Monday, 18 June 2018


CHERRYBURN (Song for Thomas Bewick)
By John Leslie

Cherryburn, Ovingham, banks of the Tyne
A bird on the wing, a fish on the line
Schooled in the meadow, suited him fine
Thomas had, plenty of time

A model apprentice, a skilful performer
Sanctified workshop, along Amen Corner
That’s where he flourished with boxwood and blade
Master of all he surveyed

Wild birds, and fables, and books to be bound
The Chillingham Bull, Huntsman and the Hound
For Thomas, the bells of St Nicholas chime
Cherryburn, Ovingham, banks of the Tyne

Wild birds, and fables, and books to be bound
The Chillingham Bull, Huntsman and the Hound
For Thomas, the bells of St Nicholas chime
Cherryburn, Ovingham, banks of the Tyne
Cherryburn, Ovingham, banks of the Tyne

Schooled in a meadow, it suited him fine
Cherryburn, banks of the Tyne

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

From Keith Armstrong

Walk On, Tom Bewick

Stride Circus Lane 
and chip your signature 
on the pavement of scrapes and kisses.
Pass the Forth
and skirt 
its pleasure gardens;
throw your darts in the archery field.
Skim the bowling green
and walk on water, 
doff your hat to Mrs Waldie;
cut along 
old scars of lanes 
to the bloody gush of Westgate Street;
whistle with birds
in a vicar’s garden,
let warm thoughts fly in Tyneside sun
to bless this Geordie day.
And greet 
the morning hours,
Aunt Blackett and Gilbert Gray,
sing to free the world,
the Black Boy;
harmonise your mind
in a churchyard of melancholy.
Dance over the Lort Burn,
the sun in your eyes,
flooding your workshop
with a light fantastic.
Your shoulders so proud
rub with the building girls
and lady barbers
along Sandhill;
the boats of your dreams
bridge the aching Tyne,
ships groaning
in the tender daylight,
longing for the healing moon;
a keelman’s fantasies
of quayside flesh
and the seething sea.
You trip along 
searching for electricity and magnetism 
in the inns,
winging it
with the bird catchers and canary breeders,
the dirty colliers and the harping whalers.
Walk on Tom,
a portrait
of a hanging man;
let your strong heart
swell with the complex passion
of common folk.
Keith performed a number of poems at the City Library on Tuesday 15th May as part of Local History Month:
Tyne Artistry: celebrating local legends in their anniversary years. Keith was joined by folk band 'The Sawdust Jacks', and Northumbrian Piper Chris Ormston.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Hands on at Cherryburn

From 2-4 on Sunday 29th April 2018.
With readings by Stephen Tomlin from The Fables of Aesop, 1818.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

A review of The Sketchbook of 1792-1799.

A recently published review of The Sketchbook of 1792-1799.
Thanks to reviewer Alastair Johnston. Click on the thumbnails to read the review.
From The Book Collector, Spring 2018.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Bewick in Valparaiso

Tom Brand has sent us some excellent photographs from his exhibition in the Brauer Museum.
Thanks Tom, it looks wonderful.

"You may be interested in an exhibit of the works of Bewick at the Brauer Museum in Valparaiso, Indiana which is about 14 miles from my home/studio. All of the pieces are from my collection. There are over 40 pieces framed and all of the major books by Thomas Bewick are shown. To assist the viewer, good size magnifying glasses (with lights) are furnished. I was a friend and neighbor of Bob Middleton  and a good friend of Bill Hesterberg of Hesterberg Press. Their Bewick offerings are exhibited as well.
The visitors to the exhibit are full of praise and wonder.
Tom Brand"

The Museum website here
The exhibition continues until April 1st.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017


Our AGM is tomorrow.
After the business of the meeting Dave Harker will give a talk on the development of NE printing, with special reference to slip songs, up to the late 18th century.
Thursday 26 October 2017 at 6-8pm in the All Seeing Eye Function Room. (Business starts at 6.15 approx)
  Function Room, Blackie Boy, 11 Groat Market, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Birds Want You To Listen To Their Songs, Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects
Birds Want You To Listen To Their Songs
1 September - 29 October 2017
Cherryburn, National Trust, near Newcastle

 From the Juneau Projects website:

The exhibition is the culmination of our Thomas Bewick Fellowship residency at Cherryburn. The show is inspired by our research into Bewick’s engravings. Alongside this we worked with local school children to get their perspective on the area around Cherryburn.
The exhibition includes low relief sculptures, prints and print blocks, viewfinders and a print kit that allows visitors to mix and match print blocks to create their own ‘tail-pieces’ inspired prints.