Taking The Piss

pisspotIt’s a well known fact that coal and beer used to be Newcastle Upon Tyne’s biggest exports, however what is not so well known is that another huge export was “Urine”.

Some reports even suggest it was the biggest of them all at one time.

Urine, which was collected from public urinals or barrels in the city, was used for a variety of things at different times throughout the city’s history –  including, ballast in ships, a stripping agent to turn wool into wearable clothes and most importantly in the countries tanneries, where it was used to remove hair and guts from the hides of animals.

Naturally many sailors who worked on the ships that collected and delivered the Urine, weren’t too keen on others knowing the cargo they carried, because If you worked on one of those ships, it wasn’t seen a  good job.

In the Taverns of Newcastle Quayside sailors would meet and ask “what you carrying on your ship?’,  and many would usually make something up, that sounded more exotic.

Wiser sailors who suspected they were telling lies would say, “no, you’re taking the piss aren’t you”? which went on to become a common phrase, still jokingly used in the same humorous sense by many Geordies throughout, Tyneside, Northumberland & Durham.

Other common phrases that come from those times included

 

  1. “Piss poor” : Families so hard up they used to collect their urine in a pot, which once a day was taken & sold to the tanneries.
  2. “Dont have a pot to piss in: Seen as the lowest of the low, because they could not even afford a pot to store the urine in.

The Horrid Story Of William Jobling

Gaslight Pub Marker

An innocuous corner just east of the Jarrow side of the Tyne pedestrian tunnel is where you will find a small stone monument marking where the Gaslight public house formerly stood.

The Gaslight,  known also as the Commercial was once one of the oldest pubs in Jarrow and legend has it where the body of William Jobling, one of the last men to be horribly hung and gibbeted in England was brought to soon after his barbaric death.

His battered and disfigured body was then quickly buried in a secret grave by his family who wanted to prevent the authorities putting his bloodied corpse back in the cage.

 

The trial and sentence unfortunately took place during a miners strike that was being ruthlessly dealt with by the authorities of the time and striking miners were being thrown out of their homes by troops and so called special constables.

Willam Jobling had approached the the Magistrate and begged for money, but his request was ignored and Jobling’s companion at the time, suddenly attacked the Magistrate with a stick and a stone before running off.

Instead of stopping to aid the Magistrate, Jobling, who naturally feared getting the blame for the attack also ran off, but was captured by police on a South shields beach a few hours later.

Finding Jobling guilty of the crime, the judge sitting at a court in South Shields stated that the public execution and gibbeting of Jobling should serve as an example to others of “his like”.

Although Jobling was not the actual killer, his gruesome fate was sealed because he was present at the time of the attack ( guilt by association ), while Ralph Armstrong was never put on trial for killing the town Magistrate.

Not far from this former public house is Jarrow Slake ( jarrow’s lake), near Tyne Dock, where Jobling was hung and gibbeted in 1832, for his part in the death of the local Magistrate Nicholas Fairless, after (in Joblings version of events) the sudden unplanned attack by the actual perpetrator, Ralph Armstrong.

Entrance to Jarrow Slake In The Port Of Tyne, Jarrow

Entrance to Jarrow Slake In The Port Of Tyne, Jarrow

It has been said by Jarrow and South Shields locals that Jobbing’s ghost is still walking around the area of “Jarrow Slake” protesting his innocence to any person or persons who may deem themselves  brave enough to stop and listen.

The Durham City Lumiere Festival

A four day festival once again lit up the city of Durham, bringing a little early winter magic to the people of Durham.

The Lumiere light show returned between the 12th and 15th of November 2015 to light up the streets, waterways & historic medieval buildings of Geordieland’s historic 2nd city & its famous cathedral.

Over the four days of the festival highlighted a raft of international, national, and local Geordie artists who created a breathtaking series of art installations, illuminations and performances to the delight of locals & visitors alike … more information

The following video shows images from the 2015 festival

2015 Blaydon Race Hailed A Success

Iconic Blaydon Races

Click here to discover the history of the iconic Blaydon Race

Thousands of Geordie’s took part in Geordieland’s 2nd most iconic road race this week as the famous road race yet again took place on the 9th of June.

Naturally, this long running and historic race was started in the heart of the Geordie City of Newcastle Upon Tyne, before following the road along Scotswood Road, crossing the River Tyne via Scotswood Bridge, before finishing in playing fields near Blaydon town centre.

Many thousands of keen Geordie runners, represented local running clubs along with others from the local community and elsewhere.

The local charity Smile for life, sponsored this years iconic Blaydon Races.

South Shields Sand Dancer Painting

Painting of a Sand dancer near the Groyne In South Shields

Painting of a Sand dancer on little haven beach near the Groyne at the mouth of the Tyne in South Shields

A recent post on Facebook, about the sale of a painting which features a Tyneside sand dancer and his dog, on little haven beach in view of the iconic Groyne lighthouse in South Shields, has got us thinking about adding a new feature to our Geordie art & culture section.

The new section will feature paintings and/or links to paintings by local artists, whether they are for sale or not :).

Thanks for introducing us to your painting Julie Stubbs and hopefully you will soon add to our planned new section.

In the meantime if you are a local Geordie artist and would like to have your own painting featured in our planned new Geordie paintings section, please make contact and we will soon make it happen.

Watch this space for updates 🙂

Original facebook post re-posted by Howay Lads & Lasses on Tuesday, 19 May 2015

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