Category Archives: Ouseburn events

Insect Humans take over Ouseburn Farm

Cap-a-pie Insect workshop image.

Cap-a-pie Insect workshop.

This summer, theatre company Cap-a-Pie is offering free drama workshops to people of all ages at Ouseburn Farm. But these are not just any drama workshops, Cap-a-Pie will be working alongside with Dr Vivek Nityananda to explore the world of…..INSECTS!

Dr Nityananda is an insect expert from Newcastle University who finds out how insects use their senses to understand the world. Through loads of fun and physical activities and exercises the workshops will explore how and why insects behave the way they do, how animals use their senses to interact with each other and the world around them and you’ll even learn how praying mantises can see in 3D!

These workshops are for all the family and you’ll be helping to make a brand new piece of theatre inspired by all things creepy and crawly. The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England as well as funding from Newcastle University.

The workshops will be held at Ouseburn Farm, Ouseburn Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2PA.

There will be lots of activities at Ouseburn Farm over the Summer Holidays including Farmers Club, Nature trails, Arts and Crafts and their own musical show – ‘Talk to the Animals’.

Insect Drama workshops will be held Tuesdays 11am-12pm, Wednesdays 1pm – 2pm and Thursdays 11am – 12pm between 4th August and 3rd September.

 

Stepney Bank one-way trial 7 – 8 November

The Stepney Bank one-way street trial, part of the Ouseburn DIY Streets project, is happening today, Friday 7th November and Saturday 8th November. The one-way will be down the street to just before Northern Print, and the junctions with Coquet Street and Stepney Road.

If you don’t meet one of the Sustrans people or our volunteers with a feedback form for you to fill in, you can give your feedback via the online form.

Read more about this trial in our October update.

 

Painted area where we would like a raised roadway by the entrance to Ouseburn Farm and by the Village Green.

DIY Streets trial at Ouseburn Festival

The DIY Streets team had a busy time during the Ouseburn Festival on 5th and 6th July 2014. People from Ouseburn Futures, xsite architecture, Sustrans, Roots and Wings, and Newcastle City Council – + 3 volunteers from Gentoo – worked together on Saturday to create a temporary transformation to test out the ideas on redesigning parts of Stepney Road, Stepney Bank and Lime Street.

Thank you very much to everyone who helped to create the trial designs, and to everyone who talked to us and gave their feedback over the weekend. It was really helpful and will help us in designing better streets. It was also great fun to do something that big and bold that made people look and think!

First, the road signs and cones were put out. These are on Stepney Road.

First, the road signs and cones were put out. These are on Stepney Road.

The street had to be measured to make sure that the cones were in the correct place and that the remaining vehicle access was wide enough.

The street had to be measured to make sure that the cones were in the correct place and that the remaining vehicle access was wide enough.

A temporary priority system for vehicles was set up on Stepney Rd.

A temporary priority system for vehicles was set up on Stepney Rd.

A temporary priority system for vehicles was set up on Stepney Rd.

A temporary priority system for vehicles was set up on Stepney Rd.

Measuring the width of the street where the temporary narrowing was to be placed.

Measuring the width of the street where the temporary narrowing was to be placed.

The trees were growing low over the path, making it difficult to walk on the pavement, so some branches needed pruning.

The trees were growing low over the path, making it difficult to walk on the pavement, so some branches needed pruning.

Two of the Ouseburn DIY Streets team, Paul and Cath, demonstrate that it's now possible to walk along the pavement.

Two of the Ouseburn DIY Streets team, Paul and Cath, demonstrate that it’s now possible to walk along the pavement.

 

Temporary reshaping of the Stepney Road junction onto Stepney Bank.

Temporary reshaping of the Stepney Road junction onto Stepney Bank.

Temporary reshaping of Stepney Bank at the junction with Stepney Road.

Temporary reshaping of Stepney Bank at the junction with Stepney Road.

Preparing to paint Lime Street.

Preparing to paint Lime Street.

 

Someone put their handprints onto the pavement on Stepney Road.

Someone put their handprints onto the pavement on Stepney Road.

We put up the Sustrans pagoda on Lime St, with hay bales for people to sit on and a temporary bike stand next to us.

We put up the Sustrans pagoda on Lime St, with hay bales for people to sit on and a temporary bike stand next to us.

Nita from site architecture did a display about the proposals with feedback space.

Nita from site architecture did a display about the proposals with feedback space.

People could put coloured dots on a scale of whether they really disliked or really liked the proposals for the junctions.

People could put coloured dots on a scale of whether they really disliked or really liked the proposals for the junctions.

This painted section with red unicorn by Seven Stories and 36 Lime Street Gallery is an area we think should be raised.

This painted section with red unicorn by Seven Stories and 36 Lime Street Gallery is an area we think should be raised.

DIY Streets May update

DIY STREETS logo

In April we produced two surveys – a general one, and one for businesses and organisations in the Ouseburn. We also chatted to people in the street, carried out a survey of visitors to the Open Studios Spring Salon and ran two public events. The responses showed us where people felt the issues were, and from this we agreed that the project would focus on Stepney Bank, Stepney Road and Lime Street. We took a short report to the Council’s Cycle City Ambition Fund Group to sign this off.

In May, we contacted everyone who lives and works on the focus streets plus all the people who provided an email address in their survey response, and invited them to workshop sessions on the 19th May and 21st May led by site architecture. These workshops involved a walk along the focus streets and then a discussion of the main issues. The key points that came up were:

  • Slowing down traffic speed
  • Creating joined up, safe spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and horses
  • Tackling problem junctions
  • Managing parking to meet local needs
  • Reducing rat-running traffic, possibly with one-way systems
  • Having some sort of signage/features/planters along the streets
  • Keeping streets tidy and improving lighting

We won’t be able to tackle everything through the DIY Streets project but all of the comments gathered will feed into wider conversations with the Council and help us plan for the future. The next steps will be to work up designs based on the feedback we’ve received so far, and we’ll be posting some draft plans here at the end of June for you to comment on. We then hope to try some ideas out at the Ouseburn Festival on Sunday 6th and we’ll have a stall near Lime Street so that you can take a closer look at the plans and let us know what you think.

Our March clean up day was a breeze

Our clean up day in March was more breezy than a breeze maybe, but it was great to welcome some new volunteers. It’s amazing how quickly an area can be cleaned up when half-a-dozen or more people descend on it with litter pickers, bin bags, a brush, and a lot of determination! We also trimmed back nettles and brambles from paths so that they remain passable in summer.

In the morning, we tackled the area around Crawford’s Bridge, the muddy end of Foundry Lane, and the area between Crawford’s Bridge to the culvert opening, the former outdoor riding area, up to the old culvert arch and steps under the railway viaduct. The morning’s ‘treasures’ included a discarded bicycle wheel, quite a lot of broken glass. The wildlife sightings included a close up view of a lively little goldcrest.

We had delicious soup in the warmth of Ouseburn Farm’s café before the afternoon team set off to tackle the wooded area just to the North of the orchard and pond. There were dumped or abandoned clothes, pillows, and what were probably sleeping bags at one time – all soaked so heavy as well as quite muddy – in addition to the usual sort of rubbish.

A very big thank you to all the volunteers who helped in clearing so much rubbish on our March clean up day! If you would like to feel the same glow of satisfaction as we did at the end of the day, you’re very welcome to join us on our next clean up day, Monday 14th April 2014. If you can only spare an hour or two, you’re still very welcome. We meet at Ouseburn Farm at 10.30am, and then start the afternoon shift from there around 1.30pm.

Later on Monday 14th April, from 5.30pm to 7pm at Ernest, Boyd Street in Ouseburn, we also have a general Ouseburn Futures open meeting which will focus on plans for projects to improve cycle routes and the environment, and our new constitution. All are welcome!

A sunny Clean Up in February

We were lucky with the weather on the February Clean Up day organised by our Environment Group on Thursday 20th February. The grey clouds soon cleared so we had blue sky, sunshine and warmth most of the time.

We started picking up the litter on and around the Foundry Lane car park, and found some daffodils when we cleared the food bags and paper cups. Then three more volunteers joined us (including two of the youngest) as we headed uphill to the pathway that runs through the feet of the Metro viaduct. There was plenty of rubbish to keep us all busy, and some trimming back of the thorny and prickly branches growing out over the path. We were surprised to find purple crocuses flowering.

Our youngest volunteers were great at finding odd things that had been chucked or blown into the woodland by the path, including a bicycle tyre and tyre-less wheels.

Some of our volunteers finished at lunchtime, and some stayed for lunch (delicious lentil and veg soup at Ouseburn Farm). We headed back up to the path through the Metro viaduct to trim back more thorny branches and pick up lots more rubbish, including cans, bottles, and broken bottles. There were lots of small birds in the trees watching what we were doing.

We ended up with a pile of bags of rubbish (about two dozen) – and left a much cleaner path and woodland for people, animals and birds to enjoy. We look forward to welcoming more volunteers at our next Clean Up day on Saturday 15th March 2014!

 

February Ouseburn Clean Up

Ouseburn viaducts 16th Feb 2014

Ouseburn viaducts 16th Feb 2014

The storms of last week have passed, but what a lot of litter has been blown about !

We have an Ouseburn Valley clean up day on Thursday 20th February 2014, between 10:30am and 3:30pm, and hope you might be able to join us, whether for the whole day or just a couple of hours. We meet at Ouseburn Farm at 10:30am and we’ll set off from there again at 1:30pm.

We will provide you with a hot lunch and with any tools you might need.

Hope to see you then! Let’s keep the Ouseburn looking good!

 

Autumn Graze

Autumn Graze Oct 2013 flyerThe Autumn Graze is back!

Explore lots of wonderful local artisan food and drink on over 20 stalls this Sunday in Ouseburn at the Cumberland Arms, between midday and 5pm.

Have a stroll around the valley in the morning to work up an appetite! Perhaps first admire the Byker Bridge from below (this event is also part of the weekend celebrating the 135th birthday of the Byker Bridge), or visit Ouseburn Farm nestling under its arches, or the Yi Pop Up Shop (part of the Northern Design Festival) in the 36, Lime Street Gallery, or Seven Stories.

The Cumberland Arms is on James Place Street. The Quaylink Q2 bus stops a short walk away on Ford Street (Ballast Hills stop). There is free parking in the Central Ouseburn Car Park off Foundry Lane (and there are steps up to the Cumberland opposite the car park entrance), and on Ford Street. If you don’t mind walking a bit further and uphill, there is also free parking on Spillers Quay.

If you want to find out about future events organised by The Grazer, her blog is one to follow (also has her social media links).

 

Bridging the Ouseburn

Bridging the Ouseburn 2013 poster.

Bridging the Ouseburn 2013 poster.

This weekend – 19th – 20th October – there are special events to celebrate the Lower Ouseburn Valley bridges.

A book about them – Bridging the Ouseburn by Sue Bright – is being launched on the 135th birthday of Byker Bridge. The book will be at a special introductory price of £7.50 for this weekend only, and will be £8.50 afterwards. All profits from the book will be donated to the Ouseburn Festival 2014.

Parts of the Byker Bridge’s opening ceremony are being recreated at The Cumberland Arms on Saturday 19th October. There will be a colliery brass band, rapper dancers, a Punch and Judy show, and Victorian games for all the family to play.