TANGLED WORM is the online shop and sister site for England’s North East and is one way we raise revenue for the upkeep of our well-established North East site.
The England’s North East site began life as a bit of a hobby back in the 1990s and has continued to develop exponentially since.
Established by historian and former Northern Echo writer, David Simpson, it now features hundreds of pages covering North East history, culture and life. Running a site on this scale takes time and effort so revenue from the Tangled Worm shop at tangledworm.com goes towards maintaining and updating the site, even if it’s just to raise a bit of petrol money to go out and about and take photographs around the region.
With a name Inspired by the worm legend stories of Northern England, Tangled Worm began life in March 2018 with a focus on maps featuring the history and heritage of North East England.
The initial focus was on these heritage maps which build on David’s extensive research into North East history. In recent months the Tangled Worm business has expanded into clothes, accessories and gifts, mostly with North East themes.
These products, with designs unique to Tangled Worm include mugs, clothes, coasters, cushions, tote bags, necklaces, door mats and tea towels and we are constantly expanding our ranges and products.
Our Hadrian’s Wall range features a map of the Roman wall and the main forts. The range includes mugs, coasters and place mats, a maxi wallet and a tote bag featuring the famous Sycamore Gap.
Clothes by Tangled Worm include hoodies and t-shirts, all available in a choice of four colours in various sizes. For example our Angel T-shirt is available in grey, white, green and light blue.
We also do socks featuring our very own Tangly. Our tote bags likewise include a choice of four colours for each product. There are bags for Mackem Lasses, Geordie Lasses and Durham Lasses and others featuring the Angel, Sanctuary Knocker and Bamburgh.
We are proud of our region and it’s great that sales from Tangled Worm can be used towards keeping the England’s North East site up and running.
Check out our Tangled Worm Shop at tangledworm.com and help support a North East site and business.
How well do you know the North East? Test your local knowledge with our latest North East-themed quiz?
1. Which North East town has a name that means ‘stag island pool’?
2. A collection of artefacts stored in old army camp huts at Brancepeth near Durham became the basis for which famous North East institution and great day out founded in 1970?
3. Where would you find the famous Barter Books book store and what purpose did the building it occupies originally serve?
4. What is the name of the Sunderland-born author of the Horrible Histories series of children’s books?
5. By what name of Viking origin are waterfalls usually known in Teesdale?
6. The nineteenth century historian William Tomlinson said of this town that in former times its people “were among the wildest and most uncivilised in the county. For fighting, gaming and drinking they had a worse reputation than the inhabitants of Tynedale and Redesdale” Where was he talking about?
7. What was the nickname of the famed Northumberland-born landscape gardener born at Kirkharle in 1716.
8. Where were the Sans Pareil and Royal George locomotives built?
9. Where in Northumberland would you find the Anglo-Saxon Frith’ or ‘Frid’ stool, possibly a symbol of sanctuary but more likely a primitive example of a bishop’s throne?
10. Which North East city has a name that derives from words meaning ‘hill island’?
11. Which North East town is famed for its beautiful bridges dating from 1611, 1850 and 1925.
12. What does the Weardale ballad The Bonny Moor Hen commemorate?
13. Who wrote the popular, tongue-in-cheek Geordie dialect book Larn Yersel Geordie?
14. What is the name of the oldest surviving 18th century warship that can be seen at the maritime museum at the Royal Navy Museum at Hartlepool?
15. Which is the oldest of the seven bridges across the Tyne linking Newcastle and Gateshead?
16. What disaster affected much of the North East on St Hilda’s Day in November 1771?
17. In 934 AD Athelstan king of England returned a place he described as his “beloved vill” to the Bishops of Chester-le-Street. It had been seized by Vikings in 918AD. Where was he talking about?
18. What are the names of the Newcastle-born brothers who founded Viz comic?
19. What was the name of the North East-born Victorian serial killer responsible for the deaths of up to 21 people, mostly her own husbands and children?
20. Which North Eastern town was attacked by King Eystein of Norway in what is thought to have been the last Viking raid on Britain?
25. Which North East town derives its name from the Celtic name Allt Clud meaning cliff on the Clyde?
26. What was the fictional name for the village that was the setting for the 2000 film Billy Elliot set in east Durham?
27. What was the family name of the coal owning Marquess of Londonderry, once commemorated in the name of an east Durham Colliery?
28 Whitley Bay-born artist John Gilroy (1898-1985) was principally famous for his iconic graphic designs advertising which well-known alcoholic drink?
29. Who was the North East lead singer immortalised by John Lennon as the ‘Egg Man’ in ‘I am the Walrus’ and what was the name of his band?
30. Which legend is depicted in stone on the outside of Durham Cathedral? It portrays the foundation myth of the city and the journey of the monks to Durham.
31. What can be found in the weather vane of the market cross at Barnard Castle?
32. In which North East town would you find the beautiful Low Hall, Monksholme and an impressive vicar’s pele?
33. Who was the radical Liberal politician (pictured) who founded Tyneside’s Chronicle newspaper and was once a friend of the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi?
34. Where can you find the elegant Infinity Bridge named from its resemblance to the scientific symbol for infinity?
35. St. Cuthbert’s shrine was based here for 113 years and there were a succession of nine bishops based here. It was then one of the most important places in the region but where are we talking about?
36. What was supposedly mistaken for a French spy and hanged on the beach after it was washed ashore at Hartlepool during the Napoleonic Wars?
37. What was the name of the Durham coal owner and racehorse owner who was also a champion pugilist?
38. What was the name of the Heaton-born musician and record producer who managed both Slade and Jimi Hendrix?
39. Which North East town plays host to the spectacular Kynren?
40. Which Tyneside writer wrote the autobiographical ‘Kiddar’s Luck’?
Alnwick. The building was formerly Alnwick Railway Station.
Lancelot Brown, known as ‘Capability’ Brown.
Durham from ‘Dun Holm’.
A battle between the Bishop of Durham and poachers of his land.
High Level Bridge.
A great flood which destroyed many North East bridges.
Chris and Simon Donald.
Mary Ann Cotton.
St Cuthbert’s church, Darlington.
Everington. Much of the movie was filmed around Easington.
Eric Burdon, The Animals.
Dun Cow and Milk maids who guided the Cuthbert-carrying monks to Durham.
Two bullet holes resulting from a shooting competition between a soldier and a gamekeeper.
Gateshead is a town that is arguably growing slowly in confidence and status. Could it one day even challenge the city status of its historic neighbour across the Tyne? DAVID SIMPSON explores Gateshead’s transition from an apparent ‘backwater’ to a major centre of northern culture.
In times past Gateshead was once unflatteringly described in parliament as a ‘dirty lane leading to Newcastle’. It has also been described in more chauvinistic times as ‘Newcastle’s wife’ and then there’s that oft-told story of a stranger asking a native Geordie for directions to Gateshead. The reply is something along the lines of “gan ower the bridge and ye’ will say ‘this canna’ be Gyetsid’, but it is”.
Things are a lot different today of course, at least for those parts of Gateshead that face the Newcastle waterside. Gateshead has been a town and borough in the shadow of Newcastle since medieval times and often willingly or unwillingly under its neighbour’s direct control. Since 1882 Newcastle has held the status of a city, reinforcing Gateshead’s role as a ‘suburb’ despite the two places belonging to two quite different counties for so many centuries.
There is, almost, dare I say it, a sense that modern developments and future plans could, in decades to come, bring about a turnaround in this status. Gateshead, as it grows and develops might well become the sparkling modern city of glass and steel while Newcastle might come to serve the splendid role of ‘the old toon’, a kind of beautiful historic quarter with charming old buildings, streets and bars so typically found in many of the most frequently visited continental cities.
I regularly listen to Radio 2 these days – I’m showing my age here – and I often hear them announce forthcoming tours of prominent performers to major cities. Through the splendid work and fabulous event programme of the wonderful venue that is Sage Gateshead it is often Gateshead that you hear listed amongst those cities, rather than Newcastle. It’s quite an astonishing thing, when you think about it, given the almost ‘backwater’ status that Gateshead once held.
And there’s more. What is the most iconic symbol of the region today? The Tyne Bridge? Well maybe, but if it is so then Gateshead can certainly claim its share of this wonderful eminence of solid steel.
However, arguably the most internationally recognised symbol of the whole region, let alone Tyneside today, is Gateshead’s own Angel of the North. In fact it might even be described as the symbol of the entire North of England and it’s right here in Gateshead. Well, where else?
Even down on the river, the Tyne Bridge is now somewhat challenged in the admiration stakes by the Gateshead Millennium Bridge which tellingly includes Gateshead in its name. Its modern elegant gleaming white arch certainly seems to connect with the companion buildings of Sage and BALTIC on the south shore a little more so than perhaps it does with even the most modern quayside buildings on the Newcastle side.
Being a pedestrian bridge it is also, in human terms, the most effective link between the two ‘toons’ if we are to insist on that humbling dialect term for a community’s civic status. By comparison the magnificent Tyne Bridge, though undoubtedly the greatest symbol of ‘home’ for many a Tynesider, seems designed, despite its symbolism, to carry traffic through and away from the two places as much as it serves in bringing the two communities together.
Of course it is the central business districts or retail centres that are often most identified as the heart of any city. Northumberland Street and Eldon Square, which though both pleasing, could, let’s be honest, be located almost anywhere, as much-loved as they are. They are as seemingly as popular as ever but it is reasonable to ask what they might look like in fifty years time considering the new era of online commerce which we are, in generational terms, still only just entering.
In fairness, retail seems to be one area where central Gateshead is unlikely to challenge Newcastle. The modern Trinity Square in Gateshead town centre is certainly not on a scale intended to do so, although Gateshead’s out-of-town MetroCentre has given Newcastle town centre more than a run for its money for some decades now.
We often hear the two places now described under one name ‘Newcastle-Gateshead’ and the initiative to market and develop the two as one seems to have been broadly accepted, at least for now, but might there come a day when the modern ‘city’ of Gateshead demands recognition and perhaps even a senior status in its own right, distinct from its grand, handsome but ageing partner across the water?
Well, maybe not, but who would have thought thirty years ago that Gateshead could have developed into what it has become today?
SOME FACTS ABOUT GATESHEAD
Gateshead Borough is home to around 200,000 people.
It stretches from Whickham and Blaydon in the west to Pelaw and Felling in the east and south to Birtley.
Sage Gateshead stands close to the site of Gateshead’s medieval streets including Hillgate.
Hillgate or ‘Hellgate’ was where the Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead began in 1854.
Gateshead Millennium Bridge can tilt to 40 degrees.
BALTIC gallery occupies a former flour mill established in the 1930s but was not opened until the 1950s.
Rank who owned the mill often named mills after foreign seas.
BALTIC stands on the site of the Hawks’Iron works (1858-1890). One Hawks’ employee was Geordie Ridley who wrote ‘Blaydon Races’.
A painting of the Blaydon Races can be seen in Shipley Art Gallery.
Underhill, the first private house in the world to be lit by electricity is now a care home in Kells Lane, Low Fell.