Thursday, 31 March 2016


This meeting will focus in particular on the work and enthusiasms of the Newcastle Imprint Club. Founded in 1963 the club met regularly over the next thirty years to discuss books, printing and design. They frequently printed from historic blocks and we hope to have numerous examples of the Club’s Bewick reprints on hand.
Date and time: Saturday 16 April at 1.00pm.
Venue: The Council Room of the Natural History Society of Northumbria, 2nd Floor Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PT.
Admission: Free. Contact: June Holmes: The Natural History Society of Northumbria.
Tel no. 0191 208 5834 or Email

Monday, 19 October 2015

Thomas Bewick's Last Days

Thomas Bewick's Last Days with a Commentary by Iain Bain

From the Fleece Press website:

"Aware that his final days were approaching, Thomas Bewick made a journey – only his second – to London in 1828 in order to dispose of remaining stocks of his books, and to see old friends. The journey began on his 75th birthday, and within three months he had died. He wrote the account of his journey on a single small piece of paper, and his daughter Jane later pasted it into a bound set of corrected proofs of her father's Memoir. Iain Bain, renowned scholar of all that is Bewick, has added a prefatory note and fascinating commentary bringing Bewick's account to life.
200 copies have been printed, all bearing one engraving by Thomas Bewick (his silhouette portrait of his friend Robert Pollard) printed from the block, and of these, 100 have an extra TB engraving, of his smaller version of Waiting for Death, printed by Iain Bain from the original block for the book. The standard copies carry this engraving but only in reproduction; Iain Bain has also signed each special copy of the book under TB's own facsimile wood-engraved signature, printed from the block. All copies are bound in quarter cloth and a wonderful marbled paper made by Antonio Velez Celemin for the book; the special copies are housed in a Cheviot tweed pouch made for the book by Sally Lucas.
This is a small book of 34 pages with six tipped-in illustrations, as well as a hand-coloured title page..."

All enquiries to
Simon Lawrence, The Fleece Press, 95 Denby Lane, Upper Denby, Huddersfield HD8 8TZ .
Telephone 01226 792200; email 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Art of Thomas Bewick by Diana Donald

Review in the New York Review of Books by Julian Bell.

"England’s Great Neglected Artist"

“We no longer nowadays salute ‘Nature’ with the unhesitating confidence invested in the concept by Audubon or by writers such as William Wordsworth, another of Bewick’s numerous admirers. And yet Diana Donald’s impressive recent study, The Art of Thomas Bewick, demonstrates the surprising resilience of the American visitor’s assessment. At the end of her scrupulous inquiry into the political, religious, and cultural circumstances in which Bewick’s work was undertaken, the Northumbrian natural historian still stands, however we interpret him, as an innovator rather than an imitator, and as an artist who worked, as much as any artist can, from freshly won experience rather than by cleaving to cultural precedent.”—New York Review of Books

You can find the review online here.
(Although you'll need a subscription to read the whole article.)

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Peter Brown,   ‘Jackdaw’

Winner of the Bewick Prize at the Society of Wood Engravers' Annual Exhibition.
It will be on show
6th – 24th October 2015
78th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers
The North Wall Arts Centre
South Parade
Oxford OX2 7JN
Private View: Saturday 10th October 3.00pm – 5.00pm (after the AGM)
Open Monday – Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm, Saturday 12.00 – 4.00pm.
Closed Sundays.
Telephone: 01865 319450

Friday, 14 August 2015

Cataloguing Bewick's Letters

 "The Wordsworth Trust is home to a vast treasure trove of documents extending beyond just the work of Wordsworth himself. Amongst this collection are kept the letters and notes of the engraver Thomas Bewick. These letters reveal all the little details about Bewick’s life, ranging from letters to and from his business associates to personal letters to his family and friends, before culminating in the letters of his daughter as she attempted to hold her father’s collections together after his death."
Martin Hasted…/08/14/cataloguing-bewicks-lett…/

Martin Hasted is currently working as a Trainee for the Wordsworth Trust. The role is a yearlong placement designed to give trainees experience of working in the heritage sector, and as such encompasses various roles from providing tours of Dove Cottage to working with the Trust’s extensive archival material. Martin is currently working towards cataloguing the large volume of material relating to the engraver Thomas Bewick which was acquired by the Trust in 2013. 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Walk to Cherryburn.

I regularly pursued my walks & while thus exercising, my mind was commonly engaged in considering upon plans about how I should conduct myself in life & forming resolutions on such as I approved of & of strictly acting upon them…..


I thought nothing of leaving Newcastle (occasionally) after I had done work (7 o clock) in a winters night & setg off to walk to Cherryburn - …. - In my solitary walks ( as before noticed) the first resolution I recollect of having made, was that of living within my income & another, of similar import, was that of never getting anything upon trust…
Thomas Bewick, Memoir p 50 – 1

Peter Quinn will lead us on a walk leaving Cardinal Hume's statue, Bewick Street, Newcastle upon Tyne at 10.30am along the banks on the River Tyne to Cherryburn, Mickley. This is an experiment in retracing Bewick's regular walk to his parents' house. We aim to complete the walk in the shortest time possible. Stout boots required.
Follow the progress of the walkers with Twitter updates en route @BewickSociety.

Thursday, 7 May 2015


Join us for another occasion to hear experts from the Bewick Society talk enthusiastically about their own items or items from the collections of the Natural History Society of Northumbria. The Natural History Society will be exhibiting, for the first time, a recently discovered manuscript notebook by the local bookseller and Bewick enthusiast William Garrett. There will also be an opportunity to see the collection of fine Bewick books recently bequeathed by the late Geoffrey Shaw QC.

Date and time: Saturday 9 May at 1.00pm.
Venue: The Council Room of the Natural History Society of Northumbria,
2nd Floor Hancock Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PT.
Admission: Free.
Contact: June Holmes: The Natural History Society of Northumbria, The Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT. Tel no. 0191 208 5834 or Email