further information.


Our latest publication “1952 and All That”, which explores what life in Newcastle’s West End was like at the time Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, can be viewed by clicking on this link
Copies of the book can be obtained from us by emailing stjamesbenwell@gmail.com.  Copies are also available from local libraries.

Visit St James Graveyard

Visit the historic graveyard of St James’, burial place of the developer Richard Grainger, mining engineer John Buddle, glass manufacturer John Sowerby among others.  We welcome visitors any Wednesday morning between 10am and 1pm or at other times by arrangement.  Volunteers are available to show you around – but please contact us in advance if you would like a tour by emailing stjamesbenwell@gmail.com.

You can also read or download our two graveyard guides from the Publications and resources page of this website – “A Guide to St James’ Graveyard and A short history of St James’ Graveyard, Benwell.

We are unable to show visitors around St James’ Church at the moment.  Anyone wishing to look around the building should contact St James’ Church directly.  You can read or download a heritage guide to the church from the Publications and resources page of this website – St James’ Church Heritage Guide.



You can find all of our previous publications free of charge on our Publications and Resources page – click here to see it.


If you would like to join our contact list to receive emails about our events and activities, email us at stjamesbenwell@gmail.com and ask to subscribe.


Email: stjamesbenwell@gmail.com
Write: c/o Sunnybank Centre, 12/14 Sunnybank Avenue, Pendower, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 6S