Monday, 25 June 2012

The Castle Keep Newcastle

Decided to have a ride to Newcastle so it was a case of up over what we call the "farmers field" trail. this brings you out at "No Place" yes that really is the name of the village, down to Beamish and get onto the C2C. I then followed this down to Birtley and got off the C2C and made my way up Birtley High Street, heading for Lamsley and onto the Team Valley. It was then a case of reconnecting onto the C2C and eventually coming out to ride along the River Tyne. I then crossed over the Swing Bridge and made my way up towards the Castle Keep. A few quick photo's and then a leisurely ride back home, roughly a 27 mile loop.

The Castle Keep of Newcastle upon Tyne was built by Henry II between 1168-1178, it is one of the finest surviving examples of a Norman Keep in the country.
It stands within a site that also contains: an early motte and bailey castle built by Robert Curthose, the son of William the Conqueror: an Anglo-Saxon cemetery and a Roman Fort (Pons Aelius).
The Castle Keep is a Grade 1 listed building, a Scheduled Ancient monument, and is open to the public 361 days of the year as a heritage visitor attraction. Owned by Newcastle City Council it is leased to and managed by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, the second oldest antiquarian society in the world.

It's nice to see bikes are available for hire so visitors can checkout the area.

Sandman at the Entrance to the Keep

Monday, 11 June 2012

A Ride Out to Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Looking at Durham Cathedral through my Sandman's Front Wheel

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham (usually known as Durham Cathedral) is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093. The cathedral is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with nearby Durham Castle, which faces it across Palace Green.

The present cathedral replaced the 10th century "White Church", built as part of a monastic foundation to house the shrine of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. The treasures of Durham Cathedral include relics of St Cuthbert, the head of St Oswald of Northumbria and the remains of the Venerable Bede. In addition, its Durham Dean and Chapter Library contains one of the most complete sets of early printed books in England, the pre-Dissolution monastic accounts, and three copies of the Magna Carta.
Durham Cathedral occupies a strategic position on a promontory high above the River Wear. From 1080 until the 19th century the bishopric enjoyed the powers of a Bishop Palatine, having military as well as religious leadership and power. Durham Castle was built as the residence for the Bishop of Durham. The seat of the Bishop of Durham is the fourth most significant in the Church of England hierarchy, and he stands at the right hand of the monarch at coronations. Signposts for the modern day County Durham are subtitled "Land of the Prince Bishops."
There are daily Church of England services at the Cathedral, with the Durham Cathedral Choir singing daily except Mondays and when the choir is on holiday. The cathedral is a major tourist attraction within the region, the central tower of 217 feet (66 m) giving views of Durham and the surrounding area.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Playing on my Sandman Hoggar, using my Bartlett Tendon

A Day out Playing @ Ajax Woods

 I decided to get to grips with my GoPro,after having one or two problems, notably when I got my camera the spare battery being buggered and running out after 10 secs or so!!!
 I thought today might be a nice day to experiment. I had been out for a ride last week on the Derwent Walk and got my eye on a nice place just to practice with my camera.  Here's some various shots of the day.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Tanfield Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Tanfield Railway is a standard gauge heritage railway in Gateshead and County Durham, England. Running on part of a former colliery wooden wagonway, later a steam railway, it operates preserved steam and diesel industrial tank locomotives. The railway operates a passenger service on Sundays all year round, as well as demonstration freight trains. The line runs 3 miles (4.8 km) between a southern terminus at East Tanfield, Durham, to a northern terminus at Sunniside, Gateshead, with the main station, Andrews House situated near to the Marley Hill engine shed. A halt also serves the historic site of the Causey Arch. The railway claims to be the oldest working railway in the world.
 Tanfield railway pic 1.jpg

Causey Arch, the World's Oldest Surviving Single-Arch Railway Bridge in the World

Causey Arch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Causey Arch is a bridge near Stanley in County Durham, northern England. It is the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world.
It was built in 1725-26 by stonemason Ralph Wood, funded by a conglomeration of coal-owners known as the "'Grand Allies'" (founded by Colonel Liddell and the Hon. Charles Montague) at a cost of £12,000. Two tracks crossed the Arch: one (the main way) to take coal to the River Tyne, and the other (the bye way) for the returning the empty wagons. Over nine hundred horse-drawn wagons crossed the arch each day using the Tanfield Railway.
At the time the bridge was completed in 1726, it was the longest single span bridge in the country with an arch span of 31 m, a record it held for thirty years until 1756 when a bridge was built in Pontypridd, Wales.
An inscription on a sundial at the site reads "Ra. Wood, mason, 1727". Use of the Arch declined when Tanfield Colliery was destroyed by fire in 1739.
The Arch was restored and reinforced in the 1980s. There are a series of scenic public paths around the area and the Causey Burn which runs underneath it. The quarry near the bridge is a popular spot for local rock climbers.
Causey Burn itself flows into Beamish Burn which then flows into the River Team eventually
 discharging into the River Tyne.

Powered by Jam


Couldn't afford a McDonalds, so made some Jam Sandwiches  to eat whilst out on a mini adventure

More Jam :)

My dog Mr Hinks & where i got his name from


Early in the mid-19th century the "Bull and Terrier" breeds were developed to satisfy the needs for vermin control and animal-based blood sports. The "Bull and Terriers" were based on the Old English Bulldog (now extinct) and one or more of Old English Terrier and "Black and tan terrier", now known as Manchester Terrier. This new breed combined the speed and dexterity of lightly built terriers with the dour tenacity of the Bulldog, which was a poor performer in most combat situations, having been bred almost exclusively for killing bulls and bears tied to a post. Due to the lack of breed standards - breeding was for performance, not appearance - the "Bull and Terrier" eventually divided into the ancestors of "Bull Terriers" and "Staffordshire Bull Terriers", both smaller and easier to handle than the progenitor

About 1850, James Hinks started breeding "Bull and Terriers" with "English White Terriers" (now extinct), looking for a cleaner appearance with better legs and nicer head. In 1862, Hinks entered a bitch called "Puss" sired by his white Bulldog called "Madman" into the Bull Terrier Class at the dog show held at the Cremorne Gardens in Chelsea. Originally known as the "Hinks Breed" and "The White Cavalier", these dogs did not yet have the now-familiar "egg face", but kept the stop in the skull profile The dog was immediately popular and breeding continued, using Dalmatian, Greyhound, Spanish Pointer, Foxhound and Whippet to increase elegance and agility; and Borzoi and Collie to reduce the stop. Hinks wanted his dogs white, and bred specifically for this. Generally, however, breeding was aimed at increasing sturdiness: three "subtypes" were recognised by judges, Bulldog, Terrier and Dalmatian, each with its specific conformation, and a balance is now sought between the three. The first modern Bull Terrier is now recognised as "Lord Gladiator", from 1917, being the first dog with no stop at all.

Due to medical problems associated with all-white breeding, Ted Lyon among others began introducing colour, using Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the early 20th century. Coloured Bull Terriers were recognised as a separate variety (at least by the AKC) in 1936. Brindle is the preferred colour, but other colours are welcome Along with conformation, specific behaviour traits were sought. The epithet "White Cavalier", harking back to an age of chivalry, was bestowed on a breed which while never seeking to start a fight was well able to finish one, while socialising well with its "pack", including children and pups. Hinks himself had always aimed at a "gentleman's companion" dog rather than a pit-fighter though Bullies were often entered in the pits, with some success. Today the Bullie is valued as a comical, mischievous, imaginative and intelligent (problem-solving) but stubborn house pet suitable for experienced owners
Gonna need a bath

A Happy Pooch

Mr Hinks knows there's biscuits on the go

Posing at the Coast

1,2,3 coming ready or not......

Angel of the North

Had myself a ride over to the Angel of the North with a friend the other week and took a few snaps, here's one.

 Angel of the North

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

The Angel of the North is a contemporary sculpture, designed by Antony Gormley, which is located in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England.
It is a steel sculpture of an angel, 20 metres (66 ft) tall, with wings measuring 54 metres (177 ft) across.[1] The wings do not stand straight sideways, but are angled 3.5 degrees forward; Gormley did this to create "a sense of embrace".[2]
It stands on a hill on the southern edge of Low Fell, overlooking the A1 and A167 roads into Tyneside, and the East Coast Main Line rail route, south of the site of Team Colliery.[3]

Work began on the project in 1994 and cost £1 million. Most of the project funding was provided by the National Lottery. The Angel was finished on 16 February 1998.
Due to its exposed location, the sculpture was built to withstand winds of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Thus, 600 tonnes of concrete were used to create foundations which anchor the sculpture to rock 70 feet (21 m) below. The sculpture was built at Hartlepool Steel Fabrications Ltd using Corten weather resistant steel. It was made in three parts—with the body weighing 100 tonnes and two wings weighing 50 tonnes each—then brought to its site by road. It took five hours for the body to be transported from its construction site in Hartlepool, up the A19 road to the site.[4]
The Angel aroused some controversy in British newspapers, at first, including a "Gateshead stop the statue" campaign, while local councillor Martin Callanan was especially strong in his opposition. However, it has since been considered to be a landmark for the Northeast of England[4][5] and has been listed by one organisation as an "Icon of England".[6] It has often been used in film and television to represent Tyneside, as are other local landmarks such as the Tyne Bridge and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
The sculpture is known locally as the "Gateshead Flasher", because of its location and appearance.[7] The sculpture was decorated in 1998 by fans of the Newcastle United football team who paid tribute to local hero Alan Shearer by putting a giant team shirt over the Angel, complete with Shearer's name and famous number 9.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Now are you sitting comforably ? Once upon a Time....

I'm a right above knee amputee (RAK) as of September 11th 2007. 

Here's a little bit of a story and hopefully some info you might like to read about.

One of the most important parts of a prosthetic limb is the socket (that's the bit that your stump or residual limb if you want to be more technical sits in) If the socket doesn't fit or is uncomfortable you could have a £50,000  knee,or other component for say an upper amputee and at the end of the day it would be useless as you couldn't wear or use the limb for very long. Imagine wearing a pair of really uncomfortable shoes for hours on end, ones that make your feet sore and get blisters. You can't wait to take them off and relax yeah!!!?, then imagine having to go through it all the next day and so on and so on and that will give you a small idea of what it's like to have to wear a prosthetic socket that is painful and uncomfortable.

These shots were of me at Hamsterley in 2010

Me getting to grips with my Bartlett Tendon (2010) 
(photo courtesy of CYM Imaging)

Again just having a bit of fun on my bike, using my Bartlett Tendon (2010) 
(photo courtesy of CYM Imaging)