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Events programme

All events are open to Members of the Friends of Saltwell Park and Non-Members.

Most events take place in, or from, the Training Centre in Saltwell Park (near the Model Boat Club building on the south side of the lake) and start at 10.30am (unless otherwise specified). Events generally last an hour and a half, and there is no need to book unless otherwise specified.

For events in the Training Centre there is a charge of £1 Members / £2 Non Members which includes refreshments (served before the event starts so please arrive 15 minutes before the start time if you wish to join us for refreshments).

Please note, events listed below are all organised by Friends of Saltwell Park. For information about other events in the Park - such as Fireworks, Food Market and Enchanted Parks - please visit Gateshead Council's website

Events 2020 soon to be available...

Saturday 7 December 2019 10.30am

Christmas at St Chad’s Church, Bensham

The Low Fell Ukes will be playing and singing

a wide range of songs celebrating Christmas.

Past Events

Saturday 9 November 2019 10.30am

Prisoners of the British 

Bernard Hope returned and gave a fascinating

account of the confinement in Britain of German

Servicemen between 1939 and 1948.

Saturday 12 October 2019 10.30am

Heritage Talk

Ian Daley told us about the Great and the Good

of Gateshead.  The sequel will be next March!

Saturday 7 September 10.30am

City Slickers and Country Yokels

Urban and suburban areas are increasingly popular

with beekeepers. In our countryside, intensive

agriculture is not always welcoming to honeybees,

whereas in towns and cities there is a surprising

amount of diverse food to be found. But where

exactly do our urban honeybees go?

Thank you Dr Rinke Vinkenoog for a fascinating

talk - which plants we see bees on and what types

of pollen turn up in their honey is very different.

Some links to help those who want to help pollinators:

British Bee Keeping Association

Rosy Bee Rosy has done 5 years of research !


There are quite a few books, but this has

bee experts contributions too:

Plants for Bees: A Guide to the Plants That Benefit the

Bees of the British Isles by Kirk, W. D. J., Howes, F. N. (2012) H

Tuesday 20 August 8-9.30pm

Bat Walk

Northumberland Bat Group guided us on this

popular event- bat detectors and infra red light

to see bats in the dark. Great!



(look for the bandstand!) 1:00-3:30pm

(30 minute interval at 2:00pm)

18th August - Low Fell Ukes

25th August - Whickham Wind Band

Bring a blanket and a picnic, relax and

listen to free music from local bands!

Please note this is organised by

Gateshead Council not by

Friends of Saltwell Park

If you would like to see more live music in

Gateshead Parks,

Tweet #liveparkmusic to @GMBCouncil

Saturday 10 August 2019 10.30am

Heritage Walk

Despite rain before and after we joined Ian Daley

to discover the heritage of the Park.

Thank you Ian for an informative and enjoyable


Love Parks Week 2019 – 12th - 21st July

FoSP in partnership with Gateshead Council

Join Us in July:

Sunday 14th & Wednesday 17th

For a display and sailing of Model Boats –

next to the lake 10am – 4pm

Tuesday 16th

Health Walk - stroll around the Park –

meet at North doors of the Towers 11am - 12noon

Wednesday 17th

Bird Walk - learn more about birds in the Park -

meet at North doors of the Towers 10am – 11am

Wednesday 17th

Park Practical Task morning – help with some gardening in Park -

meet at North doors of the Towers 10:30am – 12:30pm

Wednesday 17th

Heritage Walk - learn more about the heritage in the Park -

meet at North doors of the Towers 1pm – 2:30pm

All events are free

Saturday 6 July 2019

History of the Tyneside Cinema

Thank you Margaret Dodds for telling

us about the history of the

Tyneside Cinema which opened in 1937

and is the last surviving news theatre

still operating as a cinema.

Saturday 8th June 2019


Amanda Cuskin joined us with volunteer John

to tell us about Bowes Railway and the

Heritage Trail Challenge. Watch out for further

information about how you can obtain your

Heritage Trail Passport and collect stamps

when you complete a trail. Thank you Amanda,

history on our doorstep. Hope Friends visit.

Sunday 12th May 2019 - Bird Walk

Michael Turner lead us around the Park looking

and listening for birds that live in the Park all year

round or are just passing through.

Lots of birds seen and heard ... including 5 cygnets

which made their first appearance today!

Weather perfect too. Thank you Michael for

a lovely walk and for sharing your knowledge.

Wednesday 24th April 2019- AGM

All welcome. Join us from 6.45pm for refreshments

before the meeting starts at 7pm.

Saturday 13th April 2019 - Lit & Phil

The Literary & Philosophical Society was formed

in 1793 and its historic library is Newcastle's

must-see visitor attraction.

Lit & Phil guide Pat Lowery gave us a fascinating

insight into its history and hidden treasures.

Saturday 9th March 2019 - Honest Graft

We entered a world of tree grafting adventures with

Tyneside Beekeeper's Association - diverse,

weird and wonderful! We discovered the benefits of tree

grafting both to us and pollination insects. 

After the talk the Tyneside Beekeeper's Association

ran a grafting workshop at the Training Centre

in Saltwell Park, with tools provided.

Thank you Alistair Robinson from

Honest Graft.

Saturday 9th February 2019 - Land of Oak & Iron

Karen Daglish joined us to speak about the

Land of Oak & Iron, an area that was once home to a

world-leading iron and steel industry and is now an

area of natural beauty.

Thank you Karen, very significant history right on

our doorstep.

Saturday 12th January 2019 - History of the Clippy Mat

An excellent talk and demonstration by Jo Wilson on rag

mats, known locally as Clippy Mats, that were a common

sight in most working class homes in the North East until

the 20th century. Today the craft is being preserved by

local groups. After the talk and demonstration we were

able to have a go ourselves. 

Saturday 8th December 2018

Christmas at St Chad's Church, Bensham

Seasonal fayre and songs from Sharon Durrant's

Urban Chorus choir. Thank you to all who

contributed to this event to make it so special.

Saturday 10th November 2018 - End of the First World War

Germany 1918: Armistice and Aftermath

As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the

end of the First World War, Ian McArdle from the

Lit & Phil returned and gave us another fascinating talk.

This talk recounted from the German point of view the

major events from the offensive in March, 1918 leading

up to the Armistice on November 11th. The talk then

continued by examining some of the reactions of the

defeated troops and their bitter return to a deeply

unstable and dangerous homeland.

A most informative and moving talk, thank you Ian.

Displays in Shipley Art Gallery Lounge:

Saltwell Park Game "The Keeper" &

"Six Honest Servants"

Please visit the Shipley Art Gallery and see

results of our art work with Dingy Butterflies

over the summer.

Exhibition opens on Saturday 15th September

to 27th October 2019. There will be talks by the

artists who undertook these projects on 6th

and 13th October.

More details will follow but look in the Council

News too.

Saturday 13th October 2018

Life in the 1930s / 40s / 50s

Andrew Clark, local author, encouraged us to

discuss what life was like during these years,

with memories of the Park in those times. What

a great discussion! New stories for Andrew

too. Thank you very much Andrew - especially

from those who still remember their old

Co-op Divi number!


Those Northern Lights, So Pretty

Dingy Butterflies. Venues across

Bensham & Saltwell, Gateshead - including

Saltwell Park

Sunday 9 September 2018 10.30am - 12 noon

Meet at Gate 1 (LittleTheatre entrance).

Be one of the first to try out the newly

created "The Keeper" game.


For more information email:

[email protected]

Please note the Friends of Saltwell Park are

not organising these events but we are

supporting them. If you would like to help us

to do this then please

contact us.

Saturday 8th September 2018 - Open Meeting

Every one came to hear about what is going

on in the Park and tell us about their

experiences and concerns in the Park.

This time we also asked those present for

help with making all the things we do happen.

If everyone does a little bit to help then we

can make big things happen! Some of you

already do a lot. However, if you have yet

to volunteer for something and you feel

you can help us then please let us know by

contacting us.

Wednesday 15th August 2018- Workshop

Dingy Butterflies

Toby Lloyd -Workshop

10am - 1pm Training Centre.

Toby Lloyd (August 2018) 

Saturday 11th August 2018 - Chase Park

Peter Craig, Friends of Chase Park in Whickham,

told us about Chase Park and the process the

Friends of Chase Park (FoCP) went through with

Heritage Lottery Funding. They have taken on

so much responsibility for their park, they are

inspiring. FoCP is very different to FoSP but we

can learn a lot from each other.


Sunday 15th July is Love Parks Day in Saltwell Park

Sunday 15th July 2018 - Community Open Day 11am-4pm

Following the success of last year we are pleased to be

able to tell you this event is to run again.

Saturday 14th July 2018 - Bees in Parks

Barbara Keating, Tyneside Bee Keepers, helped us

learn about Honey Bees with the most wonderful

installation and question and answer session.

If you missed it it will be in the Training

Centre tomorrow at the Community Open Day.

Saturday 9th June 2018


The Great Exhibition of the North is coming:

22 June to 9 September

It's the biggest Exhibition in England.

Carol Bell, Director of the Great Exhibition of the North

gave us an excellend overview of this free summer

long programme of amazing exhibits, live performances,

displays of innovation, new artworks and unforgettable


For more information about GETNorth 2018


or click here.

Click here to edit text

Sunday 13th May 2018 - Bird Walk 9.30am start

Thank you to Michael Turner for leading us around

the Park looking and listening for birds which live

in the Park or are passing through.

Quite quiet in the Park after the heavy rain but

some bird activity seen and bird song heard and

lots of ducklings.

Wednesday 25th April 2018 - AGM

7.00pm Training Centre

All welcome. Join us from 6.30pm for refreshments

before the meeting starts at 7.00pm

Saturday 14th April 2018

Joseph Shipley

Thank you to Ian Daley who provided a very interesting

illustrated talk about Joseph Shipley and

the Shipley Art Gallery. Another of our local heroes.

Saturday 10th March 2018 - Friends of Jesmond Dene

Thank you to 2 enthusiastic Friends of Jesmond Dene

who told us about the history of the Dene and the

their activities. Many similarities to Friends of

Saltwell Park, lots to learn!


(Cuppa with a Copper)

Friday 9th March 2018, between11am – 12noon at

Saltwell Towers.

Join PC Nicola Smith to discuss your concerns about

activities in the Park and hear about what the Friends

of Saltwell Park are doing to help make the Park more

safe and secure. All welcome.

Saturday 10th February 2018 - Penshaw Monument

Bernard Hope gave us a fascinating account

of John George Lambton and Penshaw Monument.

Thank you - and we hope Bernard will return

next year as we see he has new talks to offer.

If you would like to see a full list of Bernard's

talks please visit his website.

Saturday 13th January 2018 - Family History Workshop

Thank you to Yvonne Kennedy and team for helping

us discover how to research our family trees.

WiFi was provided for this event, and the event was

sponsored by Allay Claims Ltd.

Reserve event online

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