This film is part of Free

Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company Club Presents A Short Record of Its Activities 1961 and 1962

Home movie memories from the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company social club in 1960s Byker.

Amateur film 1961 21 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


A delightful look at the community spirit of families from Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company at play in the 1960s, taking part in a car treasure hunt, and visiting the Warkworth Pumping Station and the beach at Druridge Bay in Northumberland. The historic Byker bowling club on Headlam Green, with a magnificent view over a smoggy Newcastle, is at the heart of their social life, hosting a summer flower show and barbeque, where the under 5s are introduced to tug o’ war.

The Byker Wall, designed by Ralph Erskine in the 1960s to replace demolished terraced houses of the old working class suburb, was later built around the preserved Byker Village bowling club, founded in 1922. The bowling club pavilion appears to be the base for a social club of workers from Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company. This company was first established in February 1845 as the Whittle Dean Water Company under the leadership of well known Newcastle figures, including Richard Grainger and William Armstrong. It changed its name in 1863, and by the 1950s was the largest of any water company in Britain.