‘The Old Order Changeth’

These two shots show the South East section of the High Street between Finkle Street and Castlegate, the first shot is of the old part that was demolished in the late 1960s, some of the shops have their windows whitewashed in readiness.

The second shot is of the replacement Castlegate Centre under construction. I understand that the Castlegate Centre is its self to be demolished.

I am interested in architecture and there were some very interesting frontages amongst the old buildings, the Castlegate Centre is very much of its time, its main saving grace was the use of bricks for the main frontage, this softens the more intrusive concrete.

One of the things I liked about the old style of shops were the window displays, nowadays there are large glass fronts mainly plastered with posters and notices, shops inside of malls have glass fronts even though there is no natural light outside, the tradition of having shop windows is alive and well but the use as display areas has just about disappeared.

Images and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

5 thoughts on “‘The Old Order Changeth’

  1. I cannot believe that some, perhaps many, of the buildings in the lower end of High Street were not listed. The Vane Arms, the Black Bull, the William IV pub, Clinkards, Mastermans and Rossi’s Ice cream parlour. These buildings were a kaleidoscope of styles, rich in character and aesthetic appeal. The Castlegate Centre is an example of the brutalism of late 20th century modernity, repetitious and boring. To shop in the Centre is an anemic experience. Similar developments occurred in our cities that were bombed during the war but this can’t be blamed on an enemy. I have heard a rumour that the Castlegate Centre is to be demolished. Is that true?
    Thank you Bruce for the images, they do have a didactic function…


    • The Castlegate Centre was the product of corruption – John Pouslon (architect) and T. Dan Smith (Tyneside councillor / developer) both went to prison over it. It is an eyesore, and a monumental disgrace….


      • John Poulson, by his own admission, never formerly qualified as an architect. He was certainly involved with T Dan Smith who wanted to revitalise the centre of Newcastle. Both men, along with others, ended up in prison for corruption. The firm started by Poulson was involved with Castlegate but Poulson was NOT part of the company by then. He had been removed from the company in 1969.


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