The Story so Far... August 2016

Hello folks and a warm welcome to our “occasional” monthly blog for the book “Newcastle Old and New the story so far…” – I continue to be overwhelmed with the response to the book as sales have exceeded the big “8-0”, a major personal achievement considering we had only got the books in at the end of February! But not only that but as I recently posted on social media that the [roll on the drums pls] Newcastle City library have taken books as well, yippee!! This is a big achievement to me in that it is a massive turning point in the growing interest of the book. BUT, significantly back in 1977 as a bespecedly zit faced youngster with no hopes or aspirations had carried out his research for the school project Newcastle Old and New “mark one” book!! Deja vu indeed, eh?

SOOOO, it now means that not only is the book available on line via the website at the special price of £20.00 + £5.00 P&P via PayPal taking most credit and debit cards. Go to;,

BUT, can be “viewed” as well as purchased at the book store TG Allen’s in Morpeth, the Newcastle City Library and also, “stop the press” Morpeth Chantry Tourist Information have just purchased copies too!!

So watch this space as I talk to more book shops, outlets and tourist locations in and around Newcastle over the next coming months… I will update you as soon as…

What is it about?

In brief this is a book compiling of twenty main stories to do with significant and important landmarks in and around Newcastle such as; the North East Coast Exhibition, the Castle Keep, the Bridges, the Old Hospitals as well as more recently constructed buildings. We had recently added some extra short stories such as; an amusing conclusion to a visit by Queen Victoria in 1850, a harrowing story of witch trials in the middle ages, a couple of poems and a some unusual “what if” fictional stories attached to important chapters – these in itself makes this a rarity among local interest books of the region I believe to create a “unique” view of our fair city of Newcastle upon Tyne!

A couple of brief snap shots from inside the book…

This time around I have two of my favorite picks from my Newcastle old and New book of the Quayside but look like two completely different places on "earth" let alone of Newcastle.. The first courtesy of John Moreels is of a working Quayside of 1952 and a more shot though the Millennium Bridge care of Julian Nash who also provided that stunning pic for the cover of the book [see above too]. Now I used these to great effect towards the end of the book to not only show a classic "Old and New" of the Quayside but also as an escape route! Let me explain... In 1977 with the original book I attempted to predict the future – we were in the T Dan Smith “brazilla of the north” concrete jungle so a vision of grey buildings and decreasing architectural buildings was easy. But as I developed the 2016 book predicting the future was a real headache so I thought, “why not show how Newcastle has transformed over the years” so I used the “old and new” approach and I think I got away with it, yes?

I know these will in a way divide opinions especially on the loss of our ship building, pits, engineering etc but whether we like it or not life has to move on and that morn the past let’s look to the future and I think these pics show that Newcastle has recovered into a very attractive, cleaner more cosmopolitan city with so much life and with great respect [and visitors] from the world over for its social life, entertainment, cafes, architecture and tourist attractions. I for one am proud of our city, but what do you think your home “toon”??

And Finally;

Planned Events and Talks

I have had an intriguing request from David Hepworth of Newcastle City Library to take part in its book festival called “Books on Tyne” Nov 21-27 – in particular about the life journey to getting my Newcastle book to print. More details to follow…

I have just put in an application for a table at the Christmas Fair organised by the Rotary club for Saturday the 3rd of December 2016 at the Ponteland High School.

Finally if there is any more information I can give about the book, ways to purchase, talks etc please contact me via email me on or phone me direct via 07865 923716, or even below via facebook, twitter and LinkedIn addresses below, naturally I would be more than happy to help..

Ta ta for now,

Have a great day, a great week and a fab month!!

Yours Mike and Alison McCoy

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