|Good morning, afternoon or even good evening – mind you as we are fully into winter now it is sometimes hard to tell the difference with the light dropping at about 4pm in the afternoon… there are days when you “leave in the dark and arrive home in the dark”?
Thank you for following the progress of this very special personal project; Newcastle Old and New - the story so far? A “book” about the changing faces of our fair city Newcastle upon Tyne, which was originally written believe it or not, when I was 16 – and trust me that is a very long time ago!
Another odd thing about this time of year is how fast time fly’s, one moment I am talking to you in September, we then took a long break in October – took an age to catch up, and the next thing I know it’s early December with the “C” word repeated over and over again on TV. You are well entitled to fill in the blanks!!
As many will know through my social and business media, networking and via this newsletter that through-out 2015 I have been working hard on this book project and it has been a mammoth project. Along with squeezing it in with the day to day running of ME PAT Services along with my “very patient” wife Alison, it has been “challenging” to say the very least, and although there has been numerous delays I have learnt so many new skills along the way. The artwork for the special “wrap around” cover is ready and the final [final] draft has just arrived waiting for approval before it goes to the printers – finding the time has been the biggest challenge! Needless to say though, I have sadly missed my own deadline for the planned pre-xmas launch so I am settling down to an early 2016 launch – details to follow.
The Christmas window is closing so very fast and so I have taken my foot off the pedal briefly and “learning to breathe!” I will admit that I was very disheartened at first as it has been a hard slog and I was looking forward to completion this year - but at least its gave me time to put other vital pieces in the jigsaw, see below. However being upbeat, the original book lay buried for 35 years, we have been working on it for 3 years then surely another few months can’t do any harm – or as this quote puts it nicely…
I have been making good use of the “delayed launch” by putting some important “pieces into the jigsaw”, along with the help of my dear friend Leanne Conway-Wilcox of “Tyne the Knot” fame we have launched a new website. I have brought three popular domain names to be initially launched under; www.newcastleoldandnew.co.uk the others will be linked up and rolled out later. I have also set up PayPal facilities which will be added to the website in the New Year for secure on-line purchases of the book – this will be announced nearer the time of course.
I have also launched two social media pages devoted to the book, Twitter and Facebook, which from time I will add bits and pieces all related to Tyneside, some from the proposed book and some we ran out of space for. I will keep you informed of progress via this book and our MEPAT newsletter. So keep an eye out for us, 2016 – bring it on!
In this month’s newsletter I have included another sneak preview from the book – this time about the - seat of the North East - The Civic Centre along with a relevant question to test your knowledge [or your google speed??]. I will also give you the answer to September’s question, and the winner [sorry no prizes to either!]. I will also detail some events and talks that I will be at over the coming months.
The Civic Centre
Although the sharp among you may notice that I have used a pic of the Tyne God again featured in the last newsletter, it happens to reside on the side a very significant building in Newcastle and this links quite nicely to an interesting story connected to this time of year. The Civic Centre was opened by King Olav V of Norway (2 July 1903 – 17 January 1991) in the late 60s, it may appear to be a drab and dull building but this was of course the cutting edge in its design at the time some 47 years ago. However, this building is actually the focal point every year of a very important relationship that has lasted over seventy years between Newcastle upon Tyne and Norway as every December the good citizens of Bergen send Newcastle a Christmas tree! Bergen is one of Newcastle’s twin cities and a lot of this goodwill dates back to the Second World War. Britain did so much to help the Norwegians resist the German occupation of their country, so every year historically or at least since 2007, the mayor of Bergen has strode out into the woods with an axe and has, personally felled a Spruce tree, anything up to 45 feet tall. The tree is then decorated with traditionally Norwegian fare and sent to Newcastle, with compliments of the mayor and people of Norway. The tree’s arrival on Tyneside is quite an occasion and a big draw for visitors from around the world.
Just a thought but can you imagine one of our own mayors chopping down a 45 foot tree as a present for someone??
Here is this month’s question for you [sorry no prizes but I will publish the name of who first comes back to me with the correct answer in the next newsletter].
Q: when was the Civic Centre actually opened, I have actually given you not one but two clues….
[The answer will be in the next newsletter – sorry no prizes just recognition…]
And finally, the answer to last month’s quiz
The Question was: the Metro track has expanded by a third in length over the years [since 1980], from the coast to the airport, from Newcastle Central over to Sunderland. How many kilometers of track are there now??
The Answer is; it now operates on 74.5 kilometer’s of track
(which is 46.3 miles in old money?)
We had lots of answers but sadly none of them were correct – sorry! Better luck next time??
Thanks though to all who took part in this light hearted quiz
Planned Events and Talks
We will be promoting our book at the Ponteland Christmas Market on Saturday the 5th of December 2015 at the Ponteland High School, Callerton Lane, NE20 9EY. There are over 40 indoor stalls, great food, mulled wine, real ale; entertainment with children's rides outside complete with Santa in his grotto! So come along….
I will be doing a talk on the Newcastle Old & New book and my struggles with dyslexia at the “Mind Your Business” Network group at the Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle which is at lunchtime on Tuesday the 19th of January 2016.
Well time to close and move on to doing some work for ME PAT Services ... Ta ta for now and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time in following our progress and the interest throughout the year – it “will” come to fruition in 2016, thank you It is so very much appreciated!!
Finally, if I don’t see you before have a very Merry Christmas
and a Prosperous New Year,
Yours Mike McCoy
ME PAT Services Ltd
PS. me attempting the “author pose” from inside the back cover of the book –which apparently you have to have!!